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Why Printers Do Not Use The Same Ink Cartridges

2010-10-07

Printer ink is one of the most costly office supplies with which any business has to contend. Often, ink cartridges will cost half as much or more than the printer they are intended to work with, making them one of the biggest targets for cost reduction plans in any business, big or small. Anything a company can do to cut down on printer ink use, or to simply reduce the cost of their printer ink can substantially affect the company's bottom line. One method that many companies use is to buy re-manufactured ink cartridges that fit a number of printer brands. A question that often arises is "why do so many printers use different printer ink cartridges?"

Printer manufactures are in the market to make money, and have found many ways to make the printer industry more profitable. One of these is to create specialized blends of ink that they claim will work best with their printers. Almost all printer ink manufacturers will state in their printer documentation that if any other types of ink are used with their printer, the warranty is null and void as it may damage the printer or shorten its life. Fortunately for businesses, the re-manufactured ink cartridge industry can take a great deal of the cost off of buying such brand-name ink, as they can create formulations that work almost as well as the original. Not to be stymied, however, printer manufacturers have ensured that all of their printers use different printer ink cartridges than the competition. These cartridges will be shaped differently, deliver ink differently, and will come in a variety of sizes. This is done to try to limit the ability of re-manufacturers to create a cartridge that works for the print company's printer.

Often, re-manufactured ink cartridges will be able to fit a variety of makes and models, owing to a similar underlying design. These cartridges can be smaller than their original counterparts and may fit less snugly owing to the fact that they were not made to the original design specifications of the printer. But while re-manufacturers can create a number of ink cartridge options, there is no such thing as a "universal" ink cartridge that will fit every size, model and make of printer.

For a company, it is often the best and most cost-effective choice to simply seek out a site or store that sells re-manufactured printer cartridges that will fit two or three of their chosen printers and purchase those. While this will not eliminate the cost of ink entirely, it will limit the amount a company has to spend buying proprietary ink at an inflated cost.