JUL
09
2013

Best Homeschool Printer Forum

Hey ya’ll! Welcome to another homeschool curriculum forum. I had a specific request for a forum on printers, and I thought it was a great idea! After all, ain’t no homeschooler getting’ by without printing stuff and lots of it!

printerforum

 

Right now I have a Brother 490CW. I’m sorry Brother, but I really don’t recommend you. Sadly this thing uses a ton of ink, and the quality just isn’t that great anyway.

So as soon as that bad boy accidentally falls off my shelf and breaks, or gets lost in the move… I’m looking into the HP Envy 120 All-in-One printer.

hpenvy120

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to others
  • I like the smaller size, it won’t take up as much room on my shelves.
  • Offers two sided printing, energy saver, ink cartridge recycling, can print from your smart phone.
  • Printing, scanning, fax, wireless.

Cons:

  • I haven’t used it yet, so I’m not sure, we’ll see how it does on ink usage…

 

As a side note, I know most homeschoolers are printing fools, so I just wanted to throw out a website that has traditionally offered really cheap color printing if you’re interested.

 

So, now comes the fun part!

Do you have a favorite printer? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards PRINTERS, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Click here if you missed my previous Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts!

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.

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Comments

  1. Perfect timing!! I was just starting to research printers! I was looking into a B&W laser to save on cost of ink. Would love to hear what others have and what they think of their own lasers.

    • Stephanie says:

      I replied about my laser printer in a separate comment. I love it! Things to look for: cost of cartridge replacement, wireless printing, automatic duplex (not worth paying a lot more for but a great feature), if you can override the low-toner sensor. Some printers will stop printing when they sense they are low. Most of the time you can keep printing past that point (sometimes hundreds of pages!) but only if there is a way to tell the printer to ignore that. My printer has been telling me for months that my yellow toner is out but I’m still able to print in color with no problem. Check Amazon reviews, where users will sometimes discuss their tips for getting the most prints from their particular printer.

      • I have a laser printer that the ink lasts forever too…months after it gave me a warning, I’m still using the same color cartridge. At first it automatically switched to b&w copies, but I found the override and it’s printed in color ever since.

        Personally, I would go with a color printer because it’s not that much more & then you can change the setting to print b&w only to save $ on ink.

        I’ll write my printer review in a separate comment as well.

    • I agree…my brother sucks up a ton of ink!! I just went through 2 packs of ink and only printed out “A” for the letter of the week program! Had to take it to the print shop because I was not about to spend another $30 on ink!

  2. Lynn Ashburn says:

    I absolutely LOVE my HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus. Best printer yet. Fast, holds a lot of paper. Goes about 2500 sheets on a cartridge and wireless! Would recommend it x 10!
    Its been on sale at several places but here is the HP link.
    http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Printers/HP-Officejet/CM750A?jumpid=ex_r11400_us/en/commprint/IPG/_ps_g_hpofficejetpro8600plus/OfficejetPro8600PluseAIOPhrase&k_clickid=AMS|13|64658|0b8d212f-b84d-b469-628e-0000644d33ea
    :-)

    • Interesting. I have the same HP printer and I HATE it!! Besides being huge and taking up a ridiculous amount of counter space the thing jams every.single.time I try to print on cardstock. As a homeschooler, I NEED to print on card stock! :) The only saving grace for me is that the ink does last a long time. Do you ever have issues with card stock?

      • I have trouble printing onto cardstock with this printer, Lauren. I called HP, and they say it doesn’t support 8.5×11 cardstock. But, you can cut 5×7 cards and print on them. Crazy.

      • I have this printer and love it! The way I get it to print on cardstock is to take out all the paper and just put in a few sheets of cardstock. It seems to have trouble grabbing the cardstock if it’s on top of other paper or if there is a stack in there.

        • Awesome tip Tami! I have been looking at this printer(over and over..) lol. I do not use cardstock that often.

      • Hey…no issues with cardstock here. I print on Cardstock all the time. LOVE this gigantic printer. He is worth the space!

        • Jen – what’s your secret to successfully printing on cardstock? I just got this printer and I’ve tried all of the suggestions above. I LOVE printing on cardstock so I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse. It just doesn’t seem to even want to grab the cardstock. Thanks!

