Report: Project CISS with Photo Gallery and Videos! Continuous Ink-Supply System Inkjet Printers – How do They Stack Up?


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Wirth Consulting is pleased to announce a comprehensive new test report – likely the first of its kind – that summarizes the results of exhaustive testing of inkjet printers equipped with CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System). CISS is an inking system that consists of a large external refillable ink supply that may or may not be attached to the printer, and which is advertised as saving users up to 95 percent in ink costs when compared to OEM ink cartridges. But do the claims live up to the hype?

This 64-page test report – which can be downloaded below – summarizes several months of testing of:

  • Nine printers/All-in-Ones (AiOs) from Epson, Canon, and Hewlett-Packard.
  • Two-types of add-on (non-OEM) CISS kits installed on four printers/AiOs.
  • Two OEM-equipped CISS inkjet printers, the Epson L101 CISS Ink System and Epson L210 CISS Ink System All-in-One.
  • A detailed comparison of the overall performance of CISS-equipped printers and AiOs versus that of standard cartridge-based printers and AiOs.

In the report, you’ll find:

  • How easy – or difficult – it is to install CISS kits, as well as how easy it is to refill CISS ink tanks.
  • Safety precautions and any mess associated with the maintenance of CISS kits and printers.
  • Ink and time wastage involved with CISS printers.
  • Affects on image quality.
  • Affects on printer reliability – do CISS kits cause damage to printers and/or printer failure?
  • Cost per page and total cost of ownership – are you really saving money?
  • Also tested is HP’s new Deskjet Ink Advantage 2520hc AiO, which features a high-yield black ink cartridge ($10.76 MSRP) that yields up 1,500 pages and high-yield color ink cartridge ($10.76 MSRP) that yields up to 750 pages. It has a very low cost per page and total cost of ownership for a non CISS-equipped AiO, but unfortunately it is only currently available in the SEA marketplace.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALearn everything that you need to know before you invest in CISS.

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14 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Thank you sir for the evaluation.

  2. lee says:

    Hi, I see that the external CISS you have been testing look like cheap chinease models and you havent picked any of the branded systems for testing, why not? I have tried out several ciss over the years I have learnt my lesson the hard way as there is definitely difference in quality for the $30 systems compared to the more expensive ones. My preferred choice now is Rihac brand as there ink tanks seem much more robust than others the ink quality is also much better.

    • Terry Wirth says:

      We performed this test early on in CISS history and there were limited kits to chose from. Additionally, CISS sprung up largely in SEA and that is where we sourced the kits. There is no doubt that there are now superior kits available but regardless of their quality, they do not address the fact that the design of some printers make kit installation a tenuous proposition. We had the most problems with the front-loading HP Deskjet printers where there was insufficient space to run the supply hose, as well as securely suspending it over the top of the ink cartridge carrier with other OfficeJet models. It was far easier with the Canon printers because of the top-loading design permitted far more space for the hose routing. Thankfully, all of the major inkjet vendors have introduced printers with factory-installed CISS that operate with minimal drama and good performance. Check out our latest Comparative Hands-On Test Report here.

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