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printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Ronin » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:26 pm

Ok so I have an HP CP2025 Color Laser Printer in my office. It seems to be a few years old. A new printer is $1200. Here's the debate we're having here in my office:

Official HP toner (set of 4 black + CMY) cost about $375. I can get the knock off on Amazon for $125 for the same set.

People here are saying off brand destroys printers. I've used off brand ink in my home PC forever and saved a bundled but I have no Laser Toner experience to draw from. My analysis is after 4 sets of knock off ink the difference has paid for the printer. Do we really think the life expectancy will be diminished so much that the printer will be destroyed so fast that official HP is worth the mark up? Should we spend the 30% of the printer value by buying the HP branded toner cartridges versus our $250 savings per toner set? I believe that the knock off toner will be fine but have nothing to go on other than my hatred of branded inks. By the ml the black in for my Canon printer at home costs more than Dom Perignon Champagne. Oddly, our local newspaper buys ink by the barrel and I don't think it comes from the same company that made their printers.

TL:DR Real or knock toner?
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby jwhx » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:38 pm

While I can't say anything in regards to ink jet printers, knock off toner is fine. We used knock off/recycled toner carts all the time at my former job. The only real issue we had.....and it was rare.....would be the imaging drums wouldn't get clean. This would lead to early streaking or blotting. For personal use, this probably is less of an issue than it is in a business environment.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Ronin » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:11 pm

That's what I had heard too & certainly for the cost savings. I'm trying to save the company as much as I can but we'll see which way they go with it.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Synchronicity » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:25 pm

Some newer printers (at least HP-brand printers) basically have copy-protection to make sure you're using only their official, 5000% markup ink.
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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Ronin » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:19 pm

It looks like this printer debuted in 2010 and it looks like off-brand toner cartridges are available. I am guessing if they sell cartridges that they should work. I hope to find out this week.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Egg » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:05 am

Off-brand toners are hit or miss. The most common problem is poor yields compared to the genuine-brand, which I think is often intentionally done by the OEM through various devious methods. You would need to do a comparison of real-world yields in order to calculate the true cost savings.

A decent off-brand toner for a popular printer should have some user reviews to give you an idea. I would be hesitant to spend money on a full set initially. Maybe try one black toner and see how it goes.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby Ronin » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:46 am

Egg,

I agree with tha thinking but the off-brand stuff is sold at like 75% discount. So even if the yield is half of the HP toner it's still worth it.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: printer ink/toner debate: brand name vs. knock off

Postby infamous » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:03 am

Hey yall :)

Saw this and thought I'd contribute since I work at a "knock-off" ink company. We build and maintain a worldwide network of inkjet cartridge ink refill machines used by retailers, who then offer a "ink refill" service to their customers. You may have noticed Ink Refill banners at Frys or Costco -- that's us (and me, because those machines are running some of my code :)

I dont know about the toner world, but if anyone is interested in inkjet the following might be of interest:

Most of the ink refills you buy on the secondhand market are crap. Quality is a bit higher if purchased from a retailer who sells aftermarket (refilled) cartridge, mainly because their supplier needs to be able to refill (or at least acquire ink, if they sell kits) at scale, which is somewhat difficult to do.

For business printing (as in text, charts, web pages, screenshots, etc) high-quality aftermarket ink is no different from OEM. (Though, If you want to purchase secondhand ink, try to figure out the chemical company behind that ink as there is a large amount of brand variance). YMMV with the cheaper stuff. The biggest difference between OEM (HP, Epson, etc) ink and aftermarket ink are related to the ink's colorfastness, drying time (and smudge resistance), and practical lifespan.

I've printed photos with our ink on an old-school large-format 13x19 HP printer with refilled ink (in a single CMYK cartridge), and as far as raw image quality and color accuracy, pictures are nearly indistinguishable (other than the differences one would reasonably expect from the difference in printers and their cartridge configuration) from the photos I print on my 13x19 Epson 6-color (C, M, Y, K, light cyan, light magenta). (This is mainly due to the fact that we test the shit out of the color accuracy of our inks before we add them to our service.) My oldest refilled-ink prints are about a year old, and so far I see no signs of fading when held up to the same print from my Epson.

The refill kits that are available for sale are a pain in the ass and you're prone to end up covered in ink, as there's some physics in play that work against you (which our machines handle flawlessly ;)
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