Ink cartridges are designed to be used with a specific printer or series of printers, so using a compatible cartridge is essential.
There are three main types Inkjet cartridges:
a) Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Cartridges:
They are made specifically for the printer, made by the printer manufacturer and are the most expensive. For example, HP printers have HP inkjet cartridges that are made to work with their printers.
b) Compatible Cartridges:
They are cheaper, made by third parties. Some compatible cartridges work with one model of printer while others work with a variety of printer models. In order to save money and stress, consumers should check before buying their printer whether they have the option to buy compatible cartridges.
c) Refurbished Cartridges:
Refurbished or Re-manufactured cartridges are the cheapest cartridges in the market - they are recycled, fixed and refilled. They are basically recycled cartridges that have been refilled with ink, and made to work like new again. However, buyers should be careful when purchasing refurbished cartridges because they can vary a great deal from manufacturer to manufacturer.
It is advisable to stick to the OEM cartridges however expensive. Using either of the other cartridges might cause damage to the print head over time as these printers are designed to work with the OEM cartridges originally.
The term toner refers to the dry "ink" plastic powder used to print by printers, copiers and fax machines that use a laser printing process. Anyone who owns a laser printer will eventually need to purchase a toner cartridge compatible with the device as this is paramount. Buyers should also take into consideration the following when purchasing a toner cartridge:
a) Cartridge Storage:
Generally, sealed cartridges last about 12 to 24 months while opened cartridges package last about 3 to 6 months. Also, when choosing to buy cartridges in bulk to save money, the shelf life of the cartridge must be considered.
The quickest way to determine what kind of toner cartridge is needed is to look at the manufacturer’s part number which can be found on the printer, fax machine, copier or operations manual. If the part number is not available, try searching for the model number of the device.
c) Color Toner cartridges:
They are required when printing flyers, banners and other colorful flyers. The three colors used in color cartridges are cyan, magenta and yellow. Color laser printers can quickly become an expensive purchase because users must spend more money on the different color cartridges, rather than just purchasing a black cartridge.
Toner cartridges sold by the manufacturer of the device are high quality and expensive. They are also toners compatible with the device. Buyers may also consider buying a refurbished cartridge for lower price. Third party vendors sell less quality toner cartridges at a much cheaper price. These refurbished cartridges have no guarantee and may damage your printer head over time.