The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.

Do Inkjet Cartridges Really Need Replacing?

Everyone has had that home printer that seems to miraculously run out of ink every other month even though you rarely use it. While this doesn't apply quite as fittingly to large scale office printers, smaller or home printers are affected by this continually. It can be difficult to tell how much ink you actually have left in the cartridges and how much you need to finish a printing job. It may seem like you just replaced the cartridge and somehow you are getting warnings flashing when you print something that cartridge ink is low.

It can also be incredibly frustrating to run out of ink half way through a print job and have to rush to cancel the rest so you don't get thirty off color copies. So what do you do? Is it best to replace the cartridge when prompted and not know how many more prints you would have gotten from that cartridge? On the other hand, do you keep using the old cartridge until you get streaky prints and end up having to reprint the document?

There is no straight answer to this question. It comes down to what your objectives are. If you are trying to scrape every penny out of your printer and get every last drop of ink before changing ink cartridges, it may make sense to squeeze a few more prints out of that cartridge. If you are printing a batch job of more than five pages, or they need to be quality prints for a presentation, you'd better change the ink cartridge and save yourself the trouble.

One approach that negates having to deal with this issue around the office is a print management program. With print management services, all your print costs are reduced down to a cost-per-base basis and you never have to worry about ordering cartridges or other printing supplies. In this manner, you can both save money and save yourself the headache of debating whether to switch the cartridge every time you get the low ink indicator.