        • I found a solution that works!! In the Printer Preferences change the paper to “Thick Plain Paper”. It works!!

    • Bethany Keeney says:

      I LOVE my HP 8600!!!! It is tricky to print on cardstock but it holds 1/2 ream of paper, prints super fast, 1 or 2-sided printing, ink lasts for 2,500 copies easily! Not expensive ink either.

    • I have the same printer as well as an HP laser jet and I love them both. This is only my second year homeschooling but I have printed just about everything Erica has to offer on my inkjet and love it. I use the HP brochure paper (it is more expensive but the images are so sharp and clear it is worth the cost) and have to put in a few pages at a time but my little kiddo is worth the time.

    • Do you need to have all the color cartridges to print black only with this printer? Researching printers and came across this post.. Thanks!

  3. I have an Epson workforce pro 4540 and love it! I can fill two trays of paper and the ink lasts for a really long time. I only replace ink twice a year and I’ve printed several reams worth of stuff over the year.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I have a color laser printer (HP CP1525nw) and feel it’s been one of my best homeschool investments. The toner cartridges are expensive but they last for a long time. I’ve had to replace the black starter cartridge once and am not even close to having to replace again–I’ll probably be able to print for another 1-2 years before replacing. I’ve had this printer for 3 years and am still using the starter color cartridges that came with the printer. The cartridges are single colors, so at least I can replace them one at a time as they get empty to spread out the cost.

    I like that the printer is wireless so I can print from anywhere in the house. The only thing I wish it would do is automatic duplex (2-side) printing. The duplex is manual so I have to flip the pages for 2-sided prints. That feature is easy to use, though, so that is only a small complaint. This printer just prints, so I kept our old AIO printer for our scanning and copying needs.

    • I have this printer too, and agree fully with everything you’ve said. It’s my first laser printer, and I will never go back to ink. The toner lasts forever, and I think prints nicer quality prints. So happy to have the color too. Like others have commented, it has been warning me that the black toner is very low for several months, but still prints just fine. Love it!!

  5. As soon as we dove into homeschooling our printer broke—LOL! So we invested in a WIRELESS printer. Go wireless! I highly recommend it!

    We don’t have a lot of money or space, so we had to consider that when we upgraded. But we went with our HP3050 all in one PSC. You can read my full review here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2J7G4R6Y1VC1R/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    But long story short—we love it. I do a LOT of printing. You can find the ink VERY inexpensively on ebay as refilled cartridges (for about $10 ea) and it doesn’t burn through it–of course I rarely print out in color which helps. The photo printing is much better quality than our last printer and it’s very very easy to use.

    If you don’t have a lot of money, but want an excellent printer, I recommend this one. It also loads in the back which makes for cleaner prints–and everything folds up when you aren’t using it.

  6. Thank you for this post! I was just thinking recently how I really really REALLY need to get a new printer. I have an Epson Workforce 545. It’s quite new. I hate it. It never ever prints color without streaks. Even with a new ink cartridge. And the ink doesn’t last at all. In fact it’s not even good when there is a new cartridge! Perhaps others have had a different experience with this printer and perhaps there some sort of tip or trick I am unaware of to be getting such poor performance but based on the fact that it’s a newer printer and has never been good quality I wouldn’t recommend it. My 2 cents:) Anyhoo…..will be reading these recommendations as I want a new printer that is reliable and works and has nice print quality without a gazillion ink cartridge changes needed every week/month!

  7. As the head IT guru for 12 years (before I became a stay at home mom and homeschool mom) I always gave fellow employees and friends this advice when buying a home printer – NEVER spend more than $200, because you WILL replace your printer in 2 years!!

    Now I’ve been ‘retired’ for going on 3 years and I had to buy a new printer when I retired and it worked okay for regular home use, scanning and occasional color printing, but for Homeschool use, I needed to up my game – especially since ink jet cartridges need to be replaced so frequently and at 1/3 of the cost of the printer! So I knew what we needed, a Laser Jet printer, you can print so much more on a Laser Jet cartridge (at least 2500 pages). So when I started looking, I was expecting to pay at least $450 for a wireless color laser jet, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that costs have come down and that there are alternatives for home business use of Laser Jets.

