Tip of the Week: Is It Time to Upgrade My Printer? | LexJet Blog

Tip of the Week: Is It Time to Upgrade My Printer?

We tapped Michael Clementi, who heads up our Experience Center, for some guidance on this one:

Q: What are some of the symptoms of an aging printer?

A: For aqueous piezo technology (like Epson or Roland), you’ll experience vertical banding running the length of the print, errors that you cannot navigate past or an increase in the number of cleanings needed to produce a healthy nozzle check. For aqueous thermal user-replaceable printheads (such as Canon or HP), you may come across errors related to hardware on the machine. A LexJet representative may be able to diagnose what the problem is, but if you need service, it would be best to contact the printer manufacturer for quotes or trouble shooting.

Q: Which repairs are worth the cost vs. purchasing a new printer?

A: If you are repairing a machine that initially cost you more than $15,000 five to seven years ago, a repair in the $1,000 to $3,000 range is reasonable. If it’s an aqueous printer that initially cost $5,000 or less and is older than five to seven years, I wouldn’t spend more than $500 or so on a repair, but get a quote first. If it is an older Epson or Roland and it needs a full printhead replacement (more than $600 for the part alone, plus labor) you are better off putting that money towards a new printer that is more cost effective, has newer technology and is covered under a warranty.

Q: What’s the typical lifespan of a printer?

A: The average lifespan for aqueous machines is five years. Solvent and latex printers are in the six- to eight-year range.

Q: When is it a wiser investment to upgrade rather than repair?

A: If quality, efficiency, cost per print and reliability have become concerns with your current model, you should research newer options. As printers grow older, the inks become more expensive (cost increases due to lower volumes produced and increased ink waste). Plus, you may experience more work stoppages.

Q: What are some examples of ROI I’ll see with a new printer purchase? 

A: If you are looking into a different technology (such as moving from aqueous to latex or solvent), the variety of applications you can offer your customers increases. New avenues for printing will generate new customers and excite your current customers. Adding new printers not only increases production instantly, it also gives you a reason to market yourself and your business. Branching into different markets or simply being the best in your current market relies heavily on the quality of the equipment you use to get the job done.

Q: How can LexJet help me out with a new printer purchase?

A: If you purchased the ink for your current printer from us, we’ll pick up your remaining stock and give you a credit when you buy a new printer. (Read more about that here.) We also offer tons of monthly printer rebates you’ll want to check out. Plus, our specialists are happy to set up a time to consult with you about the various printer technologies. Give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Shellie has more than 20 years of experience in the print publication industry as a content strategist, editor and writer. She has partnered with printing, photography and graphics professionals on a wide variety of publications and printing projects. At LexJet, she writes about customer experiences, industry trends, new products and the latest inkjet printing innovations.


  1. I’ve had my printer for the past twenty years. It’s been having issues that required a few minor repairs here and there. I’ve been trying to hold onto it for as long as possible, but now I’m starting to think that maybe it’s time to upgrade to a new printer. Ink is already expensive enough as it is, so if I have to pay more for ink as my printer grows older, then replacing it with an updated printer seems like the best thing I can do to save money right now. Thanks for the tips!

  2. My parents have this really old printer in their basement right now, and they have been complaining about it lately, so I’m trying to figure out if they should just buy a new one altogether. The printer is losing quality and efficiency, and it’s about 10 years old, so it appears that we should just buy a new one based on this article. Thanks for sharing this, as we will see what we can do to help them get a better printer!

  3. Printers are one of those things that degenerate so slowly you almost don’t notice. Any problems you’re having you’ve probably been having for as long as you can remember. But it’s also pretty important to be able to print when you need to, so always keep an eye on it.

  4. I like the offer of being able to give my remaining ink stock back for credit. I’ll have to consider that option in the future. I appreciate the information on the kind of price ratio I would be looking at if I tried to fix up my printer. That certainly helps me weigh my options.

  5. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that ink prices increase as your printer gets older. I hadn’t considered that an old printer could be costing me extra money over time! Mine is getting pretty old now, so I’ll definitely look into getting a new model so I can save on ink. Thanks for the great post!

  6. I really like how you talked about weighing the options of fixing or just buying a new printer. I agree that after a while, the software can become obsolete and you need a new printer. I have had mine for many years and I feel that its time for me to upgrade. Can you get a better deal online for a printer than actually going to the store?

    • Hi Jordan,
      Your best bet is to call one of our experts who will help you determine the best needs for your current and future business needs. We also have several monthly printer rebates you can take advantage of. Please give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked