The Print Quality Of Refurbished Cartridges Compared To New Ones

By: Ellen Davidson

Whether you invest in HP ink, HP laser cartridges, HP office supplies or indeed anything else that is part of the HP brand, what you can find right away is that all of the print cartridges that are put out by HP are OEM cartridges. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and what they essentially are saying by that label is that the cartridges themselves were constructed in one of the HP manufacturing plants and is completely new in every way, shape and form. While there is nothing wrong with the concept of buying a new cartridge every time, there are certainly some disadvantages to it. Environmental concerns are of course there when the plastics don't biodegrade and of course when you go a little further you see that the non-environmental concerns such as expensive prices are also things to worry about.

Now, a number of different people that purchase printer cartridges have these concerns; both the concerns about the environment and more so for most people the concerns about their own pocketbook. But there is a general fear out there about purchasing either remanufactured cartridges or alternatively refurbished cartridges. First of all, most people don't know the difference between the two and the people that do to quite a large extent believe that the quality suffers with either of those two options. Let's take a closer look at both of these ideas, starting with the former.

The difference between a remanufactured cartridge and a refurbished one is simple. A remanufactured cartridge is a cartridge that is created in a factory or a manufacturing plant using recycled materials. In other words, it is a re-created cartridge using parts of old and spent cartridges and simply just has new ink placed into it from the cartridges themselves. Refurbished cartridges on the other hand are not re-created. They are cartridges that are refilled with ink and given back to a person, either through the person doing the refilling themselves or someone else doing it for them.

So that's what it means to do either remanufacturing or refurbishment. As to the idea that the quality suffers under either or both of them, what you will find by actually doing it and testing it out is that this is not true at all. There are a number of tests that have been independently conducted about this issue and what they show almost unanimously is that remanufactured and refurbished cartridges do not have a significant quality difference from new and OEM printer cartridges. There is no difference in quality, but one is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Therefore, the next time you are deciding between new and remanufactured, don't let quality be a part of your decision.

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