What ink does my printer use?

Finding the right ink can be a daunting task. There are many products to choose from, some more expensive than others… but the good news is that Printernet’s experts – and website – are here to help you find the right solution to suit your needs.

You need a new printer cartridge but you don’t know where to start. The selection is vast, which is confusing in itself, and then you face the quandary of whether or not to go for a cheaper option. Do you get what you pay for? The only thing you can guarantee when it comes to cartridges is that your existing ones will run out when you need them most!

Here, we run through the options at your disposal and the factors to consider before parting with your well-earned cash…

Ink or toner?

Printernet stock a range of inkjet and toner cartridges. But before you choose, it’s important to know the key differences between the two.

Ink cartridges are used in inkjet printers and contain liquid ink. When you print a document, the print head deposits ink. Colour cartridges come with three colours alongside black; cyan, magenta and yellow. If any of the colours run out, the cartridge is rendered fairly useless. Cartridges can be replaced, or refilled using a special kit, although this process can be tricky and doesn’t always work. Ink cartridges can come in dual or multi-packs, which can reduce the cost of replacing them.


Toner cartridges are used in laser printers and are filled with magnetically charged fine powder, which is rolled into tiny particles by drums. These particles are then fused onto the page. That’s enough of the science, but because of these processes toner cartridges tend to be more expensive. You can get them filled professionally or simply replace them when they’re finished.

The main difference between ink and toner is how long they last. Toner cartridges tend to last longer, but this is reflected in the price. Ink cartridges, in contrast, can be significantly cheaper, but need replacing more often.

Toner cartridges are ideally suited for high-volume printing. They’re more reliable under heavy usage. For those perhaps using the printer at home for ad-hoc use, ink cartridges represent better value.


Original or compatible?

The next thing to consider when analysing the cost of ink cartridges is whether or not to opt for original cartridges (supplied by your printer manufacturer) and compatible/refilled ones (made by third-party manufacturers). Are the compatibles as good as the originals? They’re cheaper, that’s for sure, but is it worth paying more?

For more professional use, you will find the original cartridges boast extra quality. They’re designed to work specifically with your printer. However, they cost considerably more. In contrast, compatibles are cheaper and if tested, we doubt many untrained eyes would be able to tell the difference between the two. Compatibles are cheaper because they’ve been used before, recycled and then refilled. When it comes to price against performance the compatibles represent far better value for money. The only issue to consider here is that some compatible cartridges are prone to blocking print heads or ‘streaking’.

If you’re using your printer for everyday use, we recommend using compatibles. If it’s more professional documents you’re after, then it might be worth investing in the enhanced quality of the originals.If you’re unsure, please call upon the knowledge of our Printernet experts, who can help you make that final decision.



Finder: Keeper

To simplify the process of choosing the right ink or toner cartridge, Printernet have developed an easy-to-find and even easier-to-use finder tool on our homepage.

Simply locate the tool on the right-hand side of the Printernet homepage and select from three dropdown menus, starting with the manufacturer of your printer. From there, choose your range and specific model from the dropdown options and you’ll be directed to both original and compatible options.

You can read the intricacies of each product or compare the two directly.

It couldn’t be easier, but if you still feel you need help making your decision you can contact one of our experts who will be only too happy to help.


Decision time!

Hopefully, you’ll find Printernet takes away some of the hassle and confusion when it comes to selecting replacement cartridges. True, the options are endless, but always consider what you need your printer to do, and your budget, and that will determine which option you should choose. And remember, if you’re still not sure, Printernet’s experts are only a phone call away. It’s what we’re here for!


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