When Should I Buy A New Printer: Facts and Guide

when should i buy a new printer

Longevity and durability are the two most important concerns when buying electronic devices. Whether you plan to use it at home or work, you want to make the most of your investment and intend to use it for as long as possible. Over a hundred and thirty-two million consumers in the USA purchase home printers. That is why prominent printer brands like Canon, HP, Epson, Brother etc., produce good-quality printers for home use.

Even the most high-quality printers have an average lifespan and do not last forever. According to a survey, 75% of the printers purchased ten years ago have worn out, while the remaining 25% have been replaced with a newer, more sophisticated printer. A lot of people wonder how long home printers last. The answer to this question is not simple! Generally, printers have a lifetime of three to five years. However, several factors determine the life of a printer. If you treat your printer right, you can use it for as long as seven years or above. Conversely, mishandling the printer reduces its life to just a few months.

when should i buy a new printer.

What Factors Decide the Life of a Printer?                                  

Every electronic device, no matter how durable, has an expiry date. But a number of elements could make or break your printer. Here is a list of factors that decide the lifetime of a printer:

Print Volume

The number of print jobs your printer performs in a week or month determines its lifespan significantly. Understandably, the more you use a machine, the more likely its components will break or malfunction. On the other hand, if you do not use your printer regularly, you may face the issues of ink drying up and print head clogging. You can fix these errors with a few cleaning and maintenance hacks. But if the components are exhausted, reviving the printer will not be as simple and easy.

A robust device designed for high-volume print jobs survives a long time, such as a laser printer. But a modest, home inkjet printer will wear and tear if you use it vigorously. Choosing a printer-specific to your needs is critical to avoid this issue. You can identify your daily or weekly print volume with a printer software program that analyzes how many print jobs you send to your printer every week or month.

when should i buy a new printer

Print Technology

The print technology a printer utilizes also helps determine its lifetime. Laser and inkjet printing are the two most common technologies. Inkjet printers are exclusive for low to mid-volume home printing needs and are said to last for up to three to five years. Laser printers are designed for professional, high-volume print jobs and last up to five years. Identifying your printing requirements is essential.

An inkjet printer is best for printing school assignments, presentations, and occasional photos. You cannot expect it to print large stacks of paper every day. For business printing needs, laser printers are excellent. They provide the fast print speed you need and handle high volumes of print jobs perfectly. You can use your laser printers for up to seven years with regular maintenance and appropriate care.

when should i buy a new printer

Paper Type

Print media type and material affect the printer considerably. Printing plain text documents and black and white photos does not reduce the printer’s life. But printing complex graphics and color-rich images might influence its life and cause exhaustion for its components. Also, if you print on regular paper, your printer is good to go for long.

But if you are printing on glossy photo paper, discs, cardboard, and other specialized print media, your printer is more prone to paper jams and other media-related issues. The quality of the print media is also a significant factor. Using low-quality paper could significantly harm your printer. Choosing high-quality print media compatible with your printer is advisable.

when should i buy a new printer

Maintenance and Environment

Keeping and using printers in very high or low temperatures and dusty, moist environments decreases their lives. Avoid keeping your printers in scruffy and humid conditions to increase their lifespan and enhance their functionality. Also, cleaning the printer and regular maintenance is not something to take lightly. Cleaning the print heads regularly, replacing inks or toner timely, and keeping the surface and internal components are indispensable if you want to keep using your printers for a reasonable period.  

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when should i buy a new printer


There is a world of difference between cheap and affordable. Many quality printers are available at economical prices that deliver impressive results. But do not go below $100 while purchasing practical, long-term equipment, like a printer. While a cheaper printer might look like a good investment upfront, it may cost you more in the long run.

Low-quality prints will use more printer supplies like ink and paper and take up valuable time. You can easily get a good-quality, sturdy printer for $400-$500. Validate that the printer has a robust construction and can handle comprehensive print jobs.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Printer

Even with the best possible care and maintenance, your printer will start showing signs of aging once it reaches its limit. Repairing the printer can be costlier than purchasing a new one when it has reached the end of its lifetime.

With so many affordable home printers on the market, upgrading to a new machine instead of sticking with an old & worn-out printer is better. If you are unsure when to replace your printer, here is a list of indications to help you decide. If your printer shows two or more of the signs, you probably need to upgrade the device.

