The difference between Original, Re-manufactured and Compatible Ink Cartridges


As you may already know, there are lots of printer ink cartridges available out there, from different manufacturers and ink re-sellers and each has another label as we mentioned previously.

Original Ink Cartridges


The printer companies themselves manufacture original ink cartridges. Original ink cartridges are also known as OEM cartridges (Original Equipment Manufacturer).

Printer companies always advise that you use their original cartridges. But authentic ink cartridges can be exceedingly expensive. Sometimes you end up paying more over the life of your print project than the price for the entire printer!

The strong rivalry between the printer manufacturers makes ink cartridges makes it really expensive. Some printer inks have chips built into the ink cartridges, thus only accepting OEM inks. Printer manufactures consequently must make ends meet by selling their printer ink and other printer accessories.

Compatible Ink Cartridges

Compatible Ink Cartridges

Compatible ink cartridges are made from new materials manufactured by third party companies. These cartridges are a lot cheaper that the original ink cartridges and are manufactured as the same quality as OEM cartridges.

The main difference with compatible ink cartridges is that you don't pay for brand name. In most cases the quality is great but can be bad in some cases. If the compatible ink explodes in your printer while printing, your printer warranty may not cover any damages.

Compatible ink cartridges can be up to 75% cheaper than original ink cartridges. If you choose to purchase Compatible ink cartridges from the right re-seller you minimize the chances of running into a problem with your color label printer. At the same time, you save cash and will soon have saved enough to purchase a whole new printer anyway.

Re-manufactured Ink Cartridges


Re-manufactured inks

Re-manufactured ink cartridges are original ink cartridges which were reused. This fact makes them much less expensive than original cartridges and a green alternatives.

The ink cartridges are opened and damaged components are then replaced or repaired. They are also cleaned and refilled in the base with ink. Afterwards, the ink cartridges are tested to ensure that the printing quality is best.

If you choose to buy a re-manufactured ink cartridge, you will save money and help the environment.


Ultimately, If you are printing color labels for your products you are best off with the original ink cartridges. For printing color labels for smaller projects you are better of purchasing compatible or re-manufacture ink cartridges from other re-sellers.

John McIntyre, Writer

John is a American who grew up to be a nerd with a philosophy degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from California to New York in 2013. While he is not writing he is busy taking care of his two kids Claire and Vicky.