Feel free to leave a comment on our 'printer blog' pages, and share them with your friends. Do you have printer problems, or wonder why your printer doesn't work? Do you have questions about recycled print cartridges, or any other printer-related question? We welcome your questions and comments at the 'Print Cartridge Pro.' Please submit them using our Contact Us page and we'll answer ASAP.

How Much Do You Know About Your Print Cartridge?

Posted by Dan Widdis on 3/26/2018 to News

There are a LOT of words/phrases that people use to describe the TYPE of print cartridge they’re using – let’s see if you’re using the CORRECT one:

·         Ink / inkjet

o   An ink, aka inkjet, aka bubblejet, is a cartridge that contains LIQUID ink. Inkjet cartridges come in a wide array of colors for various types of printers and applications, and some are multi-colored. These cartridges may, or may not, come with an attached PRINTHEAD – the printhead is that component that comes in the closest contact with your printed pages and acts as somewhat of a “micro-spraypainter.” These inks/inkjets are used in inkjet printers known as: DeskJet, OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, WorkForce, Pixma, and other names.

·         Dry ink

o   Dry ink, aka toner powder, is a term most commonly used by Xerox in describing their toner powder. This toner powder may, or may not, include DEVELOPER as one of its components. Dry ink, as its name implies, is ‘dry’ there is no liquid in it. The printers that most commonly use dry ink are laser printers or copiers and most commonly just black.

·         Solid ink

o   Solid ink, aka wax sticks or blocks, is a colored wax that is used by some printers called “Phaser” although not all Phaser printers use solid ink technology. The solid ink is melted inside the printer and blended with other colors to create the desired image and ‘sprayed’ on the page similar to the inkjet printhead. The printers that use solid ink technology are most commonly included with laser printer searches, but they are not laser printers.

·         Toner cartridge / toner powder / color toner cartridge

o   Toner is a dry powder, aka dry ink, that is available in Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow powders. These toner cartridges most commonly include the developer pre-blended in the cartridge however, some laser printers and copiers still have separate developers. They may also have a separate Drum or OPC (Optical Photo Conductor). The industry is very divided on this technology – even within company brands, so you will often find your popular brand of laser printer has both; mono-component cartridge printers (those where everything is inside the print cartridge), and multi-component printers (those where you will have a variety of replaceable consumable components).

·         TTR / thermal transfer ribbon

o   Thermal transfer ribbons are used with the application of heat (hence the word ‘thermal’) and are most commonly black however, there are certain printers designed for a very specific purpose that utilize the same technology with variable colored ribbons. Most often what you will find in the TTR category is a plain-paper fax that uses a black roll of film which is very similar to the old-fashioned ‘carbon-paper,’ these rolls are placed on carriages and gradually unroll as they print while simultaneously re-rolling the used portion onto another roller. **It should be noted that these type of: printers / MFC / fax machines are NOT SECURE and should NEVER be used in areas where sensitive information is being received! The reason for this is because as the ink is thermally applied to the paper it leaves a virtually identical image behind on the roll in the form of the now CLEAR film.

·         Impact ribbon

o   Impact ribbons are any type of ribbon that requires a form of ‘hammer’ to strike the ribbon, thus imprinting the image from the hammer onto your page(s). These ribbons come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, including multi-colored. They are used in; typewriters, word-processors, calculators, cash registers, POS machines, and computer printers known as impact printers that print single and continuous feed forms, as well as single and multi-part forms. These ribbons also come in a wide range of materials, including white-out film, and some even have the ability to ‘re-ink’ themselves.

Now that we’ve clarified the print cartridge “type” let’s go a step further and discuss the CATEGORY of print cartridge that is available in order to further refine our Print Cartridge Knowledge.

·         OEM

o   OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is most commonly the term used to describe the company that made your printer. If you have an Epson printer, then Epson BRAND is the OEM. If you have a Lexmark printer, then Lexmark BRAND is the OEM, and so on. OEM’s rarely make a cartridge for a different printer manufacturer.

·         After-market

o   The term after-market simply refers to ANY cartridge that is not the OEM, as you’ll see below.

·         Compatible / Non-OEM

o   A compatible/non-OEM is a cartridge that has been newly-made by a source other than the OEM – this is NOT the term used to describe a remanufactured ink or toner product. These products are typically the ones that are under investigation for patent violations. Those who sell them can be prosecuted, and those who buy them can even have them removed from their premises and/or be drawn into litigation. HOWEVER, there are instances where there is no violation, for instance – most impact ribbons are not OEM regulated and some inks aren’t, it’s best to always buy from a trustworthy vendor… like PrintCartridgePro.com!

·         Non-OEM NEW (MICR)

o   MICR is available as non-oem new and the next three options listed. MICR is the acronym for (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) and is used to print bar-codes, checks, etc. There is NO SUCH THING as OEM MICR. Non-OEM new MICR is made when a company such as Troy or MICR Print Solutions contracts with an OEM (like HP) for the new, unused, empty cores which they then fill with the appropriate amount of MICR toner and package under their own brand name.

o   A remanufactured MICR toner is simply one that’s undergone the remanufacturing process described below. When purchased from a reputable source like PrintCartridgePro.com these remanufactured MICR cartridges will perform as well as their non-OEM new counterparts.

