Choosing Printer Ink
For most printers, you have the option of purchasing ink from the manufacturer or of purchasing compatible ink. For example, you can find Kodak ink cartridges at good prices online, but you might actually find deals on ink cartridges for Kodak printers that cost less money if you go with a compatible ink manufacturer. The choice is up to you, and you should be aware of the following.
It's the Model that Matters
When people tell you to put the right kind of ink in your printer, they're not referring to the manufacturer. They mean the model. For example, if you need Epson SX425W ink, you shouldn't try to substitute some other kind of Epson print ink. Substituting a cartridge for the correct model printer by another manufacturer, however, is usually totally fine. There should be no difference in the function or the fit of the ink cartridge, provided that a good manufacturer put it out on the market.
The Ink Should be Similar
In some cases, the quality of the ink is paramount. For example, if you're getting Canon inkjet cartridges because you want to print more photographs, remember that you'll need to make sure that the quality is there. Most compatible manufacturers put out ink that is virtually identical to the ink that's put out by the original manufacturers. You may even be able to find high-volume versions of the ink, which means that you can print a lot more and that you can keep up with very high-demand print projects.
Check the Results
If you're not sure whether or not the ink manufactured by a compatible provider matches up to the results you get from the OEM ink, compare the results side by side. You can hold onto a print that you made in the past and see if it's the same as a new print when you change cartridges. There are plenty of criteria for comparison: density, crispness, lack of streaking, etc. If one of these criteria is particularly important to you and the third-party products don't measure up, be sure to stick with the OEM ink.
Good suppliers should have plenty of options for you as far as ink cartridges are concerned. If you need something specific out of the ink in terms of its quality, be sure to ask. They may have options that are more suited to photography or other endeavours that make great choices.