Quickie – 10 Printer Things

  1. Always run inkjet printers at least once a week or else you risk the ink cartridges or print heads drying out, resulting in a streaky print or no print at all.
  2. All inkjets offer a cleaning feature. The symptom is streaky or no print. A cleaning will attempt to remove an obstruction from the print head, unclog an inkjet hole, or “prime” the cartridge. The process always uses ink so run sparingly.
  3. Laser printers are typically cheaper to use on a page per page basis than inkjet. Ink and toner are costly where ink is used up more quickly than toner. However, color printing is expensive with laser printers.
  4. A good setup from a business standpoint is both an inkjet for color printing and a simple “black and white” laser printer for day to day use.
  5. The printers themselves are relatively cheap. The toner and ink are expensive and you will quickly spend more on consumables than the printer.
  6. Third party or refilled ink cartridges are very unreliable. The print quality will be poor to very poor, but you may not care. More importantly, it can permanently clog print heads on machines where the ink cartridge and print had are separate. Use at your own risk.
  7. In general, we like the HP brand for color and the Brother brand for laser.
  8. If remote printing, stick with the simple laser printers if possible. We have found printers that use complex drivers can be troublesome printing remotely.
  9. To print from a tablet or phone, make sure the printer supports “Air Print” for Apple devices. Apple has tolerable printing from their tablets and phones. Android, not so much.
  10. Most inkjet printers support USB and wireless connections. Most lasers support USB and possibly wired and/or wireless connections. Make sure you check first.
  11. Do not overfill your paper tray. Always fill it so it’s less than the height of the paper tray.
  12. Do not re-use paper after its been sent through. It will eventually gum things up.
  13. Always follow the setup instructions to the letter.
  14. Check out our printer buying guide, recommendations, and connection tips.

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