Monday, 30 July 2012


Do you make sure you’re getting the correct cartridge when you place your order.

It seems people ordering printer cartridges get it wrong more often than you’d think.
The main reason this occurs lies largely at the feet of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). They often produce a cartridge with a model number that will be close to identical to a printer model number, but that is not designed to be used by that printer.
Brother is one manufacturer that does this. Many users of the Brother HL2130 (a popular printer from the Brother stable), especially when they are first ordering a replacement printer, see the TN2130 printer cartridge and understandably think that’s the cartridge to buy. But no, the TN2130 is used in the Brother HL2140 (not the HL2130).
The TN2130 is actually the cartridge supplied by Brother for the HL2140 and other printers which is included in the price. It is approx 40% volume yield to the TN2150 (standard-2,600 pages), and the TN2150X, the high yield cartridge. The latter two are the ones you should be ordering for the Brother HL2140.
Oh, the HL2130 in fact uses the Brother TN2030 printer cartridge.
Another example of confusing printer cartridges with different printers, is by Kyocera. Their printer the FS-C5100DN is only a single character different to the Kyocera FS-C5200DN. That alone can create confusion when ordering printer cartridges, but there’s more.
The FS-C5100DN uses the TK-544 black, cyan, magenta, & yellow cartridges, as opposed to the TK-554 black, cyan, magenta, & yellow cartridges used by the FS-C5200DN printer.
This creates problems; especially when the cartridges are so similar in shape that you don’t really notice the difference when you go to install them. But the printer certainly does!
Once you have opened the printer cartridge wrapping, your opportunity to claim a refund/replacement has flown out the window, and that can be expensive.
How do you eliminate the problem? When ordering your printer cartridge, ALWAYS carefully check that the ‘used with printers’ section contains the printer you use. Or order the cartridge by the printer model. If you see alternative cartridges, then it is for genuine, compatible or remanufactured cartridges; or  for different yield capacities or marketing e.g. twin packs. But at least you know one thing – they will all work for your printer.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Who remembers the millennium bug? 

There was world wide spread fear in 1999 that because computer systems in the 1900’s hadn’t allowed for a change in the millennium, whereby  a shortened  date of say  28.04.86 (04.28.86) was for April 1986, whereas after 31.12.99 (12.31.99), the next date was 01.01.00, and that computers around the world would go into freefall.
Hardly anybody caught an aeroplane during  that time of millennium change-over for fear the planes’ computers would send it into free fall. Well the planes kept flying, and businesses kept operating.
What’s this got to do with the paperless society you say? Well, a lot.
The single major barrier against a paperless office is the fear of something going wrong with your computer system, and the business losing vital data. But there’s back-up to protect against that, you say. Sure, but everyone knows of a story where XYZ’s backup failed to work when it was desperately needed, for whatever reason.
Printed paper also offers advantages in other areas that I believe make a mockery of the term “paperless office”.
For example, you have a major presentation you are putting to a committee you need to convince. It is highly unlikely you are going to provide everyone with an electronic tablet to go through the benefits your system can provide them. You want something they can scribble notes onto, that they can put into their briefcase providing easy access to it when they wish to refer to it again (portability).
Paperless offices do run the risk of viruses, hackers, identity theft, and convenience issues (do you always carry a computer?).
And then there is the expression... “please sign on  the dotted line” – show me a computer that can do that.
The future will see less reliance on printed paper, but not an obsolescence of it. Printers and printer cartridges are here to stay.
But there is good news for the environmentalists. There will be less demand on forest trees for paper (also tree plantations are increasing in volume today), and  printer cartridge users are returning spent cartridges to recycling bins, placing less demand on land fills.
Have your say in the comments section below as to where you see the future of paper usage going.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Beware of dubious compatible printer cartridge offers on the Internet

Fortunately, most Internet suppliers of printer cartridges offer reasonable quality inkjets and toners to the public. Physically looking at a cartridge, or looking at an (web page) image of one will not help you in determining if you are getting a reliable product.
There are a number of ways to minimize the risk of buying a dud cartridge:

