Cheap Printer Cartridges & Toner

We offer original cartridges for all printer manufacturers (HP, Canon, Brother, Epson, Kyocera etc.) as well as high-quality and extremely inexpensive alternatives with a 3-year warranty. The delivery of your new cartridges is lightning fast through our free 24h express delivery service. Simply select your printer model and we will show you the matching ink cartridges and toners.

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Ink cartridges & toner for popular printer manufacturers

 

How do I recognise original ink cartridges and toner?

Counterfeit ink cartridges imitate the appearance of the original packaging, but contain only low quality goods. To help you distinguish original and counterfeit cartridges, the manufacturers (e.g. Brother, Epson, Kyocera) have taken various measures:

  1. They usually use cardboard or plastic packaging, the production of which is so costly that it is not worthwhile for the counterfeiters. Nevertheless, make sure that the packaging always arrives at your premises closed. If the packaging looks as if it has been reused or resealed, it is usually a fake.
  2. The printer manufacturers design the packaging with an elaborate look.
  3. Often they also use holograms. Depending on the viewing angle, a different word then appears in the same place (e.g. the terms "Canon" or "Genuine" on Canon packaging). Moreover, the hologram often has a different colour when viewed from above or from the side.

Due to the multitude of printer manufacturers, it is not possible to give more concrete information about the appearance of the original packaging. For Canon, you will find clear graphic instructions on our page for Canon printer cartridges to help you recognise the originals. For other manufacturers, please look directly at the manufacturer's website to see which features you can use to identify the original packaging.

Original vs. compatible cartridges: What are the differences?

Original cartridges are produced directly by the manufacturer of your printer (e.g. HP, Canon, Brother). They are of high quality and are ideally suited to your device. But you also have to pay considerably more money for the originals. That is why there are three variants:

  1. Refill: Here an alternative ink is filled into the original cartridge case.
  2. Rebuilt: The empty original cartridges are disassembled and cleaned, defective wear parts are replaced. Then the cartridge is filled with a high-quality new ink. The same procedure is used for empty original toner cartridges.
  3. Compatible: Here, third-party suppliers manufacture completely new ink cartridges: the cartridge housing is rebuilt and the ink is also assembled and filled by the customer.

Are compatible cartridges just as good as the original despite the great price savings? The answer is clearly yes. European quality standards and European law also apply to the production of refill, rebuilt and compatible cartridges. Alternative cartridges also provide a high-quality print result with brilliant colours. The following price comparison impressively shows that they are also up to 44% cheaper:

 

There is no risk when buying compatible Prindo cartridges: you get 60 days right of return and 3 years warranty. The manufacturer's warranty for your printer remains fully intact.

Already with one purchase, the savings e.g. for the Prindo alternative for HP 953 XL is 57,26 €. So you can save a lot of money in the long run when replacing your printer accessories.

Why do compatible printer cartridges look different from original cartridges?

Both the packaging and the actual compatible ink cartridges and toner (e.g. from Prindo) look different from the original manufacturers (e.g. HP, Epson, Brother). There is a simple reason for this: the originals (also called OEM cartridges) are protected by patents and trademark rights. Third-party manufacturers (like us at Prindo), however, subject the compatible ink & toner to strict quality tests.

You can therefore rest assured to save money: The compatible printer cartridges can be easily inserted into your device. The print quality remains as high as before.

Just make sure that the partner number of the compatible cartridges matches the number of the original when you buy them. Then the alternative will definitely fit:

Can I refill ink cartridges myself?

In theory, you can refill your ink cartridges yourself. Refill ink can be purchased separately for all major printer types (inkjet, multifunction or photo printers). Refilling ink cartridges yourself is quite error-prone. For example, the printer ink may not fill properly or may leak. The result can be a defect in your device and a loss of the manufacturer's warranty. Another risk: If your self-refilling ink cartridge has a chip, the chip often cannot determine the exact fill level correctly.

Therefore, do not fill your cartridges yourself. There is another way to save money: compatible printer cartridges are available for all brand manufacturers (HP, Canon, Brother, Epson, Kyocera etc.). Just like the originals, compatible cartridges are available in all colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow/Yellow, Key/Black). Special economy packs such as XXL cartridges, multipacks, twinpacks and photo packs are also available. Our own brand Prindo offers first-class printing performance and is up to 44% cheaper than the original. You get 60 days right of return and 3 years warranty. And even more importantly: despite the price saving, the manufacturer's warranty remains valid.

