A question we are frequently asked here at City Ink Express is ‘Do I actually need an original toner cartridge?' By this, the customer is referring to the difference between original and compatible toner cartridges; original toner is made by the printer manufacturer themselves (Epson, for example), while compatible toner cartridges are made by a different company to fit that specific printer.
Now, compatible cartridges are generally much cheaper, but are they cheaper for a reason? There have been hints of unreliability in the past, but just how common are they?
Well, for starters, rest assured that we extensively test all of our products to ISO standards, so we’re confident that all of the compatible toner we stock is of a very high standard. Under closer scrutiny though, which one performs better and which one do you actually need?
Printer manufacturers have often made big claims about using their original toner, and even made threats about what will happen if you don’t – at one point they claimed it would void the warranty, but this is illegal in many countries. One of their biggest claims is that their toner is of an irrefutably higher quality, and studies support this. A study on HP showed that original toner on average printed 97% of acceptable sample pages, while the non HP toner had an average of just 61%.
This same study also found that compatible toner had an average reliability score of 41.7%, while impressively the original toner had no failures. In fact the only category in which the compatible does score highly in is pricing – so it really is true that you get what you pay for.
What you have to consider when deciding whether or not you need original toner is how much the quality of your prints means to you. If you are in a company and sending out a lot of external documents then this may of a great importance to you. A cost-effective solution may be to have two printers, one with an original and one with a compatible, and use the original one for those prints that need to be of a superior finish.
Buy original and compatible toner cartridges here >