Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Save money on Epson Ink!

I bought myself the Epson R280 and RX595 color ink jet printers to be able to print photos, print direct-to-disc labels, and just for documents. I bought both cause they were pretty cheap for the pair and because I planned to do something interesting with one of them.

The RX595 is a multi-function printer. It can scan, copy, and print. I plan to scan all my old photos pre-digital camera into my server, but also use it to print high quality prints using the Epson Claria ink.

I bought a R280 for cheap (wish I could have gotten for free after rebate, but didn't know about it) to put besides my new iMac. I wanted to use it as an everyday printer for the kids and wife. However, at $18 per ink cartridge, I didn't want to use it with the OEM cartridges. So I bought myself a Continuous Ink System, "CIS" for short. I bought a kit from InkRepublic.com because others mentioned them as a good, reliable vendor for a quality kit. The kit allows you to use ink bottles instead of cartridges. The benefit is lower cost of ink and no more throwing away/shipping back used ink cartridges, or buying messy refill kits or "compatible" cartridges. With this system, I can just keep buying bottles of any ink that's out, without messing with the printer at all! So far, I've made plenty of photo prints, full page prints, documents, etc., and still only used maybe 1/5th of the ink bottle that came with the kit. The colors aren't as nice as the Epson Claria ink, but that's why I have the RX595! With the CIS kit, you have to modify the cartridge holder permanently, which is why I chose to do it on the cheaper R280 printer (bought mine for only $45). I really like the kit, and the feeling that I don't have to worry about printing on it for fear of having to spend $18 to replace just ONE cartridge. A full set of 6 Claria ink cartridges will set you back almost $70-80! With the CIS set, it only costs $30-$60 for 6 4 ounce bottles, depending on vendor and quality. In case you don't know, 4 ounces is equivalent to around 6 cartridges, which translates to around $100-120, just for 1 color!

So far, I like the kit from InkRepublic a lot! I'm glad I overcame my fear of "breaking" a perfectly new printer.

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