When you go to buy a printer often a salesperson will tell you how good the printer is and even show you beautiful outputs from it. While it is important to know how the printer can perform, there are other details to know.
When choosing between an Epson Piezo printer and a Canon or HP thermo printer you need to know how they hold up, the cost of repairs, what warrantees that are available, and what maintenance is needed to be performed in order to keep the printer working properly.
Often people buy a printer based on their last experience, but as improvements take place the new products may need to be looked at without previous performance being the prerequisite. It is like going from a car that takes regular gas to one that takes premium.
In the case of Printers it is important to know that printers using thermo heads need replacement after printing about a liter of ink. Thermo heads are usually easy to replace, but depending on the amount of printing being performed it can be very expensive.
Canon aimed their printers on the photographic community, while HP is focused on the display market offering speed. HP printers will need to be cleaned as ink appears to spray everywhere inside the printer. I have seen HP printers needing a good deal of cleaning after production printing.
Epson Printers are focused on the Photographic/Fine Art and Pre-Press market. While the head and capping station wear, with maintenance they can last for 10 years. The past Epson printers have performed well with little clogging except when left to sit for periods of time. The head replacement for the previous printers cost around $500.00, but the new ones cost as much as $1,200 and professional repair will cost on the average $1,800. That is why we advise everyone to buy the 2 year extended warrantee. Epson comes out with a printer about every 3 to 4 years, but if you as many of our clients feel want to keep your printer going, simple maintenance is needed. To prolong the head and capping station cleaning fluid should be placed on the capping station to prevent it from drying out. We cover this topic in our other Blogs and discussions on our website. The cost of this simple maintenance is about $30.00 a year and about 2 minutes every 3 days.
The setting in which the printer will be placed is also not usually explained to the buyer. This is again essential to help prevent clogging and drop outs during printing. Inkjet printer manufacturers have established the ideal atmospherics setting for an inkjet printer is around 70-75 degrees at a humidity of 25-40 percent. I have also warned people not to place the printer under an air conditioning or a fan duct. The dry air will cause the head to dry out faster.
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