Original vs Compatible Toner Cartridges: Which one is better? (Product Comparison)

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June 20, 2021 By Richcom Technology –2 Min Read

Printers are the basic needs of every office everywhere and cartridges are the basic needs of every printer. If you print out documents in bulk every day then you know how important toner cartridges are. What you don’t know are the different descriptions that are printed on toners to describe their make and model.

You may have seen “Original”, “Genuine”, “OEM, “Remanufactured”, “Compatible”, and other such terms while buying a toner cartridge. Understanding these terms is of primary importance if you need your printer to work at its maximum potential and provide the best quality of printed documents.

You may also have noticed that the original toner price in Sri Lanka is higher than any other such as a compatible toner but you don’t know the reason for it. Here we will describe original and compatible toner cartridges and why is the original pricier than compatible.

Genuine OEM Toner

OEM, Short for Original Equipment Manufacturer, denotes that the toner is manufactured by the company that also manufactured the printer. This means that the toner cartridge is made especially keeping the characteristics and specifications of the printer in mind.

For example, if you use an HP printer in your office, an original toner will also be made by HP and will only be used for that specific printer. The same goes for other companies like Canon printers. Additionally, HP original toner price in Sri Lanka and HP 05A original toner price in Sri Lanka will be higher than other types of toners.

Compatible toner

Compatible toners are those that are manufactured for a specific printer but instead of the original manufacturer, a third-party company manufactures them. Such toners are manufactured keeping in view the design of the original toner but they don’t resemble the original. Compatible toners are cheaper than original or OEM toners. For example, the HP 80A original toner price in Sri Lanka will be higher than any other compatible alternative.

Original vs compatible toners

Based on the following factors, we will determine which type of toner is better.

·       Page yield

Page yield is the number of pages printed by a cartridge. Original toners have the highest page yields and compared to them, compatible toners’ yields are a lot less.

·       Durability

As original toners are only built for a specific printer, they are of the best quality while that’s not the case with compatible toners. This is why original toners last a lot longer than compatible toners.

·       Quality of print

The quality of print plays an important role in making a document clean, sharp, and attractive. OEM toners provide the best print quality for text and images while compatible toners lack the crispiness that original toners have.

Above factors are why original toners are always priced higher than their compatible or remanufactured alternatives.


Price is a factor that may affect your decision to buy toners. Compatible toners, although cheaper than original toners, have far lower page yields, print quality, and a shorter life span. Compatible toners may even damage the drum and other parts of the printer. On the other hand, original toners have a longer life, the best page yields, quality of print, and they make your printer work at its best. So, it is best to buy original toners as they are worth every penny spent.

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