Eco-solvent printers are exactly what you need if you are environmentally-minded and looking for amazing printers that won’t upset mother nature. So, what exactly is eco-solvent printing?
Essentially, eco-solvent printers use a different ink than your average inkjet printer. The ink cartridges used don’t contain the volatile organic compounds of other cartridge types, instead of suspending colors in a good-for-the-planet biodegradable solvent.
Despite being different, eco-solvent inks will not impact printing speeds nor image quality. If you want high-quality printed materials, let this article act as your buying guide. We’ve got some of the best Eco solvent printers for you to consider.
Why Should I Switch To Eco-Solvent Printing?
Solvents aren’t great for indoor usage, so the move from solvent cartridges to eco-solvent ink is one that has many benefits for users. Benefits include:
- Fewer fumes are given off while printing, meaning harmful chemicals are not entering the air you breathe and becoming a detriment to your health.
- Faster drying times, which mean less chance of smudging due to wet ink.
- The biodegradable nature means they are better for the environment and, therefore, for the health of the planet we live on.
- Cost-effectiveness, especially for businesses. This cost-effectiveness is directly linked to the lack of harmful material produced by eco-solvent printers. As they can be used without ventilation hoods and in areas with less than stellar airflow, the overall costs of setting up the printers and the amount of energy used by a business are lessened.
Solvent Vs Eco-Solvent Print
Solvent inks come with the following issues:
- They have a high volatile organic compound (VOC) content.
- Fumes require venting or extraction to prevent health problems.
- The smell will linger, and images can’t be used indoors as the smell will be noticeable. They are better used for items such as outdoor banners.
- The VOC causes damage to inkjet nozzles and other areas of the printer. Therefore, a lot of cleaning and maintenance is required to keep a printer in good working order.
Eco-solvent ink comes with the following benefits:
- They have a low VOC content.
- It can be used more freely in areas where ventilation is at best adequate.
- They smell less, meaning they can be used for print material for indoor use.
- They can be used with most printheads and result in less printer maintenance.
- They are better for the environment.
Things To Check Before Buying Eco-Solvent Inkjet Printers
- Ink Set Up
Yes, you’ll be getting an inkjet printer, but how much ink do you need? And are you going for just the four ink tanks or more?
Knowing the size of the ink tanks you will get is important, and you should consider how much printing you will want to do. Nobody needs the hassle of constantly refilling a tank.
Additionally, there are so many extra color configurations to be considered beyond the traditional CMYK setup. With light inks, grays, reds, and blacks for different purposes, all available.
Always check the print speeds, but when doing so, consider the quality you will be getting from the fastest speeds. Quality prints that satisfy your needs may not be possible at the fastest print speed – often, the figure advertised is a draft mode rather than the best print. Real print speeds are something to check on different printers as well, not just the eco-solvent variety.
- Print Width
A large format printer, or wide format printer, may be required for your work. Not all the printers in our article will print to the largest dimensions, so be sure to check the specs properly. You may also want to check the sizes for borderless printing, as borderless prints are frequently requested.
Comparison Chart For Top 5 Eco-Solvent Printers
|EPSON ECOTANK ET-2720||RESOLUTION: 5760 x 1440 dpi|
PRINT SPEED: 10.5 ppm (black), 5 ppm (color)
BORDERLESS PRINTING: No
|EPSON ECOTANK ET-4760||RESOLUTION: 4800 x 1200 dpi|
PRINT SPEED: 15 ppm (black), 8 ppm (color)
BORDERLESS PRINTING: 8.5 x 11 inches max
|EPSON WORKFORCE ET-3750||RESOLUTION: 4800 x 1200 dpi|
PRINT SPEED: 15 ppm (black), 8 ppm (color)
BORDERLESS PRINTING: 8.5 x 11.7 inches max
|EPSON ECOTANK ET-2750||RESOLUTION: 5760 x 1440 dpi|
PRINT SPEED: 10 ppm (black), 5.5 ppm (color)
BORDERLESS PRINTING: Yes
|EPSON ECOTANK ET 2000 SERIES||RESOLUTION: 5760 x 1440 dpi|
PRINT SPEED: 10.5 ppm (black), 5 ppm (color)
BORDERLESS PRINTING: 4 x 6 inches
5 Best Eco Solvent Printer Reviews
1. Epson Ecotank Et-2720 | Epson Desktop Eco Solvent Printer
- The most affordable printer on the list.
