Which Printer?

A good question from Mandy yesterday ...

"I am in need of a new printer for my cardmaking and wondered if anyone had any ideas on a good printer. I am on a budget but I need something good quality too! 
Hope someone can help 
thank u 

I like Epson printers Mandy. I have 2 that I use - an Epson R300 & and Epson R265.
Both of them are quite old now. The R300 is so old it is older than Pink Petticoat! And of the two, it is my favourite. The R265 is also quite old and it too is no longer in production but it has been replaced by the R285, which seems to be widely available & the price seems to be between £55.00 - £60.00 depending where you shop.

Why do I like them?
- they are InkJet Printers which still, at the moment, produce a better quality colour print than Laser Printers
- I can use paper & card up to 300gsm
- they use a simple in-at-the-top & out-at-the-bottom, paper feeding system which I prefer
- they use a 6 colour ink system for better printed colour results
- I can buy less expensive, compatible ink cartridges for them & still get true colour results on the majority of colours
- they use separate ink cartridges so I only need to replace one colour at a time. And when I want to use Epson own-brand cartridges, it is kinder to my bank balance : )

I will be hoping to replace them with an Epson brand printer when they finally die!

But this is only my experience.

If you'd like to contribute your experience with printers for Mandy, or for anyone else who's looking for information, please do : )

51 comments on Which Printer?

  1. Hi,
    This is my first post but couldn't resist as I was bought a new 'All in One' Epson printer (price reduction to @ £50) last August. It seemed great at first but I soon noticed that it guzzled ink. It only had the 4 colour inks (1 being black) so obviously not as comprehensive as either of Liz's but it also was a 'in at the top and out at the bottom' kind. (It was a dx8400 or 8800.)
    The cost of replacement Epson ink was very expensive especially bearing in mind it drank ink like a sports car drinks petrol!
    I tried a non-branded ink cartridge replacement that stated it was specifically for my printer but after a couple of prints, the printer announces that the replacement is 'unrecognised' and as such would not print another sheet until an Epson cartridge was inserted.
    My biggest issue is that even if 1 of the ink cartridges emptied, I was not able to continue to print anything else, even black and white until the empty cartridge had been replaced. It was very frustrating!
    It went back and I got another HP printer (my last had been HP) which also was on special offer so cost similar money. This one has been 'low on colour ink' for 3 weeks and Ive still managed to print continuosly using all of the other colours! Its not difficult to figure which of the primary colours is low. (This one has 1 cartridge for colour and 1 for black - so obviously I didnt want to waste the remaining colours left just because one was empty!) Please note, I had been using excessively the colour that had run out though so it was my fault!
    I appreciate this may not be to everyones taste/requirements and I have to say I will be changing the colour today and can't wait to print red again but I just wanted to advise on what the new Epsons (valued @ £50 on offer) can be like!
    Sorry to bore you but hope this helps?!

  2. I have had an Epson R285 for about a year now (as do several friends!) and absolutely love it! Obviously everyone's requirements are different, but I like mine for the fact that it prints very well on thicker card (which many others won't take) and for all the other reasons that Liz mentions. It will also print dvds and easily takes different sizes of card or paper. I haven't had a problem with ink - when one colour is getting low, it will carry on printing until it actually runs out and I don't find it particularly heavy on ink, but again, use varies from person to person.
    Good luck finding a new printer, Mandy! Hope this helps a bit. Lx

  3. I have to Epsons 1290 and r2400 both A3 printers as i print a lot of photographs out. Have had Epson every since i started with computers would not have any others, inks are cheap i always use compatables and never see a differance in the quality. Have now got continuous ink system on both. My friend has cannon always buys cannon buts wants A3 Epson said my prints are better.
    All my card papers printed on 1290. Only going on experiance, you can buy continous ink systems for most Epsons save lots of money can print to your hearts content. hope this helps. luv sue.x

  4. http://www.trustedreviews.com/printers/review/2007/09/07/Epson-Stylus-Photo-R285/p1

