Ink Cartridges Replacement – Know The 4 Main Types
There is a reason many companies hire an employee or contractor whose job is to maintain office equipment. While technology today performs better than in the past, it is also more complicated to maintain. For instance, when it comes time to replace the ink cartridges on your printer, you now have four options to select from: OEM (original equipment manufacturer), refillable, re-manufactured and compatible. Learning about the options can help you decide what type works best for your printer and your budget.
OEM Ink Cartridges
OEM ink cartridges are cartridges manufactured by the same company that made your printer. The OEM ink cartridge is the only type that is guaranteed to be fully compatible with your printer’s setup and to maximize ink usage. You can count on the cartridge quality as well as the quality of your finished print. The downside is buying a pricey ink cartridge when replacement time comes.
Refillable Ink Cartridges
Refillable ink cartridges are an eco-friendly option. With a refillable ink cartridge, recycled cartridges are refilled with ink and resold. The downside is that sometimes these cartridges can clog or malfunction. Because you have no way of knowing how the cartridge was handled before it was returned, this is a risk you take with refillable printer ink cartridges.
Remanufactured Ink Cartridges
Remanufactured ink cartridges nearly always solve the dilemma of whether a recycled ink cartridge will perform up to standard. Remanufactured ink cartridges return to the original manufacturer as recycled cartridges. They are then cleaned, inspected, tested and refurbished (if needed) before they are refilled with ink. These cartridges are typically priced lower than their OEM counterparts but usually perform just as well. They are a great way to simultaneously help the environment and save money.
Compatible Ink Cartridges
A compatible ink cartridge is a generic cartridge that can be used as a substitute for a name-brand OEM or remanufactured ink cartridge. Like any generic, the price will be lower than the brand-name option. However, because the compatible ink cartridge was not made by the manufacturer of your printer, the risk is that it won’t work exactly as intended. If you want to try this option, order one cartridge first and see how your printer responds.
A Word on Replacement Cartridge Pricing
From a pricing perspective, you can expect to pay the most for an OEM cartridge, because it is a new brand-name ink cartridge designed by the manufacturer of your printer to work flawlessly in your specific model. A remanufactured cartridge will be slightly less expensive in most cases than an OEM cartridge. Refillable and compatible ink cartridges are the most affordable.
Selecting the Best Ink Cartridge
If you want to save some money on replacement ink cartridges, the best place to start is with a remanufactured ink cartridge. You will save money and see how the cartridge performs in your printer. Some printers are more particular than others, so you may have different experiences with different printers. As well, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to be aware of any other important considerations regarding printer ink use and replacement. As far as ordering goes, you can shop online or in stores for replacement ink cartridges. The original ink cartridges that came with your printer will have codes on them and you can use these codes to order replacement cartridges online. You can often get a better price for replacement cartridges online than you would in stores.
By understanding the four main types of replacement ink cartridges you can make a decision that will keep print quality high and possibly save you some money.
About the Author:
Starr Quinby designs printer technology. She moonlights as a technology blogger and enjoys answering printer questions from readers.