- Wi-Fi and Direct Printing options.
- Small size and lightweight.
- Low acoustic noise when working.
- High 5760 x 1440 dpi printing resolution.
- No duplex printing function.
- Uses print media up to 90 gsm only.
You’ll hear this a lot in the coming reviews – ink tank printers are best for your wallet and for the environment. Quite simply, you will fill this printer with enough ink to get 4500 prints in black and 7500 prints in color. Could you even imagine such a figure from a cartridge printer?
There are larger printers with extra features on this list, but if you require a machine to print documents well on plain paper, there is no reason to look beyond the Epson EcoTank ET-2720.
This machine is a reliable printer, scanner, and copier at a cost that means money is not wasted. It’s a great home printer and ideal for anyone with a business that doesn’t require a heavy print load.
- Prints, scans, and copies.
- 100 sheet input tray.
- 1.4-inch display.
- Compatible with both Windows and macOS
2. Epson Ecotank Et-4760
- Borderless printing up to 8.5 by 11 inches.
- Duplex printing and copying options are available.
- Larger display size than the EcoTank ET-2720
- Fast simplex printing speeds.
- A recommended duty cycle of 800 pages.
- Direct printing options do not include Wi-Fi Direct.
While the one-off cost of this eco-tank printer is much higher than a similar spec cartridge printer, you will save money in the long run, thanks to the incredible cost per page the ET-4760 delivers. It is literally a couple of cents per printed page.
Yes, you’ll find the resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi to be slightly lesser than the EcoTank ET-2720, but that is more than made up for with the superior print speed of 15 pages per minute in black and eight pages per minute in color.
Though the resolution is not as high, it is still good enough to produce outstanding images and crisp text. For example, you won’t notice a huge difference in quality as you would when compared to a 9600 x 2400 dpi printer.
Duplex printing makes this ideal for saving paper when you have large documents to reel off, and borderless printing allows for wonderful postcard size photos.
- All-in-one print, scan, copy, and fax function.
- Use with mobile devices via Android Apps and Apple AirPrint.
- Touchscreen display to easily change paper settings.
- Quick scanning via the 30-sheet automatic document feeder.
3. Epson Workforce Et-3750
- The printer comes with enough ink for 14,000 black printouts and 11,200 color printouts.
- Long document mode allowing prints up to 47.2 inches in length.
- Fast simplex and duplex print speeds.
- Borderless prints are available up to 8.5 x 11.7 inches.
- Recommended monthly duty cycle of 800 pages.
- No duplex scanning.
With a resolution and printing speed the same as the EcoTank ET-4760, you may well ask what the difference between this printer and the one mentioned above is.
Compared to the other machines thus far, this is a large format printer, and while it may not be an 11 x 17-inch wide format, it does manage a respectable 8.5 x 14-inch document. The borderless capability is also higher.
Direct print options include a range of Epson apps, Wi-Fi Direct, and those required for Android and Apple Devices. You can even hook this printer up by Ethernet cable, meaning you can connect multiple printers without adding pressure to a wireless network.
Used wisely, this printer won’t need more ink for up to two years.
- All-in-one printer that prints, scans, copies, and faxes.
- Scanner with automatic document feeder (1200 dpi).
- 150-sheet input tray.
- Compatible with both Windows and macOS/OS X.
4. Epson Ecotank Et-2750 | Small Format Eco Solvent Printer
- Higher resolution than the WorkForce ET-3750 and EcoTank ET-4760.
- Supports automatic duplex printing.
- Minimum 3 picoliter ink droplet size is better than similar office printers.
- Supports printing on media such as matte and glossy paper.
- Lesser page yield than the WorkForce ET-3750.
- Slower printing speeds than the EcoTank ET-4760.
You’re looking at eco-solvent printers, and it’s safe to assume that you wouldn’t be looking at eco-solvent printers unless you had some desire to protect the environment.
