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Most Ink Efficient Inkjet Printers

Most Ink Efficient Inkjet Printers

Shopping for an ink-efficient printer is the best way to save on printer ink.

An ink-efficient printer is a cost-efficient printer and looking for the most cost-efficient printer isn’t hard if you know what features you really need and what specifications to look out for.  It has been proven that some inkjet printers are more ink-efficient compared to other models and knowing what those models are can make a big difference on your monthly expenses over time. Though there are some ways to extend the life of an ink cartridge, it’s always better to have an efficient printer with cost-efficient cartridges from the get-go. As the adage goes: prevention is better than cure.

Cost-Efficient Printers vs Ink-Efficient Printers

We use these terms interchangeably in this article because the cost-efficiency of a printer depends on how proficiently it uses ink. The more efficiently your printer manages its ink resources, the less often you need to pull out your wallet to buy a replacement. And ink cartridges aren’t cheap. (You’ll agree to this after you’ve purchased 4-6 replacements in the course of one year.)

How to Look for an Ink-Efficient Printer?

Printer efficiency is determined by looking at the printer’s cost per page. Here’s how to determine cost per page:

  1. Find out what ink cartridge the printer uses.
  2. Determine the ink cartridge’s page yield. Page yield is the number of pages a cartridge can print before going empty. Ink cartridges with higher page yields are considered more cost-efficient. Some printers accept extra high yield cartridges and others don’t. This could be another factor to look out for when shopping for a cost-efficient printer.
  3. Take the price of the ink cartridge and divide it by its page yield. The resulting number is the cost per page.

Here’s an example: let’s compare the HP 63 and the HP 952 ink cartridges. A standard HP 63 cartridge prints up to 190 pages while a standard HP 952 prints up to 1,000 pages. Granted the HP 63 may seem cheaper initially but to print 1,000 pages with the HP 63 you need at least 5 HP 63 standard cartridges. Taking the current price of a standard HP 63 ($18.99) times 5, that’s $94.95! To summarize:

  • To print 1,000 pages with the HP 63 will cost you $94.95 for 5 cartridges.
  • To print 1,000 pages with the HP 952 will cost you $31.99 for 1 cartridge.

Just by looking at the numbers, you can already tell that printers that use the HP 952 ink cartridge are undeniably more ink-efficient (aka more economical) than printers that use the HP 63.

Coincidentally, printers that use the HP 952 are pricier than printers that use the HP 63. So your next question might be —

What’s more important: initial printer cost OR cost per page?

If you print quite regularly, we recommend you base your decision on cost per page. If you only print a few pages a month, you’re probably better off with a low-cost laser printer. Yes, laser. If you only print a few pages a month, chances are the ink inside your cartridges will constantly dry up and you’ll need to run to the store to get a fresh set of cartridges every time. Before you know it, you’ve already spent more than the price of a laser printer. Laser printers use toner which do not dry up.

The Bottom Line: Stay away from cheap inkjet printers with inefficient ink cartridges–they will eventually cost you a fortune.


In the hopes of making your printer search easier, we did some research to see which printer models have a low cost per page and are a solid option when it comes to ink efficiency. And we’ve also indicated how compatible cartridges cost for each printer so you can see how much more you can save.

Without further ado, let’s explore six ink-saving printer models that will keep your printing budget in check.

HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 All-in-One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 is an ink efficient printer that offers print speeds of up to 18 pages per minute. It uses the HP 902 black, cyan, magenta and yellow ink cartridges.  Offered in both a standard and high yield size, the HP 902XL ink cartridges produce around 825 pages before requiring replacement.

Ink Cost:  Original high yield HP cartridges can run as much as $38.99 for the black and $21.99 for each color*.  But you can get compatible high yield HP 902XL for just $15.99 per black cartridge and $8.99 apiece for each color.

Monthly Duty Cycle 20,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 18 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Black Ink (T6M14AN#140)
Page Yield825  Pages
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Cyan (T6M02AN#140) / Magenta (T6M06AN#140) / Yellow (T6M10AN#140)
Page Yield 825 Pages
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $38.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 4.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $15.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page

 

 


Brother® MFC-J985DW All-in-One Inkjet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great choice, the ultra-efficient MFC-J985DW, is an inexpensive Brother printer that uses INKvestment cartridges and produces monochrome prints for less than 1 cent per page. The Brother INKvestment series of printers is a family of multi-function printers that uses Brother’s super high yield cartridge system to deliver more prints for less.