  5. I have Epson stylus photo R200 5 colours.Use compatible cartridges from cartridge world which is at the bottom of the street (practically)and never had problems.Would not go back to HP now.Have printed some photos from very old originals but primarily use for printing papers. It takes fairly thick card and printable shrink plastic with a bit of assistance and will print CDs although I've never done it. It was a pressie from my kids and I would probably have chosen a bit more upmarket so that I could print smaller (like single business cards)but in reality I would probably never have used that facility. I would always go for a system that would give me the light magenta and the light cyan. I like using the paper which Tesco sell it's 120 gsm premium quality printer paper. Lots of cardmakers seem to use it.The top to bottom feed thing is important too otherwise you get into a muddle if you want to print on top or on the back and it makes it easy to put thicker stuff through

  6. I have an Epson stylus Photo 900, it's quite old they don't make them anymore. The most important thing for me is the simple top in, bottom out feed which means you can print on quite thick card. I've only used Epson brand inks in it and do find they are very expensive but they also last quite a long time in my opinion. To me it's main disadvantage is the colour inks are in one cartridge which is very wasteful if you end up printing alot of one colour. That said I will probably by Epson again when I replace it.

  7. I have an Epson DX5000 (one of those with a scanner on top which I neve use)and love it. It only has 4 seperate cartridges not 6 but still good. The reason I like it so much is that I can print black digi stamps and use my Promarks to colour them in and the ink doesn't bleed


  8. I have an epson stylus s20, I'm on my 3rd epson after having had an hp. the hp was great but even compatible cartridges were expensive. The epsons are cheap to buy and compatible ink is cheap (got full set for £10 on ebay) and just as good. I love the fact you can use a decent weight card, acetate in fact just about anything through it, and the edge to edge printing.

  9. I have an Epson photo stylus RX500 and love it!!! I will only ever buy Epson's from now. Had this for years and it is the best printer I have ever had. Like Liz I also use use compatable inks and would happily pass on where I buy them from if anyone wants to know - just email me or leave a message on my blog.

  10. wow! thanks to everyone who left a message here about printers. I do have an epson printer myself so I think after reading all these that I will probably stick with Epson then!

    Can't wait to go shopping now.

    Really want to set up the CIS system too as I spend loads on ink and I want to be able to print print print not skimp skimp skimp!

    Thanks everyone thats fab info.


  11. A handy tip for those of you with Epson printers that use cartridges with chips in them, which mean that you can no longer print when the printer thinks one cartridge is empty....
    I bought a "Zappit" chip resetter from ebay for less than £5 a couple of years ago. If a cartridge "runs out", I remove it, zap it, and replace. This generally allows me to keep printing for a couple more days until I replace the cartridge. It's amazing how much ink is actually left when the printer says it's empty!!!


  12. we only paid £ 35.00 for our CIS never looked back, hence can downloads lots lovely PP papers n print away, hehehe. good luck, sue.x

  13. I use an Epson DX 7450 and am very happy with it, I buy compatable ink cartridges from cartridge boy which are really cheap, so make printing p.p papers really affordable.

  14. I would like to thank Liz for starting this discussion because it had never occurred to me that you could get a CIS for a bottom of the range printer like mine-I thought they were for the A3 biggies that the serious photographers use.I've just bought a set of new cartridges and have now discovered that for about £5 more I could have got the system with about TEN times more ink. My husband says "get it bought"but I'm going to the Manchester show next weekend so it will have to wait.Thanks again everyone

  15. I use the Epson R 300 with compatible inks ... I print & I print & I print.... love it! :o)

  16. Thanks for above info - could someone explain what CIS is, its been mentioned above but I can't think what it would stand for? and if you print downloaded papers does it use a lot of ink, Thanks

  17. It stands for 'C'ontinuous 'I'nk 'S'ystem Anonymous. ;0)
    I have an Epson stylus D92. Paid £39 for it at PC World. It came with a full set of cartridges that retail at £28. Hence you could say I paid £11 for an edge to edge printer which feels quite plasticy but does the job beautifully.
    It even has a feature that gets rid of those annoying black smudges that sometimes appear on the edge of your paper or card.
    I've always had Epsons and it would take a lot of convincing to get me to change.
    Viv xx

  18. Just to ask another question about printers, I have had both HP and Cannon printers, and whilst the quality has been fine, they don't offer an option to print borderless on plain paper, only photo paper, do the Epson ones allow you to do this ?

