What is a Rebuild Cartridge? What is best for you?

Spend 60% less on ink!

Increase profit difficult? Still in doubt? Read this article.

This 7 chapters explain how to increase profit with your wide format printer.

Print your profit!

By: Eric de Jager

From: Plotterinkshop.com

Mindset is the key to higher margin..

Choices made today determines the course of your life. So your professional and personal sustainable future. OMG, just think about that.

What’s there to choose? There are printers in Europe that opt ​​for expensive original ink cartridges. Do you want to survive? There is a choice. Of course there are pitfalls and quality differences. I am going to help you make a choice for sustainable success.

In this blog you can read how.

Every day as we prepare ink cartridges for shipment to our customers in EMEA, we are grateful and happy helping deliver value to printers and creative entrepreneurs in the form of benefit, success and greater results.

I also made a choice to help creative entrepreneurs in the print & sign industry increase their profit. A well-considered choice. We only offer rebuild cartridges. Good for your business, your wallet and the planet.

We may not be doing big things, but if you can’t do big things, then do small things in a big way.


Print your profit! Jet yourself to higher margins.

Wrong choices

Providing value to customers is my motto. I’ve also made a wrong choice, here a short anecdote : In Southeast Asia factories produce very cheap compatible cartridges for large format printers. The initial reviews were enthusiastic, so it seemed to me, until sales took off and started import. Soon I found that the quality and ease of use, lets say, inconsistent meeting the Western European standards. This wrong choice has taught me a lot and it has turned me down quite a bit. My personal values ​​integrity, reliability and justice were at stake. We now produce local according to applicable quality requirements and ISO standards .

Original vs Rebuild vs Compatible

Purchasing cartridges can be a confusing challence. With many part numbers, types and names it’s sometimes difficult by the jumble of terms to navigate and find what you need. The following chapters will help you find your way.




1.Cartridges, types and names
2.Is there a difference in print quality?
3.Are Rebuilds right for me?
4.How about the warranty?
5.Price differences
6.Examples from daily practice
7.Keep it simple and SMART!

1. Cartridges, types and names

Spend some time to search for cartridges for your large format printer or plotter? The indications Original, OEM, Refurbished, Rebuild, Refilled, Remanufactured, Replacement, Compatible, Third Party, and private label cartridges are familiar. Are you still buying from your printer supplier?

There is a chance that terms will be confused. Quite understandable because not all providers write their products clearly. What exactly are the differences and prejudices and which one is best for you? We will help you with that. It’s no rocket science, it’s not that difficult.

There are compelling benefits to be gained. Many buyers have the idea that “an original is expensive and a compatibles will damage my printer” and the differences are not always clear. There is more to tell. First, let’s clarify a few terms and explain the differences between the various designations and terms.


1.OEM cartridges, also known as original or genuine, are developed and manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer and referred to as “OEM” products. Produced by printer brand itself, so they claim, as your Canon, HP, Epson, Roland, Mimaki, or whatever brand printer you use. An original cartridge is a new cartridge of the same brand as your printer.

2.Rebuild / Refurbished / remanufactured ink cartridges are used OEM cartridge which used to be disassembled, cleaned, prepared and rebuilt with new parts. It is a used original cartridge and will get a second life, or several. Equipped with new chip and ink, this rebuild cartridge will perform like a new original. The quality and formulation of the ink and chip determine the performance, ease of use and result. For readability of this article I will briefly use for Rebuild, Refurbished and Remanufactured the word Rebuild  .

3.Compatible. In contrast to original and rebuild cartridges no empty OEM carts are used as a base. Self-designed plastic container that fits into your printer anyway. The term compatible stands for interchangeable or compatible and has no relationship to the printer brand. They are often imported from cheap labour countries. While they are the cheapest, they usually have the most quality issues.

2. Is there a difference in print quality?

The short answer should be ‘ it shouldn’t’. At the same time, this strongly depends on which cartridges you compare, the manufacturer and the country of origin.

The good news first. There are manufacturers who are extremely capable of making an ink which are incredibly close to the original. Colourreproduction, printing accuracy and ease of use with high scores and all for a much lower price. There are manufacturers who are not always able to achieve the ink formulation of the original and comply the European standards.

In most cases, a Rebuild cartridge wins convincingly over a compatible cartridge. A direct confrontation between original and rebuild cartridges is a serious head to head race when it comes to print quality and reliability.

There are, self-respecting, manufacturers who execute regularly comparative tests. In addition, there exists as mentioned, large differences between rebuild and compatible cartridges.

Quality Test Room Plotterinkshop.com

A double blind test with independent test subjects, who without a clue what prints they were looking at, are often rated the rebuild cartridges above the original ones. So don’t be afraid to try them in your printer.

