Best Printers with Cheap Ink (2024)

Submitted by Byanka Ramos on Tue, 06/25/2024 - 07:53
Printer with ink bottles

One of the most common questions when choosing a printer is, "Which printer has the cheapest ink?" It's a simple question, but the answer is more complex than one might hope. Ink costs can vary greatly depending on the type of printer, how much you print, and your specific needs.

At Strategic Technology Partners of Texas (STPT), we've been selling and repairing printers for nearly 40 years, and we frequently receive customer questions about the cost of toner. We understand that buying a printer can be daunting, especially when worrying about ongoing ink and toner costs. We also know that consumers want an efficient printer that won't break the bank long term.

You might be wondering if there are printers out there that are more efficient or have features that help reduce these expenses. This article aims to guide you through these concerns and help you make an informed decision. By the end of this article, you'll have a clearer understanding of choosing a printer that fits your budget and needs.

Printing supplies make up a significant portion of the cost of owning a printer/copier. Check out our blog on how much printer supplies cost to learn more.

Understanding Printer Types

Before recommending printers, we must understand the main types: inkjet and laser. Knowing their differences will greatly impact the cost and frequency of buying ink or toner. 

Inkjet Printers

First, inkjet printers are popular for their ability to produce high-quality color prints and relatively low initial cost. They're ideal for home use or small offices with moderate printing needs. Inkjet printers use inkjet cartridges, which contain liquid ink. This type of ink is great for producing high-quality color photos.

However, the cost of ink cartridges can add up quickly, especially if you're printing frequently or in color. Additionally, inkjet cartridges tend to dry up faster, so regular printing is necessary to keep them functional.

Laser Printers

Laser printers, on the other hand, are generally more expensive upfront but tend to have lower long-term costs due to the longevity of toner cartridges. Toner cartridges contain toner, which is a powder. This means they will last much longer than ink cartridges.

They're great for high-volume printing environments, such as larger offices or businesses. Color laser printers, while efficient, can be more costly in terms of toner and maintenance. However, laser printers tend to provide higher print speeds, so if you print over 1,000 pages a month, these are an excellent investment.

Read our blog on Inkjet vs. Laser printers to learn more about their differences.

Best Printers With Affordable Ink (2024)

As mentioned earlier, finding the best printers with "affordable" ink or toner will depend entirely on your specific needs and printing habits. We've compiled a list of inkjet and laser printers that can deliver low-cost printing. This is just a list of recommendations meant to give you examples; there are plenty more printers out there to explore.

Inkjet Printers

► Canon PIXMA iX6820 Color Single-Function Printer

Canon PIXMA iX6820 Color Single-Function Printer

Description: A reliable and affordable option for high-quality color prints. 

Key Features: High resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi, large format printing up to 13x19 inches.

Ideal Use Cases: Home offices and small businesses needing detailed color prints utilizing larger paper.


► Canon MegaTank MAXIFY GX5020 Color Single-Function Printer  

Canon MegaTank MAXIFY GX5020 Color Single-Function Printer

Description: An economical choice for color printing with refillable ink tanks.

Key Features: High yield ink bottles, wireless connectivity, and the ability to print on a wide variety of media types and sizes.

Ideal Use Cases: Small offices with moderate to high print volumes.


► Epson EcoTank ET-4850 Color Multifunction Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-4850 Color Multifunction Printer

Description: A versatile all-in-one color printer with ultra-low-cost replacement bottles.

Key Features: Print, scan, copy, and fax capabilities; wireless connectivity.

Ideal Use Cases: Home and office environments requiring a multifunction printer.


Laser Printers

► Xerox C310 Color Single-Function Printer

Xerox C310 Color Single-Function Printer

Description: A compact and efficient color single-function laser printer that can reliably print up to 6,000 pages monthly.

Key Features: Fast printing speeds (up to 35 ppm for color and B&W), high-quality output, and wireless connectivity.  

