HOW TO: When It's Time To Retire Your Old Printer

It’s tough to know when the right time to upgrade your printer is. Here’s some common signs to look out for.

Technology is constantly changing, it’s the greatest blessing as our world continues to evolve. But this can also be challenging for some, as keeping up with the newest and greatest technology trends is costly. For example, it’s difficult to know when to upgrade your printer, especially with so many models being released.

So how do you know whether it’s time to upgrade? Below are a few signs you can look out for. These are your printer’s way of telling you its nearing the end of its life.


If you can’t find replacement parts…ANYWHERE.

Usually, the first thing a company discontinues is the machine itself. But although the manufacturer no longer sells the machine, the parts and supplies often stay on the market a lot longer. Not being able to find replacement parts is usually quite common with the ageing of printers.

If you’re struggling to find genuine supplies/parts, chances are your printer has been discontinued for some time. In rare cases there is a chance that you can find non-genuine or compatible supplies, but these will only get you by for so long. Having a printer in need of replacement parts, but not being able to find them usually means it’s time to cut your losses and upgrade.

Your needs have changed

Another and one of the simplest ways to determine whether it’s time to upgrade is a change in needs. If your printing needs have evolved and your printer is struggling to keep up it’s usually best to start considering an upgrade. Your printer needs can change over time and can be due to several reasons such as:

  • The volume of your printing has increased, therefore you need a printer with a higher ppm (pages per minute) speed.
  • You have a monochrome (black & white) printer but are now needing to also print coloured documents.
  • You’re constantly buying new supplies. This can generally happen if you are using an inkjet printer but you’re printing volume has increased. Inkjet printers aren’t made for high volume printing.
  • You need added features that your current model doesn’t have such as; AirPrint, scanning or duplex printing.

A change in circumstances is usually a common reason why people upgrade their printer. If you’re experiencing any of the above, it means it’s time to upgrade your device. It’s better to realise this early on, so it in turn doesn’t affect your productivity. 

The print quality is, well…questionable??

It’s common with any device that as it ages so does its performance. Print quality refers to everything from faded text to suspicious lines in your documents. But there are several things you can do to help fix these problems before upgrading.

It’s best to first consider if the poor print quality is due to a faulty cartridge. Try first by replacing the cartridges to see if this eliminates the problem. If this doesn’t work, it’s best to look at whether the drum or printer head needs replacing.

These are just a few options to consider before deciding to purchase a new printer. But if you get to this spot, some people may decide that it’s cheaper or more time effective to purchase a new device. Either way the decision should be based on your own personal circumstances. 

Paper jams happening almost always!!

A clear sign that you’re ready to upgrade is paper jams. Paper jams do occur sometimes, but they shouldn’t be frequent. There are a few things you can do to prevent the paper jams. First thing is to check the quality of the paper you’re using. Low quality paper is usually a culprit of paper jams, it’s important to make sure you’re using high quality paper for your prints.

The most common cause of paper jams is the rolling mechanism of the device. You can usually eliminate paper jams by cleaning these rollers with an alcohol swab. Or if that doesn’t work you can replace them.

However, if you are still experiencing paper jams after trying the steps above, it may be multiple components causing the paper to jam. In some scenarios buying a new printer may be cheaper in the long run. Replacing several parts can be quite costly, and there is no guarantee that this will eliminate the problem. If anything, it may only buy you some more time.


The above should have helped you decide whether it’s time to upgrade or whether you can hold on to your current model a little longer.

If you have decided to upgrade, you may be wondering what to do with your old printer? Well, there’s a couple options. You can keep it as a backup just in case you need it in the future. Or you can dispose of it, but please make sure you are thinking of the environment when doing so. Disposing of electronics in general waste can be quite harmful on the environment. There are many locations that allow you to drop off old electronics to help break them down and recycle their parts.

Now if you’ve decided to upgrade, but don’t know where to start or what to look for. Check out our printer buying guide below. It will ask you several questions to determine which type of printer is best suited for you.

7th Sep 2021 Maddison McQueen

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