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Can anyone recommend a good, durable, printer?

 
 
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 03:17 pm
My printers seem to crap out on me quick. Usually it's the paper feeder that makes me insane. My last one wouldn't run heavy weight paper through it even those it was billed as a photo printer. The one I have now wants paper threaded through it one piece at a time.

I really don't print that much but when I do it is usually some kind of graphic image + text.

I don't mind spending a bit on it ($300-$400?). I just don't want to have to replace it every year or two.

I'd really love a wireless printer.

Does anyone have one they love?

 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 03:29 pm
@boomerang,
epson
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 03:49 pm
@Ragman,
My last one was an Epson and I hated it.
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 04:42 pm
@boomerang,
Did you have regular maintenance (cleaning) done to it? If not, any printer will fail. I've seen many people wonder why their printers fail when they don't have them cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

Do you, as a rule, use off-brand or 3rd party inks?

Alternatively, I would suggest HP printers.

FWIW, I'm a prof photographer and a former tech writer. I have had lots of success with Epson as have my fellow photographers.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 04:52 pm
I love my Dell Laser printer, it is the 3rd one I've purchased and will always go with laser over inkjet because I don't use it enough and waste money on dried up ink cartridges.

There are some questions you need to answer to determine which printer would be best for your needs.

Do you want an inkjet or laser printer?

Do you want a text printer or a photo printer or one that can do both well?

How much memory capacity will it need to handle your graphic files?

What is the weight of the heavy weight paper you want to put through it?

Do you want it to be multi-functional and able to fax, copy, etc?



This overview may be helpful to you:

http://reviews.cnet.com/printer-buying-guide/

And here is cNet's list of best 5 printers, updated on June 26, 2013.

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-printers/

Here's their detailed review and video of their top recommendation, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One for around $300. Their second best is the Epson.

http://reviews.cnet.com/multifunction-devices/hp-officejet-pro-8600/4505-3181_7-35060509.html
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 05:17 pm
@Ragman,
I kept it clean.

It lives in the cubby where my feet go at my desk so it's really protected from everything. I'd wipe it down and vacuum it off periodically.

I've never used off brand inks until today. I dragged home a Dell printer from Mr. B's office when mine went kaput and didn't have time to order ink from Dell. These cartridges seem to work pretty well.

I still have photos printed at a lab so my printer doesn't even get too much of a workout.

The Epson made good quality prints on regular paper but the feed just never worked right with any heavy weight papers, even when making sure the settings were right for what I was using.

It was incredibly frustrating and became very expensive in ruined paper and ink.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 05:23 pm
@Butrflynet,
Thanks, Butrflynet! I'll be sure to check out those links.

I've mostly used inkjet but I'm not opposed to lazer printers. That might be a good option for me since I don't print much.

Mostly text and graphics, an occasional photo. Nothing that requires much memory.

Multipurpose is nice but not necessary. Scanning is always a nice option to have.

I use a lot of photo papers for non-photo items and heavy stationary for quite a few things. I would love to experiment with some textured papers -- watercolor paper and canvas paper, etc.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 10:10 pm
@boomerang,
I really like my Epson Stylus 1400. It can print 13x19 inch borderless prints, and I've printed thousands of pages of documents and pictures with it. I've taken it into the shop a couple of times, but that's understandable when I use it so much! I don't remember how old it is, but if I had to guess, I'd say about ten years old, and it's still working!

I recently purchased a Canon pixma pro9000, because I read good consumer reports on it. It can also print 13x19 inch borderless pictures, but it uses eight different ink tanks. The quality of the pictures is better than the Epson; it's that noticeable!

Since it's rather new, I can't speak to the reliability of this printer, but so far so good.

Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 10:47 pm
@boomerang,
The cleaning I'm talking about is the cleaning inside not what's on the surface. This is the sort of maintenance that a repair shop can provide. The paper dust from running paper and dust in the room gets in on the rollers and prevents the feed mechanism form grabbing. Once per year I would have my printers professionally cleaned. Even if they sit, they still need a cleaning internally.

I had one of my printers that I didn't clean (Epson Stylus 1270) regularly enough and it got jammed up as you described. I saved it luckily by having it thoroughly worked on by a printer repair facility.

When I switched to Epson Stylus R2400. It handles 13 inch paper and various heavyweight papers including watercolor as well as a canvas type. It needs cleaning regularly and have printers repair facility do a thorough job to get the rollers and insides clean. I only use Epson papers and inks. that makes all the difference.

Seeing that you're unhappy with Epson, however, I'd switch to HP or Canon Pixma, as was suggested by CI. Canon printers print vivid photos. HP is superior for printing (best office printer) documents, and it's reasonable to good photo printer.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 02:56 am
@boomerang,
I'd try to get something as future proof as possible, when I got a new computer I had to get a new printer as well, because try as I might, (and I did) the new computer would not accept the old cannon.