  19. I have been hooked on Canon printers for years (I find their cartridges are cheaper) and I have a Canon MP530 at the moment - cost me about £75 - I love, love, love it! It feeds in the top and comes out the bottom,has the facility to print edge to edge / borderless on any type of paper you choose to use and will let you print direct on to specially coated disks which is nice if you want to give a photo disk as a gift. It has 5 cartridges and they last me a long time - I make cards and do a lot of digital scrapbooking so am printing constantly and I spend approx. £50.00 every 3 months on a pre-packed set of the 5 colours although I have never used compatible catridges with it so I dont know what that would cost.

  20. I bought a Epson Stylus SX205 just before Christmas and it is driving me mad!! It will not print on card - does anyone else have this problem?


    1. It is now 2012 if you read this Angela . I am having the same problem also with ink jet waterclour paper. Maybe they are too thick for the printer; I am so far unable to find out.

  21. I love my canon ip4500. It wasn't too expensive but I checked out the reviews and all said the quality of printing was fantastic. I bought one and it really really is. I can print on both sides and border-less! Also a bonus the cartridges are not very expensive and you replace the different colours. So like me if over valentines card making you use up the rest of the red you can replace that rather than the whole cartridge. each cartridge at the most expensive is around £10 and again it takes alternate cartridges. I had an epson but cartridges expensive and it did not like compatible ones as it has built in software to ask if you are sure and also then a few years down the line it can become cloggged. Canon is recommended by many ICT technicians including me.

  22. I've been card making for quite a long time now and would use nothing else but HP printers. I have found the absolute best printer for cards is the HP Photosmart Pro B8350. It prints both A4 and if you like to print wrapping paper (which I do sometimes) it will print up to A3 paper. The quality is excellent and it prints on all card thicknesss which you would normally use in card making. I find it quite frugal with the ink and it does, of course, print your photos if you're into that. In answer to Nicola's comment on borderless printing, I just set it on photo but choose "other" paper and find that it prints perfectly on my card papers.
    I also have an HP Photosmart HP7280 All-in-One but this is no good for card making. It really does not like the thicker papers/card.
    I also have an HP Colour Laser 1600 which is absolutely great for printing on velum and transparencies but useless for printing on thick paper or card.
    Hope this helps someone.


  23. HI Viv
    Thanks for answer on CIS, how does this system differ to an inkjet printer, is it that it just doesn't use so much ink and thats why its called continuous, do you also know if the replacement ink is relatively cheap?
    Thanks Julie

  24. Just a comment on edge to edge printing. My epson stylus R200 will not print edge to edge if I tell it I'm doing a text and photo print but I tell it "photo" it allows me to choose matte heavyweight paper as an option and it will then print edge to edge. It is probably laying down more ink which means the cartridges will run out quicker but I totted up recently just how many downloads I have and I've realised it's a false economy to be frugal with the ink (and probably not a good idea to tot up the downloads either). Recently I tried the lovely idea that Liz uses of printing the coordinating solid colour on the inside- or vice versa- and the result was spectacular better than a well known companies printed card blanks. I have used the white back to basics A4 from Craftwork Cards but would like to try printing onto their scalloped card blanks but don't know if it would work and am loath to waste the card blank. Probably the fold would absorb more ink and create a strange effect and or jam in the printer. To comment again on continuous ink systems-I have been informed by professional photographer friends that it is six to ten times cheaper but I did wonder just how stable the dye ink would be before you used it all if you didn't do a huge amount of printing

  25. P.S. and what I meant to add was Liz tells us to use the photo option anyway for best results!!

  26. Have just read the question on CIS and if you have a look on the internet you will see plenty of companies selling these and pictures which will make it clear. The ink is in containers at the side of your printer and links in by a feed. You get about 10 mill of ink in one cartridge and 100mill in each bottle of CIS ink. You then buy refills. I suppose ink quality probably varies from company to company and you refill them as they go down. You should not run out which means if you are creating an A3 print (which I don't) you won't waste a whole sheet because you suddenly lose quality in the middle.You will get about six to ten times the amount of printing for the same money. Am now going to make some cards!(by the way I've not got CIS yet)

  27. I went through about 4 epson printers in 2years and would never buy another! Various problems and breakdowns plus they guzzled ink!!
    Bought a Canon mp610 3 in 1 at the beginning of last year and haven't looked back. Have only ever used compatible inks and they've always worked fine - from the Catridge People
    Separate ink tanks and borderless printing - it also prints on card up to 300gsm without any problems. A wee bit more expensive than an epson but well worth it in the long run!!