What is the difference between ink cartridges and toner?

Ink cartridges are filled with the liquid ink. The ink cartridges are installed in the print head. When you print a page, the print head moves back and forth. As you do so, the ink is transferred to the paper. Toner cartridges are filled with powder. A roller then transfers the heated (and therefore firmly adhering) toner powder to the paper.

If you use an inkjet printer (e.g. HP Officejet Pro 8210, Brother MFC-J497DW), you will need ink cartridges. If you use a black and white laser printer (e.g. Brother HL-L5100DN, Lexmark B2236dw), you will need toner. Toner is also used in a color laser printer (e.g. HP Color Laser 150a, Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdn).

Not sure if you have an inkjet or laser printer and need ink or toner? Simply select your printer model here. We will then show you the printer accessories that fit exactly into your device:

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What are setup cartridges?

When you buy a new printer, it usually does not contain standard cartridges, but setup cartridges. These are used to set up the printer for the first time. For this purpose, the chip of the setup cartridges contains specific information for the initial setup, which the chip of regular printer cartridges does not contain.

  1. However, setup cartridges are problematic for two reasonsLow capacity: setup cartridges often contain only 10-30% of the capacity of normal ink cartridges. For this reason, you often have to replace the printer cartridges shortly after buying a new printer. The effect is intensified by the fact that many manufacturers have built in a protection that prevents the cartridges from being completely emptied. Depending on the model, the printer may describe the ink cartridges as used up even though there is still 8-40% left in the ink tank. Since setup cartridges are only filled to 10-30% from the start, you will not be able to continue printing after a small number of pages.
  2. Poorer print quality: Setup cartridges usually have a worse quality than normal cartridges. Before a high quality print result is possible, you have to change the cartridges anyway.

The reason for these savings is the price war in the printer market. If a printer manufacturer uses setup cartridges instead of normal cartridges, he saves money and can offer his device at a lower price. When buying a printer, therefore, check the product description or data sheets to see whether setup cartridges or normal cartridges are used.

If you fluctuate between two printer models with comparable performance and similar price, a model with normal cartridges is cheaper for you. If you still decide to buy a model with setup cartridges, you should order replacement cartridges directly when you buy the printer, as the setup cartridges do not last long as described above.

What does CMYK mean and which colours are available for printers?

The four letters CMYK have the following meaning:

  • C: Cyan
  • M: Magenta
  • Y: Yellow (Yellow)
  • K: Key (Black)

In addition to CMYK, there is RGB (R for "Red", G for "Green" and B for "Blue"). Both are color spaces. RGB is used for digital images on the screen. CMYK is used because of its strengths when printing photos and documents.

Why do printer cartridges have a chip?

Chips on ink cartridges enable helpful functions:

  • Recognize the right cartridge: If you have inserted the wrong ink cartridge (e.g. "Cyan" in the place of "Yellow/Yellow"), your device will often show this directly.
  • Display of the fill level: The printer display tells you which printer cartridges are about to run out. The device also reports the fill level to your PC: This way you will be informed in time when an ink cartridge is almost empty, even without looking at the display.
  • Counting the printed pages: The chip can detect the number of printed pages and the colours used. This allows you to create statistics on how much you print per period or which colours are used significantly more often. This helps you to assess whether you should rather buy XXL packs or twin packs with the same colours instead of multipacks with all colours. If, for example, you use "Key/Black" significantly more often than "Cyan", "Magenta" and "Yellow/Yellow", you can save money by purchasing "Key/Black" packs.

However, printer cartridges with chips also have disadvantages: The ink level could previously be measured even without a chip. The chip prevents some devices from detecting compatible ink cartridges. However, compatible printer cartridges (such as our inexpensive Prindo cartridges) also have a chip: you can therefore take advantage of all the benefits of chips and still save a lot of money by buying compatible printer cartridges.

Which paper goes with which ink?

In simple terms, the following types of paper fit inkjet and laser printers:

  • All devices: Plain paper, copy paper, environmental or recycled paper and multifunctional paper can be used in all inkjet and laser printers. For photo paper, you should pay close attention to the product description to determine which type of printer it is suitable for. Most of the photo paper offered is designed for use in inkjet printers only, but some can also be used in laser printers.
  • Inkjet printers only: You can only use inkjet paper in inkjet printers.
  • Laser printers only: Conversely, coated laser printer paper is only suitable for laser printers. It has a high quality and is therefore well suited for business letters. However, not every type of coated paper is compatible with every laser printer. In some cases, the toner does not adhere properly and crumbles at the fold edges. Therefore, only buy small quantities of this paper at first. If your laser printer handles the paper well, you can buy larger quantities.

