Buyers Guides & Videos - Ink Cartridges and Toner
What ink cartridge or toner do I need for my printer?
The best way of finding out which ink cartridge or toner cartridge you need is to check the existing cartridge in your printer. Whether you have an Epson ink cartridge or any other type of ink cartridge, make sure you check it through, thoroughly. Each cartridge will have a manufacturer’s code on its front or side that you can then type into Euroffice’s Ink & Toner Finder tool to find a replacement cartridge. Alternatively check your printer's manual as it will provide full information on the type of cartridge used.
You can also find the right replacement printer cartridge on Euroffice by using your printer’s brand and model number. It’s worth knowing if your printer is an inkjet printer or laser printer as cartridges differ between these types of machines. Information on which type of printer a cartridge is suitable for will be clearly indicated on each item page as well as a full list of compatible printer models.
What’s the difference between ink cartridges and toner cartridges?
Ink cartridges, also known as inkjet cartridges, are used exclusively with inkjet printers. They contain liquid ink which is released onto the page via print heads in the cartridge and are available in black, cyan (blue), magenta (red) and yellow variations for black & white or colour inkjet printers.
Toner cartridges in comparison are used in laser printers. Instead of liquid ink they use a dry powder called toner which bonds to the paper to create the print. As a result toner cartridges are generally longer lasting and have a higher page yield. For black & white and colour laser printers, cartridges in black, cyan (blue), magenta (red) and yellow variations are available.
Original cartridges are ink and toner cartridges that are manufactured by the printer manufacturers themselves and are designed to be used in brand-specific printers only. These high quality branded cartridges are available from HP, Canon, Brother, Epson, Lexmark and more.
Compatible printer cartridges are new cartridges that match original printer manufacturer cartridges in specification but which can be purchased at a lower price. Compatible cartridges often get a bad reputation for not being of the same quality as original cartridges but many suppliers do meet the same high standards of performance as original printer manufacturer’s cartridges. Many compatible ink cartridges will also come with a guarantee that they will not break or damage your printer.
Remanufactured cartridges are existing cartridges that have been taken apart, rebuilt and then refilled with ink or toner. These cartridges are an environmentally friendly option as they recycle used cartridges and they are usually 40% cheaper than originals. They’re also produced to the same high quality and will match the page yield of the original cartridge too. You can be guaranteed that using remanufactured cartridges in your printer will not invalidate your printer’s warranty either.
Manufacturers will generally provide an approximate page yield value for their cartridges which will give a good indication of how long a printer cartridge will last. This will depend on the amount and type of printing you do though as manufacturers typically define one printed page as a standard business letter. Printing photos and graphics will use more ink so if you’re printing these types of documents on a regular basis then you may find that your cartridge or toner needs replacing sooner.
High yield cartridges are also available and provide a good economical option for printers with heavy usage. These cartridges cost more initially but they’re good value for money in the long term.
The shelf life of an ink or toner cartridge will vary depending on both the storage conditions and the manufacturer. On average, original and sealed cartridges will last between 12 and 24 months before use. However, if cartridges are removed from their original packaging, their shelf life is reduced to between 3 and 6 months. We recommend you read the ink or toner cartridge item description first before purchase if you’re looking to store cartridges for longer than 6 months.
Colour printers use a combination of black, cyan (blue), magenta (red) and yellow colour cartridges to print coloured documents and, depending on the documents printed, these cartridges will usually run out at different times. Your printer may tell you through its display screen which colour cartridge needs to be replaced but you can also tell from the colour of your printed documents. A green tint will show when you have run out of magenta, a purple tint appears when the yellow cartridge needs to be replaced and an orange tint shows when the cyan colour cartridge is running out.
This depends on the type of printer you have as some manufacturers produce their colour cartridges as an all-in-one option only. This is more common in laser printers than inkjet printers but if you do have a printer that uses this type of cartridge then you will have to replace the whole cartridge.
