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by: David Drury

Laser printer toner cartridges come in all different shapes sizes for many different types of brands. Too many times a customer may be confused to which cartridge goes with his/her office equipment. The reason for this confusion is that many different companies try to manufacture a "cartridge" that will work with a said model. But the manufacturing process will determine what quality of the cartridge in question.

The most expensive, or the 5 star of the cartridges, would be a name brand cartridge. This would be the cartridge that is supplied by the manufacturer of the printer. They have been specifically designed/engineered to work there own printer for maximum performance. Another name for these types of cartridges would be called "OEM", or "Office Equipment Merchandise". If you buy one of these cartridges you have a 99.99% chance of never getting a defective cartridge unless it was damaged in transit.

The next common unit which is less expensive, or the 4 star of the cartridge world, are called "Compatible" cartridges. These cartridges have been manufactured by other companies rather than the same manufacturer who built the device that needs supplying. After a period of time, which could be from 6 months to 2 years after the device is brought to market, the original manufacture releases the specifications to create these cartridges, or reverse engineering, these types of cartridges emerge in the market. If you were to buy one of these cartridges, you have a 98.99% chance of never getting a defective cartridge.

After compatibles, remanufactured cartridges are the next in line with less cost than its predecessors. Remanufactured cartridges are created from the shell of an empty name brand cartridge (OEM) or a compatible. Depending on the manufacturer, 20%-50% of the parts inside the cartridge are replaced including the drum, wiper blade, etc.. You may find that while these cartridges are less expensive than "OEM" and "Compatible" cartridges, they may have a much higher defective ratio. If AA Universal toners had to guess, it would be for 1 in 30 toners might have a problem.

Last but not least, there are companies out there that just "REFILL" or "RECHARGE" or cartridges. All these companies are doing is exactly that. They refill the cartridge with ink or toner. No parts are replaced, and have a high probability of being defective. We recommend to steer clear of all types of refills. Why? Because eventually, the worn parts inside the cartridge will wear down to a point of cracking, leaking, and spilling which will cause a great cost of service to your office equipment.

In Summary, AA Universal Toners sells OEM, Compatible, and some remanufactured ink & toner cartridges. We hope this can clear up any confusion as to which type to purchase. If your interested in learning more about your office supplies, keep an eye out for our next article "Toner 102" Definition of Toner Cartridge Page Yield"


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