  1.             Be wary of buying compatible cartridges on Ebay or Amazon or similar marketing sites, especially if the prices are too good to be true; they usually are. You don’t know it your purchases are legit until you receive them.
    2.    Look for a guarantee with the purchase
    3.    Sites that also sell genuine cartridges as well as compatible ones will normally prove reliable.
    4.    Look up the ‘about’ section of a supplier, and see if they also offer an address.
    5.    If a supplier offers a large range of product, it usually means that they have researched the quality of their stock.
    6.    Check to see if the supplier offers back-up support. If they are dodgy then why would they want to support their product.
    7.    Do a Google/Yahoo etc. search of the business you are considering buying from. This will give you a feel for their reliability.
There are brands of compatible cartridges, though acceptable, are not as good a quality as the genuine. If you find this situation occurring to you, ask the supplier what brand it is, and when you need to order next time, contact an alternative supplier and ask what brand (s) they use; because there are also brands that are of good quality.Two highly regarded brands of compatible printers are G&G™ and Focus®.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Compatible cartridges might not always be compatible with other compatible cartridges.

Confused? What we are advising you to be careful of, is using different brands of compatilbe cartridges together at the same time.
Any compatible brand manufacturer, such as G & G, is making different size printer cartridges from the genuine cartridges for two reasons. First, copyright laws are obliging them to be 35% different to genuine cartridges in shape, by 35%+. The second reason is that they are making them with more yield capacity making them more attractive to the consumer.
They will make certain that the compatible cartridge(s) will fit in with the genuine one, think for example colour & black combination.
But if you have a compatible black cartridge from say Printrite, it won't necessarily work with a G & G coloured cartridge. Why not? Because they can have a shape that wants to take up the same space as the other compatible, i.e. their bulge might be designed to use the same vacant place in the printer cartridge storage area as the other brand.
The solution is to stick to the one brand of compatibles.  

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Which printer is the least cost system for me, including printer cartridge usage, over three years?

We are looking at a situation such as a small office or a large family, with usage of say 300 to 500 pages per month (average 400). Say 300 pages of black & 100 pages of colours
We are talking low entry cost, including colour , and Multi function i.e. copies, scans, and of course, prints from memory.
For comparison purposes we have selected an inkjet printer and toner printer from the same brand, Brother. Both printers have rated well in reviews.
The inkjet is the MFC-J430W, with a rated speed of 4.3 pages per minute, and an average cost of approx $100.00. Genuine print cartridges (Brother LC40BK cost approx. $25.00 each, and colours $17.00 each). Their yield is approx. 300 pages, black, or each colour.
The toner printer is the DCP-9010CN, printing at 16 pages per minute, and has a cost of approx. $350.00. Genuine toner cartridges cost approx. $80 each and  the colours $75 each. The black has a yield of 2,200 pages and the colours 1,400 pages each.


Based on a three year life period, the toner printer is a better return for your investment than the inkjet.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support for this blog article

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Will the manufacturers of original cartridges succeed in their competition to discredit the remanufactured cartridge?

Or will bodies such as the International Imaging Technology Council (IITC)  win the day?

As reported by Tricia Judge, executive director of IITC, the Texas Department of Transportation will purchase 40,000 remanufactured tonercartridges over the next two years and save 50% of the OEM purchase price. After 15 years as an industry, remanufacturers can compete on quality and price," Judge says.

On the other hand, printer makers implant smart chips in cartridges that can render remanufactured cartridges incompatible with the printer. Typically, smart chips monitor the ink supply in a cartridge and stop the printer when the ink runs dry. But some printers will not work until a new OEM cartridge with the appropriate smart chip is installed. In these cases, makers of remanufactured cartridges cannot install a new chip in recycled cartridges, and that results in unusable recycled consumables. "This is an indication of the determination of the OEM brands getting more aggressive with smart chips, and they're basically giving away $100 printers, which has created a need to protect [the consumables] marketplace" Judge says.

