With the increasing prevalence of printers in both home and office environments, the usage of ink cartridges has increased more than ever. Printer cartridges are designed to fit a specific type of printer or a family of printers, and they come in single color or combined colors depending on the type of device. The most important factor to consider before buying ink cartridges is its compatibility with the machine. By understanding the different types of printer cartridges, one can use them to their full potential and avoid any unwarranted damage to the printer and the documents.
Ink Cartridge and Toner Cartridges
Often, people get confused between an ink cartridge and a toner cartridge. These two are distinct products designed for different types of printers. Toner cartridges are used in laser printers, whereas ink cartridges are used for inkjet printers.
Not only are they made for different printers but they also work differently. Toner cartridges contain a dry powder that bonds to the paper to create the print, on the other hand, ink cartridges contain liquid ink that is transferred directly onto the page.
Types of Ink Cartridges
There are various types of ink cartridges available in the market depending on its make. Understanding the different manufacturing processes will help you to make an informed buying decision.
OEM Ink Cartridges: OEM cartridges such as HP printer cartridges are manufactured and designed by the same company that manufactures the printers. These cartridges tend to be great quality, since they are designed in accordance with the printer’s specifications, and thus yield high print quality with a consistent output. However, they also command a high price due to the brand name.
Remanufactured cartridges: Remanufactured cartridges are used or empty OEM cartridges that have been refilled, refurbished, and reassembled by professionals. Each part is thoroughly inspected and damaged and worn parts are replaced to meet the high quality of OEM cartridges.
Remanufactured cartridges are less expensive and help to save printing cost. Since, they are manufactured from the old cartridges, they also help to save the environment as they prevent dumping cartridges in landfills.
Refilled cartridges: There is a common misconception that refilled and remanufactured cartridges are similar. The remanufacturing process involves replacing damaged or worn out parts to make them work again, whereas refilling a cartridge simply involves refilling the spent ink in the used cartridge.