Ink Cost: Replacements for MFC-J985DW ink cartridges are priced at less than $25 each for a black cartridge (which prints up to 2400 pages) and less than $15.59 for  color cartridges (which print up to 1200 pages) if you buy original Brother cartridges. Compatible replacements for Brother MFC-J985DW ink, on the other hand, cost only a third (60% savings!) of the original cartridge price with black cartridge replacements (LC20EBK) at $8.49 each and color cartridges at $7.49 each (LC20EMLC20ECLC20EY). If you can sacrifice some money for quality, this model is among the most cost-effective units on the market. Plus, it’s not even that expensive coming in at around $149.99 on Amazon.

Monthly Duty Cycle 2,500 Pages
Print Speed Up to 12 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Two- year limited warranty offered by Brother
Cartridge Name Brother LC20E XXL Extra High Yield Black Ink (F6U19AN#140)
Page Yield 2,400 Pages
Cartridge Name Brother LC20E XXL Extra High Yield Cyan (L0S61AN#140) / Magenta (L0S64AN#140) / Yellow (L0S67AN#140)
Page Yield 1,200 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $23.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page .98 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .35 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page

 


HP® OfficeJet® Pro 9105 All-in-One Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great ink efficient inkjet below $200 is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015….Amazon offers this printer for $179.99.  This model uses four different HP 962 ink cartridges: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. HP cartridges are available in a standard yield and high yield size.  High yield, or XL cartridges are a better buy for customers that print frequently.  Original HP brand high yield 962XL black cartridges print 2,000 pages and and each individual color cartridge prints 1,600 pages.  To keep cost down, consider buying compatible HP 962 cartridges from LD Products…these cartridges will be available soon!

Monthly Duty Cycle 25,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 22 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 962XL High Yield Black Ink (3JA03AN#140)
Page Yield 2,000 Pages
Cartridge Name HP 962XL High Yield Cyan (3JA00AN#140) / Magenta (3JA01AN#140) / Yellow (3JA02AN#140)
Page Yield 1,600 Pages
Price Comparison of Original HP 962XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $44.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original HP 962XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $34.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original HP 962XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $34.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original HP 962XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $34.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available

 


Epson® Expression® ET-2750 EcoTank® All-in-One Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EcoTank series from Epson is a relatively new approach to fueling printers, which uses a proprietary inkwell design that directly connects to the printhead.  The Expression  ET-2750 is an all-in-one printer that uses 4 high volume ink tanks to produce a print.  Instead of buying new cartridges, you buy ink bottles to refill the ink inside the printer.

Ink Cost: Epson ink bottles for this model go for $19.99 (black ink) and $13.99 per color which means it’ll cost you $62 to get bottles for all 4 colors (black, magenta, yellow, cyan). Fortunately, you don’t have to spend that much if you buy compatible Epson ET-2750 ink which will run you only $8.99 for each black ink bottle and colors bottles that will cost you $7.99 each.  If you print a lot for your small business and you’re looking to get the most out of your ink, the EcoTank may be the best approach. But if your print volume isn’t that high, the EcoTank may be a bit expensive—this model is $249.99  on Amazon.

Monthly Duty Cycle 3,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 10.5 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty 2-Year Limited warranty offered by Epson
Cartridge Name Epson 502 Ecotank Black Ink (T502120-S)
Page Yield 7,500 Pages
Cartridge Name Epson 502 Ecotank Cyan (T502220-S) / Magenta (T502320-S) / Yellow (T502420-S)
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $19.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .26 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .11 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .50 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .50 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .50 cents per page

 


Brother® MFC-J805DW Inkvestment Ink Tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to beat the MFC-J805’s features and cost-per-page metrics. If you want a printer that does it all AND uses ink efficiently, this is the printer for you.

Ink Cost: The Brother MFC-J805 Inkvestment printer uses LC3033 super high yield or LC3035 ultra high yield cartridges.   Ultra high yield cartridges are slightly more expensive but offer a lower cost per page…according to Brother’s metrics, each ultra high yield monochrome page costs around .9 cents and ultra high yield color pages total to around 4.5 cents each.  Original Brother brand ultra high yield LC3035 black cartridges print up to 6,000 pages and each color cartridge prints up to 5,000 pages.  Cartridges cost between $57.99 to $62.49, depending on the color you need. If you purchase compatible  MFC-J805 printer cartridges, however, you can save a bundle AND get more prints. Compatible LD brand high yield Brother MFC-J805 ink replacements print the same number of pages and will only cost you $22.99 to $24.99 per cartridge. This MFC-J805 is designed for a mid-level monthly output. Brother’s new page gauge display lets you know how much ink you have used you have left.  Available on Amazon for $159.99, it’s offered at a decent prince too.