Many users swear by remanufactured inkjet cartridges and say that they can't ascertain differences in print quality over more costly OEM products. Others, particularly those who insist on the highest-quality output for digital photographs, maintain that cartridges from the printer vendors are necessary for picture perfection.

One problem that is occurring with remanufactured cartridges, is that as demand is increasing for them, supply is not keeping up. According to ABC Print Supplies, the back ordering for stock of certain types of remanufactureds is drawing out, and that you should take this into account by placing your order even though you have enough usage for the foreseeable future.

A great ally of the remanufactured cartridge industry are the environmantalists, who are aware of the huge volumes of cartridges going into landfills that should be recycled either directly or indirectly into other products.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Are the manufacturers of compatible printer cartridges increasing their competitiveness by increasing their print yields?

Genuine brand makers of printer cartridges (OEMs) have upped the ante by imposing copyright laws on compatible printer cartridges and forcing the latter to alter the shape of their products by 35%.

But rather than this been an advantage to the genuine Inkjets and toners, this move  could prove to be in fact detrimental to them.

The compatible makers are addressing this issue by making their carertridges with larger storage tanks, and I’m not just talking marginally; I’m talking massively.

A new compatible Inkjet cartridge from G & Gtm , the LC40BK Black Ink used in the Brother DCP J525W, J725DW, J925DW; MFC J430W, J432W, J625DW, J825DW printer models, has a rated yield of 1,400 pages. The genuine cartridge has a rated yield of 300 pages. That’s a 466% increase.

That wouldn’t mean much if the compatible was 466% more expensive than the genuine
But not so. According to a number of internet retailers (4), the average price of the genuine is A$26.80 plus delivery. The price for the compatible is A$12.90 plus delivery.

Other examples include the Brother TN2130/TN2150 for the DCP 7040; HL 2140, 2142, 2150N, 2170W, 7340, 7440, 7840W printers, with the genuine costing around A$58.00 for the TN2130 (1,500 pages yield), and A$78.00 for the TN 2150 (2,600) pages. The compatible TN2150X from G & Gtm is priced at A$35.90 for 4,500 pages.

Then there is the Brother LC73XBK, with 600 page yield for the genuine cartridge  compared to 1,400 pages for the compatible.

Many of the cartridge yields between compatible & genuine are the same, but a trend is emerging. One in which the buyer is the winner.

The genuine printer manufacturers  just might have created a massive problem for themselves into the future, so expect to see significant changes in future yields from them.

Friday, 13 July 2012


What are the pros and cons of either?

When you are in the market to buy a printer, the biggest decision is whether to purchase an inkjet or a toner laser. Both types of printers can offer you features such as wireless printing, colour, multi function capability, etc.
People will tell you that a toner printer has better quality, but that is an over generalisation. There are many inkjet printers that produce photo image quality second to none, and some toners that don’t focus completely on quality, with consideration for other factors such as keeping prices down considered more important.
Probably the most important consideration as to which printer is the best for you, is the quantity of printing you require.
The average inkjet cartridge stores a rated 200 – 300 pages of ink. But at a 5% yield, or approx. one to two paragraphs a page, that ‘ai’nt a real lot of grunt’. In reality , obviously depending upon your usage, that amounts to probably about 100 printed pages. And coloureds are less but they usually share the workload with the other colours and the black.
Toner cartridges, on the other hand, rarely have a capacity of less than 1,000 pages, and go on  up from there.
Lets take a comparison of the two different capacity & per page printing costs of an inkjet & a toner from the same supplier, Brother. Each printer is a popular model, and randomly selected
The Inkjet in this case is the Brother MFC-J430W/J432W/J625D/J825DWW. The cartridge ( the LC40B (genuine) has a cost of $24.73 (prices supplied by ABC Print Supplies) and is calculated at printing 300 pages. The cost per page is 8.24 cents.
The laser/toner printer is the Brother HL2140/HL2142/HL2150N, with a cartridge, the TN2150, at a cost of $75.50 (genuine), and a cartridge capacity of 2,600 pages (standard). The cost per page is therefore 2.9cents.
Without going into the overall cost of the printer + page usage, it s obvious that if you are printing higher volumes, then the toner printer is the one for you. However the inkjet printer in this case retails at less than $100.