·         Remanufactured

o   A cartridge that’s truly been REMANUFACTURED, such as the products sold through PrintCartridgePro.com have undergone a grueling process and passed MANY tests prior to being released for use. Please understand, this is NOT the same as a ‘Compatible, Refilled or Recycled’ print cartridge. A properly remanufactured cartridge is an empty OEM that has been PRE-TESTED, DIS-ASSEMBLED, CLEANED, INTERNAL COMPONENTS REPLACED, FILLED & SEALED, RE-ASSEMBLED, POST-TESTED and then PACKAGED. These cartridges meet or exceed the OEM for: image quality and page yield. They CANNOT void ANY new printer warranty (according to Federal Law) and are true Commercial Grade products and Unconditionally Warranted.

·         Refilled / Re-filled

o   Refilled cartridges aka DRILL-N-FILL typically refers to an unsafe product that has not undergone the rigorous remanufacturing process detailed above. Most commonly inks or toners, these cartridges have not had their waste compartments emptied and cleaned, or had their printheads electrostatically cleaned – these are JUNK! They don’t have the proper vacuum so they leak liquid ink, or they have over-full waste hoppers and so they “explode” (not literally) and dump toner all over the inside of the printer. These are cheap inks or cheap toners and generally the ones unsuspecting people purchase hoping to save money and then with a sweep of the hand mis-judge ALL non-OEM inks and toners as the same type of product. Sad to say, but these are the UNINFORMED BUYERS, who if they did some research would find out otherwise!

·         Recycled

o   A recycled cartridge is just one that has had some parts replaced with other parts – this tells a person nothing about the cartridge… it may be a quality product, or it could be junk – who knows? The funny thing is that most of the OEM manufacturers admit their product is “made with some new and some re-used components” – recycled, repurposed, re-used, whatever term you want to use. This is quite hypocritical of the OEM when you think of it. What a company like HP does with their own empties is not that much different than the process that’s been used to build the products sold at PrintCartridgePro.com as described above – only we start with the USED outer shell and replace the internals with new after-market parts, whereas they start with a NEW outer shell and re-use or re-mold some components stripped from cartridges that were returned to them.

o   Many after-market inks and toners fall into this category because they don’t clearly state what they’ve done with a cartridge prior to selling it – you don’t know if it’s properly cleaned and/or tested, or if they replaced all or just some of the internals, whether or not they used the properly mated toner/developer for the drum and fuser in the laser printers, or a pigment or dye based ink for their inkjets, have they been filled to the OEM specs or shorted or over-filled, or even whether or not they’ve been post-tested prior to being purchased! Simply being called “Recycled” just means it’s a mystery product.

Defining the “category” of cartridge you use is and can be very beneficial, and even important, when shopping for print cartridges – especially if you are shopping online. And now that YOU know a lot more about print cartridges it will make my job a lot easier to explain what my company has to offer and WHY it easily ‘Fits’ as your BEST option!

About Print Cartridge Pro

Here at PrintCartridgePro.com we are VERY CONCERNED about quality – in fact, it’s our #1 concern, followed immediately by our service… both are world-class and continually leave our clients awestruck!

Every product we sell is 100% true Commercial Grade – meaning it is the quality that fast-printing, high-performing businesses require all-day long! Image quality is critical because whatever WE put on YOUR page is a reflection of you – so it better be darned good! Page yield is also critical because “saving money” is pointless unless you’re saving money on the same amount of print that you would get with an OEM product! Our products are designed, built and tested to meet or exceed OEM specifications in EVERY aspect!

Every product we sell is 100% Unconditionally Warranted – meaning you WILL be totally satisfied or we will replace your cartridge FREE – period. Furthermore, while our product is in your printer we guarantee that it will NOT damage your printer in any way – if it does we will repair or replace your printer at no cost to you. Think of it as an extended warranty on your printer – you won’t get THAT guarantee from the OEM! This warranty is in place for 12 full months from the date of purchase, and every cartridge is date coded so there’s no way you can be short-changed on this warranty!

We have MILLIONS of cartridges in our various warehouses strategically located throughout the United States and offer 1-2 business day delivery on most orders nationwide – with FREE shipping on ALL orders $50 and up.

You will receive the VERY BEST the industry has to offer, at the lowest possible price we can offer it at – we like to say “You CANNOT buy a BETTER print cartridge for LESS anywhere in AMERICA – We Guarantee it!” and we can say that in total confidence because we know there simply ISN’T a better cartridge anywhere in America! So, go ahead, buy with confidence knowing you’re getting the BEST money has to offer, at a tremendous price, and you’re also buying GREEN! And finally, we offer a TOTALLY FREE empty cartridge return program which includes FREE UPS return labels – just click on this link to see how easy it is to use: https://www.printcartridgepro.com/Return-Empties_ep_41.html


For more information about printing supplies contact:

PrintCartridgePro.com, Toll-Free 844-230-6384, eMail us

Add Comment