How Us­ing The Wrong Prin­ter Car­tridges Can Cost You More

Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By Ir­win Brooks

(Part 2: Inkjet Car­tridges)

Bad qual­ity Ink car­tridge re­fills can also end up cost­ing far more money than is saved. Of­ten, ink re­fill stores or on­line sup­pli­ers will re­fill car­tridges without clean­ing and/ or re- chip­ping them. Let’s ad­dress these two is­sues separately.

1) Un­washed inkjet car­tridges of­ten re­sult in poor qual­ity print­outs. Ink is for­mu­lated to be quick dry­ing so a per­son can han­dle the print­out as soon as it comes out of the prin­ter. While this may be a de­sired inkjet char­ac­ter­is­tic, the draw­back is that inkjet car­tridges dry out. Fresh ink, in­stalled in these un­washed car­tridges, tends to float these dried ink globs to the print- head where they get stuck, block­ing the jet and caus­ing streaky print­outs. There­fore, these car­tridges fail to yield the spec­i­fied out­put count, re­sult­ing in a sig­nif­i­cantly higher cost- per- out­put- page, thus de­feat­ing the pur­pose of buy­ing a re­filled or re­man­u­fac­tured car­tridge to save money.

2) Non- re- chipped tank car­tridges can cause an ex­pen­sive pre­ma­ture print- head fail­ure. Un­like the print- head car­tridge type print­ers that have the print- head built into each re­place­ment car­tridge, the tank type car­tridges have the print- head built into the prin­ter. These print­ers can usu­ally be iden­ti­fied by hav­ing a sep­a­rate car­tridge for each color. While the ink car­tridges for these non- print- head type car­tridges are cheaper, the short­cuts taken by many re­fillers can make it far more ex­pen­sive than buy­ing new car­tridges. Of­ten times to keep prices down, the re­filler will not change the car­tridge chip. The car­tridge chip keeps track of the us­age and re­ports empty car­tridges to the user. While some prin­ter man­u­fac­tur­ers have al­lowed the print­ers to still use the re­filled car­tridges, the dam­age to the print- head could be very ex­pense. Since inkjet print­ers work by in­stantly boil­ing ink through an ex­tremely small hole onto the pa­per, the in­com­ing ink acts to cool the piezo­elec­tric heater in prepa­ra­tion for the next squirt. Without fresh ink to cool the piezo­elec­tric heater, the heater over­heats and burns up much like a dry pot on a stove burner. With Brother and Ep­son brand print­ers, these print- heads are not user re­place­able and re­quire send­ing the prin­ter to a “fac­tory ser­vice cen­ter”. If un­der war­ranty, of­ten a dif­fer­ent prin­ter is re­turned that re­quires dif­fer­ent car­tridges for an ad­di­tional added ex­pense. On HP and Canon print­ers, while the print- heads are mostly user re­place­able, they typ­i­cally cost more than $ 80 each. Now the ques­tion be­comes, “Is my prin­ter worth an $ 80 in­vest­ment”? Of­ten it is not and was all be­cause the re­filler, try­ing to raise his profit mar­gin and save a few cents, did not bother to change the car­tridge chip.

There is hope! Even though the OEM prin­ter man­u­fac­turer does their best to lock you into buy­ing only their new car­tridges at a ridicu­lously high price, you the cus­tomer, can find a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to the sky high ink prices. My best ad­vice is to find a good, knowl­edge­able ex­pert to guide you. Sav­ing money is still pos­si­ble with the right qual­ity re- man­u­fac­turer. Copy­right 2014.

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