We live in a wireless world. Majority of photos, documents and related materials are stored on smartphones and computer drives. And while we proudly hail the Internet and digital world of communication, print still remains the foundation of the business world, and everyday life for that matter. Yes, your smartphone can indeed do some pretty smart things, but you still need a printer to turn your 5-page monthly report into reality. Plus, printing technology has advanced and made printers more available and less costly.
But of course to ensure good prints, getting a good printer is just one step in the process. Choosing the right printer style (regular or all-in-one) and the type (inkjet or laser) is important and so is getting a quality printer ink. Knowing more about the different types of printer inks can surely help you make the right pick. Not only will you have great prints but you will also save on the cost. Wrong cartridge can cause damage to your printer and will not last as long, regardless of how often and what you print.
You can either shop for printer ink online or at your local office supply store – both shopping methods offer a great product selection although shopping for printer ink online may allow you to find better deals. Anyway, the first step in choosing the right printer ink is knowing the model of your printer. For example, not every Epson cartridge is suitable for every Epson printer model. Therefore, read product description carefully when browsing for printer ink online to see if it supports the model and make of your printer. Keep in mind that once you open the package, you may not be able to return it in case you’ve bought the wrong type.
Next, is your printer inkjet or laser? Inkjet printers use inkjet cartridges while laser ones use toners. Both cartridge types look similar packaging wise but are actually very different. Inkjet cartridges use ink to print graphics or text on a sheet of paper while toners use black and coloured powder to perform the same work. Because a toner cannot be used in an inkjet printer and vice versa, make sure you know the type of printer you have before completing your purchase.
Colour printers use a combination of three hues, magenta (red), cyan (blue), and yellow, in addition to black to create different colours. Most models come with separate cartridges (called CMYK) for each colour. This makes individual cartridge replacement very convenient when a printer runs out of one colour which is common. However, there are models that feature a single cartridge that incorporates all four colours in one unit and if let’s say, your printer runs out of yellow, you’ll have to replace the entire cartridge. Black & white printers use only one black cartridge to print, and can only print in black and white or grayscale. Since the printer uses only one colour, the cartridge needs to be replaced more often.
Many printer manufacturers also produce ink cartridges designed especially for their printers. According to users, these OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges are of higher quality compared to compatible or refurbished ones, but because these are brand name printer inks, they are also more expensive.
Compatible cartridges are manufactured by third-party companies, which explains their cheaper price. Some of these cartridges are compatible with a variety of printers while some with specific models. Not all printers however, have a compatible cartridge model.
Refurbished cartridges are nothing more than recycled cartridges that have been refilled with ink. Although they are the cheapest type of printer ink, their quality can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. In case of doubt whether you should buy a refurbished cartridge or not, check if the manufacturer offers a guarantee.