When a person first thinks of a printer cartridge, he or she may quickly dismiss it as being just something you buy when your printer has run out of ink. Knowing exactly how a printer cartridge works and the different aspects of buying one, however, can end up saving a person a lot of money in the long run. Investing in printer cartridges is usually not a cheap thing to do, many sell for fifty dollars or more each, and it is a good idea to know all of your alternatives before making any hasty decisions.
The printer cartridge works by storing ink inside of it to be used by the printer. When the printer sends a cartridge and appropriate signal, the ink is dropped and shaped into the form of the image or letters needed to translate onto the sheet of paper. It is important to note, that two separate cartridges needed for those who need color on their printed pieces. One cartridge will have only black ink and will only function during black and white printings, while the other contains red, yellow, and blue ink and can create different color combinations. The color cartridge is, in general, much more expensive than the simple black cartridge, so it is important not to waste it. It is a good idea, therefore, to not waste color ink unless it is needed. For example, printers can sometimes be set to print everything, including black and white projects, through the color cartridge. Setting the printer not to do this will save you a lot of money in the future.
Another thing that is important to remember about printer cartridges is that many of the big-name companies who also create printers, such as HP, Canon, and Lexmark, will create cartridges that will work only with their printers. These cartridges are often very expensive and overpriced. That is why the big companies know that most of their consumers have little to no options on alternatives to buy and that eventually, most people will pay the extra money for the printer cartridge they need. It is also because many companies like HP will make their printers cheaper to attract more customers and regain the loss through printer cartridge sales.
Fortunately for owners of printers, there are other options becoming available. Brands such as Xerox offer cheaper alternatives for printer ink that can work in multiple printers. Because these brands do not create printers themselves, they have no reason to charge more for ink and therefore can offer everyone a better alternative. The best way to find a good option for your printer is to check with a local store to see what different printer cartridges are compatible with your printer.
There is no question that a printer cartridge is important to maintaining a good printer and producing quality printed work. Knowing all of the options available to you, however, and practicing good ink maintenance goes a long way in saving money for the future.