Pros and Cons of OEM vs. Non-OEM Products

A black printer with CMYK ink cartridges

Printers are indispensable components of any workplace, educational institution, office space, or household. Owning a printer means that you have to maintain it properly in order for it to continue functioning at an optimal level, however, individuals seem to only pay close attention to their printer when it runs out of paper, ink, or toner.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) refers to products that are manufactured by the original brand, while non-OEM pertains to parts or equipment that is manufactured by a third party. It is commonly known that OEM products have a higher price tag than their aftermarket counterparts do, however, do these products work as efficiently as the brand name versions? Or are OEM products simply overrated? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of OEM vs. non-OEM products to find out.

There are three principal categories of ink and toner cartridges: genuine OEM, generic, and remanufactured. All three types of products possess their own unique strengths and weaknesses that could either aid or hinder productivity, quality, and budget goals.

Someone checking the ink cartridges of a printer

OEM Products

Authentic OEM products are manufactured by the original brand of the printer. For instance, Canon toners and ink cartridges are produced by Canon. You may find that OEM toners or ink cartridges are relatively costly, but that’s all for good reason. Purchasing original products means buying quality items that are more precise and capable of producing results that live up to the expected standards and expectations of the brand. In choosing to use OEM products, this also reduces the chances of your printer encountering issues or malfunctions.

Higher Page Yields

Original equipment manufactured products tend to generate higher page yields versus non-OEM items. Unlike aftermarket products, OEMs typically rank higher on the longevity scale while maintaining printer quality. On average, original toners and ink cartridges have page yields of 20,000 to 25,000 pages before they need to be replaced, therefore, you have the opportunity to print more without wearing out your resources too quickly. With this specific element, you can maximize print output while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. It’s something that both your workflow and the environment will thank you for!

Better Printing Quality

Quality plays a significant role when it comes to printing. If you want to render high-quality results in terms of text and image quality, you need to use toner and ink that correspond to that. OEM toner and ink cartridges have the ability to deliver crystal clear prints with bright, sharp, and accurate colours. Another advantage of OEM ink cartridges is the longevity of the printed material. Prints produced by genuine ink cartridges traditionally stand the test of time by resisting fading or discolouration.

Non-OEM Products

Non-OEM toner and ink, also commonly known as compatible cartridges, are products built by third-party manufacturers. These toner and ink cartridges are not affiliated with the original manufacturer of the brand. Rather, they replicate the original without infringing on the product patent. Despite the fact that they may not carry the brand’s label, they are usually very close to the real deal. Regardless of any structural difference they may have, generic cartridges are constructed to fit your machine perfectly.

More Cost-Effective

The biggest advantage of purchasing non-OEM products for your printer is that they are more cost-effective. There are a multitude of reasons why off-brand products are sold at a reduced cost – the amount of options available in the aftermarket industry is extensive; so you can anticipate varying degrees of quality and consistency. While the specs and requirements of non-OEM products mimic OEM products, there are some differences in the printer output.

The biggest perk of using OEM products is the huge price difference. It’s no secret that you can easily end up with a faulty cartridge, but the chances are slim if you have found a reliable manufacturer.

Overall Printing Quality

You may find that images and text produced by non-OEM cartridges fade at a rapid pace in comparison to output by OEM products. This is because non-OEM cartridges are customarily water-based and consist of pigments and dyes in order to create individual colours. In contrast, OEM ink cartridges are oil-based, which is why they deliver prints that last a long time.

Since generic cartridges aren’t made by the original manufacturer, it’s quite common to run into a few roadblocks when using them. These products tend to have a higher risk of producing prints with blurred lines, overspray, or colour inconsistencies. On the other hand, this shouldn’t be an issue if high quality isn’t a top concern. If you use your printer for printing drafts rather than business proposals, using generic cartridges is the best way to go.

OEM products are only advisable if you work in an office environment that requires a high volume of prints or if you frequently print for professional purposes. In these circumstances, you can count on OEM products to keep up with your fast pace and high demand.

Remanufactured Products

Used or empty ink cartridges are usually discarded after use, but thanks to a number of printer ink manufacturers, these items can now be reused.

Environmental Impact

Remanufactured toner and ink cartridges are used printer products that have been refilled and resold. These cartridges are usually sourced from community recycling programs, so purchasing this type of product ultimately gives back to these communities. Some other benefits of using remanufactured products are that you’ll be cutting your costs in half and also, you will be able to significantly minimize your environmental impact. Refillable cartridges greatly reduce CO2 usage, in contrast to OEM products.

Remanufactured products typically produce lower ink quality than the original cartridges, but they do come with their own unique set of perks, like reducing air and water pollution, instead of contributing to landfills.

When choosing to use remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, you can refill your printer, aid in preserving natural resources, and even fight global warming in your own little way.

Ink cartridges, a printer and a printed sheet of coloured paper

OEM vs. Non-OEM Products: The Verdict

Both OEM and non-OEM products have become viable alternatives for one another.

Non-OEM products, which consists of generic and remanufactured ink cartridges, are the preferred choice among many, mainly because they are sold at a lower price point. The same applies if you opt for remanufactured ink cartridges; they fit right into any budget, work just as well as the generic brand, and leave a smaller impact on the environment.

It is apparent that cutting down on costs is the focal point of using non-OEM products, however, they do have their own set of downsides: reduced quality and often no warranty. At first glance, OEM and non-OEM ink cartridges produce identical output – the difference often becomes apparent over time when the water-based pigments of non-OEM ink starts to fade.

When analyzing OEM products, it is evident that they are more costly, however, you get what you pay for. OEM products are specially designed for optimal performance, brilliant quality, and maximum longevity with higher page yields.

So, should you use OEM instead of non-OEM products? The answer is that it depends on your specific printing needs. If you’re looking for quality, OEM is a cut above the rest. If you’re concerned about costs and are looking for general printing jobs for personal reasons only, choose non-OEM products or remanufactured products.

High-Quality Printers for Both OEM and Non-OEM Products offers high-quality printers for your every need. With over 35 years of experience, we have developed strong partnerships with countless businesses across Canada. Offering only the best cutting-edge multifunction printers, copiers, and mailing machines, we also deliver the most up-to-date document management solutions for an upgraded workflow and increased productivity. Our expertise lies in the high capacity and high output of printers that work in perfect synergy with OEM products.

Feel free to contact us today for more information on our flexible rental rates or any other inquiries you may have.

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