Cartridges are indispensable consumables that you buy and replace regularly for your inkjet or laser printer. With so many types of cartridges offered by different brands and innovative technology involved, it is important to choose cartridges for your laser or ink printer based on your needs. Browse through genuine and compatible printer cartridges for your printer. Choose from regular and high yield, single and multipacks.
Ink and toner cartridges
Ink cartridges are filled with colour pigments dissolved in water or glycol. Microchips affixed inside the cartridges help to spray the ink in controlled motions. The printer inks used in a specific inkjet printer can be pigment-based or dye-based and are almost never interchangeably used to prevent clogging or printer damage.
Toner cartridges are filled with dry dye powder that is printed onto the paper by the application of electric charge, heat and pressure through components working inside a laser printer. Toner is generally cheaper during the long run and less susceptible to damage than inks for ink printers.
Types of printer cartridges
Regular vs high-yield: Regular cartridges are typical ink or toner cartridges with a standard quantity of printer ink or toner filled inside and the amount of pages it can print is mentioned on the package. A high-yield cartridge is the same size as a regular cartridge but has more toner or ink filled inside. It is more expensive but offers more prints per cartridge and a lower cost per page over the long run.
Genuine vs compatible and remanufactured: Genuine cartridges, also called OEM cartridges (original equipment manufacturer) are the ones manufactured by the printer company for use with their line of printers. Compatible and remanufactured cartridges from reputed sellers are often priced much lower than the original cartridges while offering similar print quality. In terms of value for money, most compatible/remanufactured cartridges often contain more ink or toner per cartridge than a typical genuine cartridge.
Single vs multipacks: Single cartridges are sufficient for occasional printing/low print volume. Multi packs of cartridges are handy in busy workplaces that print large volumes every day and would like to have cartridges ready to replace whenever needed.
Pigment vs dye inks: Printer ink is not just ink - there is more to it. The two types of inks are: pigment-based and dye-based. Dye ink is prepared by dissolving a colour dye in liquid, while pigment ink consists of microscopic particles of solid colours suspended in liquid.
Dye inks are more vibrant, offer a wider colour range and cost less. But they can also smudge when the printed material comes in contact with water. Pigment inks are more water-resistant but have less colour depth and are slightly more expensive.
Cartridge storage and expiry
Generally, cartridge expiry date is determined by its shelf life when stored in its sealed package. It can vary from 24 to 36 months from the time of manufacture. When you print rarely or occasionally, it is better to buy cartridges on a per-need basis. Only companies regularly printing out large volumes benefit from stocking up cartridges.
Remember to store them in an upright position in their sealed packages until you use them. Cartridges are best stored in a cool, dark and dry place away from direct sunlight, heat and moisture.
Cartridge recycling program
Depending on the manufacturer brand, the expended cartridges can be sent to a collection centre. Some or most of the materials and components of the cartridges are recycled to make new cartridges or other printer components.