I am a big fan of brother printers and have used them for years. A few years ago Brother printers used to have chip-less ink cartridges which are DRM free cartridges making them easy to refill or replace with re-manufactured ink cartridges.
The new Brother printer which now have the chip can still be converted to CISS printers. In fact they make great CISS printers due to their design.
They usually have their ink cartridge located in front making easy for CISS manufacturers to create extra large extended ink cartridge.
If your interested in trying out a Brother printer and using it as an CISS printer I recommend getting a MFC-J870DW which is one of the best and most reliable printers in the Brother fleet of ink jet printers.
Brother MFC-J870DW – all in one printer
The J870DW is a really fast all in one printer. It has a fax, scanner, copier and printer in one package. The print speed is at par and even slightly faster than Epson and HP. The added wireless functionality makes it easy to print using your Android or iOS devices.
The best CISS printer goes to the Epson L-series printers or they call them ink tank printers and in some regions CISS printers. They are very reliable printers that are now the standard printers in banks, schools and offices. These printer are now available in the US and everyone can take avantage of having an original CISS printer.
The Epson L355 is an update to the L210 which became a very popular printer. The Epson L355 is a refinement to the previous model. The L355 now has WIFI connectivity and faster printing speed.
Epson also made several improvements with this model and that had something to do with the faster refilling time to load your ink. This has made the setup of the L355 really smooth and easy to do.
The HP Officejet Pro 8610 is an office printer with wireless capabilities. Its currently one of HP best selling printers for 2015 due to its price and capabilities. Like any HP printer the 8610 offer the same reliability you get from a premium printer.
The 8610 comes with ethernet and wireless connectivity. The printer is a 3 in one which means it is a printer, fax and scanner.
They have made several improvements with the fax features making it a great for a small office and even a department. However when you do have more people using it the issue with the ink price will come up. But its great they already have a CISS kit for the 8610. Bellow are the kits you can use to convert your 8610 to a CISS Printer.
The Ekuten CISS kit for the 8610, will save you more than 80% to 90% of your printing cost. The is reset chip that will allow you to set the soft ink levels to maximum. The installation that was included from this kit was very professional and well written.
The whole setup can be done with out any experience as long as you follow the steps. It took me around 20 minutes to complete the setup and was printing full colored pages with out any issues.
The Epson XP-410 has been the number 1 top selling Epson printer for 2014. The fact that its so reliable and cheap makes it a perfect printer to convert into CISS. If your not familiar with the Epson XP-410 its one of the entry level (three in one) printer Epson introduced back in November.
It has a great scanner and prints relatively great pictures. Its not one of the fastest printer Epson has its lineup but its also not slow. In fact comparing it to other printers in its class, its actually fast. It comes with a WIFI feature and WIFI direct support which allowing you to print documents if you have a tablet or phone.
This new network option also allows you to connect directly to the printer even if you don’t have a WIFI network at home. There is a small LCD screen that allows you to choose which pictures to print using the built in SD slot.
I often have to buy new printers every other year for my kids. Their biggest complaints are on how much they spend on ink cartridges and how their printers don’t really last that long. Afters years of buying my kids with (HP, Canon & Epson) printers I have come to the conclusion that if I buy them a new printer I needs to fit their life style.
1. The printers need to be cheap and replaceable.
2. They need to have a cheap source of ink.
3. The printers need to be as simple as possible with the least movable parts and attachments.
4. The printer needs to have a built in scanner.
I recently had the chance to try out the Epson L210 Ink Tank Printer. I’m a true believer of the Epson Ink Tank Printer technology ever since I bought a Epson L200 more than a year ago. The Epson L200 is probably one of my favorite printers, its just very reliable.
The new Epson L210 is an upgrade from the previous model. Its smaller and more compact in terms of size and even weight.
