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Need a good printer for cardstock

Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm going to be printing out a couple sets of cards for games that my friends and I plan on playing.

The first, Cards Against Humanity, and the second being homemade cards detailing stuff for a roleplaying game so that everyone can track their equipment, abilities, and whatever else better.

I'm looking for something that'll print high quality images on fairly heavy cardstock, specifically 110lb. I've found a few printers that look like they'll do the job, but I honestly have no idea what's going to be good for cardstock other than the fact that I should be looking for something that feeds from the back and out the front as opposed to the last one I had that fed in the front and out the front. The 110lb cardstock isn't strictly required, but it is what I happen to have sitting in my room so I'd most prefer to use that rather than buying more. If it's too heavy, though, I could switch.

I've got a few that I'm looking at now, but I'm on the fence. Anyone have any recommendations?

Epson WorkForce 435
Epson WorkForce 545
Epson Stylus NX330
Kodak ESP C315
HP Photosmart 5514
Canon PIXMA MX410

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Posts

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I'd vote against anything Epson, just based on my experience with my current printer. I don't know if all Epsons work this way, but this is why I hate mine. The printer decides when the ink is too low, and when that happens, it won't let you print.

    But it doesn't care what colour is low, or even if it really is low. I've seen ink levels go from 25% to 0% without printing anything. Did my ink just vanish, Epson? And it will then stop printing until I replace that ink. Each cartridge has a chip, too, so you can't just pop the same one back in. You need to buy a whole new one. Let's say you're printing out something in black and white. A resume. Is your red suddenly too low? Well, you can't print your resume. The printer just won't function until you replace that red ink.

    And the amount of ink in these cartridges is ridiculous. I buy the highest capacity ones and they are gone at an alarming rate. At about $80 for a full set of ink, I'm going to just buy a new printer next time.

    I have the NX415, by the way.

    Even if the above weren`t true, the printer isn`t that great to begin with. Just go with something else. I loved my old PIXMA. I wish I hadn`t given that one away.

    Edit: And one more thing. Keep in mind whether or not the printer you choose has the printer heads on the ink cartridge or in the actual printer. If the heads are on the cartridge, you`re replacing the heads every time you change ink. It`s better in that your heads will never wear out, but the ink is much, much more expensive. That Canon you linked works like that. About $60 for two black ink carts. And the color is all in one big cartridge, as opposed to separate cyan, magenta, and yellow. That sucks if you print colours unevenly.... which everyone does.

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  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    Well, I'm glad that's narrowed down. There were a few Epsons on sale in places around me, but I'll be steering clear of them.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Well, I'm glad that's narrowed down. There were a few Epsons on sale in places around me, but I'll be steering clear of them.

    I could be completely wrong. Maybe mine is just a model that has that stupid feature. But when I first discovered it, Google led me to believe this is Epson`s `thing.` The solution people kept saying is to buy a chip resetter off eBay that will trick the printer into thinking the carts aren`t empty.

    I wouldn`t even be that annoyed by it if it let me set it to B&W and just let me print from my full black when I want. But no, if any colour is empty, you can`t print anything at all.

    Edit: And this stupid printer won`t print on paper that`s been hole-punched. My wife brought home a whole bunch of the stuff and the printer just spits it out. The manual even indicates not to use that paper. WhyÉ Who the fuck knows.

    Excuse my crazy keyboard symbols.

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  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Hahaha, my mom, who initially liked Epson's stuff, has totally sworn off Epson for life because she had a couple printers of theirs that gave her nothing but trouble. Over the years friends of hers who bought Epsons have had tons of issues of their own, and my mom just laughs about it when she hears about it. I guess they still have issues even today... they sure went down in quality at some point. They've been really buggy ever since my mom gave up on 'em.

    HP's been pretty good to my mom since then (she's a photographer)... I'd have to ask her which one she just picked up to replace the previous one that died of old age, but they always seem pretty good. On the other hand (and I believe this was part of a class action lawsuit against the company a year or so ago), that whole thing Figgy's talking about with "out of one cartridge, printer won't work at all"? Yeah, my own all-in-one (Photosmart C4700 series) not only refused to print, but also refused to scan. Oh yeah, I reeeeeally need ink to scan things into my computer, thanks guys! Anyway, that part of things (scanning) is probably not a big deal for you, but I figured I'd let you know.

