What Are The Different Types Of Ink Cartridges - A Simple Guide To Buying The Right One For You

In our modern technological world, there are seemingly endless varieties of printers, cartridges and inks. The diverse array of printing materials available on the market is meant to cater to the printing needs of all types of customers. It stands to reason that a personal home printer would not require the same high quality (and, most likely, high priced) ink cartridges that a business would. That is why, before purchasing an ink cartridge for your printer, you should know more about the types of cartridges and their differing usages to save you time and money.

Types of Ink Cartridges

As per the general classifications, there are three types of ink cartridges – the original ink cartridge, remanufactured ink cartridge, and compatible ink cartridge. Each of these three cartridges has unique features and specifications:

1. Original

HP 62XL OEM Black Ink Cartridge

  • The original printer cartridges come with your printer upon purchase. These cartridges have the company’s brand attached to them and are high quality and high quantity. Generally, these cartridges are produced by the same manufacturers as the printer. Because they come stamped with the brand name, these are often quite expensive.

 

2. Recycled

  • Recycled (or re-manufactured) cartridges either make use of old cartridge mechanisms to build new units or are empty cartridges that are refilled with new ink for future use. This is a fantastic option for the financially and environmentally concerned buyer. Since they are using recycled parts, they're both cheaper and greener options for your printing needs. Also, such cartridges are easily available both in stores and from online retailers. 

 

3. Compatible

Brother LC103XL Compatible Ink Cartridge Combo

  • The third type of cartridge is the compatible ink cartridge, which is a kind of printer cartridge that suits several different types of printer models. These cartridges are manufactured by a third party vendor as opposed to the brand name printer vendors. Many large scale businesses and companies prefer compatible ink cartridges because they are cheapest option and are suitable for many types of printer models. However, using compatible cartridges can sacrifice some quality in favor of quantity.

 

Types of Ink

Generally, cartridges come with one of two types of ink. One is the pigment based ink and another is dye based ink.

 

Type of Ink

 Description

Pigment-based

The type of pigment affects saturation, hue, and brightness of the ink

Better for printing on paper; the pigment stays on the surface

Pigments are the main component of ink

Pigment size is important for the ability to diffuse the ink solution

Dye-based

Tends to soak into the paper

Less efficient, but stronger than pigment-based ink

May bleed around edges of the print

Can fade when exposed to sunlight

 

As the pigment-based ink dries very quickly, it is used for color printing on a smaller scale. Alternatively, the dye based inks offer vibrant colors and dry within a few seconds. These inks are used at labs and photo studios that require very high quality prints.

Cartridge 101

The mechanism of printing is a very simple process. The printer ink acts on its head portion by spreading ink over paper. As the cartridge has several partitions, it interacts with the compatible printer simultaneously. When the user gives printing command through the connecting computer, the electric current flows and the heating of resistor takes place. This vaporizes the ink from the nozzle, which then falls on the paper and the printing process starts.

Storing & Replacing Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges should be stored in their sealed packaging, away from extreme temperatures and sunlight. This will maintain the condition they are in for up to 24 months. 

When replacing the ink cartridge(s), it is best to do it before they run out completely; damage can be caused to the machine if this step is not taken. If the print heads are a part of the cartridge; avoid touching the circuits when installing. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing or removing to keep your printer at its best performance and to avoid damage.

To keep ink cartridges at their best, store them properly and do not damage the printheads when installing, our technicians recommend printing at least once a week in color to avoid the ink from drying. 

AbsoluteToner offers a wide range of types and color ink cartridges at competitive pricing, making it easy to find the right cartridge for you!

Have any questions or comments? Join the conversation, we love to hear from our customers!

Cut the Price, Not the Quality!

- Absolute Toner Team

Lease To Own & ALL-INCLUSIVE Copier Deals

(15% OFF With Upfront Payment)

$78.29/MONTH NEW DEMO ALL-INCLUSIVE Xerox WorkCentre EC7836 Color Laser Multifunctional Printer Copier Scanner
Sale
Absolute Toner $85/Month BRAND NEW ALL-INCLUSIVE (After Instant Rebate) Xerox WorkCentre EC7836 Color Laser Multifunctional Printer Copier Scanner Showroom Color Copiers

$78.29/MONTH NEW DEMO ALL-INCLUSIVE Xerox WorkCentre EC7836 Color Laser Multifunctional Printer Copier Scanner

