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Please click on your inkjet printer manufacturer below to find the correct ink cartridges

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ADVENT inks
BROTHER inks
CANON inks
DELL inks
EPSON inks
HP inks
KODAK inks
LEXMARK inks
XEROX inks

This is a list of every printer brand for which we have printer ink or ink cartridges available. If you can't find the inkjet cartridges you're looking for, please contact us for assistance (if you have a laser printer please see toner cartridges).

Find inks for popular inkjet printers

 

Ink Cartridges and Inkjet Printers

What is an ink cartridge?

An ink cartridge (sometimes called an ink refill or ink tank) is a plastic cartridge containing specially formulated ink or inks for your printer.

Ink cartridges are usually quite small (rarely larger than a pack of playing cards), and do not usually weigh very much (often less than one hundred grams).

What is an inkjet printer?

There are two main types of printer: inkjet printers and laser printers. As a consumer it's not always obvious what type of printer you have.

Inkjet printers use liquid ink stored in small ink cartridges, which, in the simplest terms sprays ink on to the paper; usually as the paper moves through the printer the ink cartridges (held in a carriage) will move from side to side to render the ink on the page.

The immediate printout from an inkjet printer will usually be wet to the touch (because the ink is in liquid form), and will require anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to dry and become smudge resistant. Particular Epson ink cartridges have been developed to use smudge, fade and water resistant ink. These are available where shown on our website.

Inkjet printers are the most common type of printer for home use. Because of the comparatively low cost, they are ideal for low volume and high-quality printing.

It is quite rare to find inkjet printers that only print in black, in recent years with the increase in digital photography many manufacturers have added photo printing functions to their range of inkjet printers for which colour cartridges are a necessity.

Inkjet printers can vary in size, but as they are mostly intended for home use they generally have a small footprint to make them ideally situated on a desk or computer unit.

Selecting the correct ink cartridge for your printer

As soon as you start looking to purchase an ink cartridge, whether online or in the shops you will soon see that it is not quite as easy as you might at first imagine. There are many different types of cartridge and it's not like replacing the ink cartridge in your old fountain pen. There are many types to choose from and all from different manufacturers - not just the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brand cartridges.

The basic three types of cartridge are listed here:

  • Original ink cartridges - the same brand as your printer
  • Compatible cartridges - an alternative to the big brand, often cheaper
  • Remanufactured cartridges - a third party recycled cartridge, greener and often cheaper

Original ink cartridges

Often these are perceived to be the best choice for printing photographs. Often this is true, but increasingly nowadays we are finding that the quality of the compatible (alternative brands) comes very close to the output from an original cartridge.

The original cartridge will almost always be the most expensive option, but if you are looking for best quality and maximum reliability then you should go for an original cartridge.

Original cartridges (sometimes called OEM cartridges) will have the same brand or manufacturer name as your printer.

Examples of the big printer brands are Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, Lexmark in alphabetical order. Although many Dell inkjet printer models are made by Lexmark and just branded with the Dell logo.

You will find that the price ratio between the original brand cartridge and the other options will vary a lot depending on the brand of your printer. For example, Lexmark printers (often given away free as part of a bundle deal when you buy a new computer) will have comparably expensive cartridges. On the other hand, Epson printers will often have cheaper "single colour" cartridges.

For "single colour" cartridges you will need to buy a full set (one cartridge for each colour, of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, or CMYK for short, K is blacK). This has it's ups and downs. If you are a heavy user of just one colour (your business logo for example might be blue) then when you print your letterheads you will use more blue (and probably some black) than any other colour. This means that you will be able to just replace the blue (Cyan) ink cartridge rather than replacing all of the colours at once. If you had a cartridge with all of the colours in one then you would not have this benefit. The downside is perhaps the cost of buying all of the cartridges separately usually at around £10 each.

Compatible cartridges

Like the name suggests, these cartridges are compatible with your printer. They are not made by the big brand or OEM name and so are not endorsed by the printer manufacturers.

There has been much speculation in the media that the printer manufacturers want to use patent laws to stop third parties from making cartridges for their printers and to keep all of the market share for themselves.

Compatible inkjets will usually have a brand name of their own, certainly the most reliable and highest quality cartridges are made by Jet Tec and KMP in the UK market. These two brands are the leading names and are the products you will find most retailers selling.