If colours are separated by black, cyan, magenta and yellow in individual cartridges then there is no need to replace every colour cartridge when only one colour has run out. We recommend you check your printer’s original instructions to see which type of colour cartridges you require.
Replacing an ink or toner cartridge in your printer is a simple procedure but it’s worth checking your printer’s original instructions first before removing the existing cartridge. Once the existing cartridge is removed look for the manufacturer’s reference number on the cartridge itself as this will help you find the right replacement cartridge. Alternatively make a note of your printer’s brand and model number as this can also be used to find the correct cartridge for your printer.
Euroffice’s Ink & Toner Finder tool makes it easy to find the right ink or toner cartridge. Once you've submitted your cartridge or printer details, the finder will display a list of compatible cartridges. You can also save your printer details for future reference by clicking on the “My Printer” tab on the item page. By selecting your printer and pressing “Save”, these details will be added to your My Account and will make ordering replacement cartridges hassle-free in the future.
When you’re replacing the ink or toner cartridge it’s again worth checking your printer’s instructions to make sure you install the cartridge properly and to ensure you’re still covered by the warranty.
At Euroffice we have a huge range of original branded cartridges from HP, Brother, Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Samsung and more. Generally both ink cartridges and laser toners are produced by each printer manufacturer and these cartridges should only be used in brand-specific printers.
HP (Hewlett Packard) ink cartridges for inkjet printers include their range of Business Inkjet ink, HP Deskjet ink and HP Photosmart ink. HP laser cartridges are used in their business and home laser printers and their Laserjet range of cartridges covers both black & white and colour laser printers.
Canon inkjet printers are suitable for domestic or small business use and their inkjet cartridge range covers Canon Pixma ink, Canon Bubble Jet ink and Canon Selphy ink as well as ink cartridges for their other inkjet printers. Laser printers from Canon are designed for use in larger offices or educational institutions and the laser toner range includes i-SENSYS ink, LaserShot ink and LaserBase ink.
Lexmark is known for its range of high quality laser printers for busy business environments as they are all capable of handling large volumes of printing over a long period of time. Laser ink cartridges for these printers are typically referred to with letters and at Euroffice we have the Lexmark Laser C series ink, the Lexmark E series ink as well as ink for the P, T, W, X and Y series printers.
Inkjet cartridges are offered for use in Lexmark Optra Colour, Lexmark 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 series inkjet printers while specific ink cartridges for Lexmark’s range of fax machines, ribbon printers and dot-matrix printers are also available at Euroffice.
Epson is a key printer manufacturer and as such offers a large selection of both inkjet and laser ink cartridges. In the inkjet range there are cartridges available for Epson Stylus and Epson PictureMate printers but as they come in a number of different series we recommend you check the back of your printer for the model number so you can find the right Epson ink cartridge for your machine.
For Epson laser printers there are Epson AcuLasre and Epson EPL toner cartridges for their two main laser printer models. Again these models come in a number of different series so check the code on your existing cartridge or the printer model number to help you find the right laser cartridge.
Brother manufactures inkjet and laser printers as well as all-in-one or multifunction machines so their range of ink and toner cartridges covers these types of machines. For all-in-one machines and inkjet printers there’s the Brother 1000 and Brother 2000 series cartridges as well as the Brother MFC and DCP ink lines. For laser printers there’s toner cartridges for the Brother HL range of printers as well as toner for the laser printer versions of the MFC and DCP ranges.
Over 2 million printer cartridges are buried in UK landfill sites every year but you can reduce this number by recycling your old ink cartridges and laser toners. Many printer manufacturers now offer a recycling service and will usually provide a freepost envelope in which you can post your cartridge to them. Go to each printer manufacturer websites for more details on their recycling services.
Alternatively charities will accept ink cartridge donations and any money made from recycling them will be used to help their charitable aims. There are also local and national recycling companies that will recycle print cartridges either for free or for a small fee. You can search online for companies or if your company supports a charity speak to them directly to see if they’ll accept donations.