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In this article, I want to dispel the myth that using after-market cartridges will void your printer’s warranty or cause it to malfunction.

Over the past almost 20 years, I have personally serviced thousands of businesses in the after-market print supplies sector. 1-2 employee businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. Some of my clients use just one or two cartridges in an entire year, while others regularly spend thousands of dollars each month. All of which make use of aftermarket inks and toners.

To ensure that everyone is on the same page before we continue, I’d like to introduce the terminology used in the sector. The majority of people I encounter on a daily basis react violently when I first discuss my product(s), but as they gain knowledge, they eventually abandon the belief that “all “refilled” cartridges are junk and all you want to do is ruin my printer.” Like cars, hospitals, lawyers, insurance salespeople, and other professions, not all carts are created equally.

1. OEM Cartridge – Also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer, this product is made by the company that created the printer, but it is not always the “best” and is most definitely not covered by a warranty as long as many other products.

2. Refilled – A cartridge that has been simply refilled with ink or toner is referred to in this phrase. If you don’t care about quality or potential harm to your printer, you may have seen kits available for purchase that allow you to refill your own cartridges.

3. Re-manufactured – A product that has undergone reverse engineering is referred to as this. In other words, it has been disassembled, with the cartridge being refilled and some parts replaced.

4. Generic – A product made by a business that would prefer to remain anonymous is referred to as generic (hmm, I wonder why that would be?). It is a knockoff and might or might not have been remade. Avoid using this product until you have more information about it.

5. Drill and Fill – I despise this garbage so much. The cartridge housing (for ink or toner) is simply drilled, filled with additional ink or toner, and then plugged. Similar to your refill kit for home use, but some resellers actually buy drill & filled cartridges and then resell them to unwary customers. Since they were trying to save money, the majority of the people I’ve encountered who are frustrated with after-market cartridges acquired these items. However, they HONESTLY did not conduct ANY research before assuming that ALL after-market cartridges are inferior and harmful to printers found on Printer Central. Please take note: some “BUYERS” are just as “defective” as this garbage!

6. Compatible – This cartridge could potentially be remanufactured correctly. A truly re-manufactured toner cartridge has undergone ENTIRE disassembly, thorough cleaning, replacement of ALL internal components with brand new parts, and re-filling to OEM specifications with a product that meets or exceeds OEM standards for maximum image quality and page yield. For inks, the procedure is a little different: to achieve the best image quality and page yield, the contact plates are meticulously cleaned, the microchips are replaced, the interior of the print head is cleaned chemically or electrostatically, and the ink reservoir is prepared.

7. Genuine Compatible – This brand-new cartridge is designed to work with a specific brand of printer. Here, I’d like to bring up mediaSciences, a company that has really impressed me. In addition to producing their own Solid Ink for use in Xerox Phaser printers, this business also creates their own clear-case toner cartridges for those printers.

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