Main Disadvantages to OEM Cartridges

To keep your laser printer operating at peak efficiency, you need to replace the ink toner cartridge when indicated to keep the quality level of printing at its highest. Should you invest in OEM cartridges, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges produced by the same brand that manufactured your printer, or go with a compatible toner cartridge produced by a third party manufacturer using recycled OEM cartridges? The biggest disadvantage to using OEM cartridges exclusively is their high cost, which can add up to quite a lot over the course of one year, considering that you need a new toner cartridge every 4 to 6 weeks. Although the printer you purchased may have been affordable, the manufacturer keeps the cost of the machine as low as possible because they know you will need to keep purchasing ink toner to keep the printer running efficiently. The second main disadvantage of purchasing OEM cartridges is that comparable recycled cartridges are considered much more environmentally friendly than purchasing new name brand cartridges that contribute to landfill pollution. Also, you may be paying two to three times more for an OEM Cartridge for the same quality of printing that a compatible recycled toner cartridge uses.

What is a Generic Toner Cartridge?


A generic toner cartridge is a product often made by companies who did not manufacture the original. These cartridges are designed to fit all of the major brands of printers and copiers. The main difference in how the products are created as in the cartridge itself. The generic products can use a remanufactured cartridge which originally contained the toner, but was emptied. By refilling these cartridges with ink, the generic companies help save the environment from pollution and waste, while also saving the consumer money. Remanufactured products are available in shapes to fit most of the major brands of printers and copiers on the market today.

Generic cartridges can also be sold as new products. These can also save customers money over the price of buying brand name products. The quality of the cartridge and ink is the same as that found in the higher priced brand name products, but the manufacturers do not charge for the use of their name. These companies can also reduce the cost by using cheaper packaging materials which still keep the cartridges sealed and protected before use. Generic cartridges are also available in sizes and shapes to fit all the major brands of printers.

Disadvantages of Refilling Toner Cartridges


Although refilling toner cartridges, self or paid service, costs less initially, they cost more after all.

Look beyond the glitzy ads expounding generic printer cartridges, refilling supplies and refilling services as a cost cutter. They must be profitable to the vendor-advertising is not cheap. Less than OEM supplies end up costing the consumer more because:
• Cost-cutting measures produce less prints and in lower quality than brand name.
• Cost-cutting cartridges cause printer alignment problems and may leak toner. Misalignment and leaking toner damages printers and require expensive repair, often not covered by manufacturer’s warranty.
• All cartridges are refilled, whether by the OEM or a refill service, so both are equally environmentally conscious and concerned.

Less expensive costs for operations are a real bonus for office managers and entrepreneurs. Be careful to ensure a cost is truly less from start to finish before committing hard earned dollars. Sometimes it is better to stick with OEM or recommended providers for the best quality, quantity and reliability in return.

How To Prevent Toner Cartridge Waste

There are a number of small changes you can make to your printing habits that will make a big difference in the efficiency of your printing and extend the life of your toner cartridges.

Print only what you need to. If you don’t need the document on paper, don’t print it. You can save it to your hard drive or a flash drive and read it on your computer.

Use the lowest printing settings as your default. This setting uses a fraction of the amount of toner as high quality settings. Save high quality printing for necessities such as presentations or final drafts for clients, etc. Also, avoid using shaded boxes and large or elaborate fonts, as they can use more ink as well. Stick to unfilled boxes and the standard serif or sans serif fonts in 10-12 point size if at all possible.

Use a fax to email program to receive faxed documents via email instead of printing them out. You can also remove confirmation sheets from printed faxes to reduce toner waste. And finally, for archived documents, print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper if you printer has the capability.

Benefits of Remanufactured Toners

Remanufactured toner cartridges are recycled from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) empty cartridge.  Remanufactured toner cartridges are completely disassembled, inspected, cleaned, installed and tested. They are in effect rebuilt from the beginning, ensuring the same quality and reliability you would expect from an OEM.

Quality – remanufactured toner cartridges are designed to perform as well as, if not better than new cartridges. In addition, remanufactured toner cartridges are filled to capacity whilst often times OEM is not.

Environment – favoured by environmentalists remanufactured toner cartridges are recycling non biodegradable materials. 97% of cartridge toners components can be recycled and used again.

Price – Remanufactured toner cartridges are a cheaper alternative, costing between 30%-60% less than non remanufactured cartridges.

With a properly remanufactured toner there should be no difference in printer quality than that of a new cartridge toner.  In addition purchasing a remanufactured toner cartridge will not void your printer warranty. It is clear that with benefits with regards to quality, price and the environment remanufactured toners should be considered an option from home printers to large businesses or organisations.