Printer Cartridges - What Type To Choose?

 By: Kathryn Dawson
So you have bought yourself a printer and have been using it for the past few months without any problems. Suddenly it starts running out of ink and you need to start thinking about replacing it. What do you do? The printer came with a free cartridge so you haven't bought any ink before and don't know where to start. Don't worry; this article acts as a guide to buying and replacing printer ink cartridges. It is not rocket science but there are a few traps you can fall into if you don't know your way around. Read on to learn all about ink and printer cartridges.

All ink for a printer comes in the form of cartridges. You simply slot one into place in the printer and the ink flows automatically when printing occurs. There are a few different types to choose from however.

OEM Printer Cartridge
OEM is an abbreviation for original equipment manufacturer. This means that if you bought an HP Photosmart printer for example, the OEM cartridge would be one specifically designed by HP for this printer. Almost always a new printer comes with a free printer cartridge, and this is almost always an OEM cartridge. There are many benefits for opting for an original equipment manufacturer cartridge when looking for a new cartridge. First and foremost you can be sure the cartridge will fit the printer easily and won't be difficult to install. You can also be guaranteed of high quality ink and a seamless service provided by the printer. The compatibility means there are unlikely to be any problems down the road. These types of cartridges can however be expensive. Some people choose to look at the alternatives instead of immediately taking this route.

Compatible Printer Cartridge
Although it is common that a cartridge for a printer is manufactured by the same company who produced the printer, it is possible to purchase cartridges for your printer that were not. There are companies out there that provide generic cartridges able to fit a variety of printers across several makes and models. They can be much cheaper than the OEM alternatives which of course can be a blessing. There are downsides however, and although compatibility is aimed for, it is not always achieved. It is not guaranteed that a compatible printer cartridge will fit the model it is claiming to do and this can end up costing more in the long run than just purchasing an OEM model in the first place.

Remanufactured Printer Cartridge
This is the third and final option of printer cartridge available. A remanufactured cartridge is one that has been recycled. It is possible to refill an old cartridge and re-build the necessary components that will make it work again and there are companies out there offering this service. This can be a slower process and sometimes the refills run out quicker than an OEM cartridge although it is a more environmentally friendly approach as fewer need to be made and less energy is expelled overall.

When it comes to printer cartridges, the solution that provides excellent results guaranteed is choosing original equipment manufacturer cartridges. They are also sometimes called genuine OEM models. If you bought an hp c4180 printer, then the OEM cartridges are hp c4180 ink cartridges. You can be sure the ink will not run out too soon, the cartridge will fit correctly and there will no problems in the future. There is no doubt that any printer, such as the hp photosmart 2575 works best with its OEM cartridge, in this case it would be hp photosmart 2575 ink cartridges. There are however some alternative solutions. It is important to be aware of additional costs that these types of alternatives may incur however such as fixing problems with incompatibility.
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