Printer Head Options

Epson DX5 and DX7 heads comparison

A comparison of Epson DX5 and DX7 heads

Epson has used micro-piezo technology in their printers for decades, and that has built them a reputation for reliability and print quality that few can match. However, over the years they have made several advances, with new heads appearing over the years that improve various aspects of performance. The Epson DX5 has been a reliable workhorse for many years, but with its newer DX7 available as well. What are the differences between the two and why would you pick one over the other?

Epson DX5 and DX7 Specifications

The first thing to look at when comparing the two print heads is their specifications, because it is this that defines how they perform and gives us an idea of what each head is designed to do. The Epson DX5 head is the older of the two, compatible with both solvent and eco-solvent based inks, and has a native resolution of 1440 dpi, using 1440 nozzles arranged in 8lines of 180 nozzles. It has a firing frequency of 8kHz and a minimum droplet size of 1.5 picolitres.

The Epson DX7 is also solvent and eco-solvent compatible, and it uses 6 lines of 90 nozzles for 540 nozzles and a 1440 dpi resolution, the droplet size is the same 1.5 picolitres at 8kHz.

Epson DX5 and DX7 Performance

While every print job is different, both heads are assessed based on their speed to print a full size A4 image, and while their specifications do look quite similar, this is where the differences show. The Epson DX5 took just 64 seconds to print the full page, while the DX7 took 111. Speed is not everything of course, and the output quality should also be looked at. Here the end result is not as far apart as you may think, the DX7 providing a slower speed, but maintaining high quality output. The DX5 offering slightly higher quality at a much faster speed.

Epson DX5 and DX7 Suitability

The biggest difference between the two heads is not the speed as you may think, but it is in fact operating costs. Not only is the DX5 more expensive to purchase, but the extra nozzles mean it is also a costlier head to maintain. By contrast, the Epson DX7 offers relatively low running costs to offset that slower print speed.
What does that mean for anyone looking at these heads? If you can live with the lower print speed, the Epson DX7 can offer significant savings in running costs, but if you want the fastest prints without sacrificing quality, and running costs are not too much of a worry for you, then the Epson DX5 is the head to choose.