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cpabster said:   Tempted but I keep hearing that the cheap ink causes (requires) you to run a self-cleaning if the unit sits a couple days. Also a lot of reports of leaking cartridges. The Brother label cartridges are no bargain at all only the "generic" ones and the quality seems to be questionable from the research I've done.

I don't like paying $20 a pop for HP ink but I never need to do any "cleaning" so I'm tore on this and leaning toward not purchasing the Brother unit.


and ... your unit can tell if it's got "cheap ink" in the cartridge" ?? ... interesting

& you're mistaken on your "research" conclusion ... or the reason ... but - that's fine ...

imanemokid said:   cpabster said:   Tempted but I keep hearing that the cheap ink causes (requires) you to run a self-cleaning if the unit sits a couple days. Also a lot of reports of leaking cartridges. The Brother label cartridges are no bargain at all only the "generic" ones and the quality seems to be questionable from the research I've done.

I don't like paying $20 a pop for HP ink but I never need to do any "cleaning" so I'm tore on this and leaning toward not purchasing the Brother unit.


and ... your unit can tell if it's got "cheap ink" in the cartridge" ?? ... interesting

& you're mistaken on your "research" conclusion ... or the reason ... but - that's fine ...

From my experience using generic ink CAN lead to clogging of the printhead. Mine would clog and need cleaning when the printer wasn't used for a while although my printers still lasted for years with generic ink. Obviously I can't know if every vendor cartridge does so without buying and trying them all which I haven't done. But seems to be a fair amount of evidence that some do when printers sit idle for a while. I doubt that a couple of days is enough but much longer periods. On the other hand, plenty of folks report having no problems with generic ink in well used printers. Obviously the printer doesn't know what ink it has in it but that doesn't mean there isn't a difference in the ink.

As for the cost of cartriges, from what I've comparted the Brother OEM cartridges are well cheaper than HP OEM cartridges. So seems to me like Brother wins that price comparison. Without having a specific HP printer to compare it to there is no way to be sure Brother would be cheaper for you but Brother wins the comparisons I've done. If you want to play it safe then OEM is the way to go. Don't think it's reasonable to expect the same performance from an $0.80 cent cartridge as one costing $20 but many report generic carts come close enough for them.

If you're willing to take a bit of risk to save exponential $ then generic is your ticket. Depending on what Brother OEM catridges you get, prices I found were $10-$25 (depending on page rating and whether color dye or back pigment). The generic ink dye carts on the other hand can be had for under $1. Note that near as I can tell all generics are dye and the black won't be pigment like OEM nor have the same level of additives to prevent drying out. I think you'd have to be naive to expect the same quality at >= 10x price savings. Is it worth it? Clearly it is for some and they're quite happy. Others have reported problems.

Worst case you can fall back to OEM if you experience clogging.

We bought a pair of brother MFC 240C's about seven years ago. They were great printers, the print quality was great, the printing speed was great, faxing and scanning worked great.... it was just a great all around machine. Then I ended up selling mine because I hadn't used it in forever, now I wish I hadn't. The person who bought it still uses it to this day and with an ink refill kit he bought four years ago for $20 on eBay. Still has lots of ink left.

I sold the second to a family member. He runs a business that involves jukeboxes and he has printed thousands of the album arts that go into the jukeboxes. He has also printed thousands of copies of superbowl poll's for the people that run them. It continues to get used to this day, and he too bought an ink refill kit for around $20 online. We never noticed sub par print quality.

Simply put, you will not be the price/quality of this printer. If your not printing all the time, then why not remove the refills and put the originals in and every few days run a page or two through the printer? If the originals really do have additive/cleaner in them, it will help the printer any ways. So during low usages periods, 2-4 pages a week won't hurt anything and should keep the printer from drying/clogging up.

I miised out big time by not picking up one of these MFC-J430w's when they were on sale. I was even IN THE STORE HOLDING ONE and put it back. Next time they go on sale I won't hesitate. Can't beat this machine for the money, espeically if you like need the color printing and scanning. If not, the best deal would be the brother laser printer that just went on sale a bit ago for like $60. Can't beat that.

SpacelySprockets said:   . Don't think it's reasonable to expect the same performance from an $0.80 cent cartridge as one costing $20

I think its reasonable, that's why mfg's practically give away their printers, they want the highly profitable ink business.
I get expect the same performance using a $1.49 HDMI cable versus a $100 monster cable, and I get it.

robby69 said:   SpacelySprockets said:   . Don't think it's reasonable to expect the same performance from an $0.80 cent cartridge as one costing $20

I think its reasonable, that's why mfg's practically give away their printers, they want the highly profitable ink business.
I get expect the same performance using a $1.49 HDMI cable versus a $100 monster cable, and I get it.

I realize ink markups are high and printer companies make a lot of profit there. And I would never say don't try to find a deal. But I stick by the general rule that a product priced orders of magnitude lower than another probably isn't made to the same specs and may not perform as well. Now this doesn't count the special deals we are all here looking for. If we can get that $100 monster cable for $2 we'll all jump on that. A much cheaper product might well be good enough and most of us may get acceptable performance that meets the need. If so we'd be crazy not to go with the cheaper choice. Doesn't mean that they are the same specs and will work for everyone.