How many pages does an ink/toner cartridge hold?

Printer manufacturers specify a specific number of pages in the product description so that you know how long an ink/toner cartridge will last. Example:

The black and white printer cartridge HP 301 holds approx. 190 pages, the colour cartridges only 165 pages. The Kyocera TK-5240K toner cartridge holds 4,000 pages.

The problem: printer manufacturers usually calculate with a page coverage of 5%: Here a normal letter is printed in DIN A4 format, where 5% of the page is printed and 95% is not printed. This means that if there are more text/graphics on the page, the page coverage increases. As a result, the ink cartridges and toner are then sufficient for significantly fewer pages.

In addition, many devices consider a printer cartridge to be used up if there is actually still ink left. It is therefore not possible to give a blanket indication of how many pages the printer cartridges hold. However, you can carry out a practical test at home:

Many manufacturers display the number of pages printed in the printer software. Simply note the number when you install a new ink cartridge or toner. Then compare the number when the printer reports that the ink or toner is used up. The difference tells you how many pages you can print in practice.

What do I do if the printer does not recognize the new ink cartridge?

The following are the causes when newly inserted ink & toner is not recognized:

Wrong ink cartridge ordered

With the wide variety of printer models and names, it can happen that you have ordered the wrong cartridge by mistake. You can determine whether this is the case as follows:

  1. Does the name shown on the printer match the name on the cartridge packaging? Example: Your device says "Canon PIXMA MG2150". If the packaging says "For PIXMA Series MG2150/MG3150", the new cartridge is correct.
  2. Does the partner number of the old cartridge match the new one? A partner number is a short name for cartridges. The partner number always remains the same, even if a cartridge fits several printer models. Example: On your empty Canon cartridge, on the front side, it says "PG-540XL Black". Is the same name on the new ink cartridge? Then it is correct.

Protective film not completely removed

Many ink cartridges and toners have adhesive tape, protective films and protective caps. This prevents them from being damaged or leaking during transport. Did you remove these protective foils according to the manufacturer's instructions before inserting the new cartridge? Only when the protective foils have been removed can the machine detect the new ink/toner.

Cartridges not inserted correctly

Did you use the colours in the right place? So is the new cyan ink cartridge in the same place as the old one? Or did you accidentally change the position of the colors? Depending on the printer model, there may also be an indicator that the ink cartridge has been inserted correctly. With Canon printers, the ink cartridge must audibly click into place after insertion. The ink tank indicator must also light up.

See our Canon printer cartridge page for complete instructions on how to install Canon ink cartridges correctly. For other manufacturers, please refer to the official printer manual.

Printer does not recognize compatible cartridges

Sometimes your machine does not recognize compatible ink & toner and displays an error message. Background: The printer manufacturers want to urge you to buy the more expensive original products. That's why they often install a "protection". This is to prevent you from using the cheaper but still high-quality alternative cartridges.

Usually it is enough to switch your printer off and on to make the error disappear. If this does not help, you can press the reset button on the device.

Printer is dirty

If there is ink & toner residue, dust, etc. in the machine, this may also explain the error message. In this case, first start the normal cleaning program from the machine's display. If this does not help, you should carefully remove the dirt by hand with a microfiber cloth and cleaning agent.

Outdated printer driver

Are your printer drivers up to date? If not, this may also cause the error message. Update the drivers to the latest version to eliminate the drivers as the cause.

How can I save money on printing?

There are several ways to spend less money:

Buy compatible cartridges

Save directly when buying your printer cartridges while maintaining the same cartridge quality: Compatible ink & toner is up to 44% cheaper than the original. So you'll save a lot of money even before you've printed the first page.

