We regularly have customers who visit our store in search of replacement cartridges for their various printers. Often they will have a printer that utilizes only 2 cartridges. A black ink (K) and a tri-color ink (CMY) cartridge which contains all 3 primary colors in a single cartridge. A common misconception is that by only having to purchase 2 cartridges they should be saving money, but this more often is exactly the opposite of what is truly happening.
Let’s imagine that you have one of these printers, and you are printing out some photographs from your recent trip to the Grand Canyon. With lots of blue sky and red rocks in each photo you will use up the blue (cyan) and red (magenta) of your cartridge quite possibly leaving plenty of yellow remaining. Once you run out of one of the three colors contained inside that cartridge your print quality degrades to the point of your prints being useless. So you stop by our store and purchase a new cartridge and put it into your printer effectively throwing away that remaining yellow. (Keep in mind that this is more unlikely, typically you will have half or more of 2 of the remaining colors when your first color runs out).
If, however your printer made use of multiple cartridges with each cartridge containing ONLY a single color then when you run out of cyan you JUST replace cyan and wait for the next color to run out. On top of this savings, typically printers with multiple cartridges have higher overall page yields (meaning you will print more pages with each cartridge) than the traditional 3 colors combined cartridges.
In a future article we will discuss how to determine what each page you print out of your printer is actually costing you, along with suggestions on what to look for when you head out to purchase a new printer.
If you have ANY questions related to ink, toner, printing, or your computers please send them our way. We are here to help you with your gadgets and make them work better for you.