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3 Differences Between Generic Printer Ink And OEM Cartridges

2011-10-29

In just the last decade, the overall costs for printing have fluctuated greatly. Whereas it used to be quite expensive to purchase a printer, even a multi-tasking printer or higher grade printer, that is no longer the case. Printer costs have gone down dramatically, allowing many more people to own one and for businesses to save on upgrades to higher level printers. Although much of the business world takes place online these days, printing has not been overtaken and continues to thrive even in the age of the Internet. One aspect of owning a printer has, in fact, increased in cost. Printer ink has almost doubled in price in the last decade because manufacturers learned that the bulk of their revenue was coming from ink sales rather than the printers themselves. That is why many companies began manufacturing generic printer ink to combat costs. But some may not know the difference between brand office printer ink and generic printer ink. Here are three differences between the two.

Generic printer ink is actually almost identical to brand office printer ink in most ways. Companies that manufacturer generic printer ink use a similar formula to develop their printer ink. However, they can't, by law, use the same exact formula or ingredients to manufacturer generic ink. If a company wants to make a generic version of HP printer ink, for example, they can use most of the same formula but have to leave out or substitute a component so that the two can be differentiated. This is to protect the original manufacturers of the proprietary ink.

Although generic printer ink and brand printer ink act, for the most part, the same when used for printing, there is another difference. Generic printer ink tends to dry out or expire a little quicker than standard ink. The dry out period isn't much longer before brand ink, but it could make a difference when making a printer purchase. Because generic ink cannot use the same formula as the brand ink, there are some qualities that make it dry out quicker if not used within a certain time frame. That is not to say brand ink won't dry out, but the time frame is longer for brand ink than generic ink.

Another facet to consider is that generic ink cannot be used with all printers. There are cases in which generic ink jams the printer heads of certain printers. Even if caution is used and the exact make of the printer is matched up with the generic printer ink cartridge, there may still be a chance it jams. Brand ink will almost always work well and almost never jams, though the costs are higher.

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