How Using The Wrong Printer Cartridges Can Cost You More
(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.