Zeroing In on Printer Ink Supplies - aLittleBitOfAll
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Zeroing In on Printer Ink Supplies

Zeroing In on Printer Ink Supplies

As technology advances, purchasing a printer nowadays can be fairly cheap. There is a wide selection of top-quality printers available on the market and you no longer have to spend a ton of money to purchase one. However, running the printer is actually much more expensive than the initial purchase. Although the prices of printers have significantly dropped, printer ink supplies remain pretty much the same. This is because manufacturers are aware that in order for the printer to work, you need to keep buying ink. A printer without ink is basically a useless noisy machine and running it with no inck can actually damage or even break it. So yes, once you buy a printer you are basically hooked on ink.


But, once you do a bit of homework on printer ink supplies, you should be able to make a well informed decision and manage to save some money. As I mentioned before, there is a huge number of different types of printers, but the ink cartridges available are even more diverse. That is why I will try to break them down in a few basic categories to give you the general idea of what you are dealing with when you purchase a printer.

First of all, you have two basic types of printers: inkjet and laser. Inkjet printers use inkjet cartridges and a laser printer uses toner. At first sight, both cartridges look very similar, but they are actually very different. As you can tell from the name, inkjet printers use actual ink to print graphics on a piece of paper, while laser printers use a type of powder. You need to make a clear distinction between the two since you can’t use inkjet cartridges on laser printers, and the other way around. Most homes and offices use inkjet printers since they are cheaper, hoever they can use more cartridges than laser printers.

You can further divide printers into colour and black and white. Colour printers use a combination of three colours along with black which can be combined in hindreds of ways to create virtually any colour you can imagine. A black and white printer is able to print only black and white or gray scale. Choosing one or the other depends on your needs. For example, a black a white printer is a perfect choice if you mostly print text documents and the cartridges last much longer than colour cartridges.

The cartridges themselves can be OEM or from the original equipment manufacturer, they can be from a third party manufacturer, or refurbished.

In terms of performance and compatibility, OEM cartridges are far more superior than the rest. Many companies that make printers, also make cartridges that are designed to work with their printers which is why many people believe that OEM cartridges have better quality and may prolong the life of the printer. The only downside of OEM printer ink supplies is that they are more expensive than the other options.

Third party cartridges on the other hand, are cheaper, but finding the right ones for your printer can be challenging. Some printers are designed not to be compatible with generic ink cartridges which leaves you no choice but to by OEMs.

And finally refurbished ink cartridges are basically recycled original cartridges that are refilled and resold. On one hand, this ensures compatibility, but on the other hand, the quality of the ink can be questionable.

Ian Tompson