The difference between OEM and Compatible Toners (Lean more towards pros of compatibles, cheap)


If you are the proud owner of a laser printer, you may have already taken a step in the right direction towards lower cost printing. Laser printers consistently produce prints at the lowest cost per page in the market. However, what you might not know is that laser printers can work with OEM brand toners as well as compatible and re-manufactured toners. But which one is best for you and your printer? Read on to find out.


OEM Cartridge

An OEM Cartridge is one made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you own a HP printer for instance, then the HP brand is the OEM cartridge for your printer.


Remanufactured Toner Cartridge

A remanufactured toner cartridge is when a manufacturer takes an original oem cartridge, disassembles it, tests and replaces any worn parts, fills it with toner and re-assembles.

There are many different levels and qualities of remanufactured toner cartridges and the terms compatible and remanufactured are often mistakenly interchanged. Some manufacturers will replace a few parts and call it compatible.

Compatible Toner Cartridge

A compatible toner cartridge is made by a third-party manufacturer and is made up of all new compatible parts. It has a similar quality to an OEM cartridge.


Advantages of Buying OEM Toner Cartridges


OEM Toners are manufactured to the highest quality and level of precision. These toners are ideal for providing the best print quality. They have a much lower fail rate and have a lower probability of leaking toner into your printer. This is why the printer manufacturers recommend that you use their toner cartridges as they claim that the printer functions will be affected by other toner cartridges. They also suggest that usage of unbranded toner cartridges shortens the life of the laser printer.


Disadvantages of Buying OEM Toner

The main disadvantage of buying OEM branded toner cartridges is the relatively high cost. While they are economical because the cost per page is low, purchasing an OEM toner might cost you anywhere from £40 to £100. The initial cost of laser printers has come down, but printer makers make up their low initial profit by in the cost of consumables.


Another problem with OEM toner cartridges is the fact that we live in an Eco-conscious world and discarding toner cartridges which are not biodegradable is an environmental hazard. Buying a remanufactured toner is more environmentally friendly.


Advantages of buying Compatible and Remanufactured

The biggest advantage of using compatible toner cartridges is they are a lower cost consumable. Compatible and Remanufactured toner cartridges are available for laser printers and give good quality printing at a lower cost – sometimes even half the cost of the branded cartridge.

These recycled cartridges are much eco-friendlier and mean that we can recycle the biodegradable cartridge. They are now easy to find and buy.

There are compatible toner cartridges for most brands of laser printers and give good value for money. The print quality of both compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges is almost as good as the OEM brand toners.



Pros Of Using A Compatible Cartridge For A Printer

Original cartridges

An original or genuine cartridge is one made by the printer manufacturer. For example, an original cartridge for an HP printer is one made by HP. Genuine cartridges – those that have been developed and endorsed by the printer manufacturer for a specific printer – may have the initials OEM attached to them. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Compatible ink cartridges

These are compatible printer cartridges which are not made by the printer manufacturer. They may be mass produced by other markets. They also work just as well as genuine ink cartridges.

Is compatible printer ink as good as original ink?

It is argued that genuine printer cartridges offer better quality printing as the inks are oil-based. While compatible printer ink cartridges can contain more ink, they are mainly water-based. Genuine ink cartridges, despite some criticism from consumers due to higher prices, do offer longevity and will not damage your printer.

Compatible cartridges come without the recognised printer manufacturer brand name. Offered at a fraction of the cost of the original, it is sought by many as a replacement for the higher priced original ink. The quality is the same and works in the same way as the original ink. An advantage is that for some compatible ink cartridge, the ink might be pigment or dye based, which dries almost immediately. On the other hand, oil-based ink which is utilised in original ink dries slower. It is a huge advantage as some occupations which constantly prints and highlights texts such as finance will tend to cause smudges due to the slow drying of the ink. These cause the text to be unreadable, which leads to a reprint, wasting precious manhours.

Pricewise, the compatible printer ink is the most value for money. A common misconception that many have about compatible ink is that it spoils the printer. However, it has been tested, and no negative results were found. Getting compatible ink as compared to genuine ink saves a lot more. One just has to count the number of ink replacement a year and substitute the price for a compatible ink cartridge to figure out the potential amount saved!