I usually offer two types of products to anyone wanting to save ink, that’s CISS and refillable ink cartridges. CISS which stands for Continuous Ink Supply System, is for heavy users who want to print a lot of pictures or documents. CISS works best for an office or a big family. The fact remains that since a CISS printer has lot of tubes they are prone to ink drying up and causing problems if you don’t use the printer in a weekly basis.
A great and cheaper alternative to CISS is refillable ink cartridges, which is simply ink cartridges that allow you to put more ink directly to the tank. These special cartridges usually come with an auto reset chip telling the printer these are genuine cartridges and there is ink inside. There are exceptions to some brands like Brother that have chipless cartridges that makes them ideal candidates for refillable ink cartridges.
If you have a large format printer your going to be familiar with a maintenance tank. A maintenance tank is simply a tank for the leftover ink, this tank fills up over time and needs to be replace. Its extremely expensive for large format printers, around $20 just to store waste ink.
All printers have a waste or maintenance tank. Most of the time its just a small section of the printer which has a small non removable tank. Most manufacturers assumed that when this tank is filled up your printer is already old and you no longer want to use your printer. Its a logical decision for printer manufacturers since it takes years to fill it up with normal use, but with a printer converted to CISS its a very big problem.
Most CISS converted printers will complain about have a full maintenance tank and will display an error. Most of the time you will need to bring your printer to a CISS provider to have it cleaned and have the maintenance tank emptied. There are some models which are easy to clean but for most printers the maintenance tank is located in an areas where you have to remove some major parts and require some experience. I do advice anyone to just bring your CISS printer to a shop if you don’t want to risk any ink spills inside the printer. There are some ways to solve this problem and avoid having to bring your CISS to a shop.
If your new to CISS printing its always best to go to a shop and have someone install it for you. If your worried about voiding your warranty that’s something you already gave up when you decided to convert your printer into a CISS. Now the most important thing you have to think about is making sure the installer does it correctly.
Finding a CISS installer in your city is a matter of just doing a search for Continuous Ink System in your local directory. In Asia its easy to buy and install a CISS printer since its such a common add on for any printer owner. In Europe its almost impossible to find one unless you go through a trade directory for printer suppliers.
If installation cost is somewhat out of reach, buying a printer that’s easy to install would be the best thing you can do. In my experienced tubeless CISS kits are the easiest to install. That mainly narrows your brand to Brother which a great manufacturer for three in one office printers. But achieving the same color qualities of Epson is going to be hard with Brother printers. Epson still makes the best printers for printing pictures. Sadly Epson printers are difficult to install since they require CISS kits with ink tubes that are really difficult to assemble and install.
In the end if installing a CISS printer yourself is necessary, try to look at the instruction manual ahead until you can find one that matches your requirements and skill in modifying a printer.
Printing photos using your CISS printer requires some testing and adjustments. The moment you use ink from other manufacturers it renders the recommended printing setting on the photo paper packaging invalid. The most common reason is really on the ink and not your CISS printer.
The picture bellow is one of the most common type of printing paper. Kodak depending on what type of paper usually puts their label in front of their packaging. I usually recommend my clients and friends to buy from large retailers that give away sample paper.
On the picture you can see it recommends printing on high gloss which is usually second to the highest setting. The higher the setting the more ink it requires to print a picture increasing the quality. But not all ink and paper interact the same so if you raise the setting to high, ink will run from the photo paper.
If you want to make sure your ink and paper settings are correct you need to do a print test:
1. Open a small picture that has all the primary colors.
2. Re-size the picture so it wont fill up your entire paper saving some space for a second test print.
3. Set your CISS printer to print on “Photo Paper” which is the lowest setting.
4. After the first test you can slowly move up to the second highest setting which is ” Premium Photo Paper or High Gloss Photo Paper”.
5. Depending on the result you choose the best setting or try even a higher setting.
The simple steps above might take some time but its what graphic designers do to make sure the maximize th capabilities of their CISS printer. I recommend buying branded photo paper to make sure the results will be consistent every time you make a print.