You’ll be pleased to know that the ET-2750 does what you need, being one of those excellent wide format printers that come with ENERGY STAR certification as well as being recyclable once you are done with the machine.
This printer will connect by Wi-Fi but also comes with technology that the other eco-solvent printers we have looked at lack – memory card slots. That’s right; you can print directly from SD cards or Micro-SD Cards.
- Direct Printing options including Wi-Fi Direct, Android, and Apple AirPrint options.
- Color LCD to access printing options.
- Handles print media of 8.5 x 14 inches.
- Supports Windows, macOS/OS X.
5. Epson Ecotank Et 2000 Series
- Supports SD Cards.
- Smaller and lighter than the 3000 series.
- Holds enough ink for thousands of pages.
- Good quality prints for an entry-level printer.
- No touchscreen panel.
- Lacks an automatic document feeder.
Coming in at more expensive than the EcoTank ET-2720 but cheaper than all other eco-solvent printers on the list, this inkjet printer is entry-level but with some key additional features in comparison to the other entry-level printer on the list.
The SD card slot is the main bonus in comparison to the ET-2720, giving this machine an added connectivity option.
As with all the machines on this list, you are looking at thousands of pages in comparison to a printer relying on ink cartridges.
While this printer is too small to match the wide-format printers on the list, it has a print quality equal to those very same wide format printers. So if a standard print is all you need from a printer that is better than owning any solvent printers, this is the machine to opt for.
- Comes with enough ink for thousands of pages.
- 1.4-inch color display to view printer settings.
- The monthly maximum duty cycle of 5000 pages (800 recommended).
What Is An Eco-Solvent Printer?
An eco-solvent printer is one that can use eco-solvent inks. If you are looking to move toward more environmentally friendly printing, it is not as simple as switching to an eco-solvent cartridge. You need a printer that is compatible with the ink type.
A word of warning, though – using an eco-solvent printer does not mean you are doing everything possible to reduce the damage your printing does.
You will need to check the type of ink your printer is using. Not all eco sol inks are equal. While they will be better than a solvent ink, there are levels of eco sol ink in terms of how many harmful chemicals they contain.
What Printers Use Eco-Solvent Ink?
Most modern printers have been set up to use eco-solvent ink due to the demand for work processes that cause less harm to the environment.
Eco-solvent inks are mainly used with inkjet printers. They can be used with both a wide format printer or a regular printer, and for the most part, they will produce quality prints the same as other printers you would use.
If you have a dye-sublimation printer, you will not want to use this type of ink. Dye-sublimation inks are water-based. Should you wish to use an eco-solvent ink for a project, we recommend flushing out the ink lines before reverting back to your sublimation ink.
What Is The Most Eco-Friendly/Environmentally Friendly Printer?
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is considered a very eco-friendly printer, thanks to the large print yield you can get due to the ink tanks.
Furthermore, any of the Epson Ink Tank printers are perfect, especially the newer models, as they contain the technology for efficient printing that comes at an affordable cost to customers.
Which Is The Best Eco-Solvent Printer?
For final product, software, productivity features, and value for money, the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 appears on many a list for the great eco-solvent printing. You are unlikely to find a better machine on the market.
What Printer Can Be Converted To Eco-Solvent?
We can’t provide an exhaustive list of printers that can be converted to eco-solvent because there are just so many. However, we can say that most Epson and Canon printers can be converted to eco-sol inks if you use a conversion kit.
On the other hand, you will eventually need to buy an eco-solvent printer because the technology in these other printers will give up sooner rather than later.
What Is The Cheapest Eco-Solvent Printer?
If you are looking for an entry-level printer with a decent duty cycle for that level of machine, then we recommend the EPSON EcoTank ET-2720. Usually retailing at a couple of hundred dollars, you don’t want to go any cheaper than this printer, as the ink consumption of the very cheap printers negates the aim of being kinder to the environment.
On this list, there are wide format printers and entry-level printers that use inks better for the environment than solvent printers.
One model stands out above all the rest for software, paper handling, ink usage, and much more. That printer is the Epson EcoTank ET 4760, though that bit of technology is given a close run by the Epson WorkForce 3750.
Rarely will you find better printers for document paper and photos at this price. They will make an outstanding addition to a home office or small business.