What is the Best Printer with Refillable Ink?

What are Remanufactured Ink Cartridges? The Ultimate Guide

Do you find yourself running out of your printer's ink more often than you'd like? If so, you're not alone. When it comes to ink cartridges, printers are known for being pricey, and refilling them can be a pain. The solution to this is to get an ink tank printer.

So, what is the best printer with refillable ink? This article will compare three of the best ink tank printers on the market today: the Epson EcoTank vs. HP Smart Tank vs. Canon Megatank vs. Brother INKvestment tank.

We'll look at their features, how easy it is to refill their ink cartridges, and whether or not they're worth the price tag. To quickly get to the ink tank printer details of your choice, just click the links below.

  1. Epson EcoTank Printer
  2. HP Smart Tank Printer
  3. Canon Megatank Printer
  4. Brother INKvestment Printer
  5. How to Choose the Best Refillable Printer?

But First - What Are Refillable Ink Tank Printers?

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of printers with refillable ink tanks, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. A printer with refillable ink tanks instead of cartridges is typically more expensive than one with a non-refillable cartridge, so why are they so popular?

The short answer is that they can save you money. In the long run, you'll realize that ink tank printers have a higher page yield than ink cartridges, which translates into better cost savings.

Moreover, if you have a printer that uses an ink cartridge, you'll be paying for a new ink cartridge whenever you run out unless you decide to buy our universal refill kit and put ink in the cartridge.

However, even then, the tank carries more ink, so you won't have to refill it more frequently. Plus, you can refill a cartridge 2-3 times max and have to purchase a new one after that. This is not the case with ink tanks. You just need to do some maintenance, like cleaning the print heads of ink tanks , and you're good to go.

Best Ink Tank Printers

The three major printer brands are in a battle for the best ink tank printer. Before you decide which printer with refillable ink to get, let's start by learning more about each machine. First stop is the most popular ink tank printer, which is the Epson EcoTank. Then, we'll also introduce the best ink tank printers from major brands like HP and Canon. Read along to learn more about these printers with cheap ink refills!

Epson EcoTank Printer

Epson was the pioneer of refillable printers. The EcoTank printer series was first introduced in 2015. At that time, consumers were complaining about the price of cartridges. To give its clients a more affordable option, Epson manufactured its ink tank series. From the time of its launch, the Epson ink tank printer series has been popular ever since. A black ink bottle can print up to 7,500 pages at 5% coverage, compared with the usual 400 pages at 5% coverage per black ink cartridge of inkjet printers.

Users can definitely save more money by using a cheap printer with refillable ink compared to an inkjet printer with cartridges. But take note: if you only print occasionally, you may end up with dried ink in the tank. Also, the Epson EcoTank is not recommended if you are in need of fast printing since the printing speed is slow.

Epson EcoTank is also the printer of choice for sublimation printing. If you want to put up a customized printing business, this best Epson EcoTank printer for sublimation does the job. Overall, it's the best option if you print often and would like to save more on your running costs due to the affordable Epson ink refill.

POPULAR FOR
  • Sublimation printing
  • High-volume printing
PROS
  • Low-cost printing
  • Easy to refill ink tanks
  • High-page yield ink bottles
  • Flexibility: can print documents, photos, and can even be used for sublimation printing.
CONS
  • Slow printing speed
  • Refilling process can be messy
  • Printouts are prone to smudging
  • Ink dries up when printer is not used often
BEST FOR
  • Small business owners
  • Those who print on a daily basis or in high volume

Best EcoTank printer:

Which Epson EcoTank is best? There's a lot to choose from, but let's go for the most affordable. Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is the cheapest refillable ink printer. It is a small, flexible solution if you need a reliable way to print at home or at the office every day. It prints documents, photos, and more while giving you a smooth printing experience. The Epson printer EcoTank ET-2850 is also designed to produce crisp printouts. Its micro-piezo heat-free technology doesn't generate any heat, and this allows it to print sharp text, impressive color graphics, and high-quality photos on almost any paper type.

As an All-in-One printer, it also includes a scanner and a copier. You can scan directly into your computer, making it easy to create professional-looking documents and photos. And the built-in copier lets you save time by automatically copying documents. Plus, it offers 2-sided printing to make your life a lot easier.

