Follow up: The cost of printing

In the December/January issue of Commonwealth we looked at the major types of printers and the pros and cons of each. (You did read it, right?)

One of the things we pointed out was the high cost of making prints with an inkjet.

If you use an ink jet [.] It’s not only easy to spend more for a set of refill cartridges than for the printer, it’s common. It’s the old “give away the razor and sell the blades” plan. You don’t
have much (if any) choice about refills; an HP printer means HP color cartridges.

The idea that ink-jet printing is expensive is nothing new; you get a reminder just walking into the tech section of Office Max. But how expensive is it?

On the list of “Top 10 Most Expensive Liquids On Earth” the rankings are.

1. Scorpion Venom ($39 million per gallon)
2. King Cobra Venom ($153,000 per gallon)
3. LSD ($123,000 per gallon)
4. Chanel No. 5 ($26,000 per gallon)
5. Insulin ($9,400 per gallon)
6. Mercury ($3,400 per gallon)


7. Black Printer Ink ($2,700 per gallon)

Human blood comes in at number 9, if you’re interested.

Here’s a handy chart that continues the theme:


So when we say that ink-jet ink is expensive, we’re talking “more expensive than oil, LSD, or human blood” expensive.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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One Response to Follow up: The cost of printing

  1. Leonard Willett says:

    I notice that Brother bulk inkjet ink on Ebay is currently going for $151.42 per gallon when purchased in 250 ml bottles. So if you are willing to tip a bottle into an extended cartridge, color inkjet might be less expensive than color laser. Might the the same with black and white.

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