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  Reply # 1121532 4-Sep-2014 08:26
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timmmay: Thanks guys. I take it laser printers don't tend to have wireless then? Running ethernet is possible but I'd have to put a little switch in for it, I think I have a spare one though. Another thought, I tend to turn it on, use it, and turn it off, will a laser work ok like that?

Interested to hear about brands that people are generally happy with. Epson I like fine, especially with the CISS, it's just worn out. Printers aren't made to last.

I just have blocked nozzels, and I can't really be bothered taking the whole printer apart to try to clean them. The self clean function does nothign.



Laser printers are not good for that sort of intermittent use as the fuser unit has to heat up each time you turn them on.

I  prefer to buy HP because their printers can handle thicker media. Few printers are designed to handle 200-240gsm card as most only go up to about 140gsm.

Consumer printers aren't made to last so I buy inkjets when they're on special (as much as 40-50% off). I buy second-hand heavy-duty laser printers because they are cheap and run forever though they are heavy too.


timmmay: The Brother color laser MFC9140CDN is looking like a likely candidate.

Has anyone used aftermarket toner in a laser? For example Inkworks offer the printer complete with their own toner cartridges for a decent price. Their black toner is $70 compared with $126 for genuine.  TRD toner is about the same price. You can also buy bottles of toner on ebay.

Two more questions:
 - Is third party toner worth buying, given $125 / 2500 pages is 5c/page?
 - Can anyone comment on the reliability of Brother laser printers?


Brother work fine but all cheaper consumer printers do die more quickly than those rated heavy-duty. The rated duty cycle of a printer is related to its reliability.

I've used many varieties of third-party toner cartridges, including refills, for HP laser printers but I've never filled them myself. 90% of the time the difference in quality is visible in some way as I print a lot of full page colour graphics. That is unusual as most people print smaller images or lots of text so the 'tonal' qualities of the toner is less important for them. I generally try to buy HP toner cartridges on Trade Me - they tend to be listed when people replace their printer.

The cheap toner quality varies a lot and price is not always the main determinant. I've had $60 cartridges that work better than $120 cartridges to replace $200 HP cartridges. I've observed (but haven't conclusively proved to my satisfaction) that third-party toner doesn't age as well as the HP toner.



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  Reply # 1121543 4-Sep-2014 08:46
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Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.




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  Reply # 1121548 4-Sep-2014 08:48
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I'd also recommend an Epson WorkForce. I have the WF-3520 (RRP $150) and brought a slightly cheaper model for my parents (I can't remember the model number). Both are excellent, and seem to do everything you are looking for.

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  Reply # 1121569 4-Sep-2014 09:00
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timmmay: Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.


Use mine in the same fashion, no problems here at all.



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  Reply # 1121580 4-Sep-2014 09:06
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nicks: I'd also recommend an Epson WorkForce. I have the WF-3520 (RRP $150) and brought a slightly cheaper model for my parents (I can't remember the model number). Both are excellent, and seem to do everything you are looking for.


eluSiveNZ:
timmmay: Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.


Use mine in the same fashion, no problems here at all.


My current Epson MF inkjet broke down, just like the Canons did before, in about 3 years.  Think I'll avoid them. Only reason I had inkjet was for disk printing, which I don't do any more.

eluSiveNZ:
timmmay: Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.


Use mine in the same fashion, no problems here at all.


Awesome, thanks. How long you had it?




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  Reply # 1121713 4-Sep-2014 11:33
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timmmay: Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.


They will work fine but what I was trying to say is that they are designed to be switched on and left on plus it is a comparative waste of power to heat the unit just for one to two pages. You're not going to break them by switching them on and off all the time particularly if it's only once or twice a month. But they do have a longer useful life when they are used regularly rather than irregularly.

Thinking about it, I should have said that laser printers work better than inkjets for very intermittent use because they don't have the problem of ink drying or clogging the jets. The toner is better protected from humidity and atmospheric issues than ink because it is in an airtight cartridge. That's also why 10 year-old toner cartridges can often be used without problems whereas 10 year-old ink cartridges cannot.



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  Reply # 1121797 4-Sep-2014 13:24
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Thanks for the clarification MC :)




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  Reply # 1125176 9-Sep-2014 16:57
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timmmay: The Brother color laser MFC9140CDN is looking like a likely candidate.

