I am researching multifunction printers and will buy one in the next 30 days for my home office.

I have evaded inkjets in the past because I have horrible experiences with some home inkjets I had 10 years ago. The inkjet cartridges suffered from clogging if you left the printers unused for some months. In addition to this I have read that inkjets use a lot of ink cleaning the printheads. These are the reasons that have made me buy only laser printers for the past years.

I am now reading a lot of buzz about the HP PageWide printers. It looks like HP is trying to correct some of the problems normal inkjets had in the past.

I was almost ready to buy a HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, but have been watching videos for the HP PageWide Pro 477dw and 577dw and must say that these things look indeed interesting, specially thinking that you can maybe use special photographic paper for inkjets on these, something you cannot do with their laser siblings.

Do these PageWide printers suffer from the same problems from past inkjets with clogging and overuse of ink in cleaning of the printhead after the printer has not been used for a while? The good thing of my previous lasers is that even letting them turned off for more than a year I had never any problem with the quality of the prints and I never felt that they used lots of toner in cleaning processes.

Thank you.

  • These are inkjet printers with a stationary, full-width printhead. They are designed to be workhorse printers (high usage). If you go for long periods without printing anything, these will have the same problem. A laser printer is better for that usage pattern. You can also expect wasted ink for printhead cleaning (with a WAY bigger printhead to clean). – fixer1234 Oct 17 '16 at 6:13

Yes indeed, these printers suffer the same issues with clogging as any inlet printer will.

I previously used a laser printer but opted for this inkjet based on the specifications, speed of printing and the sales hype!

Specifically, I purchased a HP PageWide Pro MFP 477dw.

After just 1 set of cartridges, the ones supplied with the printer which were only half filled, the black printhead showed signs of clogging.
Attempts to clean the printhead using the onboard cleaning tools only exasperated the problem, so much so, that the print quality deteriorated to the point where the black ink failed to print at all over 75% of the page.

As a result, I now have a non functioning printer. Sadly, I had already bought a replacement set of ink cartridges!

I cannot recommend taking this route if your business relies on your ability to print media. I would recommend laser printers as they have a proven record of reliable operation.

This has been an expensive lesson for me. Buying this high end printer does not guarantee dependability as my experience has shown.

Think very carefully before committing to such a purchase.


Historically inkjet printers have pretty much been in the category of 'disposable'. As you mention, clogged nozzles is the downfall of any inkjet printer. Fast drying liquid ink and very small nozzles is a recipe for failure. It is not whether an inkjet printer will clog, it's a given that it will clog sooner or later.

It is one thing to have $100 invested in a printer when the nozzles clog and needs to be replaced. It's quite another if you've invested $500 -$700 for the printer and over $500 of high capacity cartridges. Even if you print daily the risk of clogged nozzles is still there and I personally would not take that risk.

This new breed of printers are being sold as laser replacements with lower cost of operation. That could be true but if you're looking at $700 printers then reliability and longevity have got to be very high on the list. No inkjet printer is as dependable as even an entry level laser printer.

My company has retailed inkjet and toner cartridges for over 20 years. Two of my customers who bought these high-end printers against my advice have had to replace them with lasers before getting to their second set of cartridges. That's an expensive lesson.

Hope this helps anyone thinking of purchase a very high-end inkjet printer.

  • 1
    Welcome to Super User! This is an interesting generic answer, but I'm not sure it address OP's question. Can you edit your answer to address their specific concerns? Thanks! – bertieb Jun 8 '18 at 20:49

I've never had a toner cartridge "clog" and quit printing even though it still had toner - they always give me more than what they are rated for before they start to fade (long after HP says they are empty - I always use cartridge override). My experience with ink has been negative, and expensive - the thought of buying 4 x $100+ ink+20,000 nozzle printheads only to have a few failing nozles create a white streak like old fax machines did not appeal to me. I own 3 designjets (1x 6ink + 2x 12 ink) and 1 canon pro photo printer (10 ink), all have the highest operating costs of any printer - but they are specialty devices and their cost is worth it. My primary everyday printer is a LaserJet m570dn. In the laser offerings, the product lines have a point where HP quits giving you the almost empty "starter/setup" cartridges and just gives you a full cartridge from day one - presently that's at the M570dn and above (5xx, 6xx, 7xx series laser printers). The M477 has almost the same features as the M570, is 10% slower, and costs a little less - but do the calculation for your cost to print the first 6000 pages, and the M477 will need the factory carts + 2 more sets of full retail. The M570 will just be finishing off the factory full-size carts around 6000 pages - likely even more. Generally, the more you spend on the printer, the less you spend per page. In this case, if you plan to print more than 6000 pages you'll spend less on the M570 and get a faster & more rugged printer with lower operating costs. Your total cost of ownership is usually lower with a laser/toner than ink/nozzle system.

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    This does not answer OPs question, OP asked specifically for problems on HP PageWide printers. – Nordlys Jeger Sep 24 '18 at 19:28

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