- Canon PIXMA printers have a history of problems with color accuracy, making them less reliable than other Canon printers or models from other brands.
- The Canon PIXMA printer is slow compared to other printers on the market, making it less efficient for bulk printing.
- PIXMA printers have a tendency to produce streaky pages due to misaligned cartridges, which can be frustrating for users.
The Canon PIXMA printer is commonplace in both the home and office. You might have seen one at work today, or your parents might have one gathering dust in the upstairs closet. There is definitely a reason for their widespread popularity: They are good printers — despite some people having bad experiences.
Of course, all that said, the Canon PIXMA printer might be your best match. Choosing a printer largely depends on personal preferences. But the truth is, personal preferences are pretty uniform when it comes to budget printers. Everybody just wants a printer that prints without putting up a fight.
We gathered data from reviews where we repeatedly saw the same complaints. If you want to avoid becoming one of these disgruntled buyers, it is probably a good idea to stick around and find out the top reasons you should avoid a Canon PIXMA printer.
Some Background on Canon Printers
As a brand, Canon’s legacy is vast; they were established in 1937, specializing in cameras. They also produced optical devices, setting the groundwork for what Canon would be known for in the future. A little over a decade later, Canon dipped its toes into printing with copiers meant for office use.
In the 1970s, Canon finally developed plans for its first range of inkjet printers. Now, these are hailed as some of their most successful products, and this initial launch allowed Canon to establish itself as an industry leader. About ten years later, they further instilled this expertise by improving upon their inkjet printers with Bubble Jet technology. This was some of the most precise printing that existed at the time, allowing Canon to stand out from the crowd.
By the 1990s, Canon’s inkjet printers began to look a little more familiar. At the time, they were large and chunky; many of them would stand on their own, still mostly designed for office use, and less so for home use. However, this was the stage where Canon’s printers became more viable for home use, too! In 1993, they released the first-ever full-color Bubble Jet printer.
In the 2000s and 2010s, inkjet technology was improved drastically. Modern features like Bluetooth pairing and cloud integration were implemented. Plus, the concept of home printing became more commonplace.
Many of Canon’s most popular products have been the result of decades of innovation and planning. Though Canon has established a brand based on reliable consistency, some of its products do miss the mark. Below, we’ve broken down a few of the main reasons why you might not like the Canon PIXMA printers.
Reason #1: Color Accuracy
Unfortunately, Canon’s PIXMA printers tend to have problems with color accuracy. The inkjet technology aims to create the most accurate color prints possible. However, the PIXMA ones are not as reliable as other Canon printers or models from other brands like Epson or Brother.
You would fare better buying a higher-end Canon printer with the goal of having more consistently accurate colors. If you are an artist, designer, or attempting to capture important memories, you may want to choose a different printer. On the other hand, if you don’t care if the colors look a “little off” when you print something, then you won’t mind a Canon PIXMA.
Reason #2: Slow Speed
At-home printers are made to increase speed and productivity. People expect modern printers to produce their content at a lightning-fast pace, so they can focus on other tasks throughout the day. The Canon PIXMA is definitely not in a race. This printer takes a long time, especially when compared to the cost of the printer, to get anything out.
This is not a huge deal if you only have a few pages. But if you need to print in bulk, you would spend more time sitting by your printer, waiting for your paper to come out of it, than you would getting some prints at Kinkos or any other professional printing station. If you’re buying a printer for an office, or somewhere it will be used every day, focus on getting one that emphasizes speed and productivity.
Reason #3: Streaky Pages
Sometimes, the cartridges get misaligned; this can happen with any printer, but the PIXMA printers have a history of this specific problem. When cartridges lose alignment, you run the risk of getting streaks across your pages. These are typically vertical lines that go from the top of the page to the bottom of it.
Occasionally, there may only be one or two streaks across the page, but the goal is to have no streaks at all. A printer from a prestigious brand like Canon shouldn’t be at risk for streaks, even if it’s just one or two, and even if it’s just a “once in a while” issue.
Reason #4: Paper Capacity
Most home printers have a lower paper capacity than the ones you’d find in an office setting. That’s normal; people tend to need less paper in their trays when they’re printing for work or school at home. Still, it can be a bit of a pain when your printer can only handle about a hundred sheets of paper at once.
Plus, the number they tell you in the instruction manual isn’t always accurate. If it says the capacity is about 100 sheets, you can expect it to actually fit about 75. Of course, this will depend on the model that you get.
However, most of the PIXMA printers have a very low paper capacity, which is one of the most frustrating pain points people face with printers, generally speaking. As someone who gets annoyed when their printer yells at them for more paper, I can understand the hate against printers with low paper capacity.
Reason #5: Paper Jam
A wise man once said: “I should call my printer Bob Marley, because it’s always Jammin!”
One of the biggest complaints people have with Canon printers is that paper gets jammed easily. Since they are made to fit a smaller desk space, the mechanisms are designed a bit differently than those of an office printer.
For example, the function that is used to feed the paper from the top out of the side is not that reliable. Paper gets jammed super easily because the low paper capacity makes it nearly effortless to put too much paper in the tray.
