Ink and Toners


Inks and Toners Buying Guide

When using a printer or other machine that requires inks and toners, it’s essential to choose equipment that’s compatible with your device, but with so many different products to choose from, how can you be sure you’ve got it right. Take a look at our inks and toners buying guide to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make the right purchase.

When choosing inks and toners you can either buy straight from your device manufacturer, buy compatible cartridges from another company or use refillable cartridges. Using toner from your device manufacturers does have the advantage of being specifically designed for your device, therefore producing a better print quality, but it is generally more expensive to buy direct from the manufacturer than through other means.

Inks and toners FAQ’s

The following will answer the most frequently asked questions about inks and toners:

Which cartridge is right for my device?

Whether you need cartridges for a fax machine, printer or copier, you should be able to find the information you need about the right one to buy in the operator’s manual. To replace an empty cartridge or toner you can find the manufacturers reference printed on it.

What colour cartridges should I choose?

All colour printers need a black ink cartridge and a combination of three other colours to produce colour prints. These are yellow, cyan or blue and magenta or red. If your colour prints appear to have a green tinge then you need to replace your red cartridge. If your prints have a purple tinge then replace the yellow cartridge and if they have an orange tinge then replace the blue cartridge. Before you replace ink, try to clean your heads.

My printer isn’t working

If you’re having problems getting a printer or other device to work after you have replaced the inks and toner first make sure that the ink you’ve chosen is compatible with your machine. Secondly ensure that it is fitted properly. If none of these options solve the problem then you will need to contact the manufacturer of the device or take your printer to an IT store.

Only one of my toners has run out, do I need to replace them all?

This will depend on the make and model of your device as some manufactuers only provide a multi-colour toner option.

If your colour cartridges are individual then you can replace them one at a time which saves time and money.

How long should a cartridge last?

This will depend on how much printing you do. Obviously if you use your machine on a daily basis then your ink will run out much faster than if you only use it occasionally. Certain manufacturers will provide a ‘yield’ value on cartridges, which indicates the average number of pages that they should print. If you find that your ink is running out much faster than the estimate then contact the manufacturers of your device.

Bear in mind that the yield figure is based on business documents and not photos or pictures so if you want to use your device to print these then your ink will run out a lot faster.

If you plan to use your printing devices regularly then look for ‘high yield’ cartridges which are more expensive but usually last a lot longer.

How long can cartridges be stored?

Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy in bulk which means you’ll need to store your cartridges when you’re not using them. If you keep your cartridges sealed in their packages and store them in a cool, dry place they should last for up to two years. If they’ve been removed from their packaging then they will last around 3-6 months.

Will I damage my machine if I let the ink run dry?

It is possible to damage printing devices if you let the ink run completely dry as the nozzles can dry out and the ink heads can overheat so it’s best to replace inks and toners before your cartridges are completely empty. It is also better to print something once in a while, whether you actually need to print or not, just to avoid dry nozzles. Note that this applies only to ink jet printers, not laser.

If you think your printer has been damaged due to the ink running dry then contact your manufacturer to find out the best action to take.

My toner is no longer available

You may find that the inks or toner you ordered before may not be available any more. This is usually because the manufacturer has introduced a new kind of ink or toner. When buying new ink or toner you should be able to find out on the packaging or on the website information which devices the cartridges are compatible with so you’ll still be able to find one that works with your machine.

If your printer is fairly old and you can’t buy compatible cartridges then they may have been discontinued, which means you won’t be able to find cartridges to use in it. As with any technology printers have a certain shelf life and new models are being constantly manufactured, so if yours is no longer being made then you will have to buy a new device. These days, however, there are more & more refill kits available.

PriceRunner tips

Choose your printer based on two factors : the cost of replacement ink/toner, and the amount of printing you intend to do.
Before you buy, check how much replacements/refill kits cost. Laser printers often works out cheaper in the long run, they are fast, print beautifully well and you won't get dry nozzles if you stop printing for a few months.
Today, finally, some manufacturer are offering transparent ink tanks you can refill with affordable refill bottles, even original manufacturer refills. Hard to believe, but it has actually happened. Check out the photos & features here on our site, that way you get the right one and the right price.

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