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Four different choices for the one printer cartridge, which is the best for me?

It can be a difficult decision to make, yet once you make it, you very rarely dwell on it.

There are four possible areas for concern here: here, reliability, quality, yield, and price.

But first of all, what are they? It doesn't matter whether they're InkJet or cartridge, the four choices remain the same, we'll explain them here as follows:

Genuine Cartridge
As the name suggests, its the one originally produced by the printer manufacturer. Hence a Canon printer cartridge is either made directly by Canon, or under licence to them. The interesting thing with the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) cartridge is that some of the componentry can be produced by another brand manufacturer or manufacturer.
They are normally very reliable and sometimes do not advertise the yield, because they are what they are, ...original.

Compatible Cartridge
Compatible Cartridges are giving the genuine ones a real shake up for their money.
Although their unreliability  was questionable 5+ years ago, this is not so much the case today.
The compatible is manufactured by companies that specialise in this area, such as G & G, Print Rite, Uninet etc. If their product was unreliable they wouldn't still be in business, as simple as that.
Having said that, their reliability is not quite to the level of the genuine cartridges, but close enough that suppliers are willing to replace any that fail to work, or when quality is not acceptable
Copyright laws are obliging compatibles to make up to a 35% alteration in the shape of the cartridge, although this can be a detriment to the genuine brands, as the compatible can be altered to hold a greater quantity of ink/toner, therefore higher yield.

Remanufactured Cartridge
This cartridge is the genuine one which has been taken back to a factory,where it is taken through a process of cleaning, examining, replacing worn out parts, filling it with ink/toner and post tested for quality, in a sterile environment.  In most cases, the body of the cartridge is the original body actually made by the same manufacturer that made your printer.  Many of the parts inside the cartridge are reused original components that may have been cleaned and left for a second cycle.  Many users swear by remanufactured inkjet cartridges and say that they can't ascertain differences in print quality over more costly OEM products. 

Refill Cartridge
The refill cartridge is also a genuine cartridge which is refilled by drilling a small incision into the tank of the cartridge at both ends, and using a needle type instrument to refill it. Refills might also have the heads cleaned to prevent clogging when reinstalled. 

So back to reliability, quality, yield, and price.
The reliability will vary little between the first three cartridge types above from reputable suppliers, although if you are operating a business where reliability is of upmost concern, then genuine is the way to go. At the bottom end of the scale is the refill, owing to the lack of quality control or replacement parts (seals etc.). Compatibles & remanufactureds do have a  high reliability, and for most users should not be a consideration.
Quality will again be 100% from genuine cartidges, so that if you were a professional photographic firm, you would probably not want to risk compromise. Having said that, many photographers have experimented with compatible/remanufactureds and stayed with them. But one bad experience will normally have you scurring back to genuines. Again refills are suspect in this regard. For the home user though, probably not a problem.
Yield and Price are very related. But compatibles and Remanufactureds have usually the same yield, or greater yield than the genuines. But how can that be for remanufactureds you say, as they are the same. Well unfortunately the genuines are not filled to the maximum, so don't have the same yield. 
So the Price issue is a no-brainer. Genuines really struggle against the other types here, and that is what has let the non-genuines into the market big-time.

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.

Monday, 9 July 2012




 Confusing, isn't it, when its time to go buying a new printer?

There are so many things to consider when buying a printer, like what sort of printer cartridge do I use (Inkjet or Toner), what functions do I need it for, do I want colour, etc, etc.

