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best printer inks

The Best Printer Inks in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our large printer cartridge test. Here we present you all of the printer cartridges that we have tested. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you to find the best printer cartridge for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a printer cartridge.

  • Printer cartridges are required for the operation of an inkjet printer. The cartridges are filled with either food coloring or conventional printer ink.
  • A conventional printer cartridge can be used for two years when opened, while a cartridge filled with food coloring should only be used for one year after opening.
  • The compatibility, the range and the scope of delivery should be checked before buying a printer cartridge in order to avoid difficulties and bad purchases.

Best Printer Inks

Canon Pg-540 Xl Bl

 Our Pick
Canon Pg-540 Xl Bl
9,306 Reviews
Canon Pg-540 Xl Bl
  • This product is by Canon

Canon Ink Color CL-541X

Canon Ink Color CL-541X
857 Reviews
Canon Ink Color CL-541X
  • CL-541 XL High Capacity Colour Ink Jet Cartridge with…

HP 63XL | Ink Cartridge | Tri-color

HP 63XL | Ink Cartridge | Tri-color
15,384 Reviews
HP 63XL | Ink Cartridge | Tri-color
  • Original HP Ink is engineered to work with HP printers to…
  • This cartridge works with: HP DeskJet 1112, 2130, 2132,…
  • Cartridge yield (approx.): 330 pages
  • Up to 2x more prints with Original HP Ink vs. non-Original…
  • 82% of HP ink cartridges are manufactured with recycled…

HP 62 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color

HP 62 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color
18,751 Reviews
HP 62 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color
  • HP 62 (C2P04AN, C2P06AN) ink cartridges work with: HP ENVY…
  • HP Officejet 200, 250, 258, 5740, 5741, 5742, 5743, 5744,…
  • Get all the cartridges you need with the purchase of a…
  • Cartridge yield (approx.) per cartridge: 200 pages black,…
  • Original HP ink cartridges: genuine ink for your HP printer.

HP 61 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color

HP 61 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color
20,681 Reviews
HP 61 | Ink Cartridge Bundle | Black, Tri-color
  • HP 61 (CH561WN, CH562WN) ink cartridges work with: HP…
  • HP ENVY 4500, 4502, 4504, 5530, 5531, 5532, 5534, 5535 HP…
  • Get all the cartridges you need with the purchase of a…
  • Cartridge yield (approx.) per cartridge: 190 pages black,…
  • Original HP ink cartridges: genuine ink for your HP printer.

Canon PG-245 XL / CL-246 XL

Canon PG-245 XL / CL-246 XL
17,714 Reviews
Canon PG-245 XL / CL-246 XL
  • The PG-245 XL black ink is used for printing documents on…
  • XL capacity ink cartridges can help you save money, print…
  • Genuine Canon inks provide peak performance that is…

Epson T702XL-BCS DURABrite Ultra Black

 Our Pick
Epson T702XL-BCS DURABrite Ultra Black
4,856 Reviews
Epson T702XL-BCS DURABrite Ultra Black
  • Worry-free handling – smudge, fade and water resistant…
  • Convenient individual ink cartridges
  • Works with Workforce Pro WF-3720
  • Contains Pigment Ink.

Epson 410XL Black & Standard

 Our Pick
Epson 410XL Black & Standard
4,090 Reviews
Epson 410XL Black & Standard
  • Archival photos last more than 200 years in an album
  • Sharp text
  • Use with Epson Premium XP-530, XP-630, XP-830

GREENBOX Remanufactured Ink Cartridge

 Our Pick
GREENBOX Remanufactured Ink Cartridge
8,262 Reviews
GREENBOX Remanufactured Ink Cartridge
  • Compatible With: HP ENVY 4520 4510 4511 4512 4513 4516 4517…
  • Contents: 2 Pack Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement…
  • Page Yield: 480 Pages per GREENBOX 63 black cartridge
  • Page Yield: 330 Pages per GREENBOX 63 tri-color cartridge
  • High-quality ink cartridge can provide clear text and…

3 Pack Remanufactured Ink Cartridge

3 Pack Remanufactured Ink Cartridge
2,204 Reviews
3 Pack Remanufactured Ink Cartridge
  • Package Contents:Remanufactured Replacement For Canon…
  • Compatible With: for Canon Pixma TR4520, Pixma TR4522, Pixma…
  • Page Yield: Up to 400 pages per PG-245XL ink cartridge, up…
  • Color:2 Black,1 Tricolor

OfficeWorld Re-Manufactured Ink Cartridge

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Frequently Asked Questions: Printer Ink

What does it cost to refill the printer cartridges with ink?