    I didn’t need the scanning ability (I still have my other printer, that rarely gets used in my youngest son’s room), I just wanted the ability to print in color wirelessly (and work with Windows and Mac OS). After some serious research (I’m very partial to HP printers, I’ve used all the brands from my work experience and I just prefer the ease and quality) I fell in love with the HP LaserJet 200 Color M251nw – it had everything I was looking for, plus GREAT reviews and the cost was even better than I was hoping (I paid only $200!!).

    So there’s my ‘expert’ opinion, good luck y’all (((((hugs))))) & God Bless
    ~dawn

    • Thank you, Dawn, for sharing this info. It sounds like this printer is exactly what I am looking for! We are HP people, too, and I like that you have lots of experience and have done the research for me. ;) And thank you, Erica, for this forum. I took a chance and googled your website name and printers and this forum popped up! Your curriculum forums have been a lifesaver for me and this printer one was, too! Thanks! :)
      Christie

  8. I have a laser printer for black & white only. It’s a Samsung ML191-25. It was $100 a few years back. It is really fast and I love how you can use highlighters on the ink without it smearing.

    I recently had to replace our 15 year old all-in-one printer. I wanted another all-in-one, so I could copy and print. I use this one for color prints. It’s a HP Office Jet 8600. It was on sale at Office Depot a few weeks ago for $139. So far, I love it. It copies super fast and the color looks great. I haven’t done big print jobs with it yet though or tried card stock.

  9. Just thought I’d throw out a huge recommendation *against* copiesincolor.com. I tried to get your Letter of the Week program printed there, as we didn’t have a color printer. I put in my order and got an automated confirmation, then… nothing. Ever. I tried using their form to email them multiple times, etc., but never got a response, never got my order, nothing. I eventually gave up. They never charged my credit card, either, so I didn’t have to worry about that, but it was mystifying. I don’t remember if I called them, or I was about to call them and realized they never charged me and decided not to worry about it. But it was very frustrating, and I never ended up doing most of the Letter of the Week activities after that whole kerfuffle. Definitely don’t recommend copiesincolor.com.

    • Sarah, I have had issues with them, too. They are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than any other copy service, though, and my Epson printer got messed up by printing the large LOTW print-outs. They do work with me in the sense that when I upload a letter, in the comments section I will tell them specifically which pages to print, (ie 3-9, 12-16, etc.) and I will tally up the amount of pages for them, too. However, one time they totally missed one letter, and they did all of the 3 hole punches, (which is almost practically free,) on the right side of the page instead of the left! And it took FOREVER for the order to get to me, (I’m in CT and they’re in CA.) Then once I finally got it and saw that it was wrong, I couldn’t believe it! They ended up resending me what I ordered, all of it, even though I only really needed the letter that they had missed. Oh well, I gave the extra copies to a friend who also homeschools her preschooler. Needless to say, I still order from them and just expect imperfections. Their customer service makes me think I’m talking to a 16 year old on drugs…who knows?

  10. I have an HP Photosmart 6520–it’s a replacement for another HP I had that decided to quit printing in one color one day. I really like both printers. They are pretty good on ink; I buy the XL cartridges. Both were under $100 to buy. The color quality is good. I don’t print photos, just a LOT of homeschool printables and they always turn out looking GREAT!

  11. I don’t have any reccomendations, but am so thankful for you all leaving yours. I’m about to throw ours out of the window. I was just thinking how I’m going to have to put a new printer on the same list as our curriculum. This was so helpful!

  12. I am trying to nurse our Brother DCP8065N for a little while longer. I have used this printer for over 5 years. It only prints BW. That is what I use the most.

    What I’m looking for in my future printer:
    –wireless (our current one isn’t wireless)
    –high copy capacity per cartridge (I only need to change the current cartridge on toner save about every 10-14 months)
    –duplex (Our current printer has this and I love it! I use it all the time. I think that it is wearing out on my current machine.)
    –document feed (Hubby uses this more than I do.)
    –hold lots of paper (ours is very picky about how many sheets it will hold at a time.)
    –copier feature (I use this often for copying tests for various curriculums.)
    –scanner (rarely used so optional)

    Taking notes about recommendations!

