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Old 11-30-2019, 08:27 PM
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Why Do My Inkjet Printers ALWAYS Fail?


It MUST be me. I buy one and within a few months to a year it refuses to feed the paper saying “Add Paper” or some such when there is clearly paper in the damn thing – it just won’t feed. I have literally bought 3 printers in the last 4 years, all different makes and models, and just like the one I have now they have all had the exact same problem.

I use good quality paper. I change the ink when needed. What gives?!
  #2  
Old 11-30-2019, 08:52 PM
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They are cheap junk.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:59 PM
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Could it just be the rubber rollers in the printer? Once they get dusty or otherwise grubby, they can't properly grip the paper anymore to feed it into the printer.

If that sounds like it may be the problem, try cleaning the rubber rolls with something like a damp microfiber cloth and see if that helps.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:12 PM
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Ink jet printers are made and marketed for the purpose of selling ink jet ink, one of the most overpriced commodities on earth. As beowulff says, they are cheap junk, because they are sold below cost to hook you on the ink.

If you want a decent printer, buy a laser printer. The initial price is a little higher, but the cost per page and the total cost of ownership are much lower.

Unless you need to print a lot of high quality photos, buying a B&W laser for daily printing and going to a photo kiosk at a nearby Target or equivalent to print the occasional photo is the most economical solution.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:43 PM
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As noted, they are cheap junk. I have given up on replacing them. Instead, I print stuff out at the local library. Or type it up on my Olivetti.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:55 PM
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So after some looking it appears the rollers are no where near the paper unless the feeder is jammed full - I'm guessing some cheap spring broke.
Short term I can print but I think I'm moving to a printer with a tray - likely laser.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:33 PM
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Sounds like you answered your own question. I'll second the recommendation to move to laser. Decent black and white laser printers are relatively inexpensive, even the multi-function models if you're into that. You can purchase off-brand toner cartridges off Amazon for 20% or less the cost of the manufacturer's cartridge. Printing color photos is easy. I logon to Walgreens website or app, select what I need, upload and go pick them up. And they're cheap.

And good laser jet printers will last a long time. I have a HP LaserJet 5 that was made probably around 1995. Simple to maintain and still is a workhorse. I just don't use it for big jobs because it doesn't have a lot of memory. I have a newer laser I send those jobs to.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:03 AM
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Yep, laser is the way to go. I gave up on ink-jet after struggling with them for many years. A cheap B&W laser printer is just as cheap and VASTLY more reliable. A color one is only marginally more expensive than an ink-jet in the short run, and probably cheaper in the long run.
  #9  
Old 12-01-2019, 06:15 AM
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Best 3 things about lasers for me:
  • Toner cartridges last a long time
  • No nozzles to clog if you don't use it for a while
  • No liquid ink so you can use cheaper copier paper without it spreading
  #10  
Old 12-01-2019, 07:49 AM
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just keep in mind … laser printers do suffer from an achilles' heel. there's paper products, emerging into the market, that include some plastic binders in the manufacturing process … industry calls 'em rock/stone-paper. as the names suggest … these are not made using wood-pulp … instead, rock-dust from mining and such. used with ink-jet printers, this product is acceptable … however, insert this plastic-paper into a laser-jet printer … and, well, the paper will melt … since laser printers utilize heat for toners to adhere on to paper.

i realize hardly anybody uses rock-paper … still, it is an up-and-coming trend … and people should have the knowledge beforehand. also … others come into this thread from outside … so, they also should be apprised of the technology.

https://www.cnet.com/news/worried-ab...ade-from-rock/
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Last edited by albino_manatee; 12-01-2019 at 07:50 AM.
  #11  
Old 12-01-2019, 10:30 AM
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I've had about 4 ink-jets. Since I don't print much, the ink would always dry out. They dry out if you don't print very often, which is the case for me. But when I rarely need to print, I really need to print something.

Finally bought a $100 Brother laser. Works like a charm. It's so nice to send something to it and know it actually printed. Especially since the printer is in the loft/3rd floor above our bedroom. I don't have to go check to see if it printed.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:56 AM
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I've always used inkjet printers. You're having a string of bad luck.