Refilling the ink in printer cartridges is very popular because it is very expensive to buy new ink all the time. However, the cost of refilling can vary greatly, as it always depends on the color, the manufacturer or the refill shop.

It is therefore advisable to compare prices from different shops if you do not want to lend a hand yourself. However, the cost of refilling a black printer cartridge should not exceed five euros and for color cartridges not more than 13 euros.

How long do printer cartridges last?

If you are one of those people who print a lot, then this question will probably not interest you that much as your ink will probably have run out by the deadline. For the occasional printer, however, it should be very interesting.

The manufacturer of compatible print cartridges usually has a guarantee of 24 months from the date of purchase. This refers to the print quality, which decreases after two years. However, if you store your print cartridges packaged and neatly, they can last significantly longer.

Did you know that toner can melt at 40 degrees Celsius?

If toner gets on clothing when replacing the printer cartridges, wash them with cold water only. In addition, you should absolutely avoid swirling toner dust with a draft or blowing through the air.

Hands that are soiled with toner must never be touched mouth, eyes or nose, but washed off with soap and water.

However, there is an exception for printer cartridges with food coloring. These are marked with a date of manufacture and a date by which the ink should be used up. They can be kept for at least 12 months and the time between the two dates is usually limited to 24 months.

What is the chip responsible for in ink cartridges?

The chip in ink cartridges is responsible for the level indicator. For example, if you want to refill your ink cartridge, the chip has to be reset, otherwise your printer will not recognize the cartridge.

A problem with the chip is often raised by customers, who complain that the level indicator on the printer cartridge shows that it is empty even though it is still half full.

How can you properly store printer cartridges?

The very first step in storing printer cartridges is keeping them at a comfortable temperature. Basically, many manufacturers say that storage between -15 and 35 degrees Celsius is not a problem. Storage at room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius is therefore possible without any problems.

Did you know that printer cartridges can dry out?

If the printer is not used for a long period of time, there is a risk that the cartridges will dry out. To avoid this, a test print should be carried out at least once a month to be on the safe side.

The printer cartridges can also be wrapped in foil and stored in the refrigerator in case you fear you might forget to print the test. But this is rather an impractical method.

Furthermore, depending on the manufacturer, you should leave the printer cartridges in the original transparent film or in an opaque aluminum outer packaging. However, if you have already opened the printer cartridge, it should remain in the printer if possible.

Opened printer cartridges can also be stored in airtight plastic containers, but care should be taken not to touch the sensitive nozzles of the printer cartridges.

Types of Printer Ink

There are basically three types of printer cartridges:

  • Single cartridges
  • Combination cartridges
  • Refill ink

Due to the large number of different manufacturers of printers, you have to pay attention to the different types of printer cartridges when buying. Because depending on your printer and the question of whether you print more in black and white or in color, there are some advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

Therefore, the different types are presented and explained in more detail in the following section. To make the purchase decision even easier for you, the respective advantages and disadvantages are clearly presented.

Single Cartridges: Advantages & Disadvantages

Single cartridges are printer cartridges that contain individual printing colors. Both black and the common CMYK cartridges that enable printing in color can be used as single cartridges. But also other colors that are required for photo printing, for example, can be purchased and used individually.

Especially if you print a lot in color, individual cartridges can be an advantage for you. Because not all colors are always used equally. That is why one color becomes empty faster than the other. With the individual cartridges, you can replace the empty color and continue to use the others.

Advantages

  • Can be exchanged individually
  • No printout with empty cartridges

Disadvantages

  • Black printing dependent on color cartridges

However, if you increasingly print in black and white, an empty color cartridge can be a problem for you, as printers with individual cartridges cannot print black and white if one of the colors is empty. This is to prevent unsightly photos from being created due to a lack of color. However, it also requires that you always have enough color cartridges in stock.

