How long will an inkjet or Toner cartridge last?
This question is almost impossible to answer - What inkjet printer do you have, what printer settings are you using, what paper type are you printing on, how much ink do the cartridges hold, how much of the page is covered by image, how much of the image has deep rich colours (light colours can use less ink), how much of the image is actually printed as any white for instance, like clouds in the sky, require no ink at all. Most manufacturers should supply an estimate of number of pages you will get from an ink cartridge at 5% coverage using particular settings on particular paper type. This is the best way to measure a printers ink cartridge performance. As long as all the manufacturers use the same scale, as just described.
Always, always check the cost of the inkjet & toner cartridges of the printer you are thinking of buying. "I paid less for the printer!" is a common statement. Cheap printers have their place in the market but my general advice is don't buy a cheap inkjet printer unless you only need it for small amounts of printing occasionally, only then do they make sense. If you are needing to use your inkjet printer regularly you will have to do some research.
As a guide look for printers near or over $100, make sure that they have individual ink cartridges for each ink colour. Make sure high quality generic ink cartridges are available if you want to save even more. The more printing you do and the greater the quality you hope to get from your printer the more you should be looking to pay. Figure out the most you want to pay, find a model that suits you within that budget and then ring around for best prices.
If you have kids printing schoolwork in large amounts, we suggest you set the printer to draft mode. This means that all those wasted homework prints or prints off the Internet are done with the minimal amount of ink possible. When you need to print the final edition you can manually set it to print at the appropriate quality settings.
Also buy quality paper. Poor quality paper can cause feed issues and leave paper dust through the machine. Paper dust can block up the print head, get into sensors and cause errors.
When you buy a genuine or high quality generic inkjet & toner cartridge you are getting something that is brand new or has been professionally remanufactured. When you buy refills, whether you do it yourself or pay for someone to refill it you are refilling a second hand product that has questionable life left in it. A refilled cartridge will not last forever; they will fail at some stage.
When a cartridge fails it can cause a real mess. Refill failure rates are higher for multiple complicated reasons. We hear far more stories of damage to inkjet printers as a result of using refilled cartridges. It's always been good advice to run a set of brand new genuine ink cartridges for every few uses of generic inkjet & toner cartridges. This acts as a sort of cleaning system ensuring the print head is kept in excellent order.