HP Printer Dying

I do most of my printing from a Canon laser printer All-In-One. It is less cost per page. However, I do keep an Inkjet printer around for occasional color prints. In my case the color printer is an HP Officejet Pro 8610. It is a multifunction printer which produces nice color prints, until now that is.

Printer Obsolescence

Let’s face it, Inkjet color printers are designed to last for a few years, but eventually they die. Usually, they do not cost that much, the printer manufacturers make their money on ink sales. I have had this HP OfficeJet for about 4 years. It has gotten moderate use.

It started having streaks in the prints a couple of weeks ago. I ran it through all the cleaning and head cleaning routines in the printer, but it did not fix the problem. I did a ton of research on this issue online. You can overcome the streaked, bad prints by setting the paper type and using the highest ink setting each time you print. However, this will cost you a bunch of ink over time. The prints come out pretty good this way, but it is obvious the printer is failing.

There are a couple of other things you can do in this situation. I bought a head cleaning kit from Amazon and used it on the printer to no avail. The kit costs about $20 and is worth a try considering the cost of a new Print Head. You have to buy a kit that fits your specific model printer.

If you go to the HP website and run through all their Troubleshooting guides for this problem they eventually tell you to “replace the Print Head” on the printer. A typical HP Print Head looks like this third party version:

HP Print Head
HP Print Head

This third party Print Head costs about $140. A factory HP version of the Print Head costs about $150-160. I do not believe installing a new Print Head is terribly difficult, but the price, in my opinion, is prohibitive.

So, what is the answer. I guess if you need to replace the Print Head on your Inkjet printer you can either spring for the cost of the Print Head or buy a new printer. If, for some reason, you really like the printer, then replace the Print Head. Different model printers may cost less. However, my solution is to just replace the printer. In my case I am looking at a Canon Multifunction Inkjet Printer for about $65. That is pretty amazing when you think about it. If your printer is acting up you can replace it rather inexpensively.

My overall plan is to use up the ink in the HP Officejet because HP ink is expensive. Then, I will buy a new Canon InkJet for way less than the cost of new ink for the HP and super way less for the price of a new Print Head. Canon’s get good reviews and the actual printer footprint is much smaller than my old HP.

Look, I am not picking on HP here. All Inkjet printers just die eventually. As previously stated, it is planned obsolescence. It is just something to factor in to your computer world.


Despite everything being online and stored digitally today, people still print things. The most economical way to print is with a laser printer. However, having an Inkjet around for the occasional color print is very nice if you can afford the ink. By the way, the ink for the Canon printer I am looking at is much less expensive than the HP. There are several factors to consider when buying a new InkJet printer with regards to total cost of ownership. Do your research if you are considering a new InkJet printer.