When your printers run out of toner, you can replace it with OEM, compatible or remanufactured toner cartridges. For those that don't know, OEM stand for original equipment manufacturer toner cartridges. These are toner cartridges that are manufactured by the printer companies. Since the OEMs are more expensive than the others, most printer users prefer the alternatives.

On the other hand, remanufactured and compatible toner cartridges are manufactured by third party companies. But the manufacturing process differs significantly. In compatible toners, an entirely new product is created while remanufacturing makes use of spent cartridges.

When it comes down to the choice of toner, you can choose any because there's very little difference especially between compatible and OEMs. The genesis of the alternative aftermarket dates back to the 1980s. During that period it became apparent that there needed to be an alternative to the overly expensive originals.

Why Use Compatible Toner Cartridges

The alternative market has grown alongside the entire printing industry. Companies are trying to outdo each other as far as printing is concerned. Technological advancements make the competition more interesting because it's contributing to growth in the industry. You can think of each of the original and alternatives as unique self-reliant industries.

These industries thrive through cooperation in supplies of raw materials plus manufacturing and sales processes thereafter.

In the printing industry, quality is king. Quality supersedes anything else because, without it, the industry would be non-existence. The printer manufacturers recommend the use of original toners at any given opportunity. They argue that the original toners will maintain the level of quality after replacement. Even though that statement is true, it can be described as a half-truth. There is some important information missing. The truth is that even compatible toners offer unbelievably high-quality printouts.

For instance, the Brother HL-L2390DW toner is one such compatible unit that’s worth every penny. As stated earlier, toner remains to be toner. There are no additives in what are traditionally regarded as superior products (they simply ride on the brand name). However, the existence of the compatible toner market is an indication that people need options.

Of course, some will go for the branded toner cartridges. But the regular folks save money through purchasing compatible toners.

OEMs, compatible, and re-manufactured toners

As far as quality is concerned, the compatible toners equal or at times are better than the OEMs. On the affordability front, the compatible toner is cheaper than the OEMs. Besides, the compatible toner is cheaper than OEMs and of higher quality than re-manufactured toners.

This makes it the best option among the three toners.
The compatible toner thrives on guaranteeing quality. They will back their claims with a product warranty to ensure that the customer is comfortable purchasing their products. They can't risk backing down on promises set by high-level standards that have traditionally governed the original toner market.

The other alternative, though it comes with shortcomings is the refilling of toner cartridges. This process can be done through a third party refill service or DIY refill kit. One of the shortcomings of this method is the inability to revert the toner to its original state.
This will affect its performance since the printouts are darker than normal.

More benefits of using compatible toner cartridges

Apart from saving money, purchasing compatible toner cartridges conserves the environment because its manufacturing process is heavily dependent on recycled material. In most cases, most spent cartridges end up in a landfill in their millions.

A normal cartridge is made up of non-biodegradable material that takes an average of 300 years to decompose completely. So when you buy a re-manufactured or compatible toner, you have played a part in creating a sustainable environment.


The bottom line is that you will save money when you purchase compatible toners. And with all the facts shared in this article, there is no doubt that a compatible toner is as good as an OEM. There have been independent studies that prove that there is no much difference between an original toner and a compatible one.

Perhaps, the major difference between the two is the brand name. For example, a compatible toner will be referred to as Brother MFC-L5700DW toner while an original will carry the HP or Canon brand. The manufacturers have a strong opinion about compatible toner cartridge but it should not act as a deterrent for consumers to save money on toner cartridges.

Author's Bio: 

Alex is a professional writer and digital marketing expert