Compatible Printer Supplies and Services

Myth Busters!

There are several myths about refilled cartridges – are these true or false? In recent times the technology to reuse cartridges has advanced significantly and standards have improved but the myths persist, sometimes encouraged by ‘misinformation’ put out by the printer manufacturers who would prefer you to buy their cartridges! Still, there are some facts to be aware of, so here's our guide to what's true or false:

"Using refills can invalidate a printer's warranty."

FALSE. In the same way you are free to buy any make of battery for a torch, you have the right to choose any make of cartridge for your printer. In the USA, Federal Trade Regulations prohibit equipment manufacturers from conditioning their warranty on the basis of the consumer using their brand name consumables or services. In Barbados, the Fair Competition Act also prohibits a supplier from engaging in ‘Exclusive Dealing’ by tying a consumer to use only their products. Corporate suppliers that are found in breach of this Act can be fined up to $500,000 or 6 months imprisonment!

"Using inkjet refills can damage your printer"

FALSE. Inkjet cartridges with built-in print heads (most HP's, Lexmarks and many others) are self-contained so if there's a fault with the cartridge or the ink it only affects the cartridge, never the printer. By replacing the faulty cartridge all problems will be gone, leaving your printer unaffected. BUT some printers with separate print heads (Epsons, Brother and most Canons printers) can clog if the incorrect ink is used. The inks used by Inktech and other professionals is closely matched to the original ink chemistry so it’s never a problem, but clogging can occur with ‘home refills’ when individuals think that any ink can work with any cartridge. Our advice: know your supplier.

"Toner can spill and make a mess in your printer"

MAYBE: Toner cartridges have seals, drums and wipers that wear over time. These are designed to last at least as long as the normal life of the printer - but not much longer! With Inktech toners, all components that can wear are replaced with new ones, so spills are extremely rare with our cartridges (as they are with originals), so we say FALSE to this myth. BUT not all cartridges are the same - some refillers simply open the cartridge and fill with toner. These 'drill & fill' toners retain their already worn parts and, whilst the refill may work well to start with, toner will start to spill as wear becomes more advanced. Our advice: make sure your supplier replaces the wear parts of the cartridge and provides a proper warranty in case you have a problem.

"You don't get as many copies as you do with original cartridges"

FALSE. It takes the same amount of ink or toner to print an image, so once the cartridge is full to start and has been processed correctly, it will print the same number of pages. Since Inktech's cartridges contain the same or more ink / toner than the original, you get the same or more copies. BUT it's possible that some refillers may 'short change' their customers, or have poor process controls, that result in fewer prints. Our advice: know your supplier.

"The quality of refills is poor compared to originals."

MAYBE: Print quality depends on several factors including the ink or toner used, the processing equipment, the process controls and testing standards. At Inktech we take care with all these points to ensure the print quality is as close to the original as possible for the full life of the cartridge, so we say FALSE to this myth. BUT not all suppliers have the right equipment, materials or quality standards to get consistently high print quality. Our advice: know your supplier.

"You should still fit an original cartridge occasionally."

FALSE. There really is no reason to do this. Maybe this myth started as a way of periodically checking your refiller's print quality against the original, or it's for the persons who 'home refill', which soon wears out their cartridge. Whatever the reason, there is no need to do this with Inktech's cartridges.

"You get just as good quality using ink refill kits as buying from a remanufacturer."

FALSE. Ink refill kits have two major drawbacks. First, the ink is a compromise to work with a very wide range of cartridges, so the differences in colour balance and chemistry are ignored and the image quality suffers. Second, the ink is dispensed by a simple syringe which leaves some air in the foam filling that leads to intermittent, poor print quality and even premature failure. Remanufacturing overcomes this problem by filling under vacuum.

If you have any questions or concerns about using refills with your printer, we'd be pleased to hear from you!