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If you can't find the cartridges you're looking for, please contact us for assistance.

Find cheap inks for popular inkjet printers

 

To find the correct inks for your printer and to check compatibility please use our printer finder tool above.

Which printer ink cartridges should I buy?

What printer cartridge do I need?

First, you need to know the make and model of your printer, then use the simple printer selector tool at the top of this page and you will be directed to a page where you can buy cheap printer ink that is guaranteed to be compatible with your printer.

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 types to choose from and all from different manufacturers - not just the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brand cartridges.

There are three types of printer inks for sale:

  • Original ink cartridges - the same brand as your printer
  • Compatible cartridges - an alternative to the big brand, often a cheaper - ideal if you're looking for inexpensive inkjet cartridges
  • Remanufactured cartridges - a third party recycled cartridge, greener and often cheaper

Original ink cartridges

Pros

  • Recommended by your printer manufacturer
  • Highest quality printing
  • Some inks are fade resistant

Cons

  • Can be expensive

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

Examples of the big printer ink brands are Brother, Canon, Epson and HP in alphabetical order.

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 printer cartridge prices can vary a lot. A printer designed for home printing will usually take cheaper OEM inks than a 'high end' printer designed for photographic printing. Even cheap OEM inks will be of high quality and certainly suitable for most users, but the biggest savings can be had from switching to an alternative brand.

The genuine inks are perceived to be the best choice for printing photographs, and whilst this may be true, we have found that the quality of a Jet Tec ink cartridge will be very close to the output from an original cartridge. Save by switching - try Jet Tec next time you need ink for printing photos!

Some genuine inks can be more fade resistant than others, but if you are printing for archival purposes we recommend you don't use an inkjet printer unless you have specially formulated archival ink.

Compatible cartridges

Pros

  • Low cost alternative
  • Use does not affect printer warranty
  • Ink Factory will refund if not satisfied

Cons

  • Not endorsed by printer manufacturer
  • Inks may not be fade resistant

Like the name suggests, these cartridges are compatible with your printer. They are filled with compatible inks and 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 or even re-manufacturing (recycling) 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 our "buy one get one free" deals on selected inks.

Remanufactured ink cartridges

Pros

  • Recycling is good for environment
  • Jet Tec ink offers high quality output
  • Low cost alternative
  • Use does not affect printer warranty
  • Ink Factory will refund if not satisfied

Cons

  • Not endorsed by printer manufacturer
  • Inks may not be fade resistant

These are recycled cartridges (sometimes also referred to as compatible). The ink cartridge recycling process is actually quite simple; when a consumer has used an original cartridge, 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 recyclable cartridges are Canon, Epson and HP, but this does not apply to all their printers. If you're thinking of buying a new printer, we recommend you check our website to see what the cartridge costs will be before you buy.

If you want to buy UK ink cartridges, then we recommend Jet Tec. Jet Tec cartridges are remanufactured (recycled) in the UK to the highest quality standards and filled with UK inks formulated by Jet Tec at their factory in Lincolnshire.

Another version of the "recycled cartridge" is the concept of high street or kiosk based refilling. 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. Beware of leakage, make sure the cartridge is sealed and well packaged before you take it home.

What are 'single colour' cartridges?

For "single colour" cartridges (also known as separate ink tanks) 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). 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.

How do you install a printer cartridge?

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

Usually you will lift the printer lid that covers the printhead and the paper, the area where the printing actually takes place - where the printing 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).

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.

 

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