Is there a difference between Compatible and Remanufactured cartridges?
Many retailers will list their 3rd party cartridges as either compatible or remanufactured. So what exactly is the difference between these two types of cartridges? We will go into detail about the exact differences and if one is better or worse than the other.
Remanufactured means that this was a brand name used cartridge that has been refurbished. Typically the cartridge is inspected and any parts that fail the inspection are replaced. These replacement parts are typically 3rd party or aftermarket compatible parts but can be parts from another similar or same type of cartridge. Compatible replacement parts are new but not made by the original cartridge manufacturer. Here are a couple of examples of remanufactured cartridges.
Brother TN350 Compatible Toner Cartridge = $33.99
HP 940XL High Yield Black Compatible Ink Cartridge C4906AN = $15.99
Compatible cartridges are commonly called new build or new mold cartridges. Unlike remanufactured cartridges, compatible cartridges have a shell or core that has never been used before. The manufacturer will construct the outer shell and use all new 3rd party internal components. With many popular cartridges, the shell and certain internal components may be patented therefore it is illegal to make a copy or clone. The amount of true compatibles on the market are much smaller than remanufactured cartridges. Some overseas companies will blatantly produce illegal new mold cartridges in an effort to save money. Please be aware that Express-Inks does not sell any illegal new mold compatible cartridges. Here are a couple of examples of true compatible cartridges.
Media Sciences MS300K Black Samsung CLP-K300A Toner = $35.99
Xerox 6R1289 Replacement HP Q2670A Black Toner Cartridge 308A = $91.99
So Which One Is Better Or Worse, Compatible Or Remanufactured Cartridges?
Both types of cartridges have their pros and cons. Some customer will prefer to know they are using as many OEM parts as possible. Some customer will prefer the new compatible cartridges because the performance may be better than the OEM version. Both kinds of cartridges come with similar compatibility and performance issues but remanufactured cartridges do tend to be a little cheaper. Their is no clear advantage since their performance can vary so greatly from model to model.
Tags: Compatible, Remanufactured, Cartridges, Better, Worse
Understanding The Difference Is The Key!
To know which is better for your particular needs begins with understanding the differences. Each type of cartridges has it’s pros and cons. Understanding these options will help you make an informed decision based upon your personal or business needs.
Genuine/ OEM Ink/ Toner Cartridges
These are brand new cartridges straight from the factory of the original maker of your printer such as HP, Brother, Canon and Lexmark. These come with a warranty from the original manufacturer and will deliver prints concurrent with the original OEM specifications.
Remanufactured Ink/ Toner Cartridges
These cartridges are used cartridges that have been collected and sent to a remanufacturer that is not the original maker. Unlike many retailers, we use only 1 time used or “virgin” cores for all of our products. Our remanufacturing process includes the following steps:
True Compatible Ink/ Toner Cartridges
- Carefully open up the cartridge and ensure no damage is done.
- Thorough cleaning of the inside of the cartridge.
- Inspection of all critical and non-critical parts.
- Replacement of any and all parts that fail quality control.
- Precision color matching of a compatible ink or toner. (OEM ink/ toner is patented)
- Advanced filling and re-sealing techniques to ensure freshness.
These cartridges are what we call “new mold” or cartridges that are newly made by a manufacturer other than the original maker. Although there are some non-patented cartridges the vast majority of them are under patent. Many cartridges on the market, especially the extremely cheap ones are illegal “new mold” cartridges. Express-Inks absolutely does not sell illegal cartridges and any “new mold” cartridges we do offer are on non-patented cartridges.
So Which Is Truly Better? Pros And Cons, Quality Vs. Cost
To decide which is right for you, here is a list of pros and cons of each type of cartridge. Depending on what type of printing you are doing will be the biggest factor in what will work best. In many circumstances the cost may override the quality since the quality is negligible or unnoticeable for many users.
Remanufactured/ Compatible Cartridges
- Pricing, save up to 90% compared to OEM.
- Price increase are rare and typically prices decrease rather then increase.
- Certain models print better, lasts longer or have additional options (jumbo size).
- MICR toners available in models not offered by the original manufacturer.
- Can be available long after the OEM manufacturer stops making a cartridge.
- Higher defect rate compared to OEM. Sometimes cartridges are not recognized by the printer, may leak or produce smudgy prints.
- Colors may by slightly off. Good compatibles should be virtually unnoticeable.
Breaking It Down: Price Comparisons
- Low defect rate and printer chip errors, leaks virtually never happen.
- Color matching is precise and are exact to OEM specifications.
- Pricing can be double, triple or more.
- Price increases are much more frequent and can be substantial. Typical about once a year around 3-5% but can be as high as 15-20%.
- Lack of options like MICR or Higher Yield Jumbo sizes.
- Sometimes unavailable or constrained due to manufacturer errors, global supplies or other factors (sever weather).
- Models may be discontinued by the manufacturer, this has been known to happen to models that are only 1-2 years old.
Lets compare compatible/ remanufactured cartridges to the OEM/ original cartridges. The savings can be massive and should always be a factor in deciding what is best for your needs.
HP #940XL Black Ink C4906AN: Compatible
| Genuine HP C4906AN
Brother TN350 Toner Cartridge: Compatible
| Genuine Brother TN350
HP CE505X (05X) Toner Cartridge: Compatible
| Genuine Brother TN350
Lexmark 64015HA Toner Cartridge: Compatible
| Genuine 64015HA
Tags: OEM, Toner, Ink, Cartridge, Compatible, Remanufactured, MICR.