  13. Copies in color won’t do homeschooling stuff. Does anyone know why?

    • I am not sure why, but “Simply Teach” offers colored prints for just a few cents more. They also do all of the prep for you, too, if you like – printing, laminating, and cutting. Take a look: simply-teach.com!

  14. I just love my Lexmark pinnacle pro 901. It is wireless, has duplex printing, automatic feeding of up to 50 pages for scanning, black ink is only $4.99 and I get around 500-600 pages printed from 1 ink cartridge.They also have a rewards program you can sign up for and for every 5 cartridges you buy or return you get one, so i always send back the black empties and I can get an xl color for free. No problem printing on cardstock and they have great customer service if needed, live chat and interactive online problem solver. I have already gotten 4 other people to get this printer when they replaced theirs and everybody loves it. I have had for 3 years now with no problems at all. Just thought I would put in my 2 cents :)

  15. Money is always low in my household. I just started homeschooling my three and two year old. We barely have funds to buy the supplies we need. I was going to ask do you think that copiesincolor.com will be good for me to use since I don’t have the funds for a printer.

  16. It has been a while since I have had an inkjet printer, I currently have a laserjet b/w which is great. I am looking for a color printer for the upcoming homeschooling year because we need some color!!! Can anybody give me pros/cons of having an inkjet color printer? From a cost point it would be much more affordable, but I don’t know if it would be practical for worksheets. Will they bleed and smudge when colored on? I like the idea of ordering color copies online, but in my mind adding up the cost of everything I will be color printing throughout the year for 3 kids makes me just want to buy a printer.

    So is laserjet the way to go? Or can I get away with inkjet? Help!!

  17. I was in the market for a new printer this year. My HP inkjet used a lot of ink and the cartridges were quite expensive. It also had the single cartridge which was a pain. I really wanted a laser printer, but I wasn’t sure if I could justify the cost. I saw a consumer report special on the news channel I watch and ended up buying the color ink jet all in one that they recommended. The price was right and the replacement cartridges were affordable. But I haven’t used it much yet. Brother DCP-J140W is what I bought. I love that it is wireless, however it took me forever to figure out how to install it! It’s not hard, I was just not understanding. Great idea for discussion with homeschoolers.

  18. Crystal Whitefield says:

    I have a Canon Pixma MX360 and I love it, I can print easy on any type of paper and it doesnt go through a ton of ink either.

    • I have a Canon Pixma 1800 it came Free with a computer we bought a few years ago and after we couldn’t afford ink for our HP Photosmart one we opened the Pixma because it had ink in it and it is a beast. It’s lasted pretty long too and it isn’t too large. It eats color ink but it is great for b&w.

  19. I just bought a Brother MFC-J425W. So far, I love it. I like that the ink cartridges are inexpensive. Sometimes with the HP we could not afford to buy ink and I never had luck with refilled cartridges. I hope I will continue to love this printer. It was recommended to me by the owner of Cartridge World. She also said that printers, like so many other things, are made to be disposable and only last 2 years.

  20. Whilst not specifically printers… But for ink we use a product from Rihac digital solutions… Only works if your printer has stationary cartridges, but saves literally hundreds of dollars…. I dont worry about how much i print or copy anymore, its fantastic!

  21. One of the best investments towards our homeschool was my HP Color Laser Jet printer. It has given me practically no problems, has wireless printing & has saved lots of $ on ink. The first thing I noticed when I started homeschooling was how quickly the ink ran out on my Ink Jet.

    After much research, I ended up with my HP Laser Jet Pro CM1415fnw Color MFP (HP website says the newer model currently available is Laser Jet ProM276nw Color MFP). They sell for around $450, but on sale at Staples they are currently $350. I was even more blessed when Staples had an extra $50 off & a $50 trade-in your old printer special. I ended up getting mine with tax for $285.

    The ink cartridges are expensive, but the replacement time is after thousands of sheets & you only replace the colors you use. Actually, I’ve owned the printer for 3 years, schooling 3 kids and I’ve only replaced the color cartridges once & the black one twice.

    You can always turn the colored printing off & only use it when necessary. One time it automatically shut off my colored printing when I was low & I found the override which allowed me to go several more months before running out.

    I don’t typically use cardstock because I laminate & use sheet protectors, but I do occasionally put greeting cards in it & they’ve worked fine. I’ve only had 1 paper jam ever!!!

