You simply cannot go shopping for some great ink cartridges for printers if you do not know what the available types are. The printer cartridges are normally created in work with a family of printers or with a specific device. You can find them in many combinations, based on the device that they are intended for. It is hard to find them on the lists of the best gadgets available on the market since they are fairly simple at the core. However, there are still various things that you have to consider as you shop.

Before you go shopping for printer cartridges, remember the following factors so that your choice could be really simple.

Understanding Less-Known Terms

Printer cartridges are normally really general but in some cases you will end up seeing some terms that you surely do not know much about. This includes:

  • Combined and single color ink cartridges – cartridges normally come as combined units or as single units. Black is normally a single unit because of the fact that most people print a lot of text. Higher end printers can include combined cartridges with black, yellow, cyan and magenta, used in different percentages to create all colors.
  • Starter or high capacity cartridges – starter cartridges are normally included in the printer when you buy it. These are smaller than the regular size. As opposed, the high capacity cartridges will include much more ink than a standard ink cartridge.
  • Dye-Based or Pigment Based – These are the two types of ink that are included in cartridges these days. The pigment ones will be better when you print on paper while the dye based cartridges will soak in paper so they are better on other surfaces.

Ink Cartridge Types

The ink cartridge type that you need will depend on the model and make of the used printer. You need to research availability and costs of the replacement cartridges even before you purchase the printer. That is because in some cases you will end up paying a lot more than you imagined on the long run.

The most common ink cartridge types that you will buy in your life are the following.

OEM Ink Cartridges

These cartridges are basically manufactured by the same company that also made the printer. They will normally be of the highest possible quality. There is a guarantee that fit will be perfect and the yield will be as high as it can be while failure rate will be the lowest. The problem with them is that they are normally expensive. If you value precision and lasting results, these are the ones you will want to take into account.

Compatible Ink Cartridges

These are cartridges that are made by another company, a third party manufacturer. They are sold new and are normally really cheap when compared with the OEM ink cartridges. In many cases the design will fit various printers. That is not always a rule as there are OEMs that patent designs, making it quite impossible to find a legal replica. Third party cartridges can end up not fitting as well as the OEM item does.

One thing of importance that should be mentioned is that these are cartridges that will not offer the same quality as the OEM models. In the event that you need durability, print accuracy and completely crisp quality, you will have to focus on the OEM models instead of the compatible ones.

Other Ink Cartridge Types

You can also buy refurbished or remanufactured cartridges. These are older ink cartridges that were refilled after being reconditioned. Empty or discarded cartridges will be taken by a third party service or by the OEM and repaired. Then they are cleaned and ink is added. Based on what original item was used, the quality that appears varies.

Many think that the refilled cartridge is the same as the remanufactured cartridge. This is not the case. In this situation we have cartridges that were only refilled, not reconditioned. In many cases they can be pretty messy and quality does tend to vary the most.

Replacing And Storing The Ink Cartridges

Before you buy ink cartridges for your printers, you want to look at storing and replacing them. Such information can be quite important, based on printer model. There are so many things that people are not aware of and that can lead towards the unwanted situation in which the cartridge is damaged to the point of no possible repair.

Make sure that you will keep the printer cartridges away from direct sunlight, extreme heat or extreme cold. Both refurbished and OEM cartridges are going to remain in a much better working condition when this is the case. All printer manufacturers recommend that you will replace the ink cartridge before it will run out of ink. That is because damage can be caused when using ink cartridges that do not have ink or that include dry ink. The printhead is the part oc the cartridge that is the most important. Make sure that you do not touch it when you replace the printer.

Keep in mind that when you buy an OEM cartridge and even some third party cartridges you will receive some manufacturer instructions. Respect everything that is mentioned as you remove or install the ink cartridges to be sure that no damage will happen to the printer.


At first glance it seems so easy to buy ink cartridges but as you noticed from above, there are many things that you have to know. Remember that you have to learn all that you can about the printer that you currently own. In some cases you will be faced with various choices that are not great and you will be tempted by the really low price. Make sure that you fully understand the exact quality that you are after and that you actually need. Do not make a sacrifice.

As an example, it is possible to save a lot of money when you buy compatible cartridges but if the quality of the print will not be as great as it should be, you will need to focus on the OEM cartridges. That is an issue with the professional users that simply cannot make any quality sacrifice.

Join the Conversation


  1. Great job! I have used a Fuji Xerox CT201632. I really appreciate your post. Besides, the ink quality is also very important because high quality ink gives a good text and prints results while low quality ink not only gives bad print results but also create many problem such as a jammed printer.

  2. If Canon printer Error B200 is not resolved, this might mean there’s damage within the printer’s interior. Call the customer services if your warranty still covers your printer issues.

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