Compatible Toner Cartridges Good or Bad

compatible toner cartridge

Compatible Toner Cartridges Good Or Bad

Are Compatible Toner Cartridges Good or Bad? You can save a lot of money on compatible cartridges and get a great product. But you need to understand the differences between them before going on ebay, Amazon, or and buying the cheapest toner cartridge you can find.

There is a difference between the types of toner cartridges you can buy.

The available choices are OEM, Genuine, Re manufactured, Refilled or Compatible toner cartridges.

They are not all the same. Each term describes a different level of quality and expected reliability.

Here is a brief description of the differences between the cartridge types.

OEM Cartridges

OEM Cartridges are Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges. They will be labeled with the brand name of the manufacturer. They are made to the specifications of the equipment manufacturer whether they are actually made by them or by a another company on their behalf. These cartridges will be the most expensive and have a high level of reliability. However they can still have failures or yield below the stated expected page amounts.

Genuine Cartridges

Genuine cartridges are basically the same as OEM. Some manufacturers make equipment that is re-branded by other companies. For example Ricoh makes copiers and printers that are re-branded and sold as Savin, Lanier, Gestetner and a few other names. So a Genuine Savin Toner cartridge is actually made to Ricoh specifications. And it’s not necessarily made by the original equipment manufacturer. The pricing and reliability of these cartridges will be the same as OEM.

Re-Manufactured Cartridges

Re manufactured cartridges are rebuilt OEM or Genuine cartridges. There are companies which capture used OEM cartridges and rebuild them. The quality of these re manufactured cartridges varies a lot. From very good to very poor. There has always been reliability issues with these cartridges. The process of replacing all of the components is time consuming and labor intensive. Which means there are lots of opportunities for problems to occur. From putting the wrong toner in them to reusing the old components. These cartridges will be less expensive but will have a lower level of reliability.

Refilled Cartridges

Refilled cartridges are the lowest rung on the ladder. The companies that refill cartridges do little more than drill a hole in the cartridge to empty the old toner out, and put in some new toner. Hopefully the right kind of toner. These cartridges will be the cheapest and have the worst reputation for reliability.

Compatible Cartridges

Compatible cartridges are newly manufactured cartridges that will fit into your copier or printer just like the OEM or Genuine brand cartridges. Reputable cartridge manufacturers are often ISO 9001 certified.

Will using other than OEM or Genuine supplies Void your warranty?

No, there are consumer protection laws that protect against that.

Will using other than OEM or Genuine supplies damage my machine?

Yes and no. If you have a printer that uses an all inclusive cartridge that has the drum, developer, toner and waste toner bin all in one cartridge, then no. It’s not very likely the cartridge will damage your printer even if the cartridge is bad. Because when you replace the cartridge your replacing all the above items at the same time.

However if your machine requires a cartridge that is just the toner then that toner will circulate throughout the machine and can cause potential problems in many areas. Having a printer repairman fix and replace damaged or contaminated items can be costly.


Type Price Reliability Recommended
OEM High High Yes
Genuine High High Yes
Re Manufactured Low Low No
Refilled Low Low No
Compatible Low High Yes

A Word About Guaranties

A reputable supplier will offer a refund or replacement guarantee. It’s recommended that you buy your cartridges from someone you trust. There are expected failure rates for all the cartridges. Don’t buy cartridges from a company you cannot easily contact if there is a problem or that does not offer a guarantee.

Our friendly and professional staff are available 8 AM – 5 PM Mon-Fri to answer questions and schedule appointments.

Call us at: 877-852-0044

Scroll to Top