Inkjet printers are massively popular and typically found in home offices, dorm rooms, and even professional settings. These popular printers complete printing tasks by using ink cartridges.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Ink cartridges are found inside inkjet printers.
  • These cartridges are filled with ink and can include one or numerous ink reservoirs.
  • When shopping for an ink cartridge, you should consider its overall maximum capacity, the colors available within the cartridge set, and whether or not it is compatible with your printer.

What are Ink Cartridges?

Ink cartridges are, as the name suggests, cartridges filled with ink. Inkjet printers spray out tiny globules of this ink onto paper in order to complete printing tasks. Each ink cartridge includes one or numerous ink reservoirs and some microchips that allow it to communicate with the printer. Inkjet printers also have a high DPI efficiency, which is dots per inch and refers to the spatial density of the printed image.

Insider Tip

Each ink cartridge includes one or numerous ink reservoirs and some microchips that allow it to communicate with the printer.

Finding the Best Ink Cartridges

There are a number of features you should be aware of when shopping for ink cartridges.

Maximum Capacity

One of the primary disadvantages that come from using an inkjet printer is the fact that ink cartridges must consistently be replaced. Some of these cartridges can only perform 100 pages or so of printing before becoming depleted. In other words, you should shop for ink cartridges that boast a larger-than-average maximum capacity. This will depend on what sizes of cartridges your individual printer will integrate with. If your printer cannot accept large ink cartridges, we recommend joining some sort of ink cartridge subscription service.

Insider Tip

If your printer cannot accept large ink cartridges, we recommend joining some sort of ink cartridge subscription service.

To Color or Not to Color

Inkjet printers are known for having the ability to reproduce stunning color images, making them ideal for printing out photos and vivid illustrations. With that in mind, you may want to choose a set of ink cartridges that include the entire CMYK color wheel spectrum. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, and it is these four colors that are combined to recreate any other hue. Make sure your inkjet printer can complete color print jobs before purchasing a set of different-colored ink cartridges.

Check Compatibility

Before buying any ink cartridges, check for compatibility with your printer. This can be done by reading the printer’s instructions or by Googling your individual make and model with the type of cartridge you are about to purchase. When in doubt, choose an ink cartridge that advertises universal compatibility.

Look for an Efficient Printer

Due to the high overall cost of replacement ink cartridges, we recommend choosing a printer that is known for efficiency when it comes to ink usage. Some printers waste a whole lot of ink, as much as half of the cartridge, while performing routine maintenance tasks and the like. Be sure to read any pertinent documentation regarding ink use efficiency before buying a new printer. Another printer worth checking out is the Laser printer that uses a toner cartridge to transfer text and images to paper or related materials.

Warning

Make sure your inkjet printer can complete color print jobs before purchasing a set of different-colored ink cartridges.

F.A.Q.

Thinking of using third-party printer ink cartridges?

It is fine to go with a third-party ink cartridge, just make sure it is compatible with your printer before making that purchase. You should also be in the habit of reading user reviews when it comes to third-party cartridges.


What is the difference between toner and ink cartridges?

Ink cartridges contain ink reservoirs and are used by inkjet printers. Toner cartridges, however, contain toner dust and are used by laser printers.


What is printer ink made out of?

Printer ink can be made from a variety of materials, including various oils, carbon black, varnish, dyes, and related compounds.



STAT: New York has implemented a recycling law for businesses and consumers regarding toner and ink cartridges, as has California. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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