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Why are there two black ink cartridges in PIXMA MX922 ?


Pixma MX922 has two black cartridges, one's big and the other is the size of the color cartridges ? When one gets low, then I have to replace it, it doesn't "switch" to use the other one which has plenty of ink. Why is that ?


What's the point of having two black cartridges ?





Hi williampeck1958,


The two black ink tanks serve different purposes and are used for different types of printing. The larger black ink tank is a pigment-based ink and is used for your document printing when plain paper is selected, you are doing single-sided printing, and your document contains black text.


The smaller ink tank is a dye-based ink and is used when printing photos, performing duplex (double-sided) printing, and when a paper type other than plain paper is selected (i.e., envelopes, labels, photo paper, etc.). The smaller black ink is also used when printing certain webpages and PDF files that have coding in them to use color ink, even if the grayscale or black only option is selected.


As such, when the smaller black ink tank runs out, you are not able to use the larger black ink tank in its place unless you are able to highlight the text in your doument and change it to all black text.  If the larger black ink tank runs out and you still need to print, highlighting the text in your document and changing it all to another color other than black will utilize the smaller black ink tank and the other color ink tanks to make the text on the page.


Also, in the event that you run out of ink and want to prevent the low ink warnings from displaying, you can temporarily disable the ink level detection function of the printer by pressing and holding down the STOP/RESET button on the printer for at least 7 seconds, then releasing it.  You will need to do this procedure for each of the ink tanks that are showing that they are low or out of ink for the low ink warning to be completely removed.  Once the low/out of ink tanks are replaced with Canon genuine ink tanks, the ink level detection function of the printer will be re-enabled.


Hope this helps!


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Can you explain why duplex printing uses the smaller cartridge?  Is there a way (On the Mac) to specifiy the larger cartridge?





Hi atlynch,


The reason why Canon's printers use the dye based (smaller ink tank) black ink when printing duplex is because it dries quicker than the pigment based ink.  If the pigment based ink was used, when the paper is printed on the reverse side, there would be streaks on the paper and ink would smear on the printing platen inside of the printer.  Because of this, there isn't a setting in the driver that would force the printer to use the pigment ink for duplex printing.

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I've kept my MX922 on duplex setting unless I have something I specifically don't want to print on both sides. From the info here I now assume that when I print single black-only pages (much of my printing), that I should have the duplex setting turned off to keep from using more ink from the small black cartridge. Is this correct, or is the printer smart enough to know there won't be a back side to a page?

Hi LynnieB,


If you only print one page, the PIXMA MX922 will print accordingly.

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I hav my settings designated as plain paper with fast print and gray scale but I still use more from the small cartridge than the large one. what else might this be

Yes, it answers my question.  But how stupid is it to sell the combo pak of cartridges and not include the small black one to print pictures.  The other cartirdges are included.  Why not Black????  Makes me wish I'd bought a different brand printer, this iP8720 is no dream.  

I agree, terrible terrible design, just another way to increase ink sales. Canon you suck!

I have no idea what is wrong with canon! Luckily when the scanners and photo printers started coming out in an all-in -one, I got lucky enough and sealed towards the HP. But my sister always went for canon. Not anymore. I've got one now and you could not pay me $1 million to get another one. They are the absolute worst printer it takes the most time and money that I've ever seen. Now my sister ate some too. My HP friend gave me no probably had Q cartridges color and black and I printed all the time with my school and photos and maybe had to get ink once every three months this is insane ! Sorry for ranting.

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