Sale price
$3,990
Regular price
$8,500
$98/Month ALL-INCLUSIVE Xerox EC8056 (Demo Unit) 55PPM Color MFP Laser Multifunctional 11X17, 12x18 300 GSM
Sale
Absolute Toner $125/month - ALL-INCLUSIVE Newly Released Xerox® EC8056 IN-STOCK! 55PPM B/W and COLOR MFP Laser Multifunctional Printer Copier Scanner 11X17, 12x18 up to 300 GSM Showroom Color Copiers

$98/Month ALL-INCLUSIVE Xerox EC8056 (Demo Unit) 55PPM Color MFP Laser Multifunctional 11X17, 12x18 300 GSM

Sale price
$4,990
Regular price
$9,500
$75/Month - Ricoh MP C4504EX 45PPM Colour Multifunction Office Laser Printer Copier Scanner up to 180 IPM, 11x17, 12x18, 300gsm, One-Pass-Duplex
Sale
Absolute Toner $75/month - Ricoh MP C4504 45PPM Colour Multifunction Office Laser Printer Copier Scanner, 11x17, 12x18, 300gsm, One-Pass Duplex, 180ipm Lease 2 Own Copiers

$75/Month - Ricoh MP C4504EX 45PPM Colour Multifunction Office Laser Printer Copier Scanner up to 180 IPM, 11x17, 12x18, 300gsm, One-Pass-Duplex

Sale price
$75
Regular price
$95
$29/Month Ricoh MP C300 Series Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner With Large LCD Touch Screen
Sale
Absolute Toner From $34/Month ALL-INCLUSIVE Ricoh MP C300 Series Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner With Large LCD Touch Screen Showroom Color Copiers

$29/Month Ricoh MP C300 Series Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner With Large LCD Touch Screen

Sale price
$29
Regular price
$39.99
$75/Month - ALL INCLUSIVE PROGRAM - Ricoh High Speed Full Size Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11X17, 12x18, 300GSM
Sale
Absolute Toner $75/Month - ALL INCLUSIVE PROGRAM - Ricoh High Speed Full Size Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11X17, 12x18, 300GSM Printers/Copiers

$75/Month - ALL INCLUSIVE PROGRAM - Ricoh High Speed Full Size Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11X17, 12x18, 300GSM

Sale price
$75
Regular price
$85
$49/Month ALL-INCLUSIVE LEASE TO OWN Ricoh MP C3503 Color Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner (11X17, 12x18)
Absolute Toner Ricoh MP C3003 Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner (11X17, 12x18) For Office - $39.99/Month Showroom Color Copiers

$49/Month ALL-INCLUSIVE LEASE TO OWN Ricoh MP C3503 Color Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner (11X17, 12x18)

Price
$49
$39/Month Ricoh Copier MP C2503 With High Colour Quality Multifunction Printer Copier 25PPM
Sale
Absolute Toner $47/Month Ricoh Copier MP C2503 With High Colour Quality Multifunction Printer Copier 25PPM Printers/Copiers

$39/Month Ricoh Copier MP C2503 With High Colour Quality Multifunction Printer Copier 25PPM

Sale price
$1,950
Regular price
$2,500
$45Month Xerox Repossessed VersaLink C7020 Color Laser Multifunctional Copier Printer Scanner, Scan 2 email 11x17 For Business
Sale
Absolute Toner Xerox VersaLink C7020 Color Laser Multifunctional Copier Printer Scanner, Scan 2 email 11x17 For Business - $45/Month Showroom Color Copiers

$45Month Xerox Repossessed VersaLink C7020 Color Laser Multifunctional Copier Printer Scanner, Scan 2 email 11x17 For Business

Sale price
$2,290
Regular price
$4,500
$59/Month Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5535i Laser Color Multifunction Printer, Copier, Scanner, 12 x 18 For Office | IRAC5535i
Sale
Absolute Toner $59/Month Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5535i Laser Color Multifunction Printer, Copier, Scanner, 12 x 18 For Office | IRAC5535i Showroom Color Copiers

$59/Month Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5535i Laser Color Multifunction Printer, Copier, Scanner, 12 x 18 For Office | IRAC5535i

Sale price
$2,950
Regular price
$4,500
Xerox COLOR C60 Multifunctional Laser Production Printer Copier
Absolute Toner $146/Month Xerox  COLOR C60 PRO with Capability to print on specialty media -Multifunctional Laser Production Printer Copier Showroom Color Copiers

