On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer. Toner cartridges, those expensive but necessary evils, are one of the essential cogs that keep the machine of your business running smoothly. As an office consumable, they cut a hefty slice of the budget pie every year, so it makes sense to find a cheaper alternative to the manufacturer’s recommended cartridges, right?
In the short term, yes, there may well be a considerable saving cost to buying refills rather than hp originals. However, the copier is a major piece of (extremely expensive) equipment, fitted with high-end electronics and state of the art components. In the same way that you wouldn’t put cheap engine oil into a sports car, can you really afford to put cheap refill cartridges into your copier?
To really understand why it’s so important to put the best quality toner into your machine, it’s essential to know how toner cartridges and ink actually works. Toner is sometimes referred to as dry ink, but toner isn’t actually ink at all. Whereas ink is a pigmented liquid, toner is a fine, negatively charged, plastic-based powder. In your photocopier, toner is stuck on larger, positively charged beads and stored inside a toner cartridge. When toner-coated beads are rolled over the drum, the toner particles find the positively charged ions on the unexposed areas on the drum’s surface much more attractive than the weakly charged bead. The same particles are even more attracted to the inherent electrostatic charge of the copy paper as it moves through the machine. The copier machine uses heat applied to the toner to fuse the plastic particles containing the pigment onto the paper and in seconds, you have yourself a crisp, clear photocopy of your original document.
To keep this expensive piece of equipment running smoothly, the manufacturer’s cartridges are specifically designed to work within the basic principles of this system and consequently, their original toner cartridges are custom-made to deliver the correct amount of those toner-covered beads every time. They know the exact operating temperature of the machine and the level of the positively charged ions on their drum – the toner and machine are designed to work together. Put a cheap refill in and you have no idea if the complex mathematics behind the reaction are going to work and you have two possible outcomes – poor quality copies or, even worse, a machine that breaks down due to a build-up of ink, blocked nozzles or a host of other possible problems. If the powder is too fine or too coarse, your machine will, eventually, stop working.
Refills also tend to be messy (ask any office assistant with stained black hands if they enjoy using cheap toner refills and see what reaction you get), wasteful and if they do work, are likely to produce far fewer copies compared to an hp original cartridge. Original hp cartridges can contain up to 50% more toner than cheap refills, so the cost of each copy is actually less if you use an original cartridge rather than a cheap refill.
Finally, if you’re looking to increase your green credentials, there is also the disposal of your cartridges to consider. Cheap refills are often non-recyclable, and end up as landfill. However, there are companies that will take your hp original cartridge and recycle it, keeping all that non-degradable plastic out of the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. So it really is a no-brainer. Using hp original cartridges makes economic, environmental and business sense. And your copy machine will thank you for it.