Printer ink cartridges 

Printer ink cartridges

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Recommendations

There are number of different types of inkjet printers, each with their own characteristics and printing capabilities. No doubt you have selected a printer to suit your needs, whether it is printing photographs, school projects, business proposals or documents that are used internally within your company, or maybe you inherited a printer and are just using it to get by. This article focuses on inkjet (aka bubble jet printers) and the provides recommendations on printer selection and cartridge selection.

Inkjet Printers - Some background information.

Inkjet printers generally come in two types, mono ( black) and colour, although nowadays most inkjet printers have colour printing as a standard feature. They are capable of printing high quality but are generally not a high performance printer and are often used in homes or small business. Inkjet printers use ink cartridges that contain ink and work by spraying tiny drops of ink on to the page. The ink used in inkjet printers is "ionized" meaning that the ink has an electronic charge, so that when the ink is spayed at the paper, it is directed to the correct spot by magnetic plates behind the paper. Inkjet printer cartridges normally contain a small chip that communicates with the printer and PC for a variety of functions, including:

    cartridge levels (how much ink is left) and
    cartridge compatibility ie is the cartridge suited to the printer.

The cartridges for inkjet printers come in a variety of types.

Thermal Inkjet Cartridges

Thermal ink cartridges are used by the majority of major brand printers. Each reservoir or ink tank contains a tiny resistor, and when an electricity charge is sent through the resister a bubble is created in the ink that expands and forces ink out through the printer nozzle.


Piezoelectric printers use a slightly different technique that is patented by Epson and works by electric current flowing through a small crystal, causing the crystal to expand/vibrate and push ink out of the nozzle. One advantage of this technique is that the size of the nozzle is smaller, which means that the printer is capable of a higher quality printout.

Further to this, inkjet printers have a number of styles of printer cartridges.

    Individual Cartridges
    All in one cartridges

Individual Cartridges

Individual cartridges have a different cartridge for Cyan Magenta and Yellow. The obvious advantage being that if one colour runs out you only replace one cartridge.

All in one cartridges

An all in one cartridge contains compartments of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. The obvious disadvantage being that if one compartment runs out then the whole cartridge needs to be replaced.

Inkjet Printer Cartridges Recommendations

Our recommendation for all inkjet printer ink is to:

    Only buy genuine cartridges.
    Do not buy compatible cartridges
    Do not buy refilled or re-manufactured cartridges

Our reasons for this recommendation is that compatible and refilled ink cartridges

    have a higher failure rate
    may not work at all if new printer drivers are installed
    The logic embedded in the chip may get confused and give the printer incorrect information.

In both cases, the savings made when buying cheaper cartridges is nowhere near enough compensation for

    The risk of failure
    The inconvenience of returning faulty or non working cartridges
    The poorer quality of printer output
    The time that you will waste trying to get something printed properly

Only buy genuine cartridges for inkjet cartridges.

Printer ink cartridges

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