Compatible Toner versus OEM Toner

Have you seen a toner product labeled “compatible” or “OEM” and wondered what these terms mean? There are two kinds of toner for copy machines – compatible toners and OEM toners.

Let’s start with OEM toners. Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) toners are toners produced by the copy machine manufacturer. They are name brand supplies and retail at a much higher cost. They also cost more to replace.

Consumers often buy OEM toners because they assume that these toners are the only kinds that they can use. However, this can ring up large bills as toner supplies need to be replaced periodically and OEM toners cost significantly more.

That’s where compatible toners come into play. Compatible toners are toners that work with a specific range of name brand copy machines but are produced by third parties. They cost less than OEM toners and are easier to produce and replace.

For companies that frequently replace copier supplies, it makes more sense to use compatible toners than OEM toners. You will save significantly in the long run. Also depending upon the model of copy machine and the kind of toners that it uses, you may find that the manufacturer has limited supplies of OEM toner or even discontinued production of the OEM toner because the company has switched to building newer models.

Compatible toners are usually built with parts that are recycled from old cartridges. Empty cartridges are taken apart and cleaned, removing old seals. The wipers, drum and rollers are taken out and cleaned, checked and recharged. The cartridges are reassembled and tested before repackaged as compatible toners. Compatible toners cost as much as 40 to 60 percent less than OEM toners. A typical product guarantee can be as long as 1 year as compared to OEM toners that are just 30 to 60 days from date of purchase. In addition, compatible toners are eco-friendly. They prevent large waste from entering landfills and save as much as 1 quart of oil per cartridge set production.

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