You may not give printer ink much thought until you run out of it. But if you reckon all ink is created equal, think again – cartridges are definitely not designed to be used interchangeably. While most modern machines will be able to detect problems immediately if you have installed the wrong type and display an error message, use the incorrect product and you risk damaging both your printer and cartridge.

So it’s important that you always use the right product for your equipment. But it can be confusing, since print cartridges sometimes look almost identical.

Perhaps the first thing to understand is that inkjet printers use ink, while laser printers take toner. Ink is of course the standard dyed or pigmented tinted liquid; toner is a powdered pigment which bonds with the paper on heating.

How to identify which ink you need for your printer 1

Toner vs. ink – pros and cons

Inkjet printers tend to be cheaper initially, with more modest upfront costs for replacement cartridges. What’s more, ink dries pretty quickly on the page – indeed, it can dry out completely if you don’t use it. On the downside, cartridges can sometimes clog up, while page yield is lower than for toner.

Toner, however, allows for faster printing, plus it’s efficient and convenient and won’t dry out. And you can expect accurate, high-quality results. (However, you pay more upfront for toner and laser printers.)

Pigmented vs. dye-based ink

Most standard printers use dye-based ink because it’s cheaper than its pigmented counterpart. You’ll enjoy highly accurate results and rich, vibrant colours for pictures. However, there can be fading after two to five years, and this ink is not waterproof.

Pigmented ink creates lasting photo-quality colour for professionals. You’ll typically get a broader range of available tones, greater versatility for photographers plus this ink is specialised to be used with different kinds of paper.

What about printer ink cartridge numbers?

A model number is found on all printer cartridges (mostly on the top) to indicate their suitability for particular printers. Cartridges are not interchangeable because the chips in them are programmed to allow inks to work only with certain machines.

Check your printer manual to find out which numbers your machine takes.

Printer ink from us at Octopus

At Octopus Office Supplies, we stock a huge line-up of inkjet cartridges and toner for a wide range of leading makes and models of printer.
We offer same-day delivery locally across the north-west, and next-day arrival of your order UK-wide.
You can also pick up your ink products from our trade counter in Stockport.

Our ink and toner finder allows you to pop in your brand and model details to locate the product you need quickly. If you can’t find your printer model listed, give the sales team a call and we’ll find it for you.

Running out of vital supplies like ink and toner can be frustrating and hold up the smooth running of your business, so don’t let it happen.
Browse our extensive list of products and order what you need today.

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