Best printer (deal) du jour?
July 15, 2019 9:35 AM   Subscribe

With the current sales (Amazon, Best Buy, and others in the U.S.), what's the best printer for the money? I'm looking for two mid-level home printers, one dedicated black-and-white, another color.

Home printer will be color, though usually print in black and white, for school projects and other small-scale printing needs, no need to print good photos or anything like that (but that'd be a nice bonus).

Black and white printer is for school/ office use, but also small-scale printing.

Both would connect to Windows computers, likely wired, but wireless would probably be OK.

Reasonable printer cartridge re-fills would be a bonus, or if we can go to Costco to get them refilled. Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
After seeing it in a printer thread or two here in the Green, I bought a Brother HL-L2350DW B&W laser printer for home use which had been recommended as a budget solution by The Wirecutter. It's $100 at Amazon today.

I bought the official toner refill to keep on standby, but also bought this E-Z Ink 2-pack of toner cartridges for $21, and the first of those 2 is working great, so if the other one is a dud I'll still have saved money over the $75 that the official TN-760 cartridge apparently costs now; I don't recall what I paid years ago, but it felt similarly extortionate.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:10 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]

Whenever I buy a new printer I alway look to see what ink refills cost and base my decision mostly on that.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:10 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]

I'll second the brother recommendation. I bought one a year ago for a little over $100, and it's been great. Like Sunburnt, I also got the cheap two-pack of third-party toner cartridges, and the first one has been working fine.
posted by jonathanhughes at 10:16 AM on July 15

Canon has a bunch of printers that have large, refillable ink tanks rather than cartridges. The printers cost more up front (mine was ~$300), but the ink refills are much cheaper over time. I wouldn't recommend my model because it doesn't print two-sided (read the fine print before you buy!) but I like the printer other than that. The keyword for this feature is "MegaTank".
posted by number9dream at 10:16 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Ditto on that Brother. I also bought a cheap toner replacement and it's kinda crap (if you duplex it leaves a brushy shadow on the edge of the paper) but it's 4-5 years old now and I still haven't used it up so I just live with it.

I have not bought a color inkjet that wasn't an unusable piece of garbage in 10 years, so I will be watching this thread with interest.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:50 PM on July 15

Chiming in here to agree with the Brother laser printer; ours is a slightly different model but probably has the same internals and has been nothing but a pleasure to use. It's a ton cheaper to run per page than any inkjet I've seen, even in black and white.

For MegaTank users, I wonder if you could share if you've had problems with ink drying/clogging when you seldom use color?
posted by thegears at 3:01 PM on July 15

I bought the Brother for at home b+w, and on the rare occasion I need something color, I print to a USB stick and take it to the library. They've got some nice color lasers.
posted by Marky at 5:48 PM on July 15

FWIW, I have a printer that happens to be wireless (a 7-year-old Samsung ML1865w, it was just the least expensive decent laser printer when I needed one) and at first I thought that wireless was stupid and unnecessary but man, that feature has been convenient. I can still connect a cable if I want or need, but it's really nice being able to put my printer somewhere other than an arms' reach of my desk.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:39 PM on July 15

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