Printer ink is generally the most expensive part of printing. We all look for ways to save money and cheap printer ink is but one of many options that are available to you. Saving money on your printing costs, however, should start with your printing behavior. If you make sure that you print as little as possible, in a font that uses as little ink as possible, and by making sure you have the right printer for your needs, you will already save quite a bit. Added to this that you can get cheap printer ink, and printing suddenly starts to become more affordable. However, there are some seriously bad rumors floating about cheap ink, are any of those actually true?
Original Equipment Manufacturer Cartridges
Too many people still think they have to buy Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. They believe that cheap printer ink is of lesser quality. It certainly is true that an OEM cartridge rarely fails to work. These cartridges have been designed to work on one printer and one printer only, being yours. However, are refurbished cartridges, offering you cheaper printer ink, any worse? Statistically, it would make sense to suggest that they have a higher failure rate, but this actually isn’t true. The official failure rate of third party printer ink is 2%, which is exactly the same as an OEM cartridge. These cartridges are carefully studied and designed. They have to fit on a number of different printers and manufacturers must make sure that they do not infringe on any patents. Indeed, the composition of the ink in a third party cartridge is often different than from an OEM cartridge, but different does not mean it is of lesser quality. Let’s take a look at some of the most common faults found in printer ink, OEM or not.
Chip not Recognized
One common fault, particularly in non OEM cartridges, is for the chip to not be recognized. However, this is often easily remedied through an easy reset. Generally, you will seen an error message on the screen of your printer, informing you that the chip has not been recognized. This error should not put you off purchasing cheap printer ink. It is rare and it is easy to fix.
Some people find that it is difficult to fit a cartridge into their printer. The seal between the printer head and the cartridge has to be very tight. If not, air can come into the cartridge, which could result in a complete malfunction. Again, this fault is equally common with an OEM cartridge and cheap printer ink. Generally, all it needs is to simply be pushed in a bit tighter, getting the seal to work properly. However, don’t press too hard. A printer – and ink cartridge – has some very flimsy and fragile parts in them and they can easily be broken. With third party cheap printer ink, it is possible that third party suppliers have been used in refurbishing the cartridges. Some say that this causes the seal to be slightly loose more often, but it seems the problem is reasonably insignificant.
Clogged Printer Head
A clogged printer head is a disaster for any printer. This is why it is s important to perform regular maintenance on your printer, regardless of what sort of ink you use. The printer head is a very fine part through which ink passes before it is deposited on the paper. If you ever notice random dots or streaks, it is likely to be because of a clogged head. There is a rumor that cheap printer ink causes greater clogging, but this is completely untrue, certainly with good quality refurbished ink. Cleaning cycles on the printer should clear up a clogged printer head and it is very important that you perform this regularly. If you do not do this regularly, you may actually lose quite a bit of ink. This means that the savings you made by opting for cheaper ink can get completely lost. Choosing the right printer is also very important, particularly because there are a number of printers that have the printer head in the cartridge. This means that you get a new printer head every time you replace the cartridge, potentially saving you a lot of money on repairs and maintenance. If, however, you have a printer with a fixed head, you must make sure it is kept clean and clog free, because a new printer head can cost you as much as a brand new printer.