Broken printer – fix it, or get a new one?

If your printer breaks down, is it really worth repairing it, or should you just stump up the cash for a brand new machine? We take a look at your options.

Sometimes printers just break. While for the most part these problems can be easily remedied – it might be a paper jam, for example – there are some problems that will need to be properly fixed if your machine is to get up and running again.


A common problem – and one that often that requires proper repair – is when the printhead fails.

Your printer's head is crucial to its smooth running – it is, after all, the part of the printer that controls the amount of ink that is deposited onto the paper.


While you can expect a printhead to last for a couple of years, depending on how much you've paid for your printer, it's often the case that they break down. This can be for a number of reasons – blocked up by dried ink or overheating due to excessive printing, for instance.

This can have a significant effect on the quality of your prints – but should you invest in a new printhead, or just buy a new printer?

One big change in printing recently is that while the cost of OEM consumables has shot up, the price of printers has dropped. And not just a little, as you no doubt will have noticed – it's now perfectly possible to buy a decent printer for about £30.

We know why – it's because the printer makers make their money out of ink and toner cartridges, because these need to be replaced much more often.

If your printhead problem can't be easily solved, you might need to take it to a repair station to get it sorted by an expert. Depending on the scale of the job, this could cost you £50.


Is it really worth it, when you can pick up a whole new printer for less? Well, we reckon it depends on what you're looking for.

It might be the case that your printer does exactly what you want - in which case, why buy a new machine? It might not be fancy and sophisticated, but it does the job.


On the other hand, buying a more modern printer could be considered a sound investment, especially if you're serous about printing, a step up to a superior machine – on the cheap, too.

What do you think?

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