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 user 2005-08-30 at 10:16:00 am Views: 38
  • #12437

    Keeping your printer in ink is expensive.

    A set of black and color cartridges from Canon, Epson, or HP costs 50 to 70 dollars.

    Off-brand cartridges go for much less: but are they worth the risk?

    A couple of years ago, I tested out do-it-youself inkjet refill kits.

    I made a mess of one viewer’s living room…and that was the end of that experiment!

    But now, you have more –and safer –alternatives to pricey cartridges.

    “Can I help you?”

    This is one of many places that recycles empty inkjet cartridges.

    They refill the cartridges with new ink, then sell them for far less than name-brand cartridges.

    Our partner, Consumer Reports Magazine, bought more than 500 cartridges
    to see how the less expensive inks compare to the kind you get from the
    big three… Epson, Canon, and HP.

    “We tested a wide variety of off-brand inks from many different
    sources, including Office Depot, Staples, some online retailers, as
    well as specialty ink stores.” Testers printed more than 35-thousand
    pages to see how long the ink cartridges last and to check for quality

    They evaluated plain text. They examined multicolored graphics. And they printed thousands of photos.

    “In general, we found that the name-brand cartridges did the best. The
    photo quality was excellent, and they faded less than the alternative

    And Consumer Reports says the off-brands won’t save you as much as you might think.

    “They usually produce fewer photos, so you won’t save much money, if
    any. In fact, sometimes the photos can cost you more using the
    off-brand ink.”

    However, Consumer Reports did find a few off-brands that deliver good quality at a cheaper price.

    –For Canon printers, they liked Carrot or Amazon Imaging.

    –For Epson printers. Printpal.

    –But if you have an HP printer, Consumer Reports says none of the
    alternatives for HP printers are worth the money: the quality was too

    The magazine says even with the Canon and Epson alternatives, remember
    that you may not get as many prints as you’ll get from a manufactueres

    So you decide if tis is a case of dont waste your money.