Deal: Refurb Canon Pixma MX860 MX 860 Wireless Printer – $69

It’s not enough to be just a “cheap printer.”  What are the ongoing costs of operation? What about the ink cartridges?

From Techbargians:

Canon PIXMA MX860 Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer (Refurb, Wifi, Duplex, ADF) $69.99

Newegg has the Refurbished Canon PIXMA MX860 Color Inkjet Multifunction Printer/Copier/Fax/Scanner for a low $69.99 after coupon code EMCYVNN49 (Exp 7/28). $3.99 Shipping. Tax in CA, NJ, TN, PR.

9600x2400dpi; 2.5″ color LCD; card reader; USB 2.0, ethernet, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity; automatic duplex (double-sided) printing; 15-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF)

Canon MX860 inkjet printer - wireless.

This is a good deal for several reasons – this printer is loaded with features. The print head for this printer is valued at $50.00, and the cartridges that are included are worth at least $50.00 (if purchased separately) – so this printer pays you to take it home.  Good feature set, and reliable operation. We have looked at this printer, and it is *not* a good candidate for a continuous inking system – there is not much clearance, and if you do decide to go CIS, CISS, some serious surgery will be required on this printer.


The warranty on refurbished Canon inkjet printers is only 90 days.  The print head included with this printer (QY6-0073-000) will also work in the Pixma iP3600, PiXMA MP620, and Canon Pixma MX860.

Click here for Newegg Pricing. Limit 5 per customer.

Want A New MX860?

Click here for a *new* Canon MX860 is available from Amazon for $30.00 more, plus free shipping ($99.99 delivered). The *new* Canon MX860 includes a full 1-year warranty.

Cartridges Used:

The Canon MX860 uses 5 individual ink cartridges – the “larger” PGI-220 black cartridge is for text, and the CLI-221 photo black gets used only when photos are being printed.

New Canon OEM cartridges will run $14-black, and $13-colors. Compatible cartridges can be had for $3-$4, and refilling is also an option on these tiny ink cartridges.

You can take a look at the PGI-220/CLI-221 cartridges here:

Canon Specifications Page:


See this printer in action:

News: Canon CLI-221, PGI-220 Chip Resetters Available Soon

yes-we-can1CLI-221 and PGI-220 Chip Resetters Soon?

After getting word that compatible cartridges with pre-reset chip for Canon inkjet printers Pixma iP3600, iP4600, MP620, MP980, and MX860, we think it is safe to assume that chip resetters will be available in the next 2-3 months.  Resetters for the current Canon line of cartridges (CLI-8 pictured, PGI-5) can be had for as little as twenty bucks, and they are readily available.

Refillers Rejoyce:

CLI-221, and PGI-220Bk cartridges are available now as chip-less replacement cartridges (requires disabling of the Canon ink monitor forever, and a simple chip swap from the cartridge being replaced), however if you run out of ink completely there is a chance that the print head can be damaged.  Canon print heads are not as hearty as the Epson printers IOHO.  So if you choose to go this route, please watch your ink levels and change cartridges often.

Refillers, help is on the way.

Update – December 21st, 2009:

Not as easy as it seemed…

News: Canon CLI-221, PGI-220Bk Chip Reset Not Possible?

No chip resetters for CLI-220, PGI-221

No chip resetters for CLI-220, PGI-221

New Cartridge, New Problems:

Based on conversations with several industry sources, new information has come to light regarding chip reset systems for the new Canon CLI-221, and PGI-220Bk inkjet cartridges.  There is currently no way to reset the chip on this cartridge, so this means no chip resetters for the time being.

But wait…there is a solution

step-3-chipThere is a way to “turn off” the chip so the printer does not check the ink levels. This process does not really do anything to the chip. Rather the ink monitor is disabled by pressing a combination of keys on the printer. In some cases there is even an onscreen dialogue box which guides you through the process.  When the Canon cartridge that came with your printer runs out of ink, you turn off the ink monitor, and then physically move the chip on the end of the cartridge to a new compatible cartridge.  Fortunately there are compatible CLI-221, and PGI-220Bk inkjet cartridges currently available that are exact duplicates of the Canon originals, and they have a place for the end user to place the removed chip.

Watching the ink levels, not as fun…

One negative to this approach is that the print monitor will not pop up on the screen and tell you the ink is about to run out.  Fortunately there are two foolproof ways to tell when running low on ink.  Lift the top cover and look  inside the printer, as the actual ink cartridges are easy to see.  OR, if that vacation photo comes out a little off color, you know a cartridge needs to be replaced.

