Before you start shopping for ink cartridges, you need to note that there are several different types made for different printers. Some people think that all ink cartridges are the same because they perform the same function. Most manufactures have specific printer ink cartridges that are created to work with the specific printer models that they produce.
The custom-made cartridges are made to fit the different models and they will always work best with that particular model. If you have a Canon printer for example, using cartridges made for a HP DeskJet will not give you the results you are looking for. In fact, the cartridges will not even fit in its ink tray!
Find out how they work
Before buying printer ink cartridges, you need to know how they work. The cartridges are basically sealed units that hold the ink used in the printing process. The ink in the replaceable units is specially processed to perform the function. There are different types of cartridges that often contain ink reservoirs in one or more partitions. Some of the new cartridge models come with an electronic chip that sends signals to the printer to ensure precision and efficiency.
Distinguish between different designs
You need to find out the designs available before you buy the units. There are two main cartridge designs, thermal and piezoelectric. The thermal cartridges are the more common type for home and office use.
They use a heating element that has a metal resistor in each partition of the ink reservoir. Well, when the printer is turned on, the current flows through the resistor, causing the ink to vaporize and forcing it through the cartridge nozzle onto the paper. On the other hand, the piezoelectric cartridges use crystals instead of heating elements.
Determine the usage
You need to determine how you will use the printer before you buy ink cartridges. A professional photographer will have different needs from a student who needs to print school reports. If you do not require high precision in your printing, you can compromise on the type of ink cartridges you choose.
If, on the other hand, precision and high quality is a top priority, make sure that you use the very best products even though they will be more expensive. You also need to be careful when buying cartridges to avoid damaging your printer.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges are manufacturer-produced refills that are made for specific printer models. They are sold directly by the manufacturers or their appointed dealers, and they are usually the most expensive types in the market. They are, however, the highest quality you can get for your printer. If you need good quality prints, you should get these cartridges.
Another category of cartridges is those manufactured by companies other than the equipment manufacturers. These companies specialize in creating cartridges that meet OEM specifications and they can be comparable to the original brands in terms of quality. These cartridges are much cheaper than the earlier category and they can be used with different types of printers.
If you want to buy compatible cartridges, make sure that you buy those made by reputable companies to avoid getting sub-standard quality. A number of well-established retailers and online companies sell the new cartridges.
Remanufactured or refurbished cartridges
These cartridges are refilled and reused after they have been charged. Those who are environmentally conscious will often choose these types of cartridges. They are usually cheaper than the OEM cartridges but more costly than the compatible units are. They are usually available online at a much lower cost. You can also turn in your new cartridges to stores where they are recycled. Some stores even offer coupons or credits to customers who deliver cartridges for recycling.
All in all, you need to be very careful when choosing printer ink cartridges. Make sure that you buy the type that is compatible with your printer. Using the type that is recommended by the manufacturer will ensure that your printer functions at optimum level. You should also note that there is a difference between ink cartridges and toner cartridges.
A machine that uses the powder toner will not use the liquid ink and vice versa. The bottom line is that you should make sure that you know the type of cartridge you need for your machine before you go shopping. If you are in doubt about the best products to buy, you should always get professional help at the online store or the brick and mortar shop that you are buying from.