Article on Printer Ink–Discount vs. Manufacturers’ Brands

Last evening I took a few minutes to relax with a magazine on the back porch until the ‘skeeters chased me back in, but while I was there I spotted an article in PC World titled “Cheap Ink: Will It Cost You?” Since “cheap anything” is appealing with today’s high prices on so many things, I thought some of you might be interested in the article too.

The magazine tested a sampling of printers and tested inks from the manufacturer, as well as some inks from discount suppliers.  They found for the most part that while discount inks often yielded more pages per cartridge saving you money, manufacturers’ inks typically gave better print results, and–a very important point for us–the manufacturs’ inks did better in tests as to fading over time.

The article is not available on the PC World Magazine website,  but if you’re interested in learning more, you can pick up a copy at your local newsstand. It’s in the August 2008 issue, on page 92.

14 thoughts on “Article on Printer Ink–Discount vs. Manufacturers’ Brands

  1. I tried the discount suppliers. Those ink cartridges were dried out before I could even use them. Then last year Walgreens drug stores started refilling my HP cartridges. I have had NO luck with them filling the color ones. The black are a little better, but also seem to dry faster…I have to remove the cartridge and bang it a few times and start again.

  2. I recently ordered a2 balck and 2 colour remanufactures cartridges online for my Canon printer. The price was good C$89.95 as compared to Staples price of C$119.76 for genuine Canon cartridges. However the colours were very poor and the black print was a pale gray. Moreover the printer did not recognize the cartridges resulting in a low ink warning each time I printed anything. I was forced to buy genuine cartridges to print some important photos and will not try a discount brand again.

  3. I have a Cannon i9900 which is not printing well. Figured out the problem is probably the generic cartridges. I will be switching back to Cannon cartridges with each new change.

  4. I have an Epson printer and having used non Epson cartridges I had to clean the print head as some of the black nozles kept clogging up. This does not happen with the manufacturers inks.

  5. Generic cartridges can cause print problems. I disposed of a perfectly good scanner/printer on the advice of a large box store that advertises it’s computer expertise. They told me the printer head was bad – which made no sense to me because the color ink printed just fine.

    I allowed the big box store to dispose of the unit and re-ordered the exact same unit, factory sealed. The very first print yielded the same problem – the color ink printed but the black ink would not.

    A call to the manufacturer resulted in the information that the generic cartridge which advertised it’s compatabiltiy with my unit was in error. When I used the printer brand cartridge the problem was solved.

    The big box retailer had the “you didn’t have to do as we advised” when I took the issue back to them, and refused to stand behind their erroneous diagnosis. I haven’t spent another dime with them.

  6. I am glad to get the opportunity to ‘talk’ about printer ink. I feel very cheated. I have a Dell printer which requires Dell ink and the cartrages are miniscule! I spend a fortune on ink and am forever running out. I am sure this is purposely done to increase revenue and I don’t like being treated this way. The printer is ok but nothing exceptional

  7. I also have tried having my cartriges refilled by Walgreens. Up to now, I stuck with HP cartridges for my Hp printer, copier, and scanner. I have had no noticible change in the color or black except longer usage of each. At $10 for refilling a black and $15 for refilling a color, I will probably never go back to paying Hewlett Packard for cartridges. They have priced theirselves right out of the market as far as I am concerned.

  8. When you purchase an H-P cartridge you are getting not only fresh ink but a new print head as well. On Epson and other printers you are purchasing only an ink reservoir. If you don’t use the printer for a long time and the print head dries with ink in it, the H-P printer should work with a new cartridge but if the print head on an Epson dries, the printer is shot… I’ve been told there is no way of cleaning the print head under those circumstances. It cost me a printer. Of course the obvious solution with Epson-like printers: print a page or two every so often and don’t let it dry out.

  9. I have never used or considered using generic inkjet cartridges. My wife, before we were married, used the “do-it-yourself” refill kits and thought the poor print quality/printer performance was due to the low end printer she had.

  10. I’ve been using non-Epson ink for my past two printers. My present is a C88+ and it’s working fine. When installing a new cartridge the software tells me the cartridge number isn’t the original, but accepts it OK. Sure is a lot cheaper. I use it every day.

  11. I use replacement cartriges from Fillserv No problems with my
    Epson R200 or my aged HP Deskjet.
    Once I tried refilling at the mall. Printed OK, but a couple of cartriges dried up before I used them.

  12. I have been using Dell ink cartridges that I purchase from Staples and they last at least two weeks after it says the cartridge should be out. I use my printer a lot. Hope this helps.

  13. I just ordered from Supermediastore a 6 pk of Epson T028/T029 for $32.50. I will let you know how well it works after it gets here. I have tried OfficeMax brand. I didn’t get very many copy’s out of it.

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