> Types of Printer Cartridges
Types of Printer Cartridges
Printer cartridges can be divided into two main groups:
inkjet cartridges / ink cartridges for inkjet printers and laser toner
cartridges for laser printers. However, these printer cartridges can
be further categorized into 3 types, namely OEM cartridges, compatible
cartridges and remanufactured cartridges. Also read
myths about compatible / remanufactured cartridges.
OEM cartridges have been in the market since the
very beginning. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
They are also known as Genuine OEM cartridges and are produced by the
printer manufacturers or their licensed partners. These printer
cartridges carry the names of the printer manufacturers, such as Canon,
Epson, Lexmark, etc. Although these ink or toner cartridges are
generally of high quality, they are also very expensive. Several
copies of OEM replacement cartridges can actually cost more than a
low-price printer these days.
are specially manufactured to meet or
exceed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specifications, offering the
same quality and reliability of OEM cartridges. However, they are
manufactured by third-party manufacturers and do not carry the printer
brand names on the cartridges.
Compatible cartridges are only sold at 1/2
or 1/3 of the price of OEM cartridges. Therefore, they are
cost-effective alternatives to expensive OEM cartridges. 100% compatible
cartridges mean that these cartridges include all the components (e.g.
replacement chips) so that they are fully compatible with the specific
printer models. Replacement cartridges that are not 100% compatible
are available at a lower price but they may cause problems in printing.
For example, compatible cartridge without a new replacement chip may have
problem communicating with the printer as the printer software would think
that the ink / toner is always low.
Most compatible inkjet cartridges are
manufactured 100% brand new, containing only new components.
Compatible toner cartridges may include both new and used components
unless otherwise stated.
Remanufactured cartridges are also
called refurbished cartridges. They are OEM or third party
manufacturer's inkjet and toner cartridges which have been through one
cycle of service and have been recharged. Every remanufactured cartridge has
to be thoroughly cleaned, worn out parts replaced, filled with the same ink formulation, and
gone through vigorous testing.
are cheaper than OEM cartridges but more expensive than
compatible cartridges. They are very popular among environmentally concerned customers.
Considering that it takes 3 quarts of oil to produce
a new toner cartridge and hundreds of year to decompose an old one in
landfill, remanufactured ink / toner cartridges are both environmentally friendly
and cost effective.