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Are printers with refillable ink tanks better than regular printers that require new ink cartridges?

Printers with refillable ink tanks are generally more economical than those that require new ink cartridges. The cost per printed page for a printer with an ink tank is typically lower than for a printer that requires new cartridges. Based on research performed by Castle Ink, the cost per page for the top 5 inkjet printers with ink tanks is MUCH lower than for the top 5 printers that use replacement ink cartridges.  Below is our comparison of the top printers:

Top 5 Inkjet Printers with Ink Tanks:

  1. Epson EcoTank ET-4760: Cost per Page: $0.02
  2. Canon Pixma G4210: Cost per Page: $0.03
  3. Brother MFC-J6945DW: Cost per Page: $0.03
  4. Epson Expression ET-3700: Cost per Page: $0.04
  5. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025: Cost per Page: $0.04

Top 5 Printers that Use Replacement Ink Cartridges:

  1. Canon Pixma TR8520: Cost per Page: $0.08
  2. HP Envy Photo 7855: Cost per Page: $0.09
  3. Epson Expression Premium XP-7100: Cost per Page: $0.10
  4. Brother MFC-J985DW: Cost per Page: $0.12
  5. HP OfficeJet Pro 6978: Cost per Page: $0.14

As you can see, the cost per page for inkjet printers with ink tanks is much lower than for printers that use replacement ink cartridges.  Here are some pros and cons of printers with refillable ink tanks:

Pros of Printer with Refillable Ink Tanks:

  • Cheaper in the long run
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easier to refill
  • Fewer trips to the store
  • Less waste


Cons of Printer with Refillable Ink Tanks:

  • Initial cost may be higher
  • Messier to refill
  • Risk of spilling ink 
  • Risk of damaging the printer
  • Potentially more complicated to set up

    About William Elward

    Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile