Finding a printer that meets the needs of every family member takes a decent amount of research. With most printers lasting an average of five years, you will want to look for a machine that continues to offer value as your family grows and your kids get older. That photo collage project in elementary school will eventually lead to a lengthy research paper just a few years later, making a reliable printer that is versatile and affordable all the more important. In this quick guide, we will cover all of the key components worth considering so you can find the right option for you and your family.
- Easy to use
- Black and white and color prints
- Ability to make copies
- Wireless Ready
- Social Media Friendly
- Low Operating Cost
If you are ready to skip straight to a specific printer, click one of the jump links below. For further reading, check out our guide on how to decide between an inkjet and a laser printer or our list of the best printers of 2021.
Best Printers at a Glance
Canon® Pixma TR8620 – Buy on Amazon*
If you want an affordable all-in-one photo printer that’s also great for everyday prints, check out the Canon PIXMA TR8620. This versatile machine is perfect for printing text, color documents and photos and it also supports a range of media types and sizes. 5-ink cartridges are required for operation, including a dye-based CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), and a pigment-based black cartridge. LD Products offers the super high yield black PGI-280XXL cartridge for $11.99 and each CLI-281XXL series super high yield color cartridge goes for $10.99.
Best Budget Printer
Brother® MFC-J995DW Inkvestment Tank – Buy on Amazon
Saving money is important to every family, and a budget friendly printer can definitely help you cut down on everyday expenses. The MFC-J995DW is an upgrade from its Inkvestment predecessor, the MFC-985DW, but is still an affordable all-in-one machine that uses super high yield ink cartridges, offering a large print volume for very little money. Part of Brother’s “Inkvestment” printer line; copy, fax, scanning and wireless connectivity all come standard. The LC3033 XXL super high yield cartridge series offer incredibly generous page yields at a respectable price. Brother sells the black LC3033 cartridge for $34.99, which prints around 3,000 pages. Each color cartridge is $24.99 and prints 1,500 pages.
To save even more, consider buying LD brand compatible black LC3033 XXL cartridges. At just $12.99* for the black cartridge and $9.99 per color, you can get comparable print quality to the original Brother brand for pennies on the dollar.
Best for Social Media
HP® Sprocket Wireless Photo Printer – Buy on Amazon
HP’s Sprocket Wireless Photo Printer is designed for the family Instagram fan. Instead of ink cartridges, the printer use HP’s ZINK® Photo Paper, a special paper that applies heat activation technology to produce the color details in your prints. Capable of printing 2 x 3 inch photos or stickers from any of your preferred social media platforms, the Sprocket’s photos are fun to share and print fast. HP also offers an editing app so you can add a personal touch on your photos before you print. A 20-sheet refill or the Zink photo paper goes for $9.99, making the printing costs pricey, but for the novelty, it may be worth it.
Best Ink Tank Printer
Epson® Ecotank ET-2720 – Buy on Amazon
If your family prints a lot of colored documents daily, Epson’s Ecotank ET-27200 printer is a smart buy. Instead of ink cartridges, EcoTank printers have large refillable ink tanks which you refill with bottled ink. Thanks to the air tight design of the tank, the ink doesn’t dry out over time like a standard ink cartridge, so you can go weeks in between prints and still have working ink ready to tackle your next print job. With the black ink bottle offering a yield of up to 4,500 pages and each color bottle offering around 6,000 pages, the ET-2720 is one of the most economical long term printing options around. Epson sells each bottle for $13.99 and you can find an even cheaper option from LD Products at just $6.99 per Epson 522 compatible. The printer is a bit expensive compared to other printers in its class, but the generous cartridge yield will likely more than make up for it for families that print at a high volume.
Best for Photos
Canon® Pixma iP8720 – Buy on Amazon
This Canon printer model has been around since 2014 but is still one of the best printers to have if you want to print excellent quality photos at home. The Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Color Photo Printer is a great entry-level option and capable of printing sharp 4 x 6 photos in under 21 seconds. Printing photos from your smartphone or tablet is easy with the printer’s wireless connection and its compact size make it a convenient travel companion.
Canon sells the PGI-250XL high yield black ink cartridge that offers a yield of approximately 500 pages. CLI-251XL color cartridges are sold in five different colors, black, cyan, magenta and yellow, offering a yield of 660 pages per cartridge. Two different black cartridges are needed to operate the printer, the PGI-250 cartridge is pigment based for text printing, while the CL-251 option is dye-based ink and formulated for photo prints. LD brand compatible cartridges are considerably less than the Canon brand at just $4.99 each!
Now that you have a range of reputable printers to choose from, you can make the best buying decision for your family. Before you settle on one, take a moment to list out all of your printing needs (both immediate and long term). Then, compare that list to your potential printer’s listed features, if they match up, you’ve got a winner! Happy hunting!
*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge and printer prices from the listed retailers: Amazon. All products are reviewed independently. As an Amazon associate, LD Products earns from qualifying purchases through links on this page. All prices effective as of January 27, 2021. OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.