    It doesn’t print on photo paper. We order prints so inexpensively that it’s not an issue to place an order & pick it up an hour later somewhere else.

    I will be purchasing another one of these in a heartbeat when the time comes.

  22. We have a brother HL 8820W printer. It is a copier and scanner as well as laser printer. We LOVE it. It is very inexpensive, does duplex printing (I use that ALL the time), wireless and we LOVE the copier function. We’ve had it 9 months and I’ve had to replace the toner cartridge twice, but we print a LOT. It is just b&w (I use our old inkjet if we need to print in color which is not very often) I figured the cost is less than a penny a page.

  23. Katy Burns says:

    I have the Dell1250 Laser printer. I absolutely love this printer because I bought it at Sam’s Clubs for less than $100 and it’s a COLOR LASER PRINTER! The best part about this printer is that I was able to print your entire LOTW Curriculum on one set of ink cartridges and those aren’t expensive either. You can get ink from various sources and I buy a 5 bundle pack for 80. The color ones last 1700 pages and the black last 2500. The only draw backs to this printer is that it is slower, isn’t wireless and doesn’t print double sided. BUT for the cost saving on ink I print everything that I want one sided and then flip and reprint what I need to on the other side. It prints about 12-20 sheets per minute too. Perfect for me to print, print, print and unload dishes, laundry or whatever while it does multiple jobs. This way I am not eagerly awaiting fast printing and get other things done off my to do list.

  24. I bought a canon pixma mp560 during Black Friday for $50 2 1/2 years ago. I love it! I print mostly in fast black and white and buy compatible ink on amazon for less than a $1 a cartridge. I usually just spend $10 a year on ink!! But I just printed the Letter of the Week program so it will be more this year. : ) I printed it all out in fast color and figured with the cost of my cardstock and ink, it cost me less than $50. I am very pleased with how it turned out. The quality is good.

    • Grace hatahet says:

      I have the same printer, had it for about 4yrs and today as I was trying to print out letter of the wk for 2nd child (1st I did last yr) something has happened to the print head! I did all the usual cleaning but it just wasn’t printing clearly! So took all inks out took the head out and cleaned put back in and now dead! Hopefully husband will be able to take it to someone to fix tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes, if we need new one or was able to get a new head. Ink wise I don’t have to change all that often I print in colour as I’m doing letter of the week and k4 curriculums so maybe 2/3 times a yr and get cheap versions of them and in sets that cots me about $20 shipped for about 2 sets

  25. This Brother HL-2270DW printer on Amazon is $78 SHIPPED and has over 1500 reviews with a total of 4 stars (over 900 of them are 5 stars). I haven’t used it but am ordering it right now! Im SO excited. I have another (inkjet) printer that will copy and scan or print in color if I need, but honestly I do those things maybe 3 times per year. This printer seems like its right up the homeschoolers alley with cost and productiveness!

  26. We have two brother printers and I absolutely LOVE them both!! We have a b&w one (HL-2270DW) and a color one (LC-61 series: DCP-J140W). I spend a fraction of what I was spending for ink with the lexmark we previously had! I would, and do, definitely recommend brother.

  27. Thank you for the two printing resources. I was just starting to look so I can print the World Geography file we bought from COAH as well as the other files I have bought for the 2013/14 school year:)

  28. Thank you Erica for posting this! I am also scouring the ads and deals and doing research to find the right printer for our family. Here are our needs:

    Auto Duplexing
    Auto Document Feeder
    Printer/Copier/Scanner

    If I am looking for a new printer, I would like to get a color. I have looked at both laserjets and inkjets. I have compared purchase price along with cost/frequency of ink replacement. Based on my searching, I am considering the HP Officejet Pro 8600 and Epson Workforce 3540. Both of these seem to have low per page cost based on the number of pages you are able to print with their “XL” type cartridges.