Wireless connectivity lets you easily print to compatible devices without a wire. With Epson's Smart Panel app, which comes with this refillable printer, you can easily control your printer from any smartphone or tablet. Epson's intuitive app makes it easy to start and stop printing, switch between pages, and adjust settings for the best print quality. So, if you want a reliable, dependable, and affordable model, then the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a great choice. This best EcoTank printer also comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Printer price range: $299
Functionality: Print, Copy, Scan, Fax, Wireless Printing, Mobile Device Printing
Printing speed
(pages per minute):
Black - 10.6 ppm
Color - 5 ppm
Connectivity: Wireless and intuitive Epson Smart Panel App
Pros: Wireless, voice-activated print, Scanner, and copier with auto document copying, heat-free printing
Cons: Slow printing speed, No automatic document feeder
Printer ink: Epson T502 black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink bottles
OEM
Cost per page:
Black - 2.66 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 2.16 cents
CompAndSave Cost per page: Black - 0.09 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow -0.12 cents

HP Smart Tank Printer

HP's version of the ink tank series is called the HP Smart Tank printers. These printers boost 2-3 years' worth of original ink. As expected from an ink tank printer, the HP Smart Tank can print loads of pages before it needs a refill. An HP black ink bottle can deliver up to 6,000 pages, while the colored ones can print up to 8,000 pages (5% page coverage).

Customer reviews claim that the Smart Tank has better color accuracy compared to the EcoTank. This makes the HP ink refill printer a better option for photo printing. However, when it comes to printing speed, the EcoTank is still faster by a few minutes. The HP printer with refillable ink series also has an app for convenient printing. Most of the HP ink tank printer models are space savers, they'll easily fit into family homes or small offices.

POPULAR FOR
  • Photo printing
  • Family printing needs
PROS
  • Low-cost printing
  • Small and compact
  • Great photo quality
  • Easy to refill ink tanks
  • High-page yield ink bottles
CONS
  • Slower printing speed
  • Refilling process can be messy
  • Ink dries up when printer is not used often
BEST FOR
  • Photo projects
  • Flexible printouts for families such as office documents and school projects.

Best Smart Tank printer:

The HP Smart Tank Plus 551 is convenient and can fit into a small space. Because the HP ink tanks can be refilled, both black and color ink can print a lot of pages before they need to be changed. The cost per print for all inks is also very low for this Smart Tank printer. But both black-text and color documents take a long time to print, which isn't great if you have a lot of pages to process. This printer also doesn't have a sheet-fed scanner, which makes it hard to use at work. Still, it's cheap to run and has simple features that should be enough to be hailed as the best home printer with refillable ink.

If you're looking for a versatile family printer that's great on flexibility, you won't go wrong with the HP Smart Tank Plus 551. However, with its slow printing speed, it's not the best choice for small businesses. It can print, copy, and scan but has no advanced features like an automatic document feeder. This best printer with cheap ink refills is pricier compared to the other contenders, but still worth it if you're after photo quality. Check out more details below about this HP refill printer to help you decide if it's the machine for your printing needs.

Printer price range: $399
Functionality: Print, Scan, Wireless Printing, Mobile Device Printing
Printing speed
(pages per minute):
Black - 5 ppm
Color - 3 ppm
Connectivity: Wireless and HP Smart app
Pros: Low running costs, Great photo quality, Space saver, Flexible printing jobs
Cons: Very slow printing speed, Lacks automatic document feeder
Printer ink: HP 32 XL black and HP 31 cyan, magenta, and yellow ink bottles
OEM
Cost per page:
Black - 0.30 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.20 cents
CompAndSave Cost per page: Black - 0.11 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.07 cents

Canon Megatank Printer

Canon ink tank printers, called Megatanks range from student dorm printers to high-volume ones. You can choose a specific model to cater to your needs from their wide range of color printers with refillable ink. The Canon Megatank printer's built-in ink tank system can be refilled, making it easy for users to check ink levels and refill them when needed. With the spill-proof tops on the ink bottles, the system is made to be easy and clean to use at home and at the office.

