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OEM Printer Ink Cartridges And Why They Differ From Refills

2012-09-19

When shopping for printer ink cartridges, it's very common to come across the term "OEM printer ink." What does this mean? How is this type of ink different from a printer ink cartridge refill kit you might buy to save money?

OEM when referring to printer ink cartridges stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Simply put, this means that the ink cartridge is a brand name cartridge, and was manufactured specially for a specific printer. It is normally easy to find an OEM printer ink cartridge because the cartridge will have the printer manufacturer's name (Canon, Sharp, Epson, etc.) on the product.

For the cost-conscious consumer, there are a seemingly countless number of cheap ink cartridge refill kits and providers available today. Most of these refill kit providers claim that their product is as good as OEM printer ink, and that the user should experience no issues or noticeable differences between printer ink cartridge refill kits and OEM printer ink. Meanwhile, ink cartridge manufacturers claim that these refill kits will produce substandard printing results, and should be avoided in favor of the manufacturer-approved brands.

There isn't an easy answer to the question of refill kits or OEM ink. The costs associated with a kit will certainly be lower, and most kits will provide users with an easy way to refill cartridges without having to worry about the manufacturer brand or costly trips to the store.

The downside to refill kits is that they may fail to provide the printer with the specific formula and type of ink that was intended to be used with that printer. Printer manufacturers create their printers with a specific type of ink that was developed specially for that printer. If a consumer uses a type of ink in a refill that does not match exactly, the quality of the print job can suffer, and in absolute worst cases, the printer itself can be affected by using the incorrect ink. Particularly in cases where the print job quality is of the utmost importance, or in cases where the printer being used is a specialty one, it may be wise to choose OEM printer ink. This will ensure that the printer functions optimally with the ink, and the results are of the highest quality.

Ultimately, the choice between OEM printer ink and cartridge refill kits is up to the consumer. It's important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to using an ink refill before committing to using such a kit for printer ink cartridge refills. In many cases, users choose OEM printer ink in the interest of maintaining their printer and print job quality, but it's important to become knowledgeable about both options.

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