  28. Careful when using compatible inks with the newer chipped ink cartridge models of any brand, if something goes wrong, you have no comeback. I have just had to buy a new printer as I used compatibles that had been recommended, my printhead became clogged and I could no longer get decent quality prints... I tried cleaning and re-aligning my poorly printhead, but nothing worked :( I have now had to buy a new printer, although this was a good excuse to get a better model:) Very happy so far with the results from my Canon iP 4600, very crisp and good colour reproduction. It has a five single inks, all of which seem reasonably priced for the genuine canon cartridges at around 7.99 each from canon's own shop

  29. I have the R300 Epson and it produces wonderful quality prints. did a lot of research before as I wanted a great quality printer for printing photos for my photography club. The only other one I would get is the A3 printer in the range.
    Hope this helps.

  30. I have a canon MP460 which I am pleased with although the ink cartridges are very expensive- I have been looking at getting a CIS system for it - has anyone else tried the CIS on that particular canon model and if so can they tell me if it works ok etc.
    Thanks Julie

  31. I have an Epson R300 which I was going to get rid of purely because of the cost of inks, I then discovered compatable jettec inks and they are marvellous, I can now print my Pink Petticoat papers till my hearts content without worrying about cost and I love them and love my Epson printer once more.

  32. I have a lexmark x1180 which is on its last legs. I have been quite pleased with it and always used lexmark cartridges which I got from ebay. Having read all of this I have now made up my mind that I am having an epsom, and I think i will have to get a CIS to go with it!!!

  33. After reading all the comments on here I bought an Epson R285 2 weeks and am very pleased with it. I can now print onto thick card, which my HP 3110 all in one does not do (it is a front loader and will not accept card more than 200gsm). The Epson R285 has 6 ink cartridges and I found a shop on ebay which sells 2 sets of compatable inks for £8.99 plus p+p so very cheap to run.
    Many thanks to Liz for putting this question on her blog

  34. WOuld just like to thank some the above, I found out all about CIS system and took the plunge and bought one which my hubby kindly fitted for me, I am now printing to my hearts content at 90% cheaper than normal printing costs, so thanks for making me aware of a fantastic system, I would recommend CIS to every crafter out there.
    Thanks again Julie

  35. I have the Epson R320 and am very satisfied with it. I was loyal to HP printers, but now I will buy another Epson when I want to upgrade or replace.

  36. I have an Epson R320 (6 inks) and D92 (4 inks), could someone recommend where to buy a CIS from - it sounds like its such good value without compromising on the quality of the beautiful PP papers.


  37. I just wanted to add to this as after reading all of the posts I decided to buy a new printer and bought the Epson R285 with a CIS, it cost me £90 for the printer, CIS, full set of ink refills(100ml each) and a load of photo paper and I am thrilled with it. My husband who is a bit of a nerd when it comes to computers says it's one of the best printers he's seen and thinks the CIS is amazing so I would definately recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it.

  38. Hi Can you please tell me where you purchased your Epson R285 and CIS unit from as I have a HP one whereby the pink petticoat colours come out lovely but it doesn't print totally borderless and a Lexmark P700 which does print totally borderless but the colours are awful, not bright as the Pink Petticoat papers should be and am getting really frustrated.
    Thanks MAXINE

  39. Hi,
    I hope its ok to post this here Liz,
    I have both an epson stylus D78 and an epson DX4800 and for the last year ive used Aldi's cartridges for my printers and the quality has been fabulous,ive also used JetTec with the same results,
    hope this help,

  40. Hi,
    Regarding printer's my husband bought me a Epson SX400,(all in one) which they sold to us on the understanding that it would take card much to our disappontment it didn't, the shop would not take it back and I am now using Epson R300 which is a old one, it will take card upto 300gsm with a little help, the print quality is great with compatable cartridges too.
    Keep up the good work Pink Petticoat... love your designs... could we have some more of Lola plz

  41. Hi Liz
    This isn't really a printer question or a paper one and it certainly isn't a watercolouring my images question, so it was just ip dip sky blue....
    For ages now, I've noticed that with quite a few of the PP printed papers there is a huge difference in the colours between what's on the screen and what comes out onto the paper. For example, last night I was printing pretty doodles in pansy (pos). I'm using the 300gsm card you recommended in an earlier blog and my printer is an epson stylus DX6050, which I really love. The colour was nowhere near as vibrant and rich as on the screen and looked like a rather dull lavender; (your lavender, lilac and lovely all come out OK) the same goes for your navy papers; others, however, seem ok.
    Do you make any special adjustments when printing your papers? I've saved my most usual "profiles" eg, matt paper, borderless, best photo etc etc, and I invariably print from the Windows Vista default print viewer. Do you tend to print from another programme or do any special colour manipulation before printing?
    I'd really like your comments.

