Original or Compatible Toner Cartridges - The Facts

If you own a laser printer, you have already taken a step towards lower cost printing. Laser printers consistently produce prints at the lowest cost per page. However, what you might not know is that laser printers can work with compatible and remanufactured toners as well as OEM brand toners. But which one should you choose?
Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each of the types of cartridge available, and hopefully make better informed buying decisions for your purchases.

Toner Cartridge Definitions

OEM Cartridge - An OEM Cartridge is one made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM. If you own a Hewlett-Packard Laserjet printer, then the Hewlett-Packard brand is the OEM cartridge for your printer.
Compatible Toner Cartridge - A compatible toner cartridge is made by a 3rd party manufacturer and is made up of all new compatible parts. It is similar in quality to a OEM cartridge.
Remanufactured Toner Cartridge - A remanufactured toner cartridge is when a remanufacturer takes an original oem cartridge, disassembles it, tests and replaces any worn parts, fills it with toner and re-assembles.
There are many different levels and qualities of remanufactured toner cartridges and the terms compatible and remanufactured are often mistakenly interchanged. Some manufacturers will replace a few parts and call it
compatible. Some manufacturers will drill a hole fill it with toner and call it remanufactured. Just be sure to purchase your toner cartridges from a reputable dealer that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

OEM Toner Cartridges

OEM Toners are usually manufactured by the printer manufacturer and they warrant their total compatibility with the printer. Printer manufacturers recommend that you use their toner cartridges and claim that the printer functions will be affected by other toner cartridges. They also claim the life of the laser printer is shortened by usage of unbranded toner cartridges. Some manufacturers still claim the printer warranty will be voided by using non-OEM cartridges - the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act forbids this practice.
The main disadvantage of buying OEM branded toner cartridges is the high cost. The initial cost of laser printers has come down but printer makers make up their low inital profit by inflating the cost of consumables, mainly toner and paper.
Another problem with OEM toner cartridges is that discarding toner cartridges which are not biodegradable is an environmental hazard. Buying a remanufactured toner is more enviornmentally friendly. Recent studies have found that each remanufactured toner cartridge keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills and conserves about a half gallon of oil.

Compatible and Remanufactured Cartridges

The biggest advantage of using compatible toner cartridges is they are low cost consumables. Compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges are available for most laser printers and give good quality printing at a lower cost - often half the cost of the branded cartridge.
Remanufactured cartridges are eco friendly and do not render the non biodegradable cartridges useless.
There are compatible toner cartridges for many brands of laser printers and they give great value for money.
One of the major disadvantages of remanufactured toner cartridges is knowing how they were made and the level of quality control during the manufacturing process. Most cartridges are easy to drill and refill and this can easily be done in someone's garage. When buying them online from an auction site or a less than reputable dealer, you never really know what you're going to get. Was the cartridge completely remanufactured, or did they just "drill and fill" it?
If a cartridge seems too cheap to believe and is being sold on eBay or similar sites, it very likely is a "drill and fill" which will probably not work very well and is likely to spill toner into your printer and onto your work. Always be aware of how easy it is to cover low quality product offerings with a flashy web site.
This disadvantage can be overcome buy buying from a reputable dealer like Leading Edge Ink&Toner; with a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a significant time frame (at least 6 months). We refuse to sell "drill and fill" and guarantee every cartridge we sell to perform as well or better than OEM in quality and yield.

So what to choose?

The choice is yours. If you demand the highest quality 100% of the time, and it is within your budget, then by all means, purchase the OEM Toner cartridges for your printer.
However, replacing the toner cartridge with a compatible or remanufactured cartridge is more budget friendly, especially if you are confident that you can get  the same quality. So do something good for the environment and save a lot of money at the same time.


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