You can avoid the paper jam issue by keeping a significantly smaller amount of sheets in the tray at once, going far under the listed capacity. However, this is really inconvenient since you’d want to just leave the allotted number of sheets in the tray and then forget about it until you need a refill. The paper jam issue makes it necessary to refill your tray far more frequently.
Reason #6: Expensive Ink
Everything else up to this point may be forgivable, but ink costs are one of the biggest ways a Canon PIXMA will hang you out to dry. At-home printing is expensive, and there’s no way around that fact!
You’re going to pay for certain expenses with a home printer regardless of the model you choose. One way around this is to skip the ink entirely and buy a laser printer. That’s a fantastic idea, too. But if you are stuck with a cheap Canon PIXMA, you’ll have to feed it plenty of ink.
Canon notoriously uses pretty expensive ink to generate impressive, professional-quality results. While this is great for creating crystal-clear images, it can be frustrating to need expensive ink. Their cartridges are also very small, so they’re going to need to be replaced frequently.
If you use your printer daily, or even just a few times a week, then getting a laser printer is worth the extra investment. You won’t spend as much money on ink, and you will avoid most of the pitfalls we’re mentioning here.
Reason #7: Ineffective Scanner
One of the top-selling points for the Canon PIXMA printer series is that it comes with a built-in copier and scanner. However, the quality of both functions is horribly sub-par. In fact, nearly every review of the printer says that the features are relatively worthless, especially compared to competitor products.
You can certainly find a multi-use printer with a built-in copier and/ or scanner if that’s a top priority for you. It would simply be a better choice to go with any other product. Canon even has other printers with the same features that are much higher in quality, making the PIXMA printers very disappointing comparatively. Especially since we know that the brand is capable of much more.
Reason #8: Ownership Cost
Ultimately, the biggest drawback of this printer is the ownership cost. Sure, it’s leaning on the more affordable side of things, with most PIXMA models coming in at about $100, and the more expensive end of the range being about $200.
Still, you’ll find that the brand chose to sacrifice quality over quantity. You do get what you pay for, in some cases, and this is one of those cases. Canon truly cut so many critical corners to make this printer more affordable that it doesn’t feel worth the spend.
You would fare better by saving up some cash and exploring Canon’s other options or something from a different brand entirely. The other factors, like low sheet capacity and unreliable copying/ scanning, paired with the potential for streaky pages each time you print, make the PIXMA printers a major disappointment. Otherwise, Canon is a reputable, prestigious brand.
The Best Inkjet Printers for Home Use
Of course, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Amazon has an amazing range of printers available at a ton of different price points. Regardless of your budget and needs, there is going to be a printer out there for you.
HP DeskJet 3755 Compact All-in-One Wireless Printer
This budget-friendly printer sets you back at roughly $90, making it an affordable, reliable option. Plus, HP is a trusted brand — you may have already tried one of their products. The DeskJet 3755’s compact build makes it a great option for home use. You can tuck this on top of or underneath any desk space effortlessly. Plus, it can connect to your Alexa voice assistant, making it extremely practical.
Epson Expression Home XP-4100 Wireless Color Printer
Wireless printers are a game-changer. These days, “smart” and wireless tech is taking over our homes, workplaces, and lives at large. This printer is a bit bigger than the HP DeskJet, but it’s not super clunky. Instead, it can fit on a tabletop without needing excessive wires or heavy-duty startup. It’s beginner-friendly while still promoting updated, modern technology for your home.
HP OfficeJet 8015e Wireless Color All-in-One Printer
A major complaint among printer owners is that they tend to run up expenses for frequent ink refills. You can expect most printers to need new ink after about 2-3 months of regular use, and even sooner updates if you are printing or copying daily.
This HP OfficeJet printer combines all of your office needs (printing, copying, and scanning) for less than $200, with the added incentive of 6 months of free ink. As of writing this article, it’s also offered on a special via Amazon Prime.
Brother MFC-J1010DW Wireless Color Inkjet
As someone who uses Brother printers almost exclusively, there is a reason I stick with this brand. Their printers are extremely robust and rarely make you put up with issues like paper jams, streaky ink, or low capacity.
Despite still being an inkjet printer, the Brother uses higher-yield cartridges that tend to last a little longer. Plus, you can sign up for their Refresh program and get discounted ink delivered automatically. To top it off, the 150-page paper capacity means you won’t worry about constantly refilling sheets of paper.
Why You Might Still Want a Canon PIXMA Printer
We might not have convinced you against the Canon PIXMA printers, and that’s completely okay. Sometimes, what works best for someone else is the complete opposite for you, and vice versa! Our suggestions are merely that — suggestions, and they do not need to be taken as gospel.
The Canon PIXMA series is affordable and accessible. You can order one on Amazon Prime for about $100, or even less in some cases. They might not be the best choice for a small business printer or someone who needs all the bells and whistles. But if you need a cheap printer right away, the PIXMA is there for you.
Some Canon PIXMA printers are small enough to fit in a home office. You can tuck them away pretty easily, often forgetting they are even there until you need to use them. Plus, they do offer a decent print, despite having some issues with streaks and color accuracy.
For every buyer who had a bad experience, there were nine others who had a good one. The PIXMA series is not the worst on the market. It is simply a subpar, average printer compared to ones both by Canon and other companies that are similarly priced.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alexisaj/Shutterstock.com.