Printer Ink

By: Ross Bainbridge

There are as many varieties of printer ink as there are manufacturers. There is no standardization in the composition of printer ink. All manufacturers of popular brands of printers develop their own variety of printer ink, which works well only with their products. The formula of the printer ink is a closely guarded secret, and is patented by these manufacturers. Epson, Hewlett Packard and Canon spend huge amounts of money in developing their own brands of ink, which are supposed to give superior prints on any type of media.

Printer ink is either dye-based or pigment-based. Pigment-based ink is superior to dye-based ink, with respect to fade resistance and water resistance properties.

Once the cartridge in the printer runs out of printing ink, a replacement has to be looked for. The options are many. Along with the manufacturer’s printer ink cartridges, there are third-party manufacturers who sell their own brands of compatible cartridges. They also offer services like refilled printer ink cartridges, refill kits for self-refilling of ink, and remanufactured cartridges. Third-party printer ink is cheaper than the branded product, and a few produce good quality prints on par with the branded product.

Though third-party printer inks saves a lot of money, many problems have been noticed in its prolonged use. Manufacturers of branded printer ink claim that while prints created from a branded product last for a number of years, prints from third-party printer ink hardly last for a year. Also, the inks do not have the precise fluidity required to spray ink onto the paper. Third-party printer ink can hardly produce photograph prints that can last for more than 5 years. In addition to this, the inks purchased from them damage the printer by clogging the print heads.

If buying manufacturer’s ink is your choice then it is advisable to buy from an authorized dealer. Before buying, always make sure of the price of the ink from the manufacturer’s web site, and never be tempted to buy ink offered at a heavily discounted price. Observe the packaging for any telltale signs of a counterfeit product. While shopping online for third-party printer ink, ensure that it is a reputable site and provides all the information about its business policies.

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