how many prints from an ink cartridge?


Nov 7, 2003
I currently have an old laser printer but I want to get an inkjet printer for the color capability. I print mostly text documents but every now and then I want to be able to print something in color. I've heard about the costs of the ink cartridges and I need to know how many pages of text I can typically get out of a black ink cartridge so I can factor this into the cost estimate.


Senior member
May 24, 2005
It really varies quite a lot from printer to printer actually. Take a look at HPs new business inkjets. They claim laser quality, laser speeds, colour and upto 30% lower costs as compared to laser. I have a couple of HPs inkjet printers that use the 45A black inkjet cartridge and these yield (in my estimation for text only) about 1,200 pages at draft mode (pretty acceptable generally, if not for business) and 800 pages in normal mode.

I switched to laser for better quality for my business and faster output and I am able to use re-manufactured / refilled toner cartridges at no printing quality loss (unlike inkjet) for about 1/3rd HPs cost. The warranty has no meaning since the savings in using just 3 - 4 cartridges will pay for a new printer tomorrow.


Oct 15, 1999
The Epson inkjets I owned never got more than 60 or seventy pages out of a cartridge, often a great deal less. Most of the ink was used in head cleaning as far as I can tell. Though you'd never know that from print quality.

Lemon law

Nov 6, 2005
A laser is probably best for B/W text only----but even color lasers are inferior to inkjets in the color area.---combining high initial costs with non-photoquality output. And some inkjets are huge ink hogs-------super uneconomical for either B/W text or color. In fact, I would estimate---using OEM cartridges-----that there is at least a 10x ink consumable cost difference between the least economical to the most economical inkjets.---with Canon and Epson leading the economy race with HP and Lexmark far behind.

The pretty well concenus choice for an economical general purpose inkjet lies in the one generation back Canons.------the ip3000, 4000, and 5000. ( as opposed to the newest generation chipped Canons like the ip4200 and the ip5200 )------Yield is not expecially impressive----only 500 pages out of the text black------but the cartidges are very cheap to buy.----and with the non-chipped Canons you can use super cheap third party cartridges to get up to a 7x or so reduction over OEM--as opposed to only a 2x or so reduction in a HP.-------or refill your cartridges to get over a 10x or more reduction over OEM---------which will easily beat even laser in consumable costs for B/W test and even produce a 8x10 color photograph for under a nickle in consumable costs in a ip4000.

But Greenman did mention something important---inkjets do not take kindly to infrequent printing. And will waste ink in cleaning cycles when woken up from a long sleep.--only to print a few pages--and then told to sleep again.------and in that area Epsons tend to clog and Canons have far fewer problems.

But if you can find a Canon ip3000, 4000, or 5000------that offers the best economy in todays world for an inkjet.---------combining low initial purchase price with many other cost reduction strategies.
And offers excellent photoprinting results.--------and my wife owns a ip4000 and I own a mp730 which is somewhat simillar to a ip3000 in a multifunctional package that scans, prints, copies, and faxes. So we do put our money where are mouths are.-------$30.00 of thirdparty inkcartridges lasts us over a year.

So if you are going to buy an inkjet-----doing your research in advance is a good thing for your wallet. Don't do your research and its very dangerous to your wallet as some of these inkjets will really rip you off on ink.


Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2001
It varies largely by the type of printing you do. Not sure of the figure but my HP and Xerox have been giving a good number of prints per cartridge.