If you have been looking at ways to cut costs in your office. You may have come across the option of purchasing compatible ink cartridges for printers. Their lower price is an attractive incentive for anybody looking to reduce the amount that they spend on printing ink. But are they really any good? We invited printing experts, Cartridge Link http://www.cartridgelink.co.uk, to explain the difference between original and compatible ink cartridges.


At Cartridge Link we get many questions querying the cost of ink cartridges. The immediate thing that stands out to our customers whilst browsing our products is the cost difference between pricey manufacturer’s originals and more reasonable compatible ink cartridges. If you choose to use original ink cartridges, along with the manufacturer’s paper you will get the highest quality result possible – but for a hefty price tag. So let us explain the differences so you can make the right choice.

What are compatible ink cartridges?

For anyone who is new to the world of printer ink there are three variants of ink cartridges that you can buy: compatible ink cartridges, original ink cartridges and remanufactured ink cartridges. Compatible ink cartridges are made by a third-party manufacturer and designed so that they fit into printers just like the originals. They have no affiliation at all with the manufacturer of your printer.

Remanufactured ink cartridges are different. These are original cartridges which have been used previously, returned and refilled to the maximum capacity for ink. It is important that remanufactured cartridges are used as it is estimated that it will take 10,000 years for an ink cartridge to decay in a land fill site, so cartridge recycling is a big thing.

Are compatible cartridges best for me?

This really depends on how much you print out and what you are printing. If you print regularly then you will have no problems with using compatible ink cartridges with your printer. However if you print less than once a month then we recommend to stick with original cartridges. Original ink cartridges have a special solution in them to stop the ink from clogging up.

If you leave your printer unused for a month there is the possibility that a compatible ink cartridge may clog your printer up. If compatible ink cartridges are causing issues then you can simply run a set of originals through the printer which will spruce up your print head. You are then free to switch back to compatible ink cartridges. We recommend switching from compatible ink cartridges back to original every 3 or 4 cartridge changes to keep your printer in tip-top condition.

Will it work with my printer?

Compatibles are a fantastic alternative for many types of printers. If you have an older model of printer you may need to check that there are compatible ink cartridges still available for that model.You can check out our whole range with our easy search function that whittles your options down by make, family and model.For new printers you may have to wait a while for manufacturers to design compatibles that are designed to fit that specific printer. This will obviously affect you if you decide to go for recycled cartridges too.

You should also contemplate what you are printing

Compatible ink cartridges used to have a bad reputation as not printing well. But developments have been made and compatible ink cartridges perform brilliantly for text based printing. We struggle to differentiate if an original or compatible ink cartridge has been used when we are performing quality testing. If you are using your printer for black text then we would definitely suggest purchasing compatible ink cartridges.

Most people who get in contact with us are concerned that when printing images the quality will be affected when using compatible ink cartridges. This is not the case. Compatible cartridges print images which rival the original manufacturer quality. The only quality issue you may face is fading. We have tested our inks by placing prints in a window for a month. The original cartridge inks held their colour very well. However the compatible ink cartridge brands faded a little more. Five years ago fading was a huge issue for compatible ink cartridges so it seems the manufacturers have fixed this issue.

Many printers come with a one-year warranty. There was a rumor that by using a compatible ink cartridge rather than an original would void your warranty. However now we know that this is only true if the manufacturers can prove that the third-party ink caused the problem. That is why it is important to buy your compatible ink cartridges from a reputable source such as Cartridge Link.

We offer a 100% guarantee on our products, so if you are not happy with performance we can offer you a refund or replacement cartridge.