Save money on printing at home

Is printing too expensive? This ink will save you the most money

A printer should not be missing in the home office. Before buying, however, questions arise: What exactly is it used for? And what about the printing costs?

Inkjet printers impress with the ability to refill the required colors yourself. That saves the environment and your wallet. But before buying, it should be clarified what and how much should be printed.

In general, you don't have to invest a lot of money in an inkjet printer. "Ink printers are available from 50 euros," says Rudolf Opitz from the technology magazine "c't". Most models, however, are multifunctional printers with an integrated scanner that can also copy, and cost around 80 euros upwards.

Large cartridges print cheaper than small ones

"If there is a lot of printing, the cost of ink plays a major role," says Opitz. The rule of thumb applies here: Large cartridges with a long page range print more cheaply than small ones. "From 1,500 to 2,000 pages per year, printers with fixed ink tanks are worth refilling," advises the expert.

"Many printers grab the bottle," confirms Michael Wolf from Stiftung Warentest. Refillable bottle printers are initially a bit more expensive. In return, however, they bring ink for many thousands of pages. "And once the bottles supplied are empty, the printing costs remain very low. Because the refill bottles are cheap," says Wolf.

Bottle tanks protect the environment

Inkjet printers with large bottle tanks instead of cartridges also have another advantage: They generate much less waste. Refilling is now also very easy and clean, adds Opitz. Some devices even have coded filler necks so that consumers cannot fill in the wrong color.

If the ink is empty, according to Opitz: Do not use the cheapest ink. Modern inkjet print heads have up to 600 nozzles per color, too coarse color particles of cheap ink clog the fine nozzles and lead to a total loss of the device. According to Opitz, good contact points for ink are printing and ink shops with advice if the ink you are buying does not work so well.

If you want to save money and don't want to buy ink from the manufacturer, Julia Rehberg from the Hamburg Consumer Center advises: "Basically, of course, you have to make sure that the product is compatible with my printer. If the seller of the non-manufacturer cartridge advertises the compatibility, then it must the dealer will be responsible for the damage if use damages the printer. " We have collected further tips for you on buying printer ink here.

Dye ink for high quality photo printing

In general, dye ink is better suited for photo printing, as it can be mixed well for many color nuances and dries up less often. Disadvantage here: the moderate lightfastness. In contrast, pigment inks cover better because of the solid color particles and usually dry faster on the paper.

In order to achieve beautiful prints, it is advisable to also pay attention to the paper. For good results, users should use ink-compatible paper. Here you can watch out for the "ColorLok" symbol. When printing photos, the photo paper must also match the printer.

The inkjet printer should also never be switched off via switchable socket strips. "Always use the power button," warns Opitz. "Do not pull out the power plug until the device stops making noises and all lights are off." Because when it is switched off, the printhead moves into a park position, which has the same effect as the protective cap of a felt-tip pen.