    Love reading these reviews! :)

  29. I used an HP Photosmart Premium (all in one) injet for a year and HATED it. I’m a Canon girl. I print photos at home in addition to homeschool papers so I use inkjet printers. The HP was a total ink hog. The cartridges didn’t last anywhere close to their advertised life because the printer kept cleaning itself before print jobs. The copier on this printer worked intermittently. I have a new Canon MX892 and so far I love it. I’ve noticed it prints more blue that I’d like in photos so I have to color correct in the printer profile but it’s been fine for regular document printing and my homeschool needs. Canon printers have been a faithful office tool in our home for over a decade. I’ve had about three HP printers in my lifetime and have hated them all. If I didn’t print photos I would definitely have a color laser printer. I think my next printer will actually be laser since I print a lot less photos now that my boys are older and will likely find it more cost effective to just have my photos printed at Walgreens when I need them.

  30. We switched from a Brother that I was ready to throw out the window almost EVERY day to a HP DCP 7065DN that I LOVE! It is a laser printer, scanner/copier. It was out first Laser and I will NEVER go back to ink again. The toner last forever and prints SO fast – you get spoilt very easily!! I have been looking into a color laser because I can just imagine how much easier this would make printing, and we do A LOT of printing. It does take up space, but well worth it in my opinion :)

  31. I’m trying to get the most for the money.. I figure if your going to invest 200.00 in a printer your bound to get good print quality so for me its more about how many pages I can print and how much the replacement ink will be. That being said, what would you ladies recomend, laser or inkjet?

    After researching the first comment about the HP Officejet pro 8600 that seems like the best for your money and has tons of great features. I compared it to the laser version from hp laserjet pro 100 which is about $ 70.00 more.The laser cartridges are far more expensive, plus you dont’ get nearly as many pages per cartridge based on the websites estimates as you do with the hp officejet 8600. Hoping this is the one for us, I am tired of researching and need to get in gear with printing!

  32. Melissa Bell says:

    We recently purchased the HP Envy printer that you are looking into… We’ve had it for about 3 months. The print quality is great. It has some really neat features, and it is a great printer if you’re not looking on printing a lot! A few weeks ago we purchased another new printer because the Envy just couldn’t keep up. We spent a little more, and we purchased a laser color printer. The up front cost is higher, but the toner lasts and lasts and lasts! I was doing quite a bit of printing with the Envy, and I was replacing both black and color cartridges more than once a month. (several times per month)… Since we’ve purchased the laser printer, I have printed probably 400-500 color pages, and we still have over half of the ink supply left!!!! I’m so excited to say that! If you’re planning on doing lots of printing, it’s worth it to pay a little more up front! Here is the link to the one we bought. We are kicking ourselves for waiting so long to buy this : http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Printers/HP-LaserJet/CE956A?HP-LaserJet-Pro-400-color-Printer-M451nw&aoid=44661&003=6663635&010=CE956A#BGJ&ci_sku=CE956A#BGJ&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=

  33. Dee Peifer says:

    The Workforce 845 has been a total rockstar/workhorse for me. I have a Mac and it has paired well (in addition to printing from my iPhone – AWESOME). The ink is a little pricey, but for me it’s worth it! I will give a little advice. When the reminders to change your ink cartridge – do it! The extra pages you get out is not worth the time you may find yourself spending on a dried up inkwell head.
    I loved my HP all-in-one, but it decided it didn’t want to play with my Mac – GRRRRR.

  34. ImmoralMom says:

    If you are looking to outsource, consider the local not-for-profits in your area. I volunteer at 2 different NFPs that have Xerox Color AIOs that have a print contract (there is a popular program call Xerox Free Color Printer that signs up lots of small businesses/charities but requires 4500 prints a month). As a result, they “sell” copies at cost to meet their quota. The machines have auto-duplex, wifi, remote-print, and business level output.

    As an example – at these two places the cost is .04 per page for b&w and .08 per page for color. It’s .01 less if you provide your own paper. The machines also take a thumb drive. So for example, I loaded my preschool curriculum onto my thumb drive and then dropped it off and the office manager plugged it in and printed it for me. I came by the next day and gave them a check and picked up my copies. It was great. Although I use a LaserJet at home for regular B&W, taking the time to take my big batch of colors to the local charity is a win-win.

    So before going to Staples or Kinkos, consider contacting your local churches, Schools, community charities, etc. and just ask if they allow public copying for a fee and see what they say. It’s great for bulk printing.

  35. I have my favorite printer HP 8500, it’s an All-In-One, wireless, duplex printer. It’s been working for 2 1/2 years also! My biggest suggestion is to get one that accepts refilled ink. Our local Costco refills cartridges for $9.99 for the XL compared to $47-$67 for a new cartridge I’m so happy with the savings.