Compatible inkjets are a great way to save money and get quality prints too. A printout from a printer using a set of Jet Tec or KMP cartridges looks very similar to a printout from a printer with the original or OEM printer inks.

Some recent press articles have compared the price of printer ink rather unfavourably with the price of rocket fuel or fine perfume.

Compatible cartridges are often more than 10% cheaper than the original brand cartridge and in some cases they can be half the price. Look out for retailers offering deals like "buy two get one free" or "buy one get one free".

Remanufactured ink cartridges

These are recycled cartridges. The process is actually quite simple; when a consumer has used an original cartridge (often the one that came in the printer when new), the cartridge is sent to a recycler (you can get free postage paid envelopes for this). That cartridge is then cleaned, refilled and sold back to the retailer who in turn will sell it as a remanufactured (recycled) inkjet cartridge.

Not all ink cartridges can be recycled in the manner outlined above and so you should not assume that recycled cartridges will be available for any printer that you buy. The main brands that have cartridges which can be recycled are HP, Lexmark and Dell, not all cartridges for all of these brands of printer can recycled either. You should check with the retailer if you are unsure about what printer ink options will be available to you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you buy a printer at a high street PC superstore, they will probably try to "scare" you away from the compatible or recycled cartridges; this is because they have rebate and incentives from the big brands. Fortunately this is less often the case nowadays as the large retailers are starting to realise that recycled and compatible products are both reliable and cheaper options for consumers - after all, they want you to keep coming back.

A further permutation of the "recycled cartridge" is the idea of high street or kiosk based refilling. The concept is simple - you walk in with your empty cartridge, the shop assistant injects some ink into it for you and you take it home to carry on printing. This is not as straight forwards as it sounds - beware of leakage, make sure the cartridge is sealed and well packaged before you take it home. The types of inks that are used have also been the subject of legal action where the big printer brands have tried to stop franchised kiosk services from using ink that has a similar composition or printer ink formula to the big brand.

Choosing a printer ink supplier

You might be wondering why we've included a section about choosing a printer ink supplier or "inkjet retailer", well, it's clear from looking around online that there are many different kinds of retailers operating in this sector.

If you're buying online you really need to find a reputable retailer who will protect your personal customer data and send you a quality product a good price. Look out for sites without telephone contact numbers or postal addresses - this is probably common sense, but many ink sites are clearly operated by market traders who don't run them as serious businesses (you can usually tell by the poor quality of design and bad layout).

Remember that cheap is not always cheerful, especially if your goods never arrive. The really cheap ink cartridges are cheap for a reason, look for a supplier that has been around for a while and that you feel you can trust. We recommend using our printer ink buyers guide to select the best inkjets suppliers.

Installing your new inkjet cartridges

Most cartridges will come with clear instructions on how to install, but the process is roughly the same for all inkjet printers.

Usually you will lift the printer lid that covers the printhead and the paper, the area where the printing actually takes place - where the ink meets the paper! In this area there will be the printhead which looks like a block, often with a lid. When you lift the lid this will move to the centre of the printer to make it easy to access it.

If the printhead doesn't move into the centre of the printer when you open the printer lid then there may be a button you need to press (and sometimes hold down for a few seconds) to make this action happen. There will almost always be instructions (often in diagram form) on the underside of the printers lid.

If you're not sure how to put the cartridge in your printer, don't force it in. Remember that there is always the possibility that the cartridge might still have some extra packaging (like an orange clip) attached to it that you haven't removed or of course the supplier might have sent you the wrong one (although this is quite rare nowadays).

Inkjet versus laser toner

Many printer inks suppliers will supply inkjet and laser toner products. These are often segmented or categorised separately because whilst they are both printing technologies they are quite different in size and (although decreasingly) different in target market. Often laser toner or laser printing is used in businesses for higher volumes of prints whereas inkjets are more commonly found in the home.

If you want to print photos or lots of colour then you will probably find that inkjet is still the best printing technology for you and you should look for an inkjet printer. However, if you mostly intend to print in monochrome (black and white) then you might consider a laser printer. There are some new so-called "small footprint" laser printers that as the name suggests don't take up much space on your desk, but are reasonably economical to run, quick to print and quite pleasant to use. The benefit of laser toner versus inkjet printer ink is that the laser prints are dry to the touch when they come out of the printer whereas often printer inks can still be wet and prone to smudging.

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