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Should you use third-party toners ?

Question : I have learned not to use third-party ink cartridges in my photo printer because they do not provide the same reliable color that the ink from the manufacturer provides. Should I also avoid third-party ink in my laser printer ?

Answer :

There are generally two concerns that consumers have when buying ink made by a different manufacturer than the one that made the printer.

First, there's concern that color won't be the same or the same quality. Second, there's concern about the quality of the cartridge in which the ink or toner comes. A poorly made cartridge can cause ink to leak, damaging the internal components of the printer.

Both of those concerns have become less relevant over the past year, as more third-party manufacturers are adopting quality controls in their ink, toner, and cartridge manufacturing that rival those of original equipment makers. Many buyers of replacement toner, in particular, are finding good, less expensive alternatives tot he toner offered by the printer maker.

Since toner is generally black, there's less concern up front about color; quality of cartridge is the only variable in question.

So how can you know if a third-party toner or ink cartridge is worth buying ? Try to stick with off brands marketed by major retailers, who may offer return privileges if the product does not meet with your approval.

These days, major retailers are frequently offering on their shelves toner or ink cartridge replacements right beside those made by the maker of your printer. As always, though, ultimate responsibility for any damages that result from using ink or toner not made by or tested by your printer maker will rest with you. Use of third-party ink or toner will also void the warranty of your printer.


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