The ink monitor will show this screen when the original Canon inks are getting low.  Notice on this printer, there are 3 cartridge chips that have already been reset or as Canon refers to them as released.

That is all that chip does.  Tell the printer the ink level.  The only reason to code the chip in 128-bit encryption was to foil refillers.

Ink monitor is disabled with a simple press of a button on the printer. As you can see, ink monitoring has been disabled for 3 of 5 CLI-220 cartridges already.

Trying to get ahead of the curve.

canon-cli-8pgi-5-bkWe all know times are tough, and Canon wants to help by making its cartridges smaller…wait, what?!  The changes to the CLI-221, and PGI-220Bk series inkjet cartridges signify that Canon is trying desperately to stay ahead of the generic cartridge market (this after years of not really caring).  Canon now forces its customers to  purchase one of the smallest inkjet cartridges on the market.

encryptedThe cartridge series before these are the CLI-8, and PGI-5 series.  The chips on these cartridges are encoded with 128-bit encryption to prevent simple reverse engineering.  It has been almost 2 years since Canon released the PGI-5Bk, and CLI-8 series inkjet cartridges and prices are just now in the reasonable range.  A compatible cartridge with reset chip will run you about $4.99; Canon charges $14.00-$17.00.

Hopefully, there will not be another 2 year wait for CLI-220, PGI221Bk compatible cartridges that are ready to work out of the box, chip pre-installed and reset to work with the software ink level monitor.

The CLI-221, and PGI-220 inkjet cartridges are about half the size of their predecessors, the CLI-8, and PGI-5 cartridges.

So your options now are limited.  We will be updating this post with chip swap instructions, and ink monitor disable instructions soon.

Update: 4-14-09Chipped compatibles will be available in the next 2-3 weeks.

Review: Canon CLI-221, PGI-220 Inks Shrink Compared To CLI-8, PGI-5

Filed under less ink for more money

Check out our Continuous Inking System review and installation guide here. No more cartridges!

Spotted this on Amazon and wondered why:


The iP4300 printer has been discontinued by Canon for a while now, and its replacement is the Canon Pixma iP4600 which cost a mere $87.00. Why does the new replacement cost less than the old model?


We found the answer when we saw the new CLI-221 and PGI-220 ink cartridges that the iP4600 uses.  Canon has halved the size of the inkjet cartridge on the newer CLI-220, PGI-221 cartridges; we also assume that the print head assembly has changed as well.  This would explain the rush on old technology.  Having tested an iP4300 we can testify to the quality of the printer, very good.  Two paper trays in a consumer inkjet printer is worth its original $99.00 price alone.  But $295.00 is stretching it a little.

New CLI-220 Canon cartridges are MUCH smaller than the previous CLI-8 series.

New CLI-220 Canon cartridges are MUCH smaller than the previous CLI-8 series.

The new cartridges also have a new chip to deal with, so that is also an issue.  Copies of the cartridges (available as compatibles) are available, however these copies do not include the chip attached to the end of each cartridge which is required to register the cartridge in the printer.  The Canon print monitor can be turned off, and you find out you are out of ink when the page you printed is missing a color.  A quick look inside the printer to check the ink every now and then cures this.

Chipless compatibles are available for CLI-220 series inks, but requires a chip swap.

Chipless compatibles are available for CLI-220 series inks, but requires a chip swap.

If you want a cartridge with a reset chip, they are not currently available.  The previous Canon cartridges like the CLI-8, and PGI-5 series, which were released in 2005-2006, and it took over a year and a half until the code on the chip was broken and reset systems were made widely available.  Canon locked out third party cartridge providers when they used 128-bit encryption on the ink monitor chip as to stymie remanufacturers.  It took a long time to crack the original Canon code, and I would guess this would be the case this time around as well.  Compatibles with chip for the CLI-8, PGI-5 series ink cartridges are readily available today, however this was not the case over the past 2 years.

Printers that use the “new” CLI-220, PGI-221 cartridges are:

  • PIXMA iP3600
  • PIXMA iP4600
  • PIXMA MP620
  • PIXMA MP980
  • PIXMA MX860

So if your printer uses the newer CLI-220, PGI-221 cartridges, it looks like you will have to do the chip swap in the short term.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

This deal on a Canon MP960 looks even better now.

Update 4-14-09:

Canon compatible cartridges with a reset chip will soon be available.