OEM Toner Cartridges Vs. Remanufactured Toner VS. New Build Compatible Toner Cartridges

Quite often our customers ask us questions about re-manufactured cartridges. What are they? Do they work? Do they provide the same page yield as the original? Do they damage the printer? Can they void the manufacturer’s warranty?

To provide an answer to these questions, let us explain a bit about the different types of cartridges: original, re-manufactured, refilled, recycled, compatible and generic.


Original cartridges are manufactured by the maker of the equipment you purchased (i.e. Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Xerox, Lexmark). They are usually manufactured using a combination of new and recycled parts at factories throughout the world. For example, on the box of an HP C4127X you can read: “This newly manufactured product may contain parts and materials recovered from the HP Planet Partners recycling program” and on the box of a Canon FX-4: “This cartridge may contain reconditioned parts and remolded materials.”

One important reason they carry the denomination of “original” is because they are manufactured by the holder of the patents that make it illegal for anybody else to manufacture these products and branding them as “original”


When it comes to remanufactured cartridges, the answers are not as black and white as we would like them to be. Companies throughout the world use different approaches and quality standards in remanufacturing products. Let us introduce a little bit of terminology to clarify this point.

• Recycled Cartridges

The term “Recycled” is a generic term that does not necessarily refer to the process or technology used to manufacture a product. It obviously indicates that the cartridge is not a new original cartridge but it has been produced reusing some parts and material from previously used products. In other words, any cartridge that has been produced using parts and material recovered from previously used products can earn the name of “Recycled”, regardless of the process or technology used.

• Refilled Cartridges

We use the term “Refilled” to indicate a remanufacturing process that consists mainly of gaining access to the toner container of a cartridge (sometimes puncturing a hole, sometimes partially disassembling the cartridge) and refilling it with new ink or toner. In most cases that is all that is done to the cartridge aside from inspecting it for obvious flaws and cleaning it. This is the process used by many small remanufacturing companies doing business mainly in their local area. They mostly deliver personally and collect empty cartridges at the same time. This simplified remanufacturing process gives these companies the ability to price their products lower than many competitors that sell remanufactured cartridges.

By now you may be asking: “well, what’s wrong with that?” Well, a cartridge has many components inside other than toner. To name a few, there is the magnetic roller that collects and distribute the toner; the photoconductor unit or drum that transfers the image on the paper; the wiper blade that removes excess toner from the drum; and many other gears and parts that are subject to wear and tear. To rework a cartridge this way is quite inexpensive but its quality and reliability are also uncertain. Many components in a cartridge have an inherent ability to last longer than the toner amount originally provided, but they are certainly not certified for twice the duty cycle or more! Many people that experienced problems with remanufactured cartridges and lost their faith in them have been using refilled cartridges without knowing these facts. So, when the price seems quite low compared to other remanufactured cartridges, ask questions and make sure you compare apples to apples.

• Remanufactured Cartridges

A remanufactured cartridge is a cartridge that has been:

  • Completely disassembled
  • All components inspected, separated and cleaned
  • Toner container filled with new toner to original specifications
  • Cartridge reassembled and tested on proper equipment
  • These cartridges also use some recycled parts


New Build Compatible means that the cartridge will work with the specified equipment even though it is not made by the manufacturer of the equipment in question. These cartridges are built using all NEW parts. The quality and page yield is the same or better than OEM therefore there is no sacrificing quality for the savings. The savings is at least 30% on most toners and drums. Call to speak to one of our highly trained sales staff to see how we can save you money and not sacrifice quality.


Advanced Laser Printer believes you have a right to use whatever you choose for your equipment. That’s why we carry both original, remanufactured, and compatible supplies. We further believe that you have a right to know exactly what you are purchasing and that’s why we clearly label and mark all compatible and remanufactured products. Unfortunately there are companies that will let you believe you are purchasing original cartridges when in actuality they sell you remanufactured or recycled products. If the price seems too good to be true for an original product, it is probably not an original product. If it does not come in the manufacturer’s original packaging, it is NOT the original.

Original manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Xerox, Lexmark, etc. do not sell at heavily discounted prices only to certain companies or distributors. They mostly sell at the same prices across the board. They do not sell their products in bulk or generic packaging to anybody. Their trademarks and brands are very valuable assets. When someone claims to have a “special” deal that affords them such low prices, they are hiding something from you. Some companies do not even clearly label their products as re-manufactured or compatible. When the price seems too low, ask directly: “are these products original from the manufacturer or are they re-manufactured or compatible in any way?” You have a right to know and they have the responsibility to tell you. If they fail to properly disclose this, do not do business with them.

Ultimately, Advanced Laser Printer  believes that, when properly used, re-manufactured and compatible products play a vital role in your office equipment supply strategy. They can lower your overall cost of ownership, keep prices in check for original products, help small businesses, and help the environment. If you have not used re-manufactured products before, or if you have used them and were disappointed, we suggest you give our brand a try. Select a business machine that is not mission critical for you and purchase a compatible or re-manufactured cartridge. When you see that our products are reliable, you can gradually switch to compatible or re-manufactured products or if you are  not satisfied we will gladly refund you your money.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope it will help you become a better-informed buyer. If you have any further questions or comments please email us at info@advancedlaserprinter.com or call us toll-free at 781-850-3490. We are always happy to hear from you.