Ideal Use Cases: Small to medium-sized businesses needing reliable color prints.

See our review of the Xerox C310 model.


► Brother HLL8360CDW Color Single-Function Printer 

Brother HLL8360CDW Color Single-Function Printer 

Description: A robust color single-function laser printer with cost-saving features.

Key Features: Duplex printing, high-yield toner options, wireless connectivity.

Ideal Use Cases: Medium to large businesses with high print volumes.


► Brother MFCL8905CDW Color Multifunction Printer

Brother MFCL8905CDW Color Multifunction Printer

Description: A powerful all-in-one color laser printer with high quality output.

Key Features: Print, scan, copy, and fax capabilities; print speeds of up to 33 ppm; high-yield toner options.

Ideal Use Cases: Large offices needing multifunction capabilities and high print volumes.

Expert Tips to Extend the Life of Your Toner and Ink

• Monitor Print Usage: Track who prints what and how often to identify unnecessary printing. If you have a large number of print users or a large print fleet, investing in managed print services or print management software can help you better control your printing environment.     

• Optimize Print Settings: Use draft mode for non-essential prints and enable toner-saving features.

• Regular Maintenance: Keep your printer clean and perform regular maintenance to prevent toner leaks and other issues. If you own or lease a printer, a maintenance plan can ensure printer issues get solved on time.

• Print to PDF: Instead of printing physical copies, consider saving documents as PDFs and sharing them digitally.

• Store Ink Cartridges Properly: Store ink cartridges in a cool, dry place to prevent them from drying out or becoming damaged.

• Use High-Yield Cartridges: Opt for high-yield ink or toner cartridges, which can print more pages and are often more cost-effective in the long run if your volume supports the yield.

• Restrict Color Prints: If possible, limit color prints and copies through some form of color tracking.

For more information on proper toner storage and longevity, check out our blog on how long toner lasts.

Getting Affordable Toner & Ink


While we recommend OEM toner as the ideal choice for the best print quality, there might be more affordable options for you. Brands like Xerox offer newly remanufactured toners like Everyday Toner, which are compatible with many of the top brands. This type of toner is more affordable but isn’t available for newer models.   

Remanufactured toners are another cost-effective alternative to OEM toner, but be aware of potential quality issues or subpar yields.

To learn about toner types, check out our blog on the 4 Different Types of Printer Toners.


For ink, ink refill kits allow you to refill your existing cartridges, which can be more affordable than buying new cartridges. However, this process can be messy, and you’ll need to be careful not to damage the cartridges.

Some manufacturers and third-party vendors offer recycling programs through which you can return empty cartridges and receive discounts on new ones.

When buying compatible or third-party toners, it’s essential to choose reputable brands to avoid damaging your printer.  Additionally, inferior toner and ink often produce poor print quality, with higher chances of print errors and inconsistencies.

Other Considerations

Many cost-saving strategies discussed in this article can help reduce ink expenses. You can achieve significant savings by optimizing print settings, using high-yield cartridges, and managing your print environment.

While the ongoing costs of ink or toner are essential when choosing a printer, other considerations are crucial. These include your monthly print volume and whether you plan to print mostly in black and white or color.

Taking these into account ensures you don't waste money on a printer that doesn't match your needs. By selecting the right printer, you'll make an investment that pays off and lasts a long time. For more detailed guidance, check out our blog on How to Choose a Printer for Your Budget and Business Needs.

Discover More Savings with Xerox Everyday Toner

As you've learned, choosing the right printer is just the first step in managing your printing costs. To truly maximize your savings, it's crucial to pair your printer with cost-effective, high-quality toner. That's where Xerox Everyday Toner comes in.

Compatible with many top printer brands, Xerox Everyday Toner offers exceptional performance at a fraction of the cost of OEM cartridges without compromising quality. Whether you use a laser printer or are considering switching to one, Everyday Toner provides an affordable and reliable solution for your printing needs. Click on the image below to learn more.