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Hardware Thread, Compatible vs Remanufactured in Technical; I'm getting confused here - there was a recent thread about this which appears to have been removed for some ...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    Compatible vs Remanufactured

    I'm getting confused here - there was a recent thread about this which appears to have been removed for some reason so I can't go back and double-check it.

    I had thought that compatible cartridges were better quality than remanufactured cartridges, however I've found a few recycling companies who talk about refilling cartridges and then in their shop say they have remanufactured cartridges - surely if refilled OEMs are what is meant by remanufactured, these would be the better of the two. Or have I got this all wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    I'm getting confused here - there was a recent thread about this which appears to have been removed for some reason so I can't go back and double-check it.

    I had thought that compatible cartridges were better quality than remanufactured cartridges, however I've found a few recycling companies who talk about refilling cartridges and then in their shop say they have remanufactured cartridges - surely if refilled OEMs are what is meant by remanufactured, these would be the better of the two. Or have I got this all wrong?
    I think the reason for the confusion is the legal action that's been brought against refillers over the years.

    Remanufactured essentially means that's it's am original OEM cartridge that has been refilled. The idea is that they've done something to make the cartridge re-usable rather than just "stealing" the patent design.

    Third party compatibles are literally made from scratch and don't use any proprietary technology.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    So how come compatibles are meant to be better quality? Wouldn't a refilled OEM cartridge would be better quality than something made by someone else?

    Refilling/remanufacturing sounds like the more environmentally-responsible method, too...

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    So how come compatibles are meant to be better quality? Wouldn't a refilled OEM cartridge would be better quality than something made by someone else?

    Refilling/remanufacturing sounds like the more environmentally-responsible method, too...
    LOL... You don't want to start down this road, it makes no sense in the context of environmental concerns or common sense. The only place ANY of it makes sense is if you talk cold hard cash (ie: profit).

    But to give you a VERY quick rundown that answers your question(ish).

    1. Compatibles are better quality?
    Says who? The compatible manufacturers? They're cheaper, and in many cases they are most cost effective but "better"? It's too subjective to say that.. Almost every test I've seen that independents carried out to try and prove that point found that OEM inks are indeed better, but then, the OEM made the ink AND the printer so it's no great shock.

    My experience is that a compatible is lower quality in terms of cartridge and ink quality. But when compared to a cost vs' benefit model.. a large proportion of compat's do better.


    2. Refilling/Remanufacturing can be better and in the case of HP10/11/88 cartridges I'd definitely agree. Epson have designed their cartridges to be so utterly refill unfriendly that most of their development budget goes on that very requirement. Canon cartridges, well yeah, they are just nicely designed with the best sponge material for the flow rate, etc.. required... It really does depend on the OEM manufacturer, the tricks they play and the rest.


    As for environmentally responsible... Frankly the OEM's couldn't give a flying . They are in business to make money. They've chosen the disposable razor model of consumables and we get to lie in the landfill... To give you an indication just how much Epson care about this, I've recently discovered that Epson have started fitting a small "tell-tale" panel in the access hatch on B300 printers. This hatch has become the standard way to redirect waste ink flow to an external tank so they're now making that harder. Add to that, in North America Epson were forced to provide a waste ink counter reset to their customers there (not here!) that would allow people to continue to print even if the waste counter said "nappy change NOW!". In the last 6 months they started providing newer versions that require activation FFS with a call home feature that checks the printer is the right one, is North American based, etc... and only then reset.

    To say that these people couldn't care less about the environment is putting it mildly... They're not all horribly bad, but they are definitely worse than most polluters...

    Hey ho...
    Last edited by contink; 18th June 2009 at 02:22 PM.

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    So is there a quality difference between compatibles and refills, or does it just depend on the specific cartridge/company?

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    @NickJones:

    We have been using longbow compatibles here for about 2 years now and in all essence our end users have not noticed any difference, only our finance people who do the ordering.

    To re-iterate what contink said "and in many cases they are most cost effective" it all depends what you want from them and who you get them from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    So is there a quality difference between compatibles and refills, or does it just depend on the specific cartridge/company?
    There's no hard and fast rule...

    If you have a specific printer in mind I can help provide a bit more specific info but at the moment, you have this piece of string...


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