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Printer cartridges

Printer ink is probably one of the most expensive liquids in the world.
Just like when you buy razor blades, you always have the feeling that you have to pay too much for your performance.

There are many types of cartridges available: cartridges with and without printhead, cartridges with high capacity, cartridges with UV-resistant ink, cartridges from original manufacturer or third-party printer. We will try to clarify a few questions.

Why are printer cartridges so expensive?

The printer manufacturers subsidize the selling prices of the printers. You want to import the money through the sale of the original cartridges.

The manufacturers of alternative ink cartridges are not dependent on it. They can offer their products at more fair prices.

Printer cartridges with integrated printhead

In the meantime, printer cartridges with print heads are less frequent than 10 to 15 years ago. HP is the inventor of the disposable printhead. The corresponding printer cartridges consist of an ink tank with an integrated print head.

As a result, the printhead is also replaced with every cartridge change. If the printhead has dried, remove the cartridge from the printer and place it in a tray that is about 3mm full with water and wait until the ink has dissolved. Then simply replace the print head and perform a print head cleaning. The printer will print again in most cases.


HP print head cartridge
See the photo: An HP cartridge with built-in printhead.

  • 1. Contacts
  • 2. Tin nozzle
  • 3. Shelf life

Ink cartridges without integrated print head

Many manufacturers, including Epson, Brother, HP, the print head has been moved to the print head Permanent or replaceable component in the device. The customer then buys an ink cartridge, which is just an ink tank. Today, most ink cartridges have a chip on which the printer stores various information, such as ink level and page performance.

Where are printer cartridges on offer?

There are thousands of different cartridges. Even large electronics markets can not possibly have the right cartridges for all devices. We are specialists. Therefore, you will find the cartridge suitable for your device. Simply select your device in the header area of ​​the page or enter the name of the desired cartridge in the search field.

Which printer cartridges are the cheapest?

With regard to a good balance between price and quality, here are the reproduced ink cartridges, which do not have a print head, because the technically more sophisticated print head is installed in the device. These cartridges are usually available for Canon, Brother and Epson. There are online dealer which offers the cartridges for cents. Our aim, however, is to sell good goods, which works perfectly, and not extremely cheap goods.

Originals and Compatible Printer Cartridges

The original cartridges are cartridges which are developed and produced by the equipment manufacturer. All other cartridges, also refilled or recycled cartridges, are called "Compatible Printer Cartridges".

Compatible and refilled ink cartridges - where are the differences?

The original cartridges of the equipment manufacturers are relatively expensive. In essence, this is due to the fact that the sale of the cartridges must reinstate part of the development and production costs of the equipment. This is also referred to as "Rockefeller principle".

Over the years, countless companies came up with the idea of ​​rebuilding printer cartridges or recycling empty cartridges. In this case, all worn parts are replaced and the cartridge is then filled again with ink.

The key points for compatible and refilled cartridges are:

  • Refillable cartridges are mainly cleaned and refilled print cartridges. The printhead has already gone through a whole cartridge life.
  • Compatible ink cartridges are similar to the original and differ only in small details. The chip on the cartridge is also replicated, but reports to the printer that it is a reconstructed cartridge. The ink level indicator may not work or the printer driver may display some warnings.
  • Printing ink consists of a number of substances that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The equipment manufacturers keep the exact formula secret. Ink from third-party manufacturers, such as it finds application in refilling or in post-built cartridges, does not have to be bad. However, the exact matching to the particular printer may not be possible.

Can I also refill ink cartridges?

Basically this is possible. But we have no ambitions to do so and can advise against it in the private sector even. Especially with the current printer cartridges with chip there is the problem that the printers continue to classify the refilled cartridge as "empty". However, there are some printer cartridges for HP and Lexmark Which are professionally refilled and partly available in our shop.

Where can I keep printer cartridges?

New printer cartridges can be stored in a desk drawer or similar. In which the temperature does not rise above 25 degrees Celsius. Please do not store printer cartridges in the refrigerator. This is not useful.

Which ink cartridges last the longest?

The longest hold of cartridges with an extra high filling capacity. Some manufacturers call these cartridges "X" or "XL" or "HC". Please note that the range indicated on the cartridges refers to a page coverage of 5 percent. If your cartridges are always fast, you should think about purchasing a laser printer. In addition, every print head cleaning consumes a lot of ink.

How long can you store ink cartridges?

Unlike toner, printer cartridges sometimes have an expiration date. There are also printers that take this date more or less seriously. Generally speaking, we do not see any problems with proper storage for a period of one to two years. We consider the storage of the original cartridges at a normal room temperature in a drawer to be appropriate.

Where and how to install the printer cartridges

The printer cartridges belong to the printer. Depending on the device, the changeover process is triggered by opening a flap on the device, a menu point in the printer software or a button on the device.

Printer cartridges are not recognized

Original cartridges should be recognized when loading. You must ensure that the cartridges match your device. For compatible cartridges, there are a number of reasons why they are not detected. This is usually associated with the chip, which is located on the cartridges.

Where and how do you see the level of ink cartridges?

In the printer driver or in the onscreen menu on the device screen, there is a possibility to check the fill level or the remaining range of the cartridges. The fill level is usually only appreciated. Inkjet printers, such as laser printers, estimate the fill level based on the information that the printer collects during printing.

When using compatible cartridges, the level indicator may not work properly!

The Secret Recipe of Printer Ink

The exact composition of printer inks is generally not published. It is known that ink for inkjet printers consists essentially of water. The water content is 50 to 90 percent. In particular, the purity of the water is of great importance in order to counteract later deposits in the printhead or sedimentation. The composition of the ink differs from manufacturer to manufacturer and is in any case precisely matched to the print head of the printer.

In the home and smalloffice area, the printers use "dye inks" or "pigment inks" depending on the type.

What different types of ink are there?

DYE Ink - Water Based Dye Ink

DYE inks are simple to make inks in which the dye is completely dissolved in the water. DYE inks offer good color reproduction, but are not particularly UV-resistant and offer good printer results only on photopaping. The printouts are not suitable for outdoor use and are also not water resistant. If, for example, you wish to edit the printouts with a text marker, the printing may become blurred.

Among the strengths of DYE ink, besides cost-effective production costs, also a high color brilliance and an extensive color space with a high pressure resolution. As mentioned, the disadvantages are the low UV resistance and the low water resistance, which can be compensated in part by a special photopaper.

Water-based pigment inks

In the early days of inkjet printing almost exclusively water-based ink was used. Water-based ink can be printed with thermal and piezo printheads. Water-based pigment inks are significantly more light-resistant than DYE inks. In contrast to DYE inks, the water-based pigment inks have individual, non-water-soluble color pigments in the carrier liquid.

In particular, text prints have a high quality and smudge resistance, for example when marking with text markers. Pigment inks are not as good for photoprint as their molecules are larger than those of the DYE inks and therefore do not penetrate optimally into the special photographic paper. They also form a smaller color spectrum overall. Water-based pigment inks are to some extent water-resistant. Their prints are scarce and frail. The print quality on plain paper is often better than with DYE inks, as the ink is not so easily absorbed into the paper due to the larger pigments. The disadvantage is the higher price.

Dispose of empty cartridges properly.

Printer cartridges are not a matter for simple household waste.

In particular, printer cartridges with print heads can be refilled by specialist companies. They are therefore a demanded emptiness. There are some companies on the Internet who buy these cartridges.

Learn more in our article about correct disposal of ink cartridges.