Last updated: August 18, 2021

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The ink tank printer stands out as an economical and simple to carry model, especially when compared to the traditional cartridge printer.

The equipment also offers a higher printing volume, with one set of ink tank being the equivalent of 35 cartridges. To choose the best ink tank printer model you should know that there is a wide variety of models and brands, which have different features and prices. Continue reading to learn more about the product and make an assertive purchase.


  • The ink tank printer has four tanks with different colours, being yellow, magenta, cyan and black. Some models also offer two extra tanks with light cyan and light magenta inks. You can replace the colours individually with ease by simply filling the container.
  • We recommend buying an ink tank printer for those who make colour or black and white prints in greater volume and frequently, as this model is more expensive than a cartridge printer.
  • As we mentioned in the introduction, the charge of the four ink tanks is equivalent to 35 ink cartridges of a common printer, which results in cheap printing, being $0.01 to $0.04 per printed sheet.

The Best Ink Tank Printer: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about an Ink Tank Printer

An ink tank printer is the ideal model for those who prioritise economy over printing a larger volume of files, with good image definition, accurate colours and satisfactory speed. Learn more about ink tank printers in this buying guide.

Imagem de uma menina imprimindo folha.

The ink tank printer is a very economical option. (Source: cottonbro/

How does an ink tank printer work?

The ink tank printer has this name because it has four liquid ink tanks, being yellow, magenta, cyan and black, which are used to print black and white and colour files. These ink tanks are positioned in a special compartment at the front or side of the printer, offering visibility so that the user can monitor the level of ink used and refill each tank individually.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the ink tank printer?

There are many advantages associated with an ink tank printer, which make this model the most cost-effective option on the market. But just like any other product, there are some disadvantages associated with the equipment, as you can see below:

  • Basic and multifunctional options
  • Prints through Bluetooth connection, Wireless network or USB
  • Higher yield, equivalent to 35 cartridges
  • Maximum graphic quality
  • Prints a large volume of pages
  • Maximum cost-benefit
  • Not recommended for those who use the printer little
  • The ink dries when not used regularly
  • High cost compared to other equipment

What are the differences between an ink tank printer and cartridge?

The main difference between an ink tank printer and a cartridge printer is the supply used to print the pages, being four bottles of ink for the first model and black, colour or both cartridges for the second.

But that's not the only difference, there is also a distinction in print quality, with the cartridge not reproducing images and colours very faithfully, while the ink tank offers maximum quality prints. We can not fail to mention that those who perform print less frequently, should benefit more from a cartridge printer, while those who print a lot, should choose an ink tank printer.

Imagem de um cartucho de tinta.

25 ink cartridges equals a set with four ink bottles. (Source: pavelkovar/

Should I buy an ink tank or laser printer?

Apart from the cartridge printer, you can also find the laser printer. This model offers maximum print speed and superior image quality - although the ink tank printer can outperform this model when it comes to quality in image hue. Although the colours are not very vivid, this model has a superior resolution, so much so that it is the best option for printing photographs. The only negative aspect is the very high price compared to other models.

How to charge the ink tank printer?

It's very simple to refill the printer's ink tanks. Just open the cover of the tank you want to refill, insert the ink refill and start filling the reservoir, monitoring the ink level through the tank's transparency. Then close the tank cap and the refill cap tightly so that the ink doesn't dry out.

How to look after an ink tank printer?

To ensure the proper functioning of your ink tank printer, it's necessary to maintain certain precautions with the equipment, as you can see in the list below:

  • Follow and respect the monthly printing cycle, i.e. the estimated number of pages that can be printed without affecting the operation of the equipment.
  • Check the ink tanks regularly and avoid prolonged periods without printing, because when the inks dry out, print qualitysuffers .

Should I buy a simple or multifunction ink tank printer?

You will find ink tank printers that only print and multifunction printers, the latter being different because it combines three functions: printing, copying and scanning files. Besides accumulating these three functions, the multifunctional ink tank printer has more connection options besides the USB cable, such as Bluetooth and Wireless connection, offering maximum flexibility.

Purchase criteria: how to choose the best ink tank printer

Have you decided to buy an ink tank printer rather than a cartridge or laser printer? Excellent choice, but before buying your ink tank printer, you need to analyse the buying criteria listed and detailed below:


You can find the ink tank printer from a variety of brands. The Epson EcoTank printer models are a reference in this segment, as the brand offers plenty of variety and prioritises innovation in its products. Brother also offers ink tank printer models with maximum print resolution, which will please the most demanding consumers. Other brands that offer good models of ink tank printers are HP and Canon.

Imagem de uma impressora.

Several brands offer ink tank printer models. (Source: Fernando Arcos/

Image Quality Definition

For those who need to print color images, we suggest prioritizing image quality definition when choosing an ink tank printer, although most models offer good image definition naturally. You can check this information by the dots per inch index.

The higher this number, the better the resolution and image definition. Still talking about image, you can find ink tank printer models with four or six tanks. This second model offers the additional options light magenta and light cyan, resulting in greater variety and accuracy in the colour set of the images.


Some ink tank printer models offer several features that can enhance the usability of the equipment. One of these functions is the connection with the Wireless network, which allows direct connection with mobile devices. Others have Bluetooth connection and through USB 2.0 or 3.0 cable.

Printing speed

Again, the printing speed of an ink tank printer varies from one model to another and the choice depends on your needs. Some people need to print a larger amount of pages in a shorter time and should prioritise a printer with a higher print speed. A good benchmark is a model that prints about 33 pages in draft mode and 10 pages in normal mode every minute.


Although an ink tank printer requires a high initial investment, if you print a lot of pages and at regular intervals, this investment will provide a good return in the medium to long term. The equipment offers great savings on printing supplies, because a set of ink bottles is equivalent to 35 cartridges and prints a page in B&W and a color page .

Now all you have to do is choose between a traditional ink tank printer or a multifunction printer. The best models are in our shopping suggestion section.

(Source of the highlighted image: WangXuefei/