Monthly Duty Cycle 5,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 12 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by Brother
Cartridge Name Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Black Ink
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Cartridge Name Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow
Page Yield 5,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $57.99
Original Brother Cost Per Page .9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $22.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .45 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.77 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  1.77 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother Ultra High Yield LC3035 Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  1.77 cents per page

 


Canon PIXMA G5020 MegaTank Inkjet Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canon PIXMA G5020 MegaTank–is a new ink tank printer that is similar to the previously mentioned Epson Ecotank.  At $234.57 price point on Amazon, it’s slightly cheaper and offers an even lower cost per page.

Ink Cost: Canon PIXMA G5020 black ink bottles print 6,000 pages and each color bottle prints  about 7,700 pages.  LD brand compatible ink bottles will be priced even lower – we will keep this article updated and let you know when they become available!

Monthly Duty Cycle 20,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 13 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by Canon
Ink Bottle Name Canon GI-20 Black Ink Bottle
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Ink Bottle Name Canon GI-20 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow
Page Yield Approx. 7,700 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-20 Black vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $17.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .29 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-20 Cyan vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .74 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-20 Magenta vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .74 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  Not yet available
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-20 Yellow vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .74 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price Coming Soon to LD Products!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  Not yet available

Keep in mind, many of these page-per-cartridge and cost-per-page metrics are estimates. The kinds of media you print, along with the settings you select on your print options screen, will also dictate how much you actually get out of each cartridge. For the most part, these are also numbers provided by the manufacturer, so consider them careful estimates and not strict doctrine.

Finding the right printer for your needs is easy when you know where to start. Printing needs vary so be sure to check online reviews to ensure that your model can provide the results you’re expecting. If you print regularly, take note of the monthly print capacity each model is designed to handle. Printer efficiency means little when your unit keeps breaking down from overwork. Also knowing where to buy ink cartridge replacements that are more affordable than original manufacturer cartridges may save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

*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, Staples, Brother, Canon, HP and Epson. All prices effective as of November 9, 2018.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

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15 Comments

  • I just found out the hard way that Epson’s estimates for their WF4730 All-In-One were lies, ~900/~2600 black (Regular/XL), Color ~650/~900 (Regular/XL). We got ~75/~150 for black and ~65/NA for color. They don’t have compatible for this printer yet.

  • what percentage cover of the page is the estimate for color? 1/4 page illustration with text, or full page color illustration or what???

    • The page yield of a cartridge is based upon the ISO standard for measuring ink cartridge yields by printing out pages with 5% page coverage until the cartridge runs empty. This applies for both black and color cartridges.

      Check out our article for more info: https://www.ldproducts.com/blog/what-is-page-yield/

  • Do you have current advice for 2018 printers with low ink cost?

    • The printers on the list are all current and available. We update the article regularly to include new noteworthy models.

  • Do all printers listed in here can print on vinyl stickers and ordinary (glossy, matte, satin) sticker papers? I intend to place stickers on my beauty products so I need it to be waterproof or water resistant.

  • Need printer that is IPad compatible and that is efficient in ink consumption and easy to use and good quality of printing and affordable price

    • Hi Shirley,

      Most printers are compatible with your iPad these days. If the printer specs say it prints with AirPrint, you can print with your iPad. We put together a list of our favorite AirPrint compatible printers here: https://www.ldproducts.com/blog/best-airprint-printers/. The HP Officejet Pro 8710 is relatively inexpensive and is great for printing both text and color. It comes with an easy to use touchscreen too! Hope this helps!

  • Need printer With direct connect to I Pad, ink efficient, easy to use and at good price

  • I purchased a Brother MFC-240C multi function, four colors, self cleaning printer about 15 years ago, and its still going strong. But you’ll never find one today like this one and if you do grab it. Ink from LD costs $49.00 for a box of different ink colors 4 black, 2 of all the others, and lasts me over a year. I messed up one year and bought 2 boxes, I’m good for at least 3 or 4 more years on ink.

  • We have had a Canon MB2720 for a few years … the published pages per ink tank are not even close! Over the course of 3 years we are getting less than 35% of the numbers published by Canon and in this review. The only reason I bought this printer was for the $/page ratings … totally robbed.

  • Which of these printers will allow you to print on just one cartridge? Epson is notorious for making you buy new cartridges for just needing to print in black if one of the other colors is empty. Please advise.

  • I need a printer that prints words for announcements well and reliably on the back of pretty thick postcards (14point cardstock). It may need to be a specialty printer.
    Any ideas?

    • There are both inkjet and laser printers that print on 14pt cardstock. Do you have any other specific printing needs that would help determine the type of printer you should get?

  • Hello!,
    I’m in need of a color photo printer for my photo business. It has to have a high cartridge yield, fast ppm, has a high printer duty cycle, and will print quality photos on sticky paper. My business is in event photography where I print images on the spot to give to guest, so it is important the printer prints fast quality photos as economically as possible. I was looking at Brother 985, do you think that is a good fit for my needs? Thank you for any input you can offer!!

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