Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

Those three different types of ink cartridges all come with varying prices and yields. For a long time, people have contemplated on which type of cartridge to use. 

OEMs or original equipment manufacturers are the original cartridges that come with your printer. They’re made by the printer’s manufacturing company like HP or Brother. They represent the honeymoon stage of using your printer as they’re incredibly reliable and create perfect output. Nonetheless, they’re more expensive than the two other types and are more common as well, especially for newer models of printers.

On the other hand, remanufactured ink cartridges are OEM cartridges that have been dried out, recycled, and filled with ink to be sold again. This can be done in a plethora of places. Hence it’s not the most trustworthy option. Still, the end result is that you get your cartridges up and working again for a fraction of the price that you’d have paid if you’ve opted for purchasing brand new cartridges.

Compatible printer cartridges are brand cartridges made by a manufacturer other than that of your printer. Here, you’ve to do a thorough search in order to reach a good source to buy them. You also have to be careful with finding cartridges that are entirely compatible with your printer. Unfortunately, there’re many manufacturers who produce low-quality ones.

Now that we’ve given you a basic understanding of each type, it’s time that we get into the details and differences between each one of them.

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges: Quality

The three types will get the job done just fine to an extent. However, OEM cartridges always have the edge over the other two when it comes to quality as it’s manufactured by the printer’s manufacturers. Hence, their print quality is always top-notch.

Remanufactured ink cartridges may have the lowest quality out of the three. Through the process of their remanufacturing, any small detail might go wrong due to a lack of professionalism and experience. Printing is a delicate process, and any out-of-tune color will out-shine the rest of the document. Add to that the fact that the ink used isn’t the same quality as that of OEMs, so you’ll never be able to achieve the quality OEMs with remanufactured cartridges.

Finally, when it comes to compatible printer cartridges, their manufacturers try as much as possible to mimic OEM cartridges so that they can produce the same quality. Some of them manage to get very close to that goal; still, these manufacturers remain a few levels below the major companies.

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges: Price

Probably the most essential differential point between the three types of cartridges is their price tag. OEMs are the most expensive type out of the three. In fact, the other two came into existence to nullify the high prices of original cartridges.

Remanufactured cartridges are a cheaper option than OEMs, but are still more expensive than third-party cartridges. This is due to the meticulous process of recycling that they go through from inspection to cleaning and finally refilling; it increases their price.

Compatible ink cartridges are the cheapest out of the three. Third-party manufacturers sell them at low prices, which might scare some consumers off. However, they do put extreme effort into creating them, and they are mostly high quality.

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges: Yield

Having a proper and correct page yield is extremely important. Let’s say, for instance, that you bought an ink cartridge disregarding its type, and its paper yield was advertised to be 250 papers. You’d be extremely frustrated if you were to end-up printing only 150 or even 200, as you’ll feel as if you’ve wasted your money. Also, if you’re preparing for a project, and you’ll need a specific number of printed papers, such a deficit might set you off.

Of course, with OEMs, the provided paper yield is always perfect down to the last paper, nothing more, nothing less.

Furthermore, when it comes to remanufactured ink cartridges, the paper yield tends to be the same, and the chances of missing out on a few papers are slim. That’s because remanufactured ink manufacturers use the same cartridge used by original manufacturers and refill it with the same amount of ink that was inside it previously.

When it comes to compatible ink cartridges that are manufactured by third-party manufacturers, it totally depends on who you buy the cartridge from. You should always try to buy from a reputable manufacturer that is well known.

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges: Uses

The uses of each one are different and depend on the user himself. If you’re looking for top-notch printouts, and don’t care that much about costs, then your best bet would be to buy from original manufacturers. Their cartridges provide the highest quality and the most accurate paper yield. However, that comes at a price as they’re the most expensive.

Both remanufactured cartridges and third party cartridges are perfect if you care about price. Their costs are a fraction of that of OEMs while providing a good yield and fantastic quality. Furthermore, remanufactured cartridges have an edge; they’re good for the environment. They decrease the amount of carbon, due to them being recycled.

Final Thoughts

Original vs. OEM vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges cartridges is a tale as old as time. And people have always been contemplating which to buy. The end-result result will always depend on a balance equation between your needs and financial capabilities. However, we hope that we’ve given you a better insight today and helped you come to a better choice.

More Printing Recommendations: