This topic is not designed to sell you a printer, but to let you know what we know that the manufacturers and salespeople don’t tell you. Many of our clients tell us that they have never been told anything about maintenance, care, and the cost of replacement parts. Wel feel this information is important to printer owners.

We will be covering more printers when we feel we have sufficient information to add one to the list.

You might wonder why are we spending so much time, expense, and energy putting this information together. Once we had a print operation and salesmen sold us whatever they made the most money on and pretended to know what we needed. After developing a tech department to repair printers, we’ve worked with thousands of clients, learning more than we ever imagined about printer maintenance. Knowing how to repair the printers, knowing their capabilities, and owning many of them added to the knowledge we have in RIPs and color managemnet, allowing us to help our clients keep their printers running well and printing fantastically. It has become a part of what we are about. If you have any information to add to what we have published, or if you disagree with our assessment, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Piezo Head Technology

Epson has constantly improved the technology of their Piezo heads. Nozzles are smaller, dots are finer and sharper, and the heads last longer—years, not months—keeping the printer running better than any other type. That’s the bottom line. Piezo printers can handle a wide variety of inks and can accept a higher pigment loading, resulting in richer ink. This makes them useful for many applications, and perfect for our UltraMax II inks.

However, nozzles can still clog and the print heads can get damaged. But if you know how to maintain the printer, you will have great prints for many years.

All Epson printers, going back to the 7600/9600, produce fine quality prints.

The down side of Epson printers is that as the cost of progress has increased greatly. Where replacing a head once cost $500, new heads found in the 7900, 9900, 7890, 9890, and 11880 may cost over $1,000. These printers are also expensive to repair. Head replacement has been made difficult. Our advice is to buy the extended warranty for two years. After that, if you are willing to repair your own printer, we strive to put together the information you need to successfully repair the printer here on our site.

Thermo Heads

Thermo heads, whether from Canon or HP, heat up the ink and jet it. In the action of jetting, the head slowly burns out, requiring replacement after considerably fewer prints than a Piezo head. Results have been improved over time and these printers have received favorable reviews. HP printers seem to be used more in display while Canon’s are sold into the photography and fine art markets.

Replacement of thermo heads is required more often. If one of the colors out of the group of colors is used more and needs replaced, the entire head must be replaced. Repairs other than head replacement still require professional help. There are few types of ink that can be used for this type of head.

The up side of thermo heads is the ease of user replacement and lower cost. So the real expense of printing comes down to how much you’re printing.