Has anyone used aftermarket toner in a laser? For example Inkworks offer the printer complete with their own toner cartridges for a decent price. Their black toner is $70 compared with $126 for genuine.  TRD toner is about the same price. You can also buy bottles of toner on ebay.

Two more questions:
 - Is third party toner worth buying, given $125 / 2500 pages is 5c/page?
 - Can anyone comment on the reliability of Brother laser printers?


Third party toner isn't always the best value. It's a better option for printers where the drum is embedded in the toner cartridge (as you won't get problems with badly made toner messing up your 20k page life drum). However, typically that doesn't happen.

Having said that, because third party toner is almost always given in the form of refils or remanufactured cartridges, you can't expect them to be as reliable as the originals, or print as well either. If you're happy to keep a few stocked up and use the seller's warranties on broken third party carts, and accept the occasional cartridge that doesn't print as crisply or dark as a genuine one, they are a good way to save some money.

timmmay: Thanks all. Interested to hear if others think laser is ok for intermittent use. I will only use it once a week or so, for a few pages at a time. I've been through 4 inkjet printers in the past 10 years and would rather buy quality that has a chance of lasting.


Laser is better than almost all inkjets for intermittent use, despite the fact that they have to go through the heat up, cool down cycle. I typically like to leave my laser to warm up for longer than it needs - 10 minutes or so - but I can't give you data to back up my thinking that it stresses the components less!

All inkjets will clog printheads if you don't print regularly. Having said that, it's not that difficult to clean most clogged heads to get them back to an acceptable page - just get a cotton bud and some isopropyl and you'll be printing well in no time. HP used to have the advantage where their carts included a brand new printhead, so even a clogged cart wouldn't kill your printer, but most of their modern models don't do that anymore.

My Recommendation

Despite you saying you don't like Canon as have had issues in the past, they make the best all round multifunction unit on the market right now, and that's the MX726.

For someone looking for semi-regular page or two, a few draft photos, but also as a document scanner, this is the only machine on the market for anywhere near the price (you can get it for $99 on sale, and if you're lucky enough to get it on a sale AND cashback period i.e. right now if you buy from DSE, you can get the price of the machine down to $69!).

Why is this the best machine, you ask?

 

  • Wireless printing
  • Wireless scanning
  • Duplex printing
  • Decent drivers and windows/mac support
  • Dual paper trays (one for A4 media, one smaller one for A5 / photo paper / envelopes)
  • High res, decent quality flatbed scanning
  • Better print resolution and quality than anything lesser in Canon's line up, and anything twice the price in Epson/HP line-up
  • Separate ink cartridges
  • XL colour tanks and XXL black tanks for 4c/page black best case (though that's likely to go down to maybe 8c or 10c for only occasional use to take into account cleaning cycles etc - a laser is going to be much closer to its optimum page cost with occasional use)
  • and most importantly...
  • DOUBLE SIDED WIRELESS AUTO FEEDING DOCUMENT SCANNING

That last one is the single best feature, and removes the need for a separate document scanner if you want to have a paperless home. In fact, it's the only printer I've found for under $200 (including sales and cashbacks) or $300 excluding that has a duplex ADF.

Downsides? It's bulkier than MG series, Brother A4 MFCs, and Epson XP series machines. It takes aaages from off to printing first page (i.e. like >1 min), can't print CD/DVDRs if you need that sorta thing, it's not as fast as it wants you to think it is (unless you use the crappy draft output), with normal copier paper the text output isn't as good as even a cheap laser, and I have had one or two issues with WiFi on my machine where you need to power cycle the unit to get it to pick up a computer for printer-initiated wireless scanning to file.

No, it's not as good as the colour laser and doesn't have nearly the same speed or duty cycle, and no it's not as good as a standalone duplex document scanner, but considering that you can buy four of these for the cost of one colour laser, and that you'll be paying at least as much for a standalone duplex doc scanner, it's pretty damn good value.

No, I don't work for Canon.



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  Reply # 1125178 9-Sep-2014 17:04
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My Brother MFC-9140CDN arrived today in a massive heavy box. Just setting it up now.  Thanks for the thoughts Spronkey but fingers crossed this one lasts me a while! :)




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