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printer toner compatibles

Posted on 2015-02-15
Last Modified: 2015-03-03

I have had quality issues with compatible toner cartridges.   I would like to understand the market.
is there a toner manufactures who makes these and has been doing it for years.
how do you find out who the players in the game are  ?

we have brother machines as well as HP
Question by:intelogent
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 40610808
I always use the Manufacturer's cartridges. Printers at clients last for years and years with no problem. That is my recommendation.

Author Comment

ID: 40610814
hi John

its hard to argue that.....

i do not have problems often, but when i do, its a total waist....   lets see if anyone responds....
perhaps i can learn something.
LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 100 total points
ID: 40610829
You first need to distinguish compatibles and remanufactureds, the latter are less reliable but often much cheaper but may mean using cartridge/roller components that have been used multiple times and simply "refurbished".

The actual downsides of compatibles are few.  QA of toner particle size and melt point are the main ones and tolerances aren't a good as OEM meaning sometimes high resolution printing may not achieve exactly the same quality and that fuser temperatures need to be slightly higher to achieve the same result (as do electrostatic charges).  And, of course, manufacturers won't support issues caused by using non-OEM components.

In terms of players it will depend where you are, supply of wholesale toner is worldwide but most of the big suppliers source their own cartridges and organise refilling and servicing prior to distribution.
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LVL 18

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web_tracker earned 200 total points
ID: 40610924
I strongly agree to always use the toner cartridges from the manufacturer. Did you know that the formula for the toner, is patented by the manufacturer, which means that they and only they can use the particular formula for practical size and toner content (plastic and iron particles), other companies try to match it or get close to the formula, and they therefore have good success in producing good results. I used to work for Dell laser printer support, and that was the biggest quality complaint when users used a generic brand of toner for their systems, the quality would not be the same, and when they switched to a Dell branded toner their issues went away. The same problem when people went toward buying refurbished toner cartridges as Masq mentioned they may be using the same parts as the rollers and components are used multiple times. The manufacturers know the melting point of the plastic/toner particles that the fusers in their printers require, and toner is designed for their printers. If you care about picture quality always buy OEM toners, otherwise you are taking your chances of obtaining high quality prints. You may find one brand of generic toners that work just as good, then you can stick with that brand, or buy the cartridges designed by the manufacturer.
FYI information when you get that kind of smell when you print on laser printers it is actually the melting plastic smell, as it is the plastic in the toner that melts to the page, causing the image on the page when it passes through the fuser. You may have pulled out a page that was partially passed through the fuser and note that when you rub your fingers on the image of the page the part of the page that did not pass through the fuser you can rub off the toner. This is because the toner or plastic in the toner is not fused to the page. This is a science.... different particle sizes require different heat in order for the toner to be fused to the page.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

hdhondt earned 100 total points
ID: 40611374
different particle sizes require different heat in order for the toner to be fused to the page.
That's what I find with my home printer - a Fuji-Xerox CM305DF, equivalent to Xerox Workcentre 6505DN.

I use compatible cartridges. In general they work fine, and the colour is as good as the Xerox ones. However, when printing heavy coverage I find I have to select "Lightweight Cardstock" instead of "Plain paper" for the toner to stick properly. That means that the printer runs at half speed, and it will not duplex. The local Xerox tech tried replacing the fuser, but that made no difference, making it certain the toner is the problem.

Compounding the problem is that there is a lot of toner in the pipe from the cartridge to the drum. The problem only appeared after the second batch of compatibles. That means that, if I wanted to go back to Xerox cartridges (at 3 times the cost) I can't expect any change for the next 2 sets of cartridges. Considering the cost difference, I've decided I can live with the problem.

For a business though, I would have to recommend using manufacturer's cartridges to avoid issues. For mono printers the problem is likely to be far less severe, but I have seen other issues, such as reduced yield which reduces the cost savings.

Author Comment

ID: 40611517
but who manufactures these   things.
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

web_tracker earned 200 total points
ID: 40611652
It is possible that the toner itself is manufactured by other companies to specific specifications required by the OEM manufacturer (Particle size/iron filing size). but each OEM manufacturer has a patent on their toner formula. You can see the patent numbers stamped right on outside of the box of any OEM toner. So companies can manufacture toner so that it is close to the OEM specifications but they are not aloud to manufacture it exactly the same, due to the patent restrictions. OEM manufacturers take advantage of their patents on their product and therefore charge a premium to the cost of their toners designed for their printers. This is not really fair, but this is how the OEM manufactures make money one their products.  Often you can get very similar quality results using a generic toner cartridge, but you take your chance.  It is obviously less noticeable when printing text, unless you use magnification on the page to see the differences, but the more graphics you print the more noticeable are the differences in print quality. I have seen it often in the place where I work when the one of the departments switch to a Gand and Toy generic cartridge rather than buying the OEM toner from Grand and Toy, the client often complains of print quality differences especially when printing from color laser printers. Often they waste more time, toner and paper trying to get the printer to print properly than they would if they used the toners that were specifically designed for this particular printer. If quality does not matter, and there is only a slight difference in quality, then you may be able to get away with using generic cartridges. One other thing I noticed especially on color laser printers that the generic toners waste more toner, if you ever emptied or seen the toner recovery bottles you would know what I mean. Since the iron to plastic content can be slightly different there may be less toner attracted to the drum and it therefore the excess toner gets swept off by the cleaning blade, causing the waste container to fill up quicker.  This can be a hazard as most people discard the waist container into the garbage, instead of sending it for recycling.  More wasted toner means you have to buy more cartridges for the same number of printed pages.

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