The categorizing of ink cartridges may not be the sexiest thing in the world to read (or write) about but it’s one of those things that becomes much more interesting when you find yourself without the ability to print anything, and/or paying out the nose to replace spent cartridges. For me at least, the prospect of saving a considerable quantity of money can shine up even the dullest subject. And the forthcoming information can definitely save you money. See? How boring is printer ink, toner and the varied classes of ink cartridges now?! Still sort of boring, huh?
Well, I sympathize. Not to libel my own topic here but beyond its lacking the enthralling glamour of say, international espionage, of the two necessary liquids in my life, only gasoline outpaces ink for the draining of my pocketbook. However, knowing your options can mean easing the bewilderment and some of the monetary sting when you are faced with the dreaded, blinking ‘replace printer ink’ mocking you. Most importantly, there are three primary divisions in which replacement cartridges can be found. As everyone’s situation is unique, there isn’t a hard and fast “the best cartridge type for you is ——-“ guideline that fits all sizes. The purpose of this article is to outline the relative merits of these three cartridge-types, giving you an idea which type will work the best for you and your situation.
Original printer ink cartridges are the stock, factory-provided ones known in the industry as “Original Equipment Manufacturer” or OEM cartridges. These are the ones that come with your printer and are made by the company that makes the printer. These cartridges are the most expensive option to purchase.
If you ever purchased, say, a new carpet shampooer, it probably came with dire-seeming instructions to ONLY USE ——- BRAND SOAP WITH THIS PRODUCT. Of course, the shampoo and shampooer are the same brand. The suggestion is- as they are made for each other, were you to use some inferior brand of carpet shampoo your machine would, at best, work poorly. At worst, the suggestion seems to be, your carpet shampooer won’t work at all, the bad shampoo will break it and your carpets will be ruined.
Printer-producing companies work the same way. If you’re looking to save money but are under the impression that any cartridge not a —– brand OEM cartridge will not work on your machine, you have been misled. In the days of yore when personal printers were rarer this may have been the case, but nowadays remanufactured or compatible ink cartridges are generally indistinguishable from your OEMs and quite often prove a far cheaper alternative.
Remanufactured cartridges are rebuilt from used cartridges. More is involved than just replacing the ink in the cartridge. They are also taken apart and repaired and brought to a level that meets or exceeds the original specifications. Think- a skillfully refurbished TV or cell phone. As a result they are typically comparable to OEM printer cartridges in quality. They will offer a performance equal to that of the original ones. In some cases they will even produce more prints than the OEM product since the originals may not be filled to capacity.
If you are concerned about the environment then using remanufactured cartridges is the way to go. They are a better energy efficient and environmentally conscious choice as opposed to buying OEM cartridges.
However, care should be taken on where you purchase your remanufactured cartridges. Some remanufactured cartridges may not print consistently across all manufacturers. Before ordering your ink take the time to look into customer reviews. Also look into the kind of warranty or guarantee that is offered by the company you purchase from.
Finally, let me put your mind at ease by telling you that the printer’s warranty will not be voided by using remanufactured or compatible ink cartridges. They also won’t damage the printer’s print heads or cause ink to leak out.
Compatible cartridges are off-brand cartridges that are typically comparable to OEM products. Compatible products are produced to meet the same standards as the originals, but at a lower cost. Because they are generally filled to capacity, they also may produce more prints than their comparable OEM brands.
Keep in mind that compatible cartridges are not recycled as are remanufactured cartridges. They are two different products. Good luck and good hunting.