I've gotten 3+ years and thousands of pages out of every single one. (I generally buy paper in either 5- or 10-ream cases. It's cheaper that way, and it doesn't go bad.)

Mind you, I've always used HP printers, which may be a factor. HP uses self-contained ink cartridges--if one clogs up or dries out, it doesn't affect the actual printer at all; you simply throw away the cartridge and buy another. AND the print heads can be cleaned in multiple ways, which rescues a lot of potentially bad situations.
  #13  
Old 12-01-2019, 11:03 AM
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From what I understand, there are some high-quality inkjet printers out there, but I'm with the "get a laser printer" chorus.

Oh, and maintain that thing when you get it. Run the cleaning papers/cloths through it on a regular basis, and it'll last you for a while. (I have a laser printer all-in-one that I've been using--heavily--since 2012. It's still going strong, thanks to regular preventive maintenance.)

Rock paper isn't, AFAICT, a frequently-seen thing at most office supply stores. Just get regular copy paper, and you'll be fine with a laser printer.

BTW--this is the time of year to get a laser printer. In winter, the new models for 2020 will come out, which means you can get a 2019 model now at a discount.

Last edited by Scribble; 12-01-2019 at 11:06 AM.
  #14  
Old 12-01-2019, 11:22 AM
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Supposedly there are Epson and Brother inkjets with refillable tanks which claim they won't bend you over on ink costs. I'm going to be doing some vinyl graphics which can't be run through a laser printer so I'm looking into them.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:42 AM
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Second or third the suggestion to just switch to a monochrome laser printer. The one I have now is almost fourteen years old and still has the original toner cartridge, because I print so infrequently. The printer it replaced was about as old and I only replaced it because it finally needed a new toner cartridge and I decided to replace it with a new one rather than spend the $90 or so on a new cartridge. (Plus the old one was only 300x300 dpi, which is low for recent printers and it was only a printer, while the new one is an all-in-one, with scanning, copying and faxing capabilities.)
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:32 PM
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After getting majorly pissed off at flimsy ass inkjets that refuse to print from the black cartridge on a B&W page because ONOZ THE YELLOW CARTRIDGE HAS DRIED UP FROM LACK OF USE I jettisoned the last one and bought a Samsung laser printer for $109 at Fry's. Not only is the toner way cheaper than ink cartridges (I paid, I think, $45 for two toner carts once the initial cart that came with the printer ran out--after about a thousand pages!) but the thing is wi-fi capable and it prints about a million times faster than the slow ass fucking inkjets that take a month to warm up and ten minutes of fucking around before finally spitting out your one page shipping label. They don't make guns big enough to point at my head to force me back to owning another shitty inkjet. If I want picture prints I send them through my Free Prints app with an enlargement order and get them a few days later via mail. I honestly don't think I ever once tried to print out a color pic on a printer so it's not a big attraction for me.
  #17  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albino_manatee View Post
just keep in mind … laser printers do suffer from an achilles' heel. there's paper products, emerging into the market, that include some plastic binders in the manufacturing process … industry calls 'em rock/stone-paper. as the names suggest … these are not made using wood-pulp … instead, rock-dust from mining and such. used with ink-jet printers, this product is acceptable … however, insert this plastic-paper into a laser-jet printer … and, well, the paper will melt … since laser printers utilize heat for toners to adhere on to paper.

i realize hardly anybody uses rock-paper … still, it is an up-and-coming trend … and people should have the knowledge beforehand. also … others come into this thread from outside … so, they also should be apprised of the technology.

https://www.cnet.com/news/worried-ab...ade-from-rock/
Also, you can use laser paper in an inkjet, but don't use inkjet paper in a laser printer or copier. Inkjet paper is coated (usually with clay) to prevent the ink from spreading. A few sheets probably won't harm your laser printer or copier, but a few reams will leave abrasive particles that may gum up the mechanism and coat the rollers causing them to slip.