I've got a Hewlett Packard now, that seems OK.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 06:42 am
@cicerone imposter,
Thanks CI, I'll take a look at those.

Maybe my Epson was just a lemon.

That Canon sounds nice. I have always found their cameras to be very durable but have never had any other equipment made by them.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 06:44 am
@Ragman,
Thanks Ragman.

I doubt that I ran enough paper through mine to cause any build up before it went all wonky but that is something I will surely keep in mind should I invest in a decent printer.

Maybe I need to look at the higher end Epsons or something.

I appreciate the advice.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 06:46 am
@izzythepush,
Future proofing!?

Can that really be done when it comes to things related to computers?
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 06:53 am
I suspect that printers, small inexpensive printers are a giant rip-off. After all, my HP cost less than the two ink cartridges it requires.

8 years ago I bought a new HP computer and printer and they've lasted for the long haul.

Once a year I take the side panel off my computer and blow the innards clean with a 1000 psi compressor. The #1 cause of comp death is accumulated dust.

The HP printer, well....like a Timex watch it keeps on tickin.(though the last page can take 10 minutes to print. Very Happy

Ragman? Where be them maintenance places of which you speak?

Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 07:19 am
@boomerang,
Yes, I found the higher end Epson are less likely to have maintenance issues. When it was new my Epson stylus photo R2400 was $500. The earlier Epson 1270 was around $400, I recall

The dust in the air (if there are pets it's times 3) can be enough over time to cause paper to have trouble feeding through.

However, based on your earlier comments about how you use a printer (less photo and more documents), you might benefit from an HP. HP gear is more geared towards office use printed matter and a mix of some photos or both.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 07:41 am
@boomerang,
Only to a limited degree, but I'd ask about future compatibility.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 07:42 am
@panzade,
Panzade's comment about blowing the dust out is mighty good hint. I used can compressed air but i wished I had a higher pressure hose.

It has been tougher to find repair facilities that are geared towards printers. I had to call around when I lived in Albany NY, a large metro area but not huge. I'm now in Sarasota, and the metro area is bigger, but it's 4 yrs later than the last time for the last pro repair. For my last search, it took a bunch of calling and some connecting to the photog network to locate one.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Aug, 2013 08:20 am
@boomerang,
We now have color laser printers which are affordable. Particularly the Samsung CLP360 which can be had for around $230 or so at MicroCenter is heads and shoulders above the inkjet printers which most people have been using for the last ten or 15 years.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 09:23 am
@boomerang,
If you have the money: Try scoring a 3D printer!
http://reviews.cnet.com/3d-printers/makerbot-replicator-3d-printer/4505-33809_7-35266603.html
http://store.makerbot.com/
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Aug, 2013 07:40 am
@boomerang,
I'll tell you what I do.

For my wife's home office (not much printing) I'll buy a low cost on sale name brand black and white laser printer, and when the cartridge runs out I simply buy her another low cost on sale name brand black and white laser printer. Printer tech is moving along at a decent rate so she ends up getting a continuously improving quality of print with zero maintenance hassles, zero reliability hassles, and zero cost for printer cartridges.

Printer cartridges often equal or exceed the cost of a new printer in the low to low-mid price range (or damn close to it).

For my home office, I'll do similarly except I will clean the internals on occasion, and I tend to buy a bit higher end all-in-one black and white laser units, but I also will almost never buy a new cartridge for them preferring instead to invest in newer tech.

Mind you I buy almost exclusively from NCIX in Canada and they very often have super-great deals on printers, HD's, HDMI cables, SD cards, Wi-Fi routers, etc (not so great on laptops for some reason though).

As in all things there are trade-offs however and in my case these are increased e-waste and the possibility that some new laser printers or all-in-one laser units may not come with full capacity cartridges but NCIX has tons of on-line reviews so you can reduce the chances of these concerns substantially.

Interestingly I have free access to printing and scanning at work with the large floor standing units, but I still may prefer to do some of that sort of thing at home as it can be cheaper with less hassles than free!

What you say, cheaper than free at work? Yep and that's because in order to ensure I can get my printing and scanning done at work I need to get there well before start time or stay late and in staying late my gasoline costs increase a lot as I get stuck in traffic.

What you say, less hassles than free at work? Yep and that's because in order to ensure I can get my printing and scanning done at work I need to ensure there is enough open time else someone will get all crabby that I'm hogging printer time (silly I know but there are always a few whiners).

So for sizable print jobs I will do them at work but for smaller stuff and scanning I'll do that at home. I consider noodling on computers, networks, Wi-Fi, etc. somewhat of a hobby and we have lots of room at home so all-in-all, it's a win-win.
0 Replies
 
 

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