Difference Between Compatible and Recycled Ink Cartridges

Recycled, remanufactured, compatible and original; the terminology can be confusing when you don’t know the difference. At Certified Cartridges, we sell three types of cartridges. It is important to know that, despite what some manufacturer will tell you, it is illegal for a manufacturer to void your warranty because you use compatible or refilled cartridges. This is due to the anti-monopoly provisions of the Canadian Competition Act.

We recommend remanufactured cartridges when available, as they offer excellent quality and are economical, all while being environmentally friendly. In addition, we can collect all of your cartridge for proper recycling; original, compatible and recycled.


Original cartridges

The original cartridges are those that are produced by the original printer manufacturer, such as Lexmark, HP, Canon, etc. These cartridges usually come with a manufacturer’s warranty in addition to our 100% satisfaction guarantee. The original cartridges are sometimes the only ones available for some models, such as Lexmark 3 and 4 cartridges and those that have just hit the market. The failure rate of these cartridges is about 1%


compatible cartridgeCompatible Cartridges

Compatible cartridges are new cartridges manufactured by a third party manufacturer. Some utilize recycled materials, but do not use original cartridges recovered parts. Often, they are not visually similar to the original cartridges, but they are manufactured to fit snugly into the cartridge slot and to work with your printer without any problems. These cartridges have the advantage of being up to 40% cheaper than the original cartridge.

There are unscrupulous manufacturers that produce low-quality cartridges at very low prices, but at Certified Cartridges, we only sell compatible cartridges that undergo rigorous quality control and performed at or above the cartridges original. These cartridges are covered by our 100% satisfaction guarantee their failure rate is about 2%. This slightly higher rate is due to the owner’s protections put in place by manufacturers to force customers to buy original ink at full price

Empty Cartridges Recycling BoxRemanufactured and recycled cartridges

These two terms are used interchangeably to refer to the original cartridges which were recovered, cleaned, inspected and factory-filled with toner conforming to industry standards. Worn or damaged parts are also replaced during this process. These cartridges have the advantage of being environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of waste produced and limiting the amount of new parts to be manufactured. See our article on the benefits of reuse compared to traditional recycling for a more detailed explanation. This is the main difference between a compatible cartridges and recycled. As the body of the cartridge is the same as an original, there is no risk that the cartridge does not fit into your machine. Moreover, they are up to 40% cheaper than the original cartridge.

There are cartridge refill kits available, but refilling by hand has some disadvantages compared to professionally. A hole must be drilled, increasing the risk that the ink flows into the machine, the filling is not always complete and the sponge inside the cartridge wears out over time so that each subsequent fillings contain less ink. These kits do not replace either worn or damaged parts, which increases the defect rate.

For these reasons, we prefer to promote recycled cartridges as often as possible. We turn to compatible cartridges when remanufacturing is not possible or not available for a model or recycled cartridges of a particular model are not of satisfactory quality.


MICR cartridges

By browsing our site, you may come across MICR cartridges (magnetic ink character recognition). These cartridges use magnetic ink for the printing of certain bank checks and documents. They are usually quite costly and only available for limited number of printer models.