Combination Cartridges: Advantages & Disadvantages

In contrast to a single cartridge, a combination cartridge has several printing colors. The colors cyan, magenta and yellow are brought together in a combination cartridge by means of three color chambers. Black is still used in the form of a single cartridge. Manufacturers often offer inexpensive sets that contain both black and a combination cartridge with the colors.

The advantage over a single cartridge is that you can still print in black and white with an empty color cartridge. If you only ever print in black and white, you can even save the color cartridge entirely.

Advantages

  • Cost savings through sets
  • Black printing is always possible

Disadvantages

  • Exchange only for an empty color

However, if you also print a lot in color, a combination cartridge can have negative effects in the long term. Because, as already mentioned, the colors are not used evenly in color printing.

With a combination cartridge, however, you have to replace it when only one of the three colors is empty – even if the other two may still be half full. In the long term, this can be expensive.

Refill Ink: Advantages & Disadvantages

An alternative to the previous variants is buying a refill ink. A syringe is used to fill the ink directly into the printer cartridge from the containers supplied. However, it should be checked in advance whether the respective printer cartridge allows subsequent refilling.

However, incompatible cartridges can be prepared for refilling by drilling or refill holders. However, laypeople are not advised to do so, as incorrect handling can damage not only the printer hardware, but also your own clothing or furniture.

Advantages

  • Cost savings

Disadvantages

  • Inferior print quality
  • Not compatible with all cartridges

For multiple printers, however, a refill ink can lead to significant cost savings. If you are less interested in optimal color fidelity and lightfastness when printing, you can easily refill the same cartridge over and over again. Because with these points you usually have to accept compromises compared to the original cartridges.

Printer Ink: Purchase Criteria

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate printer cartridges. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular printer cartridge is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Multipack or single cartridge
  • Scope of delivery
  • Compatibility
  • Page Yield

Multipack or single cartridge

The difference between these two is that the multipack contains several printer cartridges and the single cartridge, as the name suggests, just one printer cartridge.

The multipack is especially suitable for you if you have a printer that uses several colors and you want to save some money. Most of the time, printer cartridges are cheaper in multipacks than if you bought them individually.

The single cartridge is usually available in black and is particularly worthwhile for you if you have a black and white printer or if you simply print more in black and white than with color and it is therefore empty faster.

Scope of delivery

The scope of delivery is the amount of printer cartridges that come with your delivery. With the single cartridge, there is of course only one printer cartridge for you. With the Multipack, however, there is everything from two printer cartridges upwards.

Compatibility

Compatibility is by far the most important point when buying printer cartridges. Because if the printer cartridges are not compatible with your inkjet printer, then it was a bad purchase and you can either exchange them or throw them away.

Many people tend to buy printer cartridges that are not manufactured by the manufacturer. Because these are often cheaper than the original cartridges. In frequent cases, these also offer a very good print image and a higher number of pages. For this reason, the manufacturers of inkjet printers often provide their printer cartridges with a chip that should be recognized by the printer and prevent the use of non-original printer cartridges.

This carries the risk that non-original printer cartridges are not compatible with your inkjet printer. It is important to find out more about the product from other providers, ideally through customer ratings. Of course, you are best served with the original cartridges for your inkjet printer from the manufacturer.

However, the printer cartridges that are not produced by the manufacturer usually have a larger fill level of ink, so you would often save money with these. Find out whether you can use these cartridges with your printer without any problems.

Page Yield

The yield is the approximate number of pages you can print with one print cartridge. This is important for your printing activities because you don’t want to go back to buy a new printer cartridge after a week.

The right font can save a lot of money in printing.

Fonts are generally different in width and size, which is why there are also differences in the number of pages that are printed. «Garamond» has proven to be a very economical font and is particularly suitable for high volume printers in order to minimize waste of printer ink.

It is often sufficient to highlight the entire text and change the font to Garamond.

This is of course also important for your wallet. Because the less you can actually print with a printer cartridge, the more often you go to the seller or go online and buy new ones. As a result, the printer, which initially appears cheap, can quickly become an expensive investment.

If you save a little on quality when printing, for example using more shades of gray instead of black, you can also save ink here.

Last product update on 2021-09-24 | Source: Amazon Affiliate