As with the two previous refillable printers, it boosts wireless printing so you can do your tasks anywhere. Canon's ink bottles have both dye and pigment, which makes for great print quality, especially for photos. The challenge now is to choose the best Canon Pixma Megatank printer model that suits your printing needs. With a wide array of choices, it may not be an easy task to do.

POPULAR FOR
  • Exceptional print quality
  • Professional-like printing
PROS
  • Low-cost printing
  • Great print quality
  • Versatile paper sizes
  • Easy to refill ink tanks
  • Acceptable printing speed
  • High-page yield ink bottles
CONS
  • Bigger size
  • Pricier ink bottles
  • Ink dries up when printer is not used often
BEST FOR
  • Photo projects
  • Flexible printouts for families such as office documents and school projects.

Best Canon Megatank printer:

What is the best megatank printer? Let's choose a machine that can keep up with the other major brands. It's not easy to find a printer that's both stylish and compact. The Canon G7020 is a perfect combination of the two. Its sleek, rugged, and compact design makes it easy to use in compact places like a home office, and its lightweight makes it easier to carry around. With a high page yield of up to 6,000 pages in black and 7,000 pages in color at 5% page coverage, this ink tank printer will keep you going with little hassle.

This Canon Pixma Megatank printer also has a decent-sized paper tray, which is ideal if you frequently print documents that take up a lot of paper. It features a large 350-sheet capacity to keep you printing all day. Moreover, with an auto 2-sided printing feature, the G7020 takes the manual work of turning pages out of the process.

The wireless capabilities mean it's a breeze to set up its 802.11 Wi-Fi network capacity at 4.3 GHz to print wirelessly. AirPrint is supported, making it easier to print from iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.This is an affordable option for anyone who wants to get a printer with refillable ink without breaking the bank.

Printer price range: $320
Functionality: Print, Scan, Wireless Printing, Mobile Device Printing
Printing speed
(pages per minute):
Black - 13 ppm
Color - 6.8 ppm
Connectivity: Wireless 802.11b/g/n, AirPrint, Android, PRINT App
Pros: 350 sheet plain paper capacity. All-in-One printer (fax, scan, copy). Print borderless photos from squared 3 5" x 3 5" to 8.5" x 11" Letter
Cons: Outdated control panel, no USB printing
Printer ink: Canon GI-20 black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink bottles
OEM
Cost per page:
Black -0.30 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.15 cents
CompAndSave Cost per page: Black - 0.15 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.08 cents

Brother INKvestment Printer

Brother's version of the ink tank printer is unique compared to the first three. Instead of ink bottles, it still uses cartridges to fill its ink tank. Some users are quite hesitant about using ink bottles since one disadvantage is that they get messy during ink refills. With the Brother INKvestment printer, refilling your machine with ink is as easy as pie.

Another benefit of using cartridges is that you can get a super high-yield or an ultra-high-yield depending on your printing needs. Super high-yield Brother black cartridges can print up to 1,550 pages (5% page coverage). If you print more often, get the ultra high-yield that can give you up to 6,000 sheets (5% page coverage). So you'll be able to manage your running costs based on your printing needs.

When it comes to functionality, this Brother ink tank printer can also compete. It's also considered a multifunction printer that can print, copy, and scan. As an All-in-One printer, wireless or mobile printing is a must-have feature. Brother INKvestment printers can do all that. The Brother INKvestment tank printers are designed for home offices and small businesses since they're quite flexible and have a faster printing speed.

POPULAR FOR
  • Small businesses
  • Home office printing needs
PROS
  • Flexible functionality
  • Faster printing speed
  • Easy to refill ink tanks with cartridges
CONS
  • Bigger printer size
  • Pricier ink cartridges
  • High-yield cartridges
  • Photo quality needs improvemen
BEST FOR
  • Graphics printing
  • Faster printing speed

Best Brother INKvestment printer

The Brother MFC-J5945DW is big and bulky at 45.9 pounds and packed with a lot of features. It can print, copy, fax, and scan, just what small businesses need. It also has a modern control panel. In addition to that, there's also a 50-sheet automatic document feeder, which is pretty convenient when you have loads of printing jobs to do. This INKvestment printer has a wide range of connectivity options, so you can print wirelessly and use mobile printing without hassles.

