I bought Compatible refillable Ink cartridges for my Canon printer and ... I regretted!


Not surprising that the ink cartridges are the most expensive part of getting a printer. I mean a printer cost around $70+ - way over $1K, depending on what you're getting. And the perishable ink cartridges (XL size) can cost up to $50 for one. You need at least 2 to print.

I have been using a Canon PIXMA TS5170 printer for almost 3(?) years now. I think it's a good printer if you have the correct paper else, it just prints bad on normal A4/matte paper. 

The ink usage is quite reasonable - the Black ink can usually last over a 9 months (depending on usage) - I do print 1-2 pieces of text/b&w/musical scores about once a week. Sometimes much more.

For colour ink wise, it tend to run out much faster. I do print some stickers/labels once in awhile especially for festive seasons so I guess that's why. Colour ink usually runs out in 6-7 months. And it's almost always because 1 colour ran out!

This printer doesn't comes with individual colour cartridges which means if one colour ran out, the cartridge will have to be replaced, even if say the other colours still have more than 50% left. This kind of "single" colour cartridge are usually cheaper (~$40-50 for XL version) compared to individual colours costing $15-30 each. Some printers needs 4 colours cartridges.

I find it quite wasteful tbh. And the problem with printers is (at least this printer) that it refuse to function when it's out of ink. I can't even use the scanner function! When the colour ink ran out, I can't even print in black and white.

So I thought, "Why not get a compatible refillable ink cartridge? I mean this would solve the wasteful problem and stop myself from getting frustrated over a non-function printer.

I got one from Shopee for about half the price of the original that comes with ink refills. 

I let it sit around for a few weeks because my current cartridge is still not emptied. Just today I start to use it and realised that the nozzle/alignment is just  bleh!


There are lines and gaps everywhere and this image printing I showed above is one of the better printed ones already. I tried aligning the print head, deep cleaning, restart the machine etc. it just cannot get to the quality that the original printer can produce. And the problem always seems to be on the red colour!!

I am glad I only bought the colour cartridge to try. It's totally not worth the money!!

Edited (31 Oct): I found a way to get the compatible ink cartridges to work!

When the Canon printer ink error message indicating that your ink is low or empty. You can bypass these error messages by holding down your printer's RESUME, STOP/RESET, or COLOR START button for 5 to 15 sec.

The ink level will still be empty but then you can print as per normal. I tried that and then did many deep cleaning (3 times) and now the quality is MUCH better. Not perfect but passable!

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