We have discussed a number of these issues on previous blogs, but today we are looking at the issue of what brand is the best to buy?
There are 18 major brand names out there you can choose from, and because they are major brand names, you are unlikely to buy a lemon.
However each brand sells a lot of different models of printers. And some of those models, while you wouldn’t necessarily call them lemons, they might not be offering the best range of features e.g. one printer might produce a higher quality of print than another from that same brand. If printer quality (good v acceptable) is not your hot point, then it doesn’t matter.
There is no particular brand that is better than another. Like saying all Russians are communists, or all French people like wine, you can’t say all ‘x’ brand is better than ‘y’ brand.
Rather than buying a brand because it is better, look at factors like what is their after-sales service in your location like, do they have efficient repair facilities, are their prices competitive for the type of printer you want?
So when buying a new printer, this could be your order of priority:
1.    Type of printer (Inkjet/toner, single/multi function, mono/colour, photo/copier etc.)
2.    Cost of printer, including cost of printer cartridges.
3.    Investigate reviews, talk with large multi –brand retailers, other users etc
4.    When you have a short-list, if a large (expensive) printer,look at the supplier’s after sales service, maintenance agreement; if low cost, look up model on the internet to get user’s opinion.
Then make your decision, don’t procrastinate (an awful word), and buy it!

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.

Sunday, 8 July 2012





You do save by bulk buying, but only if you have use of all the colours.

When  you buy cartridges over the internet, an option you will often find is "B,C,M,Y Bundle" (usually for compatible/remanufactureds) , or "value Pack" (usually for genuines) as an option to purchasing a particular colour.
Should you take advantage of these options?
 The answer most times is yes you should. If you look at the individual prices of each of the black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges, you will find that if you buy all four individually, their collective cost will be often significantly higher than the bundle offer. Also if you choose to buy each one individually as you require it, you will most likely be paying for the shipping cost, often anywhere between $5 to $10, and sometimes $15+ charged by the suppliers whose cartridge price is unbelievably low. If the price of your cartridge is say $22 then this is a heavy impost.
But if you take advantage of the bundle/valuepack offer, and suppose you don't as have much requirement for colours as you do for the monocolour (black), you can end up with extra colours, not being used.
The solution for this is to order a bundle/value pack, and also order an additional black, or cyan etc, if that colour of cartridge is what you use more. You will pay more for the additional cartridge because singularly it doesn't attract the bulk buying discount, BUT you do save on additional courier costs, as most retailers will charge only the one courier fee, no matter how many cartridges you order at the one time.

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.   

Thursday, 5 July 2012


Advice on storage life-span can vary from three months to years. What are the life-spans?

To clarify this article, we are discussing the storage life of cartridges, not the usage lifetime once installed, or yield.
For inkjets and toners, as they use different materials, one liquid ink, the other powder, we are talking quite different storage life expectancies.

Inkjet Cartridges
Inkjet Cartridges, if stored in an upright position, and left unopened, in an area where the temperature remains below 35 degrees Celsius and above -15 degrees Celsius, will store for a longer period than the ‘use by’ date on the box, which is normally two to three years. Not all inkjet cartridge boxes have a use by date, but the cartridge is in a package designed to minimize any evaporation. If after a long period of time, when you do open the packet, and install it, and it doesn’t work, your print head might be blocked, then you can clean it . For maximizing  the lifespan of your inkjet cartridge when in use go to

Toner Cartridges
Toner is a dry polymer powder used in laser printers (laser is an acronym for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’) which is literally melted onto the paper when it passes through the fuser. It won't dry out, and will last indefinitely. However, in high humid conditions, it can congeal. But again, if the cartridge is protected by a sealed package, then storage life for a toner is not really an issue, as the printer’s life span could even be shorter.

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information. 


Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Your printer is about to pack it in, and you have worked out what type of printer you want i.e Multi functional (print, copy, fax etc.), with colour, and so on. But which brand/model do you buy?

To assist you in that regard, look up this previous blog on what printer should you get.

Time to check out the internet reviews to get your answers, but where or how do you do that?

One way is to call up sites that specialise in reviews, by using different search keywords, such as "printer reviews" This will provide a fair assortment of different options.

