The Difference Between OEM and Compatible Toners

If you are the proud owner of a laser printer, you may have already taken a step in the right direction towards lower cost printing. Laser printers consistently produce prints at the lowest cost per page in the market.


However, what you might not know is that laser printers can work with OEM brand toners as well as compatible and re-manufactured toners. But which one is best for YOU and your printer?

In this blog, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of the types of toner etc. on the market, and provide you with the details and information you need to make a more informed buying decisions for your laser printer.

Toner Cartridge Definitions

OEM Cartridge – An OEM Cartridge is one made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you own a Hewlett-Packard Laserjet printer for instance, then the Hewlett-Packard brand is the OEM cartridge for your printer.

Remanufactured Toner Cartridge – A remanufactured toner cartridge is when a manufacturer takes an original oem cartridge, disassembles it, tests and replaces any worn parts, fills it with toner and re-assembles.

There are many different levels and qualities of remanufactured toner cartridges and the terms compatible and remanufactured are often mistakenly interchanged. Some manufacturers will replace a few parts and call it compatible.

Some manufacturers will drill a hole in the cartridge, fill it with toner and call it remanufactured. Just be sure to purchase your toner cartridges from a reputable dealer such as Samson that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Compatible Toner Cartridge – A compatible toner cartridge is made by a third party manufacturer and is made up of all new compatible parts. It has a similar quality to an OEM cartridge.

Advantages of Buying OEM Toner Cartridges
OEM Toners are manufactured to the highest quality and level of precision. These toners are ideal for providing the best print quality. They have a much lower fail rate and have a lower probability of leaking toner into your printer.

This is why the printer manufacturers recommend that you use their toner cartridges as they claim that the printer functions will be affected by other toner cartridges. They also suggest that the life of the laser printer is shortened by usage of unbranded toner cartridges.

If your work and printing demands the absolute highest quality prints you bite the bullet and pay for the OEM brand toner cartridges.

Disadvantages of Buying OEM Toner
The main disadvantage of buying OEM branded toner cartridges is the relatively high cost. While they are economical because the cost per page is low, purchasing an OEM toner might cost you anywhere from £40 to £100. The initial cost of laser printers has come down but printer makers make up their low initial profit by in the cost of consumables.

Another problem with OEM toner cartridges is the fact that we live in an Eco conscious world and discarding toner cartridges which are not biodegradable is an environmental hazard. Buying a remanufactured toner is more environmentally friendly.

Advantages of buying Compatible and Remanufactured
The biggest advantage of using compatible toner cartridges is they are a lower cost consumable. Compatible and Remanufactured toner cartridges are available for laser printers and give good quality printing at a lower cost – sometimes even half the cost of the branded cartridge.

These recycled cartridges are much more eco friendly and mean that we can recycle the biodegradable cartridge. They are now easy to find and buy.
There are compatible toner cartridges for most brands of laser printers and give good value for money. Print quality of both compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges is almost as good as the OEM brand toners.
Disadvantages of buying Compatible and Remanufactured
One of the major disadvantages of compatible and re-manufactured toner cartridges is quality control during their manufacturing processes.

When buying them online from an auction site or a less than reputable dealer, you never really know what quality and functionality you are going to get. Was the cartridge completely re-manufactured, or did they just “drill and fill” it? This disadvantage can be overcome buy buying from Samson Office Supplies who provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

So which should you choose?
The choice is yours. If you demand the highest quality 100% of the time, and it is within your But if going  with a compatible or remanufactured cartridge is more environmentally and cost friendly, then feel confident that you can get nearly the same quality. That way you are helping the environment and saving money each time.



Filed under Ink Cartridges

2 responses to “The Difference Between OEM and Compatible Toners

  1. If you want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed pieces. Thank you, anyway!

  2. Chris

    I don’t understand why you say Compatible toner cartridges are recycled and are eco friendly. You said a compatible toner cartridge is “made up of all new compatible parts”. I don’t see how you call that recycled and eco friendly.

    Also, for Remanufactured toner cartridges, why do you say we “can recycle the biodegradable cartridge” when it is infact just a OEM cartridge with new toner and some replaced parts. Doesn’t that mean you can recycle the OEM cartridges as well?

    Think about this, if you use an OEM or a Compatible or a Remanufactured cartridge and dispose it, that is not eco friendly but if you take it to somewhere for recycling then isn’t that eco friendly?

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