Before we start discussing the pros and cons of original and compatible ink cartridges we thought it best to clarify the differences.
Difference between genuine and compatible toner
Compatible – A compatible ink or toner cartridge is a brand new cartridge made by a third-party manufacturer. These consumables are not affiliated with the original printer manufacturers.
Remanufactured/Refilled – These are original cartridges which have been used once, returned, cleaned and refilled.
Original – Original cartridges are brand new consumables produced by the printer manufacturer.
Are compatible ink cartridges cheaper than originals?
The simple answer – yes. The price of ink and toner cartridges is a bone of contention amongst most users but it’s not just the price that is important. When you buy an original ink or toner cartridge produced by the printer manufacturer it is guaranteed to fit correctly and work with your device.
Whilst many third-party inks can cost less than half the price of an original cartridge, there is often a price to pay when it comes to quality. Compatible ink and toner cartridges can fail for a number of reasons including:
- Chip not recognised
- Print head gets clogged
- Cartridge does not fit properly
It is worth noting however that approximately only 2% of compatible cartridges fail. The decisions boils down to whether you want to spend on original inks that will deliver superb quality or risk a compatible ink cartridge that might not work.
I print a lot – should I buy original or compatible ink cartridges?
Many users can get bogged down in the one off cost of an item and forget to assess whether the item is good value for money. It’s a bit like buying the cheapest DVD player for your Full HD 1080p 3D ready 70” Plasma TV and then realising that the output is not to a high enough standard.
If you print a lot of documents a compatible ink cartridge is likely to save you money in the long run as they often contain more ink at a lower cost.
If you don’t print a lot your main concern is the ink drying out and blocking the print heads. Original cartridges contain a chemical that is designed to help prevent the printer heads from clogging up.
If you are going to use compatibles it is advisable to use one original cartridge for every 3-4 compatibles. This will help clean and lubricate the print heads and ensure no blockage builds up.
Are original ink cartridges better at printing images?
There is no argument, original ink and toner cartridges with quality photo paper will always give you the best results – they have been designed to work together. This is especially relevant if you have photo printer which uses 6 separate inks.
Generally speaking images printed with compatible inks deteriorate faster than those printed using original cartridges. Storage and paper type also makes a difference.
How do I get the most from my printer?
If you want to achieve the optimum performance from your printer it is always advisable to use manufacturer consumables. Original brand cartridges and toners used with the best quality paper and the relevant printer will always beat compatible inks hands down. Whilst there have been a number of advancements in compatible technology, you can’t beat the quality achieved when using 3 original components together.
So should you buy an original or compatible ink cartridge?
If you’ve never tried a compatible ink cartridge it is worth giving one a go. Technology has moved on a long way and it is now possible to get a good quality print out using a compatible cartridge. If you want guaranteed print quality every time, we would always recommend an original consumable. Designed to work with the printer itself, they have been developed to help you achieve the best from your printer.
For advice on the right cartridge or toner for your printer call today on 01344 344 459 or visit our ink and toners department to buy online.