Reliable printer - which one to use?

Hi, my father needs a new printer to replace his old 7510 HP. It would be nice to have separate tinks, an ADF and the ability for AirPrint. He does print photos once a while, so they should look ok. But he is not a heavy user, so I do not need a workhorse for an office.

Any recommendations?


I don’t have a printer of my own any more. But my father has now switched to using a Canon IP8700. I don’t know if it is still available or what it has been replaced with. However the benefits of it are:

  • A3 printer.
  • AirPrint.
  • Separate inks for each colour (about £12 each from Amazon for genuine Canon XL capacity cartridges).
  • Beautiful photographic print quality on gloss or matt papers.
  • Very fast black and white printing.
  • Copes with thick card stock (300 gsm) very well.

This was purchased to replace an Epson R2400 (and a previous 2 Epsons before that) which had been problematic from day one. Particularly the cost of consumables, the terrible paper feed and the constant problems of nozzles becoming blocked and requiring extensive cleaning cycles - which drained the tanks instantly and would cause the printer to effectively shutdown into ‘maintenance mode’ - which required a Windows PC to hack into the firmware and reset the counter. Absolute garbage. He vowed to never buy an Epson printer again after that one.

The inks Canon use appear to be lightfast. My father has just told me he buys something called Hahnemuhle Protective Spray (also sometimes called ‘frog juice’) from his paper supplier ‘Fotospeed’ that comes in an aero spray can and gives prints extra protection.

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Before you decide on specific brand/model, you should consider this:

If you do not absolutely need high quality photo printing, choose laser over ink-jet.

  • Laser printers are much less expensive to use (ink for ink-jets is the most expensive thing in the long run).
  • Paper stock for laser printers is much less expensive and is more readily available.
  • Laser printers are less of a headache to maintain.
  • Laser printers are much faster than ink-jets.

I have a ‘Brother’ laser printer that I bought several years ago for something like $90 and I’m on my second cartridge so far (admittedly, I do not print too much).


I have been rocking Canon printers for years. Good print quality, separate tanks, and you can buy “off brand” ink very cheap… My latest, a MX922 has been solid for a few years now.

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I’ve recently been through a similar dilemma when my reliable 6 year old Ricoh became redundant after the Catalina 64 bit requirement.

My research was based on a reasonable A3 printer that could both knock out A4 office docs and give reasonable photo results. A cross between an office machine and a photo printer.

This automatically dismisses laser printers - the technology will never give reasonable quality photo prints. Also I didn’t want to spend £500 on an eight or ten colour money-eating monster.

I plumped for the Epson XP-970 as it kind of covers what I need for the next year to 18 months and so far I’m really pleased with the quality and speed. Worth adding to your list of possibles I think:

Damn - just noticed they’ve dropped the price. It’s way cheaper than Amazon.

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If you are looking at mainly office type usage the Epson ecotank series are pretty good and they can still produce credible results if you want to produce a photo type image. The upfront cost is relatively high, but they come with a huge amount of ink and refills are dirt cheap. I’ve been running one for three years now without a problem and only had to buy one refill that was about £10 I think.

On a side note you should keep inkjet printers switched on 24/7. The power consumption is tiny, but they run much better that way, saving a lot of stress and wasted ink. Every now and then run through a print at high quality just to stop the nozzles from drying.


I would add that if you use ink jet printers, then run a colour test page through every 2 to 3 weeks to stop the heads from blocking up, if you don’t use the printer every 2 to 3 weeks. Also if you only print black documents, also run a colour text print every 2 to 3 weeks as the colour heads will block up.


Thank you. I have chosen the Canon PIXMA TS8350. I will make sure to run a color text/foto print every 2 to 3 weeks to not block the heads.

Thanks again,

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