    My mom also had a Canon printer in recent times, which a friend gave to her, and it was pretty good... but she did eventually give it up due to the ink costs, I believe. Speaking of ink, you could conceivably try finding generic ink (Office Depot or something) or an ink refill station, if you're willing, in the hopes of finding cheaper ink that still works well. I guess there are also ink refill kits if you want to cut out the middleman, but I don't know how those work. I'm not 100% sure how the quality would compare, particularly on cardstock, but it's at least something to experiment with if you're willing to give it a go after your initial ink runs out. I did personally get my ink refilled once, and it seemed to be the same quality, if that helps? I mean, basically, printer companies sell the printer fairly cheaply and then gouge you on the cartridges themselves. The actual ink they put in the cartridges is really cheap.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    And I would vote against anything HP.

    My family has gotten several of them and they have also been nothing but trouble (usually driver issues and things like the printer forgetting to print so things back up in the printing order. Then you can't restart the printing order until you re-install the printer. It was just a huge hassle and happened to us with 2 different HP printers.)

    I think they are using a Canon now and they're liking it much more.

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  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    Yeah, I've actually had major issues with HPs in the past. Kodak seems pretty reasonable, especially when it comes to ink costs, but then I don't know anyone with experience with them and I've heard good things about Canon printers in places besides this thread.

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  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    And I would vote against anything HP.

    My family has gotten several of them and they have also been nothing but trouble (usually driver issues and things like the printer forgetting to print so things back up in the printing order. Then you can't restart the printing order until you re-install the printer. It was just a huge hassle and happened to us with 2 different HP printers.)

    I have had this sort of issue, mostly just with one computer (whichever one wasn't the first one on the network that day) being unable to complete print jobs arbitrarily. I'd actually kind of forgot about it. I figured that was just because I had one of the budget all-in-ones, though, and mine has had a firmware update that is supposed to address an issue that sounds related (haven't used it lately so I'm not certain it's fixed). Maybe it's not just mine then, dunno. My mom's latest HP printer has been fine as far as I've heard, and the one we had before that was really solid until some of its parts broke down, soooo.

    The Canon definitely didn't give us any trouble though.

  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    So after having looked through some options, it's looking like the Canon MX420 is going to be the most likely choice.

    Feel free to suggest anything else, but after having looked to make sure it can take 300g/m² (110lb) stock I'm satisfied. Seems a bit more expensive for the cartridges, but I haven't seen any negative reviews here or elsewhere.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    How often are you going to be printing stuff like this off? I usually only keep a simple black and white laser printer handy at home and if I need to print anything more complex than that, its cheaper in the long run just to hit up Kinkos (or some other random print shop type place) on the odd occasion.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    If this is a one-off job I'd consider calling local print shops and have them give you bids for the job. I can't think of a great reason to buy an inkjet unless you really don't want 3rd parties to see what you're printing. For doing 4x6's going to walmart or somesuch gives you better prints at 10% or less the price of printing yourself. Since you've got a special application you'll want to talk to Kinko's and local printshops. For regular document printing get a cheap brother laser. I had an Epson Artisan 700 (something, around $200 retail) and after I ran out of ink ($80 or so) and only getting about 50 4x6's and 2 8x10's I had to complete the job at a printer ($30-35 for 200 4x6's and 2 8x10's).

  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    I'll second the print shop option. They have multi-thousand dollar printers that are made to handle 110 lb cardstock without a problem.

    Also, printer ink is a scam. I used to manage a print shop, and that shit is basically priced as though it were unicorn blood. Just save yourself some time, money, and heartache and take it to someone already set up for that kind of work.

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  • MagicToasterMagicToaster Registered User regular
    I also say have a print shop do this. Card stock will eat up all the ink in your cartridge, which will pour out of your wallet because you're printing on high quality.

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  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    Well, I went and got a Canon MX420. It actually works really nicely, and the ink that was supposed to only last 25 pages that came with it has been going strong for about 50 pages, including a few double sided black pages (black background, white text with grey backings).

    I ended up seeing the print shop suggestions a bit too late, but when I last asked it seemed a good option but then again I've been needing a home printer for a little while now so I'm still pretty happy with the decision.

    Thanks for the input, everyone!

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  • WikikikiWikikiki Registered User new member
    Rear Admiral Choco-- how has the Canon MX420 printed out on the 110lb Cardstock? I would love to know. I've been scouring the web for a solution to my predicament as my HP 4500 envy jams up my cardstock after a solid 150 pages came out beautifully. I appreciate your help!

This discussion has been closed.