Note: If you need a new printhead for your Canon wide format printer, see here.

We had yet another customer call today asking if we could supply them with a printhead for their nearly new Canon bubblejet. It was the same old story – we always ask what type of ink they are using, and the usual answer is cheap refill ink. What people don’t realise is that some refill inks will clog up the nozzles in their printhead.

The reason is that cheap inks are coloured with pigment that is not ground up finely enough so the dye particles slowly but surely get lodged in the fine print nozzles and block them up making the printheads useless. And whereas once upon a time Canon printheads were classed as consumbles and were relatively cheap, they are now classed as spare parts which can only be purchased from Canon’s spare parts dealers (with the associated increase in costs for parts and installation).

Printer companies spend millions of dollars a year to formulate inks with just the right properties for a particular printer – inks which won’t clog, or dry too quickly or slowly, won’t dry out in the printhead, will be delivered at just the right rate etc – yet people believe some dodgy factory in China or elsewhere producing too cheap to be true ‘compatible’ inks will produce the same result for a fraction of the cost.

The upshot of all this? Yes, you can save a few bucks using the cheapest ink, but be prepared to either throw away your printer when it gets blocked printheads or be prepared to pay a Canon tech big bucks to install a new printhead.

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