Xerox COLOR C60 Multifunctional Laser Production Printer Copier

Sale price
$169
Regular price
$265
Xerox Repo VersaLink B405DNI WI-FI B/W Monochrome Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner (B405DN B405)
Sale
Absolute Toner From $17/month-Xerox VersaLink B405DNM B/W Monochrome Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner (B405DN B405) Showroom Monochrome Copiers

Xerox Repo VersaLink B405DNI WI-FI B/W Monochrome Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner (B405DN B405)

Sale price
$795
Regular price
$1,195
From $35/Month Xerox Versalink C405DNI WI-FI (C405) Color Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner, LCD Touch Screen
Sale
Absolute Toner NEW REPO Xerox Versalink C405DNM Color Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner, LCD Touch Screen For Business Showroom Color Copiers

From $35/Month Xerox Versalink C405DNI WI-FI (C405) Color Multifunction Laser Printer Copier Scanner, LCD Touch Screen

Sale price
$35
Regular price
$45
$35/Month (Available with Toner Included Maintenance program) Xerox Versalink C405DNM C405 C405DN Color Laser Multifunction Printer Scanner
Sale
Absolute Toner Xerox Versalink C405dn C405-M All-in-one Color Laser Multifunction Printer Office Copier Scanner Laser Printer

$35/Month (Available with Toner Included Maintenance program) Xerox Versalink C405DNM C405 C405DN Color Laser Multifunction Printer Scanner

Sale price
$35
Regular price
$44
REPOSSESSED Xerox Versalink B405DN Multifunction Digital Laser Printer SCAN 2 EMAIL Office Copier Scanner
Sale
Absolute Toner $25/month. New Repo Xerox Versalink B405 Monochrome Multifunction  Printer Office Copier Scanner only 4K pages printed Laser Printer

REPOSSESSED Xerox Versalink B405DN Multifunction Digital Laser Printer SCAN 2 EMAIL Office Copier Scanner

Sale price
$695
Regular price
$1,199
$75/month Xerox for Printing Invitation, Envelope Printing and PostCards - C8000DT C8000/DT VersaLink Tabloid A3 11x17 (Also available with White Toner)
Sale
Absolute Toner Xerox VersaLink C8000 Color Laser Printer for Professional Results Showroom Color Copiers

$75/month Xerox for Printing Invitation, Envelope Printing and PostCards - C8000DT C8000/DT VersaLink Tabloid A3 11x17 (Also available with White Toner)

Sale price
$4,650
Regular price
$8,950
$198/month 54" Roland TrueVIS SG-540 54" Eco-Solvent Large Format Printer and Cutter (Print and Cut)
Sale
Absolute Toner Copy of $245/Month Roland TrueVIS SG2-540 54" Eco-Solvent Large Format Inkjet Printer and Cutter (Print and Cut) Print and Cut Plotters

$198/month 54" Roland TrueVIS SG-540 54" Eco-Solvent Large Format Printer and Cutter (Print and Cut)

Sale price
$198
Regular price
$225
Xerox C60 Production Color Multifunctional Laser Printer Copier Scanner For Business | Production Printer
Absolute Toner $125/Month Xerox C60 Production Color Multifunctional Laser Printer Copier Scanner For Business | Production Printer Showroom Color Copiers

Xerox C60 Production Color Multifunctional Laser Printer Copier Scanner For Business | Production Printer

Price
$117
$75/MONTH COLOR LASER + WHITE TONER PRINTER - XEROX VersaLink C8000W/ DT WHITE TONER and Color (C/M/Y)
Sale
Absolute Toner XEROX VersaLink C8000W/DT WHITE TONER and Color (C/M/Y) Laser Printer. Showroom Color Copiers

$75/MONTH COLOR LASER + WHITE TONER PRINTER - XEROX VersaLink C8000W/ DT WHITE TONER and Color (C/M/Y)

Sale price
$75
Regular price
$134
$45/month Samsung MultiXpress SL-X7400LX Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11x17
Sale
Absolute Toner $45/month Samsung MultiXpress SL-X7400LX Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11x17 Printers/Copiers

$45/month Samsung MultiXpress SL-X7400LX Color Laser Multifunction Printer Copier Scanner 11x17

Sale price
$45
Regular price
$75
$150/month KIP 850 Laser FULL COLOR Large Format Printer (Wide Format Colour Laser Printer)
Absolute Toner $185/Month KIP 850 Laser FULL COLOR Wide Format Printer (Large Format Colour Laser Printer) Large Format Printers

$150/month KIP 850 Laser FULL COLOR Large Format Printer (Wide Format Colour Laser Printer)

Sale price
$7,900
Regular price
$34,000