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CISS - continuous Ink Supply System - The Key to Saving Money on InkJet Printing

Updated on January 26, 2014

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Printing for a Fraction of the Cost of New Ink Cartridges

With the outrageous costs of printer ink manufacturers could give away their printers and still make enormous profits.  One long standing trick in the industry is to sell printers with “starter cartridges”.  The starter cartridges that come with printers look like regular printer ink cartridges but contain about half the ink.  The purpose of these cartridges is of course profit.  You run out of ink shortly after purchase and have to go back to the store to buy more ink.

Printer manufacturers want you to believe there is a huge cost to develop these inks and they are spending billions doing research so they have to charge these high prices.  The fact is the inkjet printer has been on the market since the late 80’s. The first color DeskJet the 500C was released in 1991. Sure there have been improvements but how much R&D do you put into a commodity like ink?  The point being printer ink is severely and unjustly overpriced.  It’s expensive because it can be expensive.  And none of these printer companies care about the environment or they would develop solutions that did not require discarding millions of printer ink cartridges each year.

Now you can purchase refilled printer ink cartridges (which is what I usually do) or refill your own (which I sometimes do with black ink, but it’s messy). I don’t use refill kits because I’m environmentally conscious, which I am… the real reason is its so much cheaper than buying new printer cartridges.

Fortunately for people who print a lot of documents there is an even better solution.  It’s called CISS which stands for Continuous Ink Supply System.  You won’t find these being offered by the Printer Manufacturers because it cuts into their profits.  But if you are serious about saving money for the long haul and being environmentally friendly then this is definitely the way to go.

A typical CISS system will cost as much or more than the printer up front, but pay for itself over time.  You can literally cut your cost of printing by as much as 80%. I am not going to recommend any particular brands of CISS system as I have not done enough research to know what is the best brand; at least what I believe is the best brand of continuous ink supply system.

You should also note that if you choose a CISS you’ll probably want to purchase a new printer that is best matched to the system you choose.  There is no real point in adding a long term ink supply to a printer that may be half worn out.

If you have experience with CISS systems please leave your comments below so others may benefit.

The Cheapest Way to Print - Continous Ink Supply Systems

Saving money on Printer Ink Costs with CISS.
Saving money on Printer Ink Costs with CISS.


Submit a Comment
  • H P Roychoudhury profile image

    H P Roychoudhury 

    9 years ago from Guwahati, India

    Thanks for good information.

  • Carol the Writer profile image

    Carolyn Blacknall 

    9 years ago from Houston, Texas

    What a great idea. You have huge supplies of ink, save money, and don't have to go crazy ordering ink and setting things up all the time. Thanks for the information. - Carol

  • harrisdy profile image


    9 years ago from Texas

    great tips in saving printer ink...


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