When Should You Buy a New Printer?

Are you wondering whether its time to replace that old printer you keep in your office for over a decade now? If it’s still working, does it fit your printing needs? If it’s slightly damaged, can it still be fixed or do you need to buy a new one? These are some of the questions people ask about old or broken printers. 

In this article, you’ll find out exactly when you replace your old printer with a new one that suits your printing requirements. 


Average Lifespan of A Printer

Generally, the average lifespan of a printer is around 3-5 years, under normal usage. However, other variables can affect the printer’s lifetime, such as its usage frequency and whether proper maintenance is provided. 

Another variable is the type of printer. Inkjet printers usually last at least 3 years, while the laser printers can last at least 5 years. We need to recognize that there are different features and costs between these two types of printers, which is the reason why they have different longevity. There is no definite answer on which printer is better than the other. It depends on what you value more throughout your printing experience; and you can do some research to learn more about the difference between Inkjet and Laser printers

Inkjet Printer


Laser Printer

Printer Repair vs Replace 

When a printer broke down, some might think about repairing it, as buying a brand new printer might cause a great expense. However, some might consider buying a new one, as repairing a broken printer is too troublesome. 

We, as wise customers, should balance the cost and benefits of this entire situation. There are a few factors that we need to evaluate when we decide whether to replace or fix your printer: 


Questions to Ask Yourself

Age of Your Printer

  • What is your printer’s expected lifetime?
  • Have you been printing frequently?
  • Is your printer still under warranty? 

Cost Per Page

  • Are you using an old model printer? If so, what is the cost per page
  • If you print frequently, is it worth it to stick to an old model printer with a higher cost per page, or get a new printer and benefit from it in the long run?

**  Old model printers tend to have a higher cost per page

Accessibility of Printer Replacement Parts

  • How much do you need to pay for your printer replacement parts?

** It might be expensive to buy parts an old printer due to the low supply

Labor Costs for Repair

  • How much is the hourly rate for printer repair services?
  • After adding the costs for the replacement parts and services, is it higher or lower than buying a new printer?
  • Can I get a quote from the repair shop?

When Should I Buy a New Printer? 

You don’t necessarily need to wait for your old printer to break down before buying a new one. There are other reasons for you to replace your old printer, such as your printer feature does not fit with your needs anymore. Below are a few signs that tell you it’s time to replace your printer:


1. Printer No Longer Meets Your Needs 

The main purpose of getting a printer is to print, fax, or scan. However, if your printer is not capable of catching up with your workload and needs, maybe you should consider getting a new one. For example, as your business grows, you need to print hundreds of pages daily. However, if your paper tray only allows you to load 50 sheets of paper once at a time, it means that your printer is not scalable anymore. 

2. Poor Quality Printing 

It is normal for your printer to perform poorly from time to time. You should examine other factors that can impact the print quality, such as misalignment of your ink cartridges or clogged print heads. There are steps to get quick fixes for poor quality printing, such as cleaning the printhead. 

However, if your ink cartridges are not empty and you are consistently getting poor quality prints, such as faded or no print at all, you might need to consider replacing your printer. Keep in mind that you should not blame the ink cartridges every time for the poor print quality— the mechanical wear on your printer should be responsible as well! 


3. Prints in Insufficient Speed

Printing speed is different depending on the printer model. Generally, the faster the printer prints, the more expensive it is, which explains the reason why the more expensive laser printers print faster than inkjet printers do. Other factors that contribute to printing speed include the type of printing document and the quality of the print job. 

Although printing too slow seems to be an insufficient reason to replace your printer, keep in mind that a slow printing printer can affect your streamline workflow. If you share a printer with another 4 colleagues, waiting for print jobs can be time-consuming and affect your productivity! 

4. High Cost of Ink Cartridges

Old printers use ink and toner faster than the newer models. Thus, if you notice that you have been spending too much money on the ink cartridges, you might need to consider buying a new printer that uses ink more efficiently. 

5. Mechanical Components are Worn 

Signs of a failing printer include frequent printer jams and constant grinding or clicking sound. These signs are caused by mechanical wear, which means that you might need to replace some printer parts. Although the fixing cost might be more expensive than buying a new printer, it does not hurt to get a quote from a repair shop before making your final decision! 

6. Technology becomes Obsolete 

Being in a competitive market, various printer companies like Canon, HP, Brother, and Epson keep on innovating and improving their printers by creating better features. The important features that you need to consider when you buy a new printer include: 


Good Security System 

Using an unprotected printer might pose a security threat to your business! Nowadays, small businesses have become the cyberattack targets because of their unprotected printing device. Your printer needs to offer some essential built-in security features, including password-protected scanning, authentication, and print encryption. 


Cloud Compatibility and Mobile Print 

To improve productivity in the workplace, office printers need to facilitate simple and easy printing. By having app-based technology in your printer, it means that you can print your document anywhere anytime on different devices. Such convenience can enhance workplace productivity greatly. 

What to Do with an Old Printer?

Keep in mind that there are toxic substances in the printer that can pollute the environment! To get rid of your old printer, you should dispose of it just like other electronic devices, instead of throwing it away along with trash. 


Recycle Your Old Printers

The best way to get rid of an old printer is to recycle them. You can recycle your old printers at places like Best Buy where they offer recycling programs or e-waste collection centers. It is very convenient to recycle your devices in those places— you just need to show up with your printer and drop it off in the designated area! 


Donate Your Old Printers

If your old printer is still in working condition, it is a brilliant idea to donate it to organizations instead of disposing of it. Put your old printer to good use! If you are not going to need your old printer anyway, why don’t we donate it to the people who need it like the lower-income families who would benefit from it? 


Sell Your Old Printers

If you want to earn some cash instead of recycling or donating your old printer, you can consider some manufacturer buyback programs, such as the HP Planet Partners Product Return and Recycling. It is a good way to get some money to offset the cost of buying a brand new printer! 

1 Comment

  • Pam Dean

    Found the suggestions and information in this article very helpful. Thank you


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