Even worse is offset paper (which you won't find in your local office supply) which is more heavily coated to allow precise ink placement/retention.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:06 PM
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My wife and I were just talking about getting a new printer, and we've agreed that a laser printer is the way to go. I've always had pretty good luck with ink jets, including our previous one which was a Canon. But it wasn't wireless and my wife wanted a wireless printer, so we got an Epson which is the worst piece of crap printer I've ever had. Every time we print something, we have to run the "clean nozzle" function first or else there are wide bands on the printout where it either prints badly or not at all.
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2019, 02:08 PM
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The OP doesn't state what type of inkjet printer he/she is buying and how many pages per day/week/month are printed. All printers and copiers have a recommended max number of prints per month.

For example, this mid range inkjet https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-of...in-one-printer has the following specs:

"Monthly duty cycle Up to 1000 pages

Recommended monthly page volume 100 to 400 pages[8]

[8] HP recommends that the number of printed pages per month be within the stated range for optimum device performance, based on factors including supplies replacement
"

Compare that with this business printer: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-of...-d9l64a-b1h--1

""Monthly duty cycle Up to 30,000 pages

Recommended monthly page volume 250 to 1500"


Note that the number of pages is typically based on 5% (~a page of double spaced text). Graphics multiply that % coverage and count as multiple pages towards the Recommended monthly page volume.

The following is from Ricoh regarding their copiers, but the principal is the same:

"What does a printer duty cycle or monthly duty cycle mean?

As with any new piece of equipment, you want to know if it’s going to be suitable for the type of work you need it to carry out before you buy. Part of the manufacturing process is stress testing. This is where the item is deliberately pushed to its limits, often to breaking point, in order to determine its maximum capacity to perform whatever task it is designed to do.

In printers, the duty cycle is the number that’s based on the results of stress testing. It represents the absolute number of pages that can be printed per month at the rated print quality of a machine. In other words, the duty cycle is intended to show how much a given printer can produce over a one-month period without any errors or jams.

If the stats for a printer indicate that the duty cycle is 1,000 pages per month, the manufacturer is essentially saying that you can expect to print a maximum of that volume per month without any issues. This does not mean that you can produce that given number of pages each and every month, but it is an extremely useful figure to use when comparing printer quality."

Source: https://insights.ricoh.co.uk/digital...f-your-printer

If you've ever leased a copier and the lessor finds that your monthly page count is too high, resulting in excessive service calls, they'll either require you to cut down your printing or get a copier with a higher recommended monthly page volume. I worked at the print department at OfficeMax and when our copiers hit a certain number of copies, typically in the millions, they'd swap them out for a new one. The copier they removed would then be leased to a company that didn't have as high monthly volume as we did.

Last edited by lingyi; 12-01-2019 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:06 PM
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I've had similar problems with printers. I had been getting the kind of printer where the feed papers are stored nearly vertically but tilled back to maybe a 80° angle. After going printerless for a while, I got a printer where the feed papers are stored HORIZONTALLY. No feed problems. These have all been inkjets.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:54 PM
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If you just print black, a laser printer is HIGHLY recommended. They will work for decades. The only laser printers I've gotten rid of are simply ones that became obsolete; no power saving, no USB, etc. They still worked.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:56 PM
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We have an HP inkjet that we bought before 2002. We haven't used it in years, but it was still serving us well at 10ish years old. The ink really added up, as others have said. Last time I tried it was a few years ago and it was getting wonky, finally, though we were able to coax it to work. I need to find a place to recycle it.

I bought an HP multifunction (copy/fax/scan) in early 2010, which was crap from the beginning. It rarely connected to the wireless, and quit working altogether within 2 years or so. Clearly the products have gone downhill.

So I bought a multifunction laser printer in 2012 and it's still working. My current laptop refuses to talk to it but the other computers in the house work with it. I think I've replaced the toner cartridge twice - in 7+ years - and I may have had to replace the drum once. Yes, it's black and white; I didn't feel like spending the extra for color, though if I were to replace it now I probably would do so.

If you do stick with inkjets, look at reliability ratings and whether there are any tricks to improve the lifespan. But yeah, they're following the "razor" model of profitability: make the handle super cheap and nail the users with the refill blades.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoid View Post
It MUST be me. I buy one and within a few months to a year it refuses to feed the paper saying “Add Paper” or some such when there is clearly paper in the damn thing – it just won’t feed. I have literally bought 3 printers in the last 4 years, all different makes and models, and just like the one I have now they have all had the exact same problem.

I use good quality paper. I change the ink when needed. What gives?!
Mine are the same. I've gone through like three of them.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817
Supposedly there are Epson and Brother inkjets with refillable tanks which claim they won't bend you over on ink costs.
I had an Epson printer that used ink tanks and what they will not warn you about is that the printhead will clog up if you don't print something with all four colors (CMYK) at least every three days, and more often is better. At least I was able to get $50 for it as a trade-in on a Canon color laser that has handled my needs abundantly well.

Toner won't cake up or dry out even if you only print one page a month, and a laser printer doesn't suck out five dollars of ink on a "cleaning" cycle.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:33 PM
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I've had very good luck with a Brother multi function ink jet going on 4 or 5 years. I rarely print but I never recall ever having to do a head cleaning, however it does do a automatic cleaning cycle every so often. It just works when I need it. I buy aftermarket ink cartridges for about $2 a cartridge.

Last edited by kanicbird; 12-02-2019 at 08:33 PM.
  #26  
Old 12-04-2019, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
I had an Epson printer that used ink tanks and what they will not warn you about is that the printhead will clog up if you don't print something with all four colors (CMYK) at least every three days, and more often is better. At least I was able to get $50 for it as a trade-in on a Canon color laser that has handled my needs abundantly well.
I just took an Epson multifunction inkjet / scanner to the recycler for this reason. We only print a couple a pages a month (if that), so every printing event involved 4 or 5 rounds of "clean the print heads" and "align the print heads", using up half the ink in those little cartridges and 2 sheets of paper.

The local electronics reseller was not interested in it when I brought it in for a trade - they said inkjets have no resell value for them and no valuable parts for them to recycle, either.

Our previous inkjet was much more reliable, but back then we needed to print things more often (everyone accepts tickets and stuff on the phone these days). We only replaced it because as it got older the type of cartridge it was using got phased out and getting new ink was getting tough.
  #27  
Old 12-04-2019, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
I've always used inkjet printers. You're having a string of bad luck.

I've gotten 3+ years and thousands of pages out of every single one. (I generally buy paper in either 5- or 10-ream cases. It's cheaper that way, and it doesn't go bad.)

Mind you, I've always used HP printers, which may be a factor. HP uses self-contained ink cartridges--if one clogs up or dries out, it doesn't affect the actual printer at all; you simply throw away the cartridge and buy another. AND the print heads can be cleaned in multiple ways, which rescues a lot of potentially bad situations.
Inkjets are OK if you use them frequently - if you are printing on a multiple-times-daily basis, they are still typically expensive to run, but generally trouble-free - because the action of printing is functionally the same as the action of head cleaning.

If you only use them infrequently, you will be very lucky to get trouble-free operation - ink dries up inside the print head and often requires aggressive cleaning cycles to unblock it.

Printers with fixed heads (Epson) are worse for this problem than those where the print head is integrated with the cartridge; and as a result of this, fixed-head printers typically waste more ink on preventive cleaning (which happens automatically without the user initiating it).
But putting the print head in the cartridge makes for more expensive cartridges, and lower-quality printing - because head alignment needs to be done every time a new cartridge is installed - sometimes, manufacturers of non-fixed-head printers just spec their printers to produce lower resolution output to mask this.

If you're having trouble-free inkjet use, you're the one having a string of exceptional luck, not us.
  #28  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:56 AM
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It isn't just you. I have a laser for printing most of my stuff that's been a workhorse for 15 years and we moved out of my husband's office when I went through three deskjets over 18 months. The deskjet has some advantages that I like - it will scan and copy, it will print two sided, so I have both...and my current HP is six months old - so either its a decent printer, or less printing is good, or it will break this week.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:36 AM
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A cheap monochrome laser printer like this will print, scan, and copy. I've had one for several years now and it's been great: https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Monoc.../dp/B0763ZCH7K
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