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Best Printer Ink 2021 • 7 Printer Inks Reviews

Printers are one of the basic tools of our daily lives. However, not everyone realizes just how important printer ink is or how many different types of ink are available. How much do you actually know about printer ink? How important is printer ink to the overall printing process? Let us show you.

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What is printer ink and how does it work?

The ink used in printer cartridges is a liquid that contains various pigments or colorants with the purpose of printing onto a paper surface. Inkjet printing is a type of computer printing that recreates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper and plastic substrates.

Ink cartridges are the replaceable containers that are inserted inside the printer to inject ink onto the printing paper.

What types of printer ink are there?

With inkjet printers, you will usually find different types of ink available, especially at the chemical composition level. Remember that the most typical colors of printer ink are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (sometimes referred to as CMYK).

Pigmented
The ink pigment remains on the paper surface when printed, which is advantageous. It takes less ink to generate the same color intensity as other types of printer ink.

Colorant-based
This is generally much stronger than pigmented ink and can produce more colors. As the dye dissolves in the printing phase, the ink tends to be absorbed by paper. It is less efficient printer ink.

UV
Unlike the above inks, UV ink cannot evaporate from the page. UV ink dries very quickly, which reduces overall print time. The disadvantage is that it is an expensive ink and requires advanced equipment.

Dye
This is a low-cost type of ink commonly used in standard black-and-white monochrome printers. It is not water-resistant and requires time to dry.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Printer Ink

Each type of printer ink and printer has its very own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Before buying any one of them, you should weigh out the pros and cons.The most typical colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Advantages

  • High output quality
  • Fine and smooth details
  • Vivid color
  • Good for printing pictures
  • Quieter than dot matrix printers
  • No warmup time

Disadvantages

  • Expensive replacement ink cartridges
  • Printing speed is not as fast as laser printers
  • Ink may bleed

Shopping Criteria for the Best Printer Ink

Inkjet printers are becoming more and more common in everyday life. However, as we have learned, a good printer is not enough without the right ink. If you are still unsure about which type of printer ink to choose, pay attention to the following criteria. The following shopping criteria will help you to assess the most important factors when buying new printer ink.

  • Ink compatibility
  • Multipacks
  • Sustainability
  • Security measures
  • Yield per page

Ink Compatibility

The first and most important aspect to consider before buying a new ink cartridge is whether it is compatible with your printer. Not only because the ink will not work if it isn’t compatible, but because incompatible ink cartridges are capable of causing irreversible damage to the printer heads. Therefore, you should always test the compatibility of your printer ink.

Multipacks

If you print often, in our opinion, it’s better not to have to go out and buy new printer ink cartridges all the time. On the U.S. market, there are package options that provide several cartridges (including both black and color cartridges in one package) in a single purchase. It is important to take care of the cartridges that you are not using so they don’t become damaged in storage. In comparison to normal printer packs, these multipacks offer greater value for money.

Did you know that certain fonts consume more ink than others? Arial, for example, depletes ink and toner cartridges at a far faster rate than other fonts.

Sustainability

More and more companies use recycled plastic or other enviromental-friendly materials
Today, printer ink options include recyclable cartridges that manufacturers offer, which are reclaimed and their parts reused. Another option you should consider is manufactured cartridges, which can be refilled whenever you need more ink. By using manufactured cartridges, you will be helping contribute to the sustainability of the earth.

Security Measures

One factor that is essential to the proper functioning of printer ink cartridges is to ensure that they have the proper security measures in place. Ink cartridge security measures usually consist of plastic strips to prevent ink spills. For this reason, try to buy ink cartridges that are original or from reliable manufacturers to avoid damaging your printer with poorly manufactured cartridges.

Yield Per Page

Most ink cartridges include the number of pages they can generate in their descriptions. As explained earlier, this indicator is usually inaccurate due to the difference in page sizes, the amount of text you typically print, and whether you are printing photos or documents. However, with that in mind, it is still advisable to purchase ink cartridges that claim a yield of at least 300 pages.

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FAQs

What is the difference between printer ink cartridges and toner?

Simply put, ink cartridges are used in inkjet printers and toner is used in laser printers. The main difference is the material: Ink is a liquid, and toner is a powder. As a general rule, toner is best for printing large text documents, and ink is recommended for photos that require a higher definition.

Ink: Printing with ink is slower and less precise than a laser printer, but it has a higher quality and better color definition. Ink supports different printing capacity, depending on the brand. Ink cartridges are usually cheaper than toner but must be replaced more often, so ink cartridges are more suitable for home or family use.

Toner: Toner usually prints faster than ink cartridges and, with the exception of photos, they print at a very high quality. Toner is capable of large print jobs but it is also more expensive to replace even though they provide a larger output. They fit best to laser printers with toner suit small, medium, and large enterprises.

How long do printer ink cartridges last?

The life of an ink cartridge depends on the brand and model of the cartridge as well as the printer itself. It is difficult to determine the exact length of time that each cartridge will last because each printed page varies in the amount of ink used. The more of the paper surface that is covered by ink, the shorter the life of the ink cartridge will be.

Although there is no definitive answer, there are factors that can be taken into account to determine how long a cartridge will last, including cartridge size, cartridge type (compatible or manufactured), level of care.

What are manufactured ink cartridges for printers?

Also called refillable ink cartridges, remanufactured cartridges are cartridges that have been used previously and are recycled for further use. Manufacturers check the cartridges, clean them, refill them with ink, and replace parts as needed. Using this type of ink cartridge has its advantages and disadvantages.

Manufactured ink cartridges are cheaper than new or original cartridges, contribute to protecting the environment through recycling, and help control ink consumption by only refilling the cartridge according to your needs. The disadvantages include the fact that ink quality may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer due to punching and filling methods, and they may not be compatible with the printer model you have.

How are printer ink cartridges installed and replaced?

The cartridges store the ink inside the printer and the printer head injects the ink onto the paper as required. The process for installing and replacing ink cartridges varies from model to model, but generally, it follows a series of similar steps. The common steps can be summarized as follows.

1. Turn on the printer.
2. Hold the handles or sides of the printer and lift the ink cartridge access door.
3. Make sure the print carriage is idle and not printing before continuing.
4. Lift the cover of the first ink cartridge storage slot.
5. If ink replacement is required, remove the installed cartridge by lifting it upwards.
6. Remove the protective plastic tape that is around the new ink cartridge before installing it.
7. Insert the new ink cartridge with the nozzle facing the printer.
8. Close the ink cartridge storage slot cover to secure it in place.
9. Repeat steps for other cartridges, if required.
10. Close the ink cartridge access door.

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