Printers are the cornerstone to any office. So replacing toner and ink cartridges can be a hefty expense, whether your computer printer, copier or fax machine prints in color or black and white, laser or inkjet. Here are some terms you should know before ordering replacement supplies or accessories for your ink and toner cartridge in your home or office.
OEM Cartridges - These, Original Equipment Manufacturer are cartridges sold by the manufacturer of the printer, fax machine or copier and are generally recommended under any hardware warranty. These are an exact replacement of ink or toner cartridge that came with the new piece of hardware. These replacement cartridges are typically the most expensive replacement option.
Compatible Cartridges - These are toner cartridges or ink refills made by an independent retailer and sold under a generic name. These are a cheaper alternative to OEM ink and toner replacements.
Remanufactured Cartridges - Remanufactured ink and toner cartridges are used refills that have been returned to the manufacturer, cleaned, serviced, refilled and resold. These are an environmentally friendly option.
Toner Refill Kits - These kits provide detailed instructions and all of the tools you need to refill your existing ink toner cartridge. This is a very cheap alternative to replace your home or office printer or ink jet cartridge, but can be very messy and might void any hardware warranty, so double-check the fine print before using a refill kit.
Recycled Cartridges - There are organizations, many for charity, that allow you to recycle your ink and toner cartridges and keep them out of landfills. These companies will turn around and sell the environmentally damaging to OEM service departments or companies that will refill them and sell them at a discount.
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You may not think much about the toner cartridge in your laser printer, fax machine or copier, until the ink in that cartridge runs dry and you can no longer print your documents. At this point, many run off to an office supply or computer store to purchase a new toner cartridge that is compatible with their laser printer or copier. However, this process is much easier if you know the different types of toner cartridges available and can choose the best and cheapest ink refill for your needs.
Toner cartridges are usually designed to be compatible with a specific computer printer. These are known as original equipment manufacturer, or OEM toner cartridges. When you choose this type of ink refill for your copier or laser printer, it is pretty easy to determine which cartridge is right for your machine. You can also select between black or color ink for your white paper. However, these supplies are not usually the cheapest, leading some home and office managers to search out more affordable options.
Compatible toner cartridges are those made by a generic supplier to work as a replacement in a variety of computers and machines. They usually offer a similar quality and performance to OEM toner cartridges, but for a much cheaper price. These accessories are often preferable to OEM cartridges, but there is one more even less expensive alternative to consider.
Recycled or remanufactured toner cartridges have been used up and then returned to the supplier for an ink refill. Once the used cartridge is received by the supplier, it is cleaned, refilled and sent back to the customer. This type of toner cartridge is by the far the cheapest, and can be used in laser printers, copiers or fax machines.