    PS Loving the new images which went into the boutique this morning. The mushroom house reminds me of when I was a child - I used to love drawing little mushroom houses with red spotty roofs and little gardens all around! I'll download them as soon as I get home from work.

  42. Hi Annie,

    I print either though my Graphics Program or through Windows Photo Printing Wizard - I still have XP on that computer.

    The only selections I make are to print at Photo Quality & a Standard Colour Palette (not Epson Vivid) And that produces the shades you see on my cards.

    There will be slight differences depending on the type of paper I choose to print on because some surfaces are more absorbent than others. But the difference is only ever very slight and doesn't change the fundamental shade of colour. That should always remains constant.

    I do know of a bug with some Windows systems which produces muddy colours though. I don't know if it applies to Vista, but it has certainly applied to some XP systems.
    And I only know of it affecting colour results when you're using the built-in Windows Photo Printing Wizard.

    To solve it, when you get to the second stage in the Wizard, which is Printing Options: select Printing preferences > Advanced (bottom RH corner I think) > Color Management (top LH corner) & check to ICM button > OK to return to the Wizard > next to set the page size.

    That may be worth a try : )


  43. Hi Everyone

    I have been reading this blog as I wanted to purchase a new printer, just got my Epson Stylus Photo R285 this morning, and it is fab, prints out on my cardstock like a dream and is borderless. I will consider getting a CIS at some stage but got a good deal with the inks.

    Happy crafting everyone
    Eryl xx

  44. I too have both Epson printers, R320 and the DX7450. I love them both and have got the continuous flow system on both(CISS), one with pigment ink(r320) and dye based in the other. I wouldn't buiy any other brand.

  45. Have just been reading your blog on which printer my current printer is the Epsom DX7450
    I,m looking to replace it as it does not print on thick card which printer do you recommend
    Helen x

  46. Hi Helen,

    I'm still using my trusted old Epson printers : )
    If you have a few minutes, the comments here are worth a read. You'll probably find some useful information in those : )


  47. Hi
    Just came across this thread as I am needing to replace my beloved epson which has given up on me after many years of great service .... sob!

    Does anyone have any more recent recommendations? I have looked back through the posts but the models suggested are mostly no longer available :0(

    Any suggestions most welcome....


    1. Hi
      I know this is a really old thread but my info might be useful.
      I had to replace my Epson inkjet a few weeks ago, and as I always use a CISS from https://www.continuous-ink-system.co.uk I phoned Shane there for some advice; I'd decided after several Epsons that it was time to change.
      Shane suggested a Canon (which conclusion I'd already come to), in particular the Pixma MP495. It was only £34.99 from Argos (beginning of October 2012) and it's totally brilliant.
      It takes any weight of card I put through it, without me having to push the card in as I was with my Epson, so I can print all my card blanks again now (I typically use the 300gsm Century card recommended by Liz or 255gsm white linen binder covers I nick from work), I can once again print my "made by" logo on the back.
      It prints my toppers and backing papers superbly, the colour is fantastic. It's full bleed, wireless and I love it to bits.
      The downside of Canons apparently is the cost of inks, but if you go for a Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS) you'll never again have to worry about cartridges.
      It's a brilliant printer and I'd recommend it to anyone.

  48. WOW ! what a coincidence I need a new Printer and have been scratching my head as to which one. I loved my Epson R300 to bits and miss it now its died. I'm using my sons spare Cannon Pixma ip 4200 at the mo. It can't hold a candle to my old Epson. I recently purchased Liz's Christmas Kraft Organics and I'm sooo dissapointed with the colour reproduction using the Cannon. I was never dissapointed with the Epson R300... are you spotting a theme? :)
    I'll watch this thread with interest.
    Suzi B xx

  49. I have a cheap Epson s22 was about 20 pounds and use non original cartridges which are about a quid each. It's a top loader which means card will go through it. Try to avoid a bottom tray loader as the card will not go round the rollers. I have this with the laser printer I also have.