Buy economy packs

You can save even more money by buying economy packs compared to normal printer cartridges. The following packs are available:

  • XL and XXL inks: The XL and XXL printer cartridges contain more ink and therefore increase the range: You can print/copy significantly more pages than with normal printer cartridges. This is especially worthwhile when printing very high volumes.
  • Multipacks: Multipacks contain cartridges for two or more different colours. If you use all colours equally, you can save money with Multipacks. If, on the other hand, you mainly use the black ink cartridge, Twinpacks for "key/black" are cheaper.
  • Twinpacks: Doublepacks (also called twinpacks) contain two times the same cartridge, e.g. two colours or two times black. Twinpacks are worthwhile if you use some colours more often than others. There are also triple packs that contain the same cartridge three times. This allows you to reduce your printing costs even further.
  • Photo Value Packs: Contain all colours "Cyan", "Magenta", "Yellow/Yellow" and "Key/Black". In addition, the pack contains paper. So you can purchase the appropriate paper together with the ink.

Should I print cartridges completely empty?

If your machine reports a low ink level and recommends that you replace the ink cartridges, you can continue printing. To make the cartridges last even longer, apply the tips in the previous section (black and white printing and lower print quality).

If your device reports that the ink cartridges are completely empty and they definitely need to be replaced, this is not always true: research by PC World and PC Welt a few years ago showed that on some printer models, when the device reports that the printer cartridges are supposedly completely empty, there is still 8-40% left in the ink tank. The reason is that the printer can be damaged if a cartridge is printed completely empty. However, some manufacturers set the limit too high, so that there is still a lot of ink left in the device when the cartridge is reported as empty.

To be able to print even longer, remove the supposedly empty cartridge. Shake it gently. This will dissolve any remaining ink inside and spread better. The trick also works with toner. Then put the cartridges back into the machine.

However, be aware that the print quality may deteriorate after the machine first recommends cartridge replacement. For example, if you see more stripes on the printout or the colors (including black) fade, you should really change the cartridges.

Can I only print with black ink when ink cartridges are empty?

Some printer models allow you to print in black and white when colour cartridges are empty. However, other models prevent this. Of course the manufacturers want to make as much money as possible. This is easier if black and white printing is not possible with a used colour cartridge and the colour always has to be replaced. But there is also a technical reason: If ink cartridges are used up and you continue to print black and white, the print head may pump air into it. Air can permanently damage the print head. This is what Brother writes in its FAQ section.

If black and white printing is definitely not possible, the colour cartridge must be replaced. If you mostly use black and white, the following variants would be cheaper for you in the future:

  1. Buy multifunction printers with single-function cartridges: When you next need to replace your device, you should make sure to buy a multifunction printer with single-function ink cartridges. This way you can definitely continue printing in black and white even if one colour cartridge is used up.
  2. Buy separate black and white printers and photo printers: If you print mainly in black and white, it might be more worthwhile to buy a separate black and white printer. This way, you won't waste money on colors that you rarely need anyway, and you can always use the black cartridges completely to the end. You can buy a separate photo printer for your photos. This printer delivers much better photo quality than a normal multifunction printer. And you only need to replace the ink cartridges when you want to print photos, not for ordinary prints.

How should I store printer cartridges/toner?

You should store both ink and toner in a dry place away from light at room temperature. Otherwise, there are a few differences in the recommended storage:

Toner: Because toner is a powder, it cannot dry up. Store it in its original packaging in a horizontal position. When stored vertically, the powder may slide to one side and collect there.
Ink cartridges: Since ink is a liquid made up of various chemical components, it is much more susceptible to environmental influences than toner. Store ink upright in its original packaging, ideally in a dark cabinet or drawer. Your inkjet printer should not be exposed to direct sunlight either. Unlike toner, ink cartridges have an expiration date. If stored properly, they will last longer. However, the best before date is at least a good guide to how long you can store the cartridges.

These tips will help you to ensure that your originally packed ink & toner does not dry up. But what happens if it is already installed in the machine? With a laser printer, you have little to fear: Even if you do not print for a long time, the toner cartridge remains intact. This is different with inkjet printers: here it can dry up in the device. To prevent this, you should print out a page at least once or twice a month, even if it is the standard test page.

If you follow these instructions, you can certainly stock up on ink & toner: this way you always have a reserve if the printer cartridges are suddenly used up and can continue printing immediately.

How do I dispose of empty ink & toner cartridges correctly?

Do not dispose of used printer cartridges with household waste. Ink cartridges and toner can be reused. Virtually every printer manufacturer such as HP, Canon or Epson offers a free, simple and environmentally friendly recycling program for ink and toner. The exact procedure differs depending on the manufacturer. In the following sections you will find links to the recycling programs of the major manufacturers. We also show you the restrictions on returns and the alternatives to the official recycling programs.