Advice & Tips

Which printer best suits my needs?  Make the right decision before you buy…

It is important to realise that the printer and cartridge/consumable requirements are interdependent, and both must be addressed when deciding on the right printer.

The printer determines the initial outlay, and must suit the work that will be done.  There are two common types of printers – the Laser Jet printer, and the Inkjet Printer (there are also ribbon printers which are very cheap to run, but becoming more rare these days as technology advances).

The cartridges/consumables largely determine the ongoing costs, and this is very important to be aware of when purchasing a printer.  Know the type of cartridges that you will be using and their expected page yields, and be especially aware of any hidden consumable costs.

Laser Jet Printers

The Laser Jet printer usually costs more upfront but if you are doing a lot of printing the running costs are generally cheaper.  This is especially so if you use remanufactured/ compatible cartridges, which tend to be fairly reliable on these printers, but you may want to check with us first, as only certain types can successfully be remanufactured.

Most businesses use mono (black printing only) Laser Jet printers, but this is rapidly changing as colour laser printer costs decrease.  If you are doing a lot printing, using only black – then this high quality printer is cheap to run and quick to use.

 We also supply a broad range of new  Mono and Colour Laser Jet printers and suitable replacement  cartridges. 

The Colour Laser Jet printer is becoming more popular as the price of these machines decrease.  As with the mono Laser Jet printer, the economic benefits are seen over the longer term as you do more printing.  At the present time, we have found that remanufactured cartridges are not reliable in these printers, so we advise our customers to stick with genuine, new cartridges.  A quick warning; watch out for the cost of consumables with these printers, they can be hidden.  You can contact us and we’ll advise you on the best options currently available.

Inkjet Printers

The Inkjet printer provides convenient black and colour printing, which is a great option if your printing needs are not too big.  Be aware that the consumables can become expensive and this must be kept in mind when choosing a printer.  If you have a printer in mind, you can check with us and we will let you know whether we think it will suit your needs and if their are any hidden costs or better alternatives.

The refilling of inkjet cartridges can save you money, but they are often not as reliable as a remanufactured Laser Jet cartridge.  Experience over many years with our customers has shown they can be hit and miss, so we supply either genuine or good compatible brand  ink cartridges.

Multifunction machines, faxes and copiers

Also available are multifunction/all-in-one machines, faxes and copiers.  Multifunction machines can print, copy, scan and fax.  Most of the above advice still applies to these machines.  One thing to be aware of with these machines (and fax machines) using ink cartridges, is the reliability of cartridges receiving important faxes and the consumption of those receiving many faxes.

Being able to receive the faxes into your computer before printing them is a great cost saving option.  Having a reliable cartridge (and maybe a spare, backup cartridge) may be necessary for receiving important faxes.

We supply cartridges (genuine, and remanufactured where applicable) for all these machines.

Please feel free to phone or e-mail today for our no obligation quote or to discuss any queries you have.

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Printer & Cartridge Maintenance/Upkeep.  A quick read here may save you money and inconvenience later…

If you buy the right printer for your needs, the upkeep should be minimal and there are a few things you can do to maintain your printer which will have beneficial results over its life.

Maintenance/Upkeep: Laser Jet Printers and Cartridges

Firstly, always be careful of the drum unit on a toner cartridge, as it is very sensitive to light and also to being touched.

A handy tip to monitor the page yield of your cartridges if your printer doesn’t have a page count is to count the reams of paper you go through.  As 1 ream = 500 sheets, a 2,500 page cartridge should go through 5 reams of paper.  Remember though, page yield is based upon 5% coverage on the page (approx. a standard business letter), and so varies dramatically depending on the type of printouts you produce.

Printers should be kept as dust free as possible.  Even in normal, clean conditions, dust and debris from paper, and also from both genuine and remanufactured cartridges, can build up over time and may require cleaning.  If you are not confident in doing this yourself, you may like to enquire about our ‘Printer Cleaning’ service.

At the end of the cartridge life (when the printing fades), it is possible to gently shake some cartridges from side to side to obtain a little more life from them.  Clearly mark used cartridges to avoid confusion, and if possible keep a backup cartridge to avoid that last minute panic.

Be careful when using labels/stickers.  They can get stuck on printer parts (usually hard to remove) or the cartridge (can usually be removed, please contact us for advise).

Maintenance/Upkeep: Inkjet Printers and Cartridges

Be careful of the printhead (the copper section at the bottom) on a cartridge, as it is very sensitive to being touched.

To reduce cartridge costs, use draft mode when possible and be aware that on single cartridge printers black printing is very uneconomical as all the colors are combined to produce black.

Some cartridges are fine for refilling (though not usually as reliable as the genuine), while others are either too unreliable, or could even possibly leak into the printer and damage it.

Therefore, be careful and ask questions before using refilled cartridges.

If your printer is used infrequently, the cartridge may dry out.  Try to at least switch the machine on once a week so that the cartridge moves over the cleaning mechanism in the printer (or you may possibly need to print off something small).  You can possibly dab the printhead very carefully with a damp tissue, but be careful not to damage this sensitive part of the cartridge.

Please feel free to phone or e-mail today for our no obligation quote or to discuss any queries you have.

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Fixing/repairing printer and cartridge problems – first steps.  Simple things to check that you may not have thought of yet…

Usually, the first thing is to check whether the problem is the printer or the cartridge.  Try another cartridge if available (even an empty cartridge may help).  Our customers check with us and we can often save them the cost of a printer technician visiting the site only to find another cause other than a broken printer.  You are welcome to contact us if you need some help.

Another common situation is a paper jam, which you may be able to carefully remove yourself.  Remember to remove the paper in the same direction as the normal flow of the paper path to minimize the risk of tearing the paper, and be very gentle, as there are many sensitive parts in a printer and a cartridge.

The problem may also involve the computer system, which may need to be rebooted, or the printer software may need to be re-installed.  This is, however, more unusual.

For more serious printer problems…

If there is a more serious printer problem, a technician may be needed, but first here is some advice we give our customers in these situations:

a) Some repair work is not worth the cost compared to replacing the unit with a new printer (as ridiculous as this seems), so be aware of all potential costs.  This includes potential costs of parts and the risk of an older printer breaking again soon because it is essentially “past its use by date”. This is especially applicable to cheaper inkjet printers.

b) Check with us first to ensure it is a printer problem and not something else (eg. cartridge).  This doesn’t cost anything and may save you the call out fee of a technician if the problem can be easily solved over the phone.  We can usually also give a good idea of the problem in most printer repair cases so you know what your in for before spending any money.

Please feel free to phone or e-mail today for our no obligation quote or to discuss any queries you have.

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The aim of these pages is to help people get the most out of their printers and avoid some of the common, simple pitfalls associated with their printing needs, and let you know, as a business specialising in printers and printer cartridges, how we can help you out.

In our experience, there are a few simple areas that people may or may not be aware of when it comes to printing.  Knowing these basics can greatly improve your productivity, save you time and money, and avoid inconvenience during the life of your printer.

If you need more specific advice relevant to your situation, please feel free to contact us and we will try to help you out.