You quoted only part of one line from my post. The full line reads "Don't think it's reasonable to expect the same performance from an $0.80 cent cartridge as one costing $20 but many report generic carts come close enough for them." And I also said "Is it worth it? Clearly it is for some and they're quite happy. I suspect we agree just stated differently but correct me if not. If you read my full post I think it is cautiously optimistic about generic ink and overall supportive of using it so long as one understands the potential issues. One only has to do a quick google to find reports of the issues generic ink can cause. From what I've seen it depends a lot on how you use your printer. My own personal experience is that it's a bad idea to leave an inkjet printer idle for very long periods, usning generic ink seems to exacerbate the problem.

Looks like this is coming back next week for $69.

Anyone know of a coupon that can be used with it? There's a 20% off any item coupon floating around now, but it expires 5/4 and the printer doesn't go on sale until 5/5.

Got this printer for my in-laws a while back and they've been using it mostly without issues as far as I know. They had their fax configured to accept everything, and were getting tons of junk faxes to the point that they quickly ran out of ink. I changed the setting and showed them how to only answer the fax when they're expecting it.

My father-in-law called us up one day and said the ink was low again (after changing the original). We checked it out and noticed there was still ink in the cartridge but it was less than half-way. Not sure why they designed it to complain when the ink is still there... anyway, after some Googling, I figured out how to trick the printer - if I recall, I just took a small piece of electrical tape and covered part of the plastic part of the cartridge where you can see the ink. It took some experimenting to figure out where to put it but I finally got it in the right place to trick the laser that measures the ink level. We haven't gotten a call from them about low-ink ever since! I'll definitely need to check on it the next time we visit.

Just an FYI for anyone who might have noticed the ink management sucks on this printer!

Ink management does not suck. The low-warning comes on pretty much like the E on the gas-gauge in a vehicle, to let you know more will be needed soon.
Also, if you try to run a printer on dry cartridges, you are likely to damage the heads. In layman terms, you would then need to replace the printer.

aarzi said:   Ink management does not suck. The low-warning comes on pretty much like the E on the gas-gauge in a vehicle, to let you know more will be needed soon.
Also, if you try to run a printer on dry cartridges, you are likely to damage the heads. In layman terms, you would then need to replace the printer.


Maybe it was the printer cartridges then, because after I reloaded the one that still had ink in it, another message came up saying I needed to replace the cartridge and the printer wouldn't print. Seemed pretty finicky to me. Tape fixed that, but now we'll have to make sure they don't do damage by printing with empty cartridges (I'd think it would be obvious if there's little ink when things start getting lighter though).

Nope. They don't get lighter. Just poof! Again, like gas in a car.
If you are printing a page at a time, run out, and stop; it's not so bad. If you run out during a batch with a few pages still to print, ouch!

As for the other message, after putting the tape on, you must have indicated that you were still using the "old" cartridge, instead of a "new" one. So the printer does not re-set, and still "thinks" you are running on empty. Has nothing to do with the actual ink being there or not.

aarzi said:   Nope. They don't get lighter. Just poof! Again, like gas in a car.
If you are printing a page at a time, run out, and stop; it's not so bad. If you run out during a batch with a few pages still to print, ouch!

As for the other message, after putting the tape on, you must have indicated that you were still using the "old" cartridge, instead of a "new" one. So the printer does not re-set, and still "thinks" you are running on empty. Has nothing to do with the actual ink being there or not.


Hmmm... maybe that's what happened. I think I probably tried all the options presented when replacing the cartridge. I don't think they print big batch jobs (at least very often) so it shouldn't be too bad. I'll have to let them know to keep an eye on it though. I think a bulk of their ink was lost to the stupid junk faxes though arghh. Now that we changed that up, it seems a lot of ink has been saved.

In the end, remember that you are buying this printer for the cheap generics. No point in buying OEM inks. Generics can be as low as ~$1 per cartridge, so you don't need to jump through hoops. Print away!

Thanks to everyone on this thread that contributed so much helpful info about this line of printers, and where to get cheap ink and how to use it, and troubleshooting tips. I splurged on the $99 "fancy" version, took your advice and bought generic ink, and now I'm in printing b1iss. I used to avoid so many tasks because printing on my old, creaky, non-wireless printer, and trying to conserve ink all the time were such a drag. I messed up my wireless configuration at first and needed some assistance from Brother support to straighten it out, but they got me up and running again pretty quickly. My household paperwork tasks are ten times easier now that I can print with impunity. Fatwallet comes through for me again!

What did you buy?

The MFC-J835DW.

aarzi said:   What did you buy?

You did well for yourself.


One disappointment was that the "paperless faxing" promised isn't truly paperless, because the only way to see a fax confirmation using the built-in faxing software "PC-Fax," appears to be to print one out ON PAPER. You don't even get a dialog telling you when the transmission is complete, and there's nowhere in PC-Fax or on the machine to view the Send log. It seems quite weird to me, but I combed through the manuals and support online, and there doesn't seem to be any other way.

I'm discovering this printer's quirks as I use it more, but overall I'm still pleased.



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