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“Compatible cartridges produce really poor results.”

“Compatible cartridges will invalidate the warranty of your printer.”

“Compatible cartridges will crush all of your hopes and dreams for the future and will consequently ruin your life.”

Fair enough, we might be exaggerating a bit with that last statement. But there’s no getting away from the fact that compatible/remanufactured printer cartridges have a stigma attached to them.

Go on admit it, you’ve got (or once had) a poor perception about them? Maybe you bought some once from a dodgy supplier and they ruined your printer and now you’ll never, ever trust them again? Perhaps, though, you’re not keen on them because of things and supposed horror stories you’ve heard about them?

Whatever you believe to be true about compatibles, we reckon you’re wrong!

The truth is many of things that are said about compatibles are just plain incorrect.

So we’re on a mission to persuade you! If we could, we’d do a Clockwork Orange style aversion technique job on you and make you watch lots of pro-compatible material until you were brainwashed! But alas, the European Court of Human Rights forbids us to do this.

Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange

“Compatible cartridges are actually good!” Image courtesy of

Instead, here are 6 things you might of heard about compatibles, or what you might currently believe to be true about them, and why they aren’t so:

1.) “Compatible/remanufactured cartridges are inferior in quality.”

Most cartridges that are sold by a respected company will have been built to ISO standards, i.e. the highest possible standards. Each cartridge should have also been made using the exact same specification as the originals that they are meant to replicate. Compatible technology has come a long way and the kind of print quality that these cartridges produce really is top notch.

What’s more, these suppliers will also provide warranties and guarantees with their compatibles for complete peace of mind. Let’s face it, they don’t want to have unhappy customers and so they won’t sell you something that is an inferior product. In fact, if something does go wrong, the chances are that they will want to know exactly what has happened so that they can make changes to the manufacturing process, ensuring that it doesn’t happen again.

(At TonerGiant our current rate of failure for our compatibles is a mere 0.5%! And we’re continuously working out how we can improve this, too)

2.) “Isn’t using a compatible supposedly meant to invalidate your printer warranty?”

No, no, no! The amount of times we hear this is staggering!

Did you know that it is actually against the law to say that using a compatible cartridge in your printer will invalidate its warranty? The Competition Act of 1998 has clear and firm guidelines over the monopoly of consumer goods. Furthermore, you’re also protected by the Sale of Goods Act, meaning that is the responsibility of whoever supplied your compatible cartridge to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

To make things a little clearer, here’s how it works with our compatibles here at TonerGiant:

  • All our compatible ink and toner cartridges come with our 3 year guarantee
  • If our customers aren’t happy, we’ll refund them with no fuss whatsoever
  • In the highly unlikely event of a cartridge developing a fault and causing damage to a printer, we’ll pay for an engineer to come out and look at it
  • If a printer cannot be repaired, we will buy the customer a brand new printer!

This video shows one where and how our compatibles are made:

3.) “A compatible cartridge won’t work in my printer.”

You can get compatibles for pretty much every major model of printer available, both old and new.

And as we highlighted next to statement number one, most of those sold by reputable suppliers are made to the highest standards and built to the same specifications as their original equivalents. So yes, a compatible cartridge will work in your printer! Simple.

4.) “Compatibles can’t be as good as originals- they’re just too cheap!”

It’s important not to tar all compatibles with the same brush.

It’s like anything. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. However, the best compatibles will cost a little more than say a tenner for a multipack!

For example, our compatible Brother TN23 black toner cartridges are priced at £31.20 (inc. V.A.T.), whilst their original equivalents are £51.02 (inc V.A.T.). So even though our customers are still saving a fraction under £20 over buying originals, the compatibles aren’t priced so ridiculously low that you might think “hmm, what’s the catch?” They’re British made and are good quality products.

5.) “Compatible cartridges are just used original cartridges that have been refilled with ink and toner.”

Compatibles/remanufactured cartridges are new cartridges. Some may use recycled components, but they are freshly made products that have been filled with new, previously unused ink and toner. Manufacturers will also rigorously test the compatibles to ensure that they will stand the test of time.

A new compatible toner cartridge

What one of our brand new compatible toner cartridges looks like

Refilled cartridges are old cartridges that have a hole drilled into them and are then filled with more ink and toner.

We outlined all the different types of printer cartridges in this Slideshare presentation that we created.

6.) “A compatible cartridge won’t be able to print as many pages as an original cartridge.”

Not necessarily true.

All cartridges, regardless of whether they’re original or compatible, should come with a defined page yield clearly displayed at the point of sale.

This once again comes down to the advancements in compatible technology. You will actually find that, more often than not, compatibles will match the page yield of originals, whilst some even offer a higher page yield! However, it’s important to check the page coverage the number quoted is based on. Our post on what 5% page coverage means and looks like explains everything you need to know.

page yield comparison between original and compatible

So there you have it…

We hope we’ve made things just that little bit clearer. You can now go forth into the world with a more positive, compatible-friendly outlook on life!

Compatible cartridges are:

  • A great cost effective alternative to original cartridges
  • Just as reliable and produce great printing results
  • Covered by warranties and guarantees from reputable suppliers

And they won’t invalidate your printer warranty!

But of course, it is ultimately your choice as to whether you want to buy compatibles over originals or not.

If you’re still sceptical, the aversion therapy offer is still on the table…


Are you still unsure about compatible cartridges? Let us know what you think about them in the comments below, or tweet us @TonerGiant.

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