  36. I love my Brother laser printer:
    Brother HL-5380DW

    Awesome duplex. Fast. Cheap operating costs (toner lasts forever). Easy work around for the ‘low-toner’ problem (printer stops printing when it thinks toner is low, even though toner not low). put black electrical tape on cartridge. Search web for info. I love that paper doesn’t jam, and if it does (see duplex problem below), it is easy to get paper unjammed. I had a HP laser printer that was a nightmare to unjam.

    Only bad thing is that duplex won’t work if paper is 3 holed punched. You can easily print one side on 3 hold punched paper, but 2 sided won’t work (printer seems to need to grip where hole is in order to flip paper).

    some people might be bothered by paper curling when you print duplex. I only notice htis if I print a lot of duplex copies. Doens’t bother me– I stick the paper under some books immediately after I take it out of printer

  37. Dhanya Smith says:

    I used to work at Staples for years and years before I had kids. Whatever brand you prefer I always tell people to SHOP INK FIRST! Basically you may get a screaming deal on any printer but the ink may be $50 or more, if you select an ink that’s closer to $20 or $30 you can then take a look at all the printers it’s compatible with and you will spend much less in the long run. Oh and if you can buy laser up front, go for it! Way more affordable than ink in the long haul, the toner cost much more it will last so much longer.

  38. I “LOVE” my laser printers. I’ve been using laser printers for many years now. Back when they were huge and bulky to the more modern ones that aren’t as heavy and more compact. There is NO going back to “ink” after you have a laser printer. There is NO comparison. Hands down, laser will outdo and outrun any inkjet out there. Inkjets are a money pit, and a waste of time! Laser printers print FAST, they print HIGH QUALITY, and you will love owning one. If cost is a factor holding you back, don’t let it hold you back. There are many economical laser printers. Try amazon, or try purchasing a refurbished one through staples. Honestly, you won’t regret it…! I love laser color, but currently have a B&W as my laser color – my old faithful, died a miserable death after a long lived life of a homeschooling momma – the printheads gave up after 5 years of printing abuse! I happened to have my b&w laser on hand, and just haven’t taken time to seek out another color replacement yet. I will go back to color laser when I have time to research the modern ones. Just my humble opinions.

  39. I switched printers when I bought your Road Trip USA curriculum – over a year ago. :) The HP we had was on its way out, so we bought a laser bother mfs-9970cdw. It was spendy, but worth it! It printed out the Road Trip curriculum – for four kids, plus the teacher guide with ease….and it’s still going strong. The drawback is that it is big, but if you can find a nice place for it, like I did, it will just blend in to your décor. :) I love it!

  40. I just ordered a wireless, compact, black and white laser printer. Can print from my iPhone/iPad, prints duplicate sides of paper, works really fast. I don’t really have a need to print color and grew tired of replacing ink cartridges in my ink jet printer.

  41. I am an active couponer as well as homeschooler so having a low operating cost is very important to me. After doing loads of research, i purchased a wireless brother that prints only b & w and does the basics ( copy, scan, print) and it prints from iphone/ipad/ipod. It also prints both sides of page if desired. I purchased it about 8 months ago and I’m still printing off the starter toner! It’s so nice not having to mess with costly individual ink cartridges. I love my workhorse printer. Btw, I love your blog :)

  42. Copies in color has a posted alert:
    As of today 6/12/2012 we will no longer be printing any home school materials we do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. thanks for all your continued business. copesincolor staff

  43. Hi,

    just wanted to say that based on some of the printers mentioned, i felt it was very helpful in my search.

    just wanted to let you know that i purchased the HP Officejet Pro 8100 ePrinter. using it right now as i type. it works great. prints items in the “draft” color setting nicely. speed is fairly quick as well.

    printer + extra toner was less than $200 @ office depot.

    also, i already have a brother MF for faxing & b/w printing needs, so i only needed a printer that just printed in color. if you are looking for something with similar needs-just a color printer, i would recommend this printer to you.

    happy shopping, printing and to a great school year.

    blessings to all

  44. Andy Nugglunedst says:
  45. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break.

    I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my
    phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow,
    good blog!

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