5 home printers that actually work (and won't cost you a fortune in ink refills)

best home printers with cheap ink
ByNina Bradley

It can be easy to purchase a printer that has an attractive price tag without realizing that the ink refills are expensive and don't last long. That's where the best home printers with cheap ink come in. As you shop around, consider how much you print, and if you want color pages or if only black and white is OK, in order to decide which type of printer best suits your needs: inkjet or laser.

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers are equipped to print text as well as high-quality color images. Some can even produce photos. Plus, they're typically compact and easy to maintain. People often opt for inkjet printers for home use because of their upfront affordability. However, if you print a lot, the price of ink cartridges can add up.

If you print a lot of pages but love the print quality and size of an inkjet, ink tank printers are essentially inkjet printers that are designed to be refilled with ink bottles, so they cost less in the long run. However, ink tank printers typically cost more to purchase.

Laser printers

Laser printers tend to be faster than inkjets and work with toner cartridges, which can print thousands of pages before needing a refill (unlike hundreds when it comes to standard inkjet cartridges). Although each toner cartridge can be pricey, laser printers are a good choice if you print a lot of pages. While black-and-white-only laser printers can come with relatively affordable price tags, color ones typically start at around $500. Laser printers are also not the best option for photos.

Finally, consider if you want your printer to perform other tasks such as scanning, copying, and faxing.

However you plan on using it, these highly rated printers will stay affordable in the long run.

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The basic inkjet printer

This all-in-one printing machine can print documents and photos, copy, scan, and fax. Plus, you can connect to it via Ethernet, USB, or wireless network. It can produce a relatively speedy 20 pages per minute in black and 11 pages per minute in color. Equipped with a 35-page automatic document feeder, it is quick and efficient for both small and medium print jobs. This model works with HP's standard-size 902 series as well as its 902XL packs with more ink, which offer pretty good value per page for an inkjet. Plus, more than 3,000 Amazon reviewers have given it a five-star rating.

Compatible ink cartridges:


The budget inkjet printer

Another all-in-one inkjet printer, this HP model costs significantly less upfront than the previous one. It easily connects to and prints from your smartphone, tablet, or PC wirelessly or via USB, according to Amazon reviewers. It can print (both documents and photos), copy, and scan. However, it doesn't go as far when it comes to ink. Ink cartridges that are compatible with this machine only yield about 120 pages of black printing for a $16 cartridge, making it a good choice for occasional use. It's also not as fast as the first inkjet and can only print eight pages per minute in black, and 5.5 pages per minute in color.

Compatible ink cartridges:


The ink tank printer

Packaged for low-cost, high-volume printing, this inkjet tank printer can handle a number of tasks with ease. It can print, scan, copy, and fax, and it's compatible with most computers, smartphones, and tablets. Plus, it can work with either USB or a wireless network. Instead of cartridges, the printer is refilled through spill-free bottles that will save you money if you print a high volume of documents. It prints 11 pages per minute in black, and five pages per minute in color. However, it's not the best option for photo printing according to some Amazon reviewers.

Compatible ink refills:


The black-and-white laser printer

This monochrome laser printer quickly produces documents in black and white (at 32 pages per minute), making it an excellent choice if you only print text documents. Like the other options, it is equipped for wireless printing from both computers and mobile devices. It can also work with USB. It's designed with a toner-saving mode, and the high-yield toner replacements that are compatible with this printer can crank out up to 3,000 pages per cartridge. However, this one doesn't offer some additional functionality like scanning or copying.

Compatible toner cartridges:


The color laser printer

If you're looking to print lots of color pages quickly and don't mind spending a little more upfront, this color laser printer might be your best option. It produces 33 pages per minute for either black or color prints, and it can connect via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or USB. The toner cartridges are also impressive and able to produce up to 6,500 pages in black if you buy the extra-large capacity option. This option doesn't copy, scan, or fax, though.

Compatible toner cartridges: