I know what you’re thinking; Is this guy really about to talk about printers? Well, yes, I am. And for good reason. With printer ink costing twice the price of human blood in the USA, its no suprise that printing patterns can cost a shocking amount. But is that the only way?
I’m here to tell you it isn’t.
We’ll start with the basics. You probably have a printer that requires ink cartridges at home, it was the standard for a long time. The reason for this was the competition was super expensive. Specifically, the laser printers. But as time has gone on, lasers have reduced in costs massively and now are not only comparable, but chearper than a ink jet. But here’s the big secret; they can be cheaper than a standard printer ink cost.
Black & White Or Color?
The first thing to work out, is if you even need a color printer. Some people use their printer all the time, but never print in color. In fact, most people print patterns in black and white just to reduce cost. As a result, you probably don’t need a color printer. But you’re still paying for one. If this is you; you’re in luck. Look up the prices for a “Mono Laser Printer” and you’ll find a whole load for under $50. Now, much like ink printers these need a supply of “ink” too, and normally these cartridges costs about $50. So all in all, you can get a printer for $100. Now if you compare this to a new ink jet printer with a full set of ink, it’s cheaper from the start. In fact, a new color set of ink costs up to $80.
The big saving is the rate that these lasers go through their cartridge. Most ink printers can print a maximum of 2000 pages, but average only 200. Most laser printers can print a maximum of 20,000 pages, and average, 20,000 pages. Yes, you read that right. Unlike traditional ink, which can dry up, lasers are ready to go whenever they’re needed. And on top of that, they only use electricity, meaning you don’t have to replace it anywhere near as often.
They’re just as high quality print wise, but as stated, they are only black and white. Personally, I think mono laser printers are 100% the best printers for cross stitch.
But what about color printing? I hear you, sometimes you just need color, or maybe you just prefer a color print. Well, you can still get a laser printer, but a color one. They are roughly the same price, but you need to buy a more expensive cartridge to go in it. This is on average about $100, so its not a small investment, but it can print just as many color pages as the mono lasers before needing replacement, and its the same price as 1-2 sets of standard color printer ink.
There is a problem with this though; it’s not suitable to print on photo paper. It actually gives a better quality print than a ink jet printer, but thanks to the way printer paper works, it just won’t work.
Now, that said, I wouldn’t go out and throw your printer away based on this article, but it might be worth checking the prices of a new next time you get some new ink. You might get a great deal; I picked my printer up for $30 thanks to a deal, which was the same as new ink!