Printer Ink

Find the best printer ink cartridges for your office

Printer ink (also known as "ink toner" or simply "toner") may seem like something that's easy to pick out, but when you see the rows of cartridges on store shelves, finding the right printer ink cartridge can actually be quite difficult. Whether you're looking for a laser or an inkjet printer cartridge, color or black printer ink, replacing your empty cartridges can be confusing – and costly.

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Before you go to make a purchase, make sure you're aware of what type of ink is best for your printer (for example laser or inkjet printer ink), what type of ink is best for your project (photo ink, presentation ink, etc.) and how you can get the best deal on the ink you need. Also check that you're using the right printer paper for your particular project.

Buying Printer Ink

Replacing your ink toner cartridge can be expensive, especially if you use your printer frequently. If you buy ink often, try these tips to get the best deals:

  • Buy no-name brands. You don't always have to use the brand of ink that matches your brand of printer. Many office supply store brands or discount brands will work just as well and are compatible with nearly all printers – just make sure you're buying them from a trustworthy retailer.
  • Buy remanufactured cartridges. Many toner ink sellers will offer remanufactured cartridges, or cartridges that have been refilled and refurbished, at a lesser price than brand-new cartridges. Just remember to check for a guarantee, as the reliability of remanufactured cartridges can be hit or miss.
  • Look for sales. Often, retailers will offer sales on different brands of ink or offer bundles of color and black printer ink at a discounted price. This can be a great way to get a deal, especially if you need to replace both your cartridges at the same time.

Though it might seem like the right option when you find a great deal on ink toner, resist the urge to stock up – most ink cartridges have a shelf life, and unless you're going through cartridges regularly, the stockpiled cartridges could go bad before you have a chance to use them.

Ink Toner Refills

If you want to save even more money on your cartridges, having your existing cartridges refilled is a great option (not to mention an environmentally friendly choice). Keep in mind that not all cartridges can be refilled, such as the ones that come included with the purchase of a laser printer or an inkjet printer. But you can buy aftermarket cartridges that are refillable.

Many vendors offer ink refilling services, but there are also home kits available that allow you to refill your cartridge yourself for an even cheaper price. These kits do require some practice and technique, however, so you may save more if you have a professional do it for you.