Ink-jet printers are
probably the most common printers today. They are much cheaper than the
laser ones and can produce high-level quality prints comparable to laser
prints. Most ink-jet printers provide a 300dpi resolution which is more than
enough for personal use, they are, of course, slower than laser ones, but
again, this is not really an issue if you’re using the printer for personal
The only real problem
with ink-jet printers seems to be the cartridges: they’re to expensive.
Especially the original ones! Ink-jet printers use a special kind of ionized
ink which is sprayed on the sheet of paper through a set of magnetic plates
in the cartridge which guide the jet to the desired location on the page.
So what do you do when
you find yourself running low on ink on your printer? You have several
You can buy a new
original cartridge but you will find yourself spending between $20 and $50
for one cartridge of ink, depending on the type and model of your printer.
There are also printers who require more than one cartridge, from 2 to 4
cartridges – either one for black and one for the colors (cyan, magenta and
yellow), either one for black and three for the colors. Making some
calculations you’ll see that adds up to quite a lot.
Another option, however,
is buying generic ink cartridges. They are, of course, a lot cheaper than
the original ones and tend to be just as good – if not even better as many
compatible manufactures include even more ink than the original
manufacturers do (which translates in even more savings for the consumer).
The only issue you have to consider before purchasing generic cartridges is
the compatibility between them and your printer. You should really check
your printer manual for compatible model numbers – for the cartridge as well
as the ink.
And the third way to
solve your ink problem is to purchase a refill kit. Although this might not
seem as a very appealing solution at first the business has grown over the
years and these kits have grown more and more reliable. This option is
especially interesting if you are using your printer a lot as the prices are
very low. For example, for 4 refills for the HP Inkjet 300 you will pay $18
while a new cartridge costs between $25 and $35. The process is rather
simple but don’t expect it to go smoothly from the very first time. Usually,
refilling a cartridge takes up to 10 minutes. However, it can get rather
messy, especially the first time. But again, once you get the hang of it, it
should go smoothly. Cartridges can be refilled up to ten times and you don’t
need any technical knowledge to master the process. There are a few rules if
you choose this option: don’t ever let your cartridge dry out; do not touch
the copper plate on the head (for print head cartridges); cartridges must be
refilled immediately after they run out of ink.
Now it’s time to make
your decision. Think about your needs and choose accordingly. However, keep
in mind that you have several options and that buying a original ink
cartridge is probably not the best of them.