As for the print quality, it stands out from the rest of the INKvestment tank printers. It can be a great alternative to laser printers when it comes to monochrome printing. Black and white documents are clear. As for photo quality, it shows accurate colors and outstanding results. If your home office or small business needs to print in a variety of paper sizes, you can count on the Brother MFC-J5945DW. It can handle tabloid-sized pages and supports borderless printing. However, the Brother INKvestment ink cartridges are quite pricey compared to the ink bottles.

Printer price range: $330
Functionality: Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, Wireless Printing, Mobile Device Printing
Printing speed
(pages per minute):
Black - 22 ppm
Color - 20 ppm
Connectivity: Ethernet, WiFi, USB, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, Brother's iPrint&Scan app
Pros: Automatic document feeder, double-sided printing, borderless printing, fast printing speed, great print quality
Cons: Bulky, higher cartridge costs, not recommended for those who print occasionally
Printer ink: Ultra High-yield Brother LC3039BK black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink cartridges
OEM
Cost per page:
Black - 0.93 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.12 cents
CompAndSave Cost per page: Black - 0.38 cents
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow - 0.5 cents

How to Choose the Best Refillable Printer?

When looking for the best printer with refillable ink, you should think about things like price and features. Let's compare the three featured ink tank printers to help you decide which machine suits you best.

Features

All ink tank printers featured are considered multifunction. If we talk about which printer with refill ink has the most features, then the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 has a slight edge over the two. However, if you want a refillable printer that has a higher document capacity for large printing jobs, then the Canon Pixma G7020 is a better option.

Deciding on the features will largely depend on your printing needs. If you just need a student or family printer, the HP Smart Tank Plus 551 is your best bet. For small businesses, the Brother MFC-J5945DW takes the cake due to its fast printing speed.

Prices

Although all four have similar prices, ranging between $300 and $400, the EcoTank ET-2850 is a good choice if money is an issue. However, if you want an ink tank printer that can hold a good amount of paper for long printing jobs, then the Canon Pixma G7020 is another option for $20 more than its Epson counterpart.

The HP Smart Tank Plus 551 is pricier at $399 and has more features than the other two printers we mentioned. You can splurge a little more if photos are your thing and you make sure they fit in your small space. But for a cheaper printer for home office printing, you can get the Brother MFC-J5945DW.

Ink Bottle Prices and Cost-per-page

For this comparison, we are using the Epson, HP, and Canon black ink bottle prices and the Brother black ink cartridge. Epson is the cheapest refill printer out of the three when it comes to the initial cost. But what about the long-term ink refill costs? Here is where you need to make a smart choice to save the most money over the life of the printer. Take a look at the cost per page so you'll know if you actually get cheap ink refills.

  EcoTank ET-2850 HP Smart Tank Plus 551 Canon Pixma G7020 Brother MFC-J5945DW
Printer Ink: Epson 502 HP 32 XL Canon GI-20 Ultra High-yield Brother LC3039BK
Page Yield (at 5% page coverage): 7,500 pages 6,000 pages 6,000 pages 6,000 pages
OEM Price: $19.99 $17.99 $17.99 $55.99
Cost-per-page for OEM: 0.26 cents 0.30 cents 0.30 cents 0.93 cents
CompAndSave Price: $6.99 $6.95 $8.99 $22.95
Cost per page for CompAndSave: 0.09 cents 0.11 cents 0.14 cents 0.38 cents

Based on the above, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 has the lowest cost per page whether you buy the ink directly from the brand or from CompAndSave. As the original ink tank printer, Epson EcoTank is definitely in the lead when it comes to these refillable printers. In the end, the best ink tank printers for you are those that can do the printing jobs you need to do well.

Overall, the above-listed printers are the best when it comes to performance. You can use these printers at home or in your office, and they will be able to handle all your printing needs. However, before buying one of them, you should know what features are important to you.

Whatever you decide, make sure to keep in mind that these printers are for the average home or office user. If you need something for a big office with hundreds of printouts a day, then go for their higher versions with faster speeds and printing capacities. We hope our guide on what is the best printer with refillable ink has helped you decide which machine to buy.

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