Reviewers will often provide a filter for letting you advise what you are searching for. The filter determinants can include different choices such as Brand (Company), Category (Multi-function, copier, inkjet etc), user favourites Editors Choice...... so there are lots of ways on the better review sites to determine what printer best suits you.
Remember that reviews are not there to tell you what to buy, but what are the advantages & shortcomings of each printer that you look at. You have to make the decision as to what is important to you and what is not.
And don’t forget that once you have a shortlist of the printers you prefer, to look up the cost of printer cartridges be they  genuine, compatible, or remanufactured to help you determine the long term cost of that printer.
To help you in your quest, here are a few review pages you might find of interest: 
AlaTest Reviews  (my favourite)

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information. 

Monday, 2 July 2012


How to save on paper, ink and printer costs while helping reduce carbon emissions into the environment.

Then you should have a look at 'Greenprint Home Premium', a downlaodable software product. There is a 32 bit & a 64 bit version.
One user reviewed it as", Works GREAT on my XP Home system, saves a bunch of ink and a ton of paper that would be wasted without it. Also saves time, since I don't have to wait while things I don't want or need are printed." We can't vouch as to whether this was an interested party or not.
Greenprint previews your print jobs for you, removing the unneccessary pages such as images and pages with no text before printing, enabling you to print a lot less pages, depending upon your application. It can also be used to create PDF files form the pages instead of printing them.
The PC World Editorial Review of 'Greenprint Home Premium'  advises it is easy to use and that you instal it as a printer driver, and when you want to print, choose it on your printer driver. You then get a preview of all your pages where you can remove the graphics, text, and entire pages. When you're done, tell it to print.
In bringing this product to your attention we do not necessarily  recommend it, and we would advise you to use the free trial version for 30 days before whole heartedly launching into it at a price of $29.00.
To download Greenprint Home Premium, click here.

We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.  

Sunday, 1 July 2012



How do I maximize the life of my Inkjet cartridges?

To get the longest life out of your inkjet cartridges (and your printer), you should do the following:
1) Prevent your inkjet cartridges from drying out. If you are going to go on vacation for an extended period the Ink Cartridge left in you printer may dry out. Think of it just like leaving the lid off a paint tin, eventually the ink will thicken and cause blocking to your print-heads. Take the time to remove these cartridges before you leave. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by your original printer manufacturers manual before you do this. Wrap them in plastic and place in your refrigerator until you arrive back. Make sure that you use your maintenance software when you do re-install them to clean and prime the heads again.  You should print using the colour and black print out at least once in 2-3 weeks, but preferably once a week. If the cartridge is already dried out, do not use it to print, it will damage the print head with heat.  You can clean the print head of the cartridge
2) Cleaning Water Based Cartridge Print Heads:
If  you think your print head is blocked, then there is a simple procedure to clean it  Don’t forget to run the print head cleaning mechanism as described in your printer manual before using it again
3) Cleaning Pigment / Oil Based Ink Cartridge Print Heads:
For some oil bases pigment inks you may have to use isopropyl alcohol instead of warm water. (follow above water based cartridge maintenance instructions)
4) Cleaning My Printer?
You should be aware that you have to maintain your printer on a regular basis to ensure consistent print quality. On most printer models you will notice that when you change ink cartridges or when you first turn your printer on the printer goes through what is known as a Print Head Cleaning Procedure. For the life of your printer this will happen hundreds of times. You may not have noticed that while this automatic head cleaning and alignment is taking place that old ink and paper residue is being dumped into a holding bin usually a small plastic container situated towards the right hand side of the printer under the lid. This is where your printer head sits while parked and not in use. If this Ink Dump Area gets over loaded, or generally un-maintained instead of cleaning your printer cartridges is does quite the contrary, it clogs them up with old ink and paper dust, a sticky residue almost like a Crude Oil blocks the tiny pores in your fragile print head and results poor printed output which shows print banding or print discolouration. In severe cases complete print-head blockage has been noted.
The Solution: Maintain your printer by cleaning the Print Dump Container and the Cartridge Parking area. Use a cotton bud ear cleaner and some Isopropyl alcohol. Make sure that you remove as much old ink as you can, but before doing anything make sure that all electrical power has been switched off and that you are working in an environment suitable for the job in hand.  
We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.