It No Longer Fulfills Your Printing Needs

Your printer might have been suitable for your needs when you purchased it. But with time, your print requirements may evolve, and the printer might not fulfill them anymore. Perhaps your print volume was low when you bought it, and the projects you took on were not complex. But now, your print volume is higher, and print jobs are more detailed and intricate. Or, its functionality is compromised and does not provide the page yield you need or does not have your desired media handling capacity.

Also, with constant technological evolution, printer manufacturers are introducing newer models every year with advanced features and better speed. You might want to try one of those models with enhanced functionality. So if you are facing challenges in meeting your printing requirements with your current printer, upgrading it is a good idea.

Print Quality Has Declined

when should i buy a new printer

A decrease in print quality is one of the clearest indications of an aging printer. You may experience discoloration, ink smudges, blurring, or fading of text when your printer has reached the expiration date. Some of these issues may arise because your printer is untidy or has a clogged print head. You may also need to replace your ink cartridges if you notice blemishes and streaks on your print. But, if the print quality is low repeatedly, even after cleaning the printer, replacing the ink cartridges, and applying all the troubleshooting tips, it’s a sign your print head components have degraded. 

The Printer is Broken on The Inside

buy a new printer guide

Your printer might look perfect on the outside, but its internal components begin to crack gradually. If you hear your printer making unfamiliar noises while printing, chances are one or more of its components are damaged. Paper jams are also an indication your printer is torn on the inside.

You can go for a repair, but fixing a worn-out printer can be costlier than purchasing a new one. Repairing a printer can take quite some time, and if you use it regularly, not having access to it can be a big hassle. This disruption in your daily printing needs can be really frustrating. You can lose business or miss work deadlines; getting a new printer is a sensible choice. 

It Needs ink Cartridges Frequently

buy a new printer

Consider buying a new printer if replacing ink cartridges has become a substantial expense. Also, printer manufacturers quit producing replacement ink cartridges for older printer versions as they launched newer models.

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Finding compatible ink cartridges becomes a hassle, and the ones you find might be too costly. Also, if the printer has a low initial cost, its replacement ink cartridges will likely be exuberant. It could be much cheaper to purchase a new, more cost-efficient printer in the long run than to replace ink cartridges. You can find many affordable printers that deliver excellent page yield and offer low cost per print.

Slow Print Speed

guide about buy a new printer

When the printer reaches the end of its lifespan, it starts generating output considerably slower. You will experience paper jams often, and the printer will stop responding during the process multiple times, making the process slower and inefficient. Print speed also varies according to the type of document you are printing and the print media you use. You can print in draft mode to assess whether or not the printer has lost its speediness.

Draft mode is super quick, so if your printer takes unusually long to print in draft mode, likely, the machine is likely not in good condition. Print speed is an integral part of printing performance. If the printer can no longer provide the speed you need for your print jobs, holding onto it is not worth it. Switch to a new printer instead of wasting your valuable time.

The Printer is Old

buying a new printer guide

Cleaning and maintaining the printer regularly and keeping it in a favorable environment increase its lifespan. But its end is inevitable. You will have to bid farewell to your old printer at some point. If your printer is a few years old, it cannot provide the performance, efficiency, and quality you expect from a brand-new printer. You cannot have advanced features like wireless connectivity, voice-activated printing, faster print speed, and dual-sided printing.

As the internal components of your printer start to deteriorate over time, the challenge is to find and replace them, as you will not be able to source parts for older printers. Repairing them might be challenging down the line. The toner or ink cartridges also become outdated; finding cartridges for your printer can be so tedious that getting a new one might be a better choice.


How long do Canon printers last?

Typically, Canon printers last for four years. However, the price, build, model, and print technology determine its life, as all Canon printers are manufactured differently.

How long do printers last HP?

According to surveys and consumer reviews, HP printers are the best concerning durability. Several users have had their HP printers for more than a decade. However, generally, you can expect a lifetime of seven to ten years from an HP printer.

How long does an inkjet printer last?

The typical lifespan of an inkjet printer is three to five years.

How long do laser printers last?

Laser printers can last for five to six years. High-end, expensive laser printers can survive a decade if you keep them in suitable conditions and maintain them appropriately. 

Final Thought

The answer to the question How long do home printers last? is not definitive. The life of a printer comes down to how well you use and maintain it. You cannot point out a single aspect that defines how long your printer will last. Electronic devices are susceptible to expiration, but choosing the right printer for your needs, using and cleaning it regularly, and using quality inks and paper will guarantee you make the most of your printer.

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