The compatible cartridges can sometimes disappoint in ease of use and print quality, for example because the chip does not register and the cartridge is not recognized by the printer, nozzles can become clogged, they start to leak and other defects. We’ve all been there. Pay attention to this when purchasing alternative cartridges for your large format printer. 

Thus, the ink in Rebuild cartridge can equal the ink of the original ink cartridges.

How this is possible despite the lower price? This is because certain ISO standards are associated with the ink in the cartridges. ISO standards are conditions that the ink must meet. In addition, the configuration of the print head will have to be taken into account when formulating an ink recipe.

Ink Production for Plotterinkshop.com

In laboratoria inks are meticulously matched by the relevant process specifications in the ink recipe . So what you pay for with original ink cartridges are actually the brands, overhead costs and the cool names. Not for higher quality ink.

Besides that it can still occur an error appears on your printer display when you insert a cartridge into the printer not “the brand”. A technological trick that is not in conformity is with EU legislation. As long as it is the right cartridge/colour, nothing will happen. Your printer will not break and you can click through the error message. In most cases there will be no error message with a rebuild cartridge if it has a proper chip.

Read more about this in our blog 7 Tips for careless printing with rebuild cartridges

There is no better proof than satisfied customers, and customers love our rebuild cartridges and cannot tell the difference.

3. Are Rebuild cartridges suitable for me?

Whether you print a lot or a little, it is always worth considering choosing a Rebuild cartridge over an original one. For almost every large format printer type there are rebuild cartridges on the market.

First some figures. The global inkjet ink market comprises approximately $ 4 billion and continues to grow well. The share of the so-called “alternative circuit” is also growing at the expense of OEM inks and cartridges. Hewlett-Packard is the largest seller of printer ink with a share of 44 percent , followed by Epson (25 percent), Canon (18 percent) and Lexmark (10 percent).

The market is now somewhat less focused on innovation, but especially in the current economic climate, more concerned with maintaining technology and operational costs.

To decrease operational costs the easiest way is to save on the cost of the ink. The operator and media are often a given thing.

The market share of the “non-OEM circuit ” has therefore been growing for years .

Basically, any large format printer, if properly maintained, is ideally suited for Rebuild cartridges. The only consideration is stock level – are the cartridges still available? When a printer is brand new, you have no choice but to buy originals, as the market for rebuild products does not exist yet. This is particularly relevant with rebuild cartridges, which depend on a stock of used original cartridges before they can be reused. On the other hand, printer manufacturers regularly stop providing support and cartridges for certain models and types, leaving you automatically dependent on rebuild, refurbished and remanufactured products.

When you print little, your main concern is drying the ink and clogging the print heads. Originals and our rebuilds contain a chemical substance which avoid clogging. Note that not all rebuild inks contain this component then it is recommended you to use an original every 3-4 sets of rebuilds to keep the printheads clean.

What do you print with your large format printer? Well, for printing text on a desktop printer there are many useful alternatives. For printing high quality photos in large format, then do simple test.

A large format printer represents a higher value, is an asset and essential for your output (read turnover).

Are there no risks then? The only risk you run is that you do not consider buying rebuild cartridges in time.

How about warranty?

We sometimes hear printers are somewhat reluctant to buy and use rebuild cartridges. The reason is, for example, that one could have problems with the warranty on the printer.

Important! It’s highly unlikely that a cartridge causes a problem to your printer or plotter .

Various brands have clear and specific statements when it comes to warranty. The printer warranty or maintenance contract is not invalidated simply by using non-genuine cartridges. It is forbidden for a manufacturer to do tying (EU and national legislation) and to oblige you to use the manufacturer’s brand cartridges. At most they can exclude the “ink stream parts”. By this they mean, among other things, the print heads.

Warranty on print heads is relative. With a large format Canon printer from the imagePROGRAF series, for example, a printhead warranty is valid for one year after purchase of the printhead or until the number of ink drops in the product reaches 1E12. HP DesignJet printheads applies, depending on the type of a used ink, guarantee 1000-1200 ml.
Did you know that 1 billion ink drops fit in 1 teaspoon?

Upon failure of a printhead must have a clear and non-disputable proof the dysfunction is a direct consequence of the non-genuine ink cartridge(s).
If this proof cannot be provided, the warranty will remain as normal. If the printhead failure is caused by the cartridge, rebuild suppliers ensure to apply their own terms of warranty.

As a user you are legally completely free to choose which brand of ink cartridges you wish to use. We describe that this is logical in Chapter 6 “Examples from daily practice”.

OEMs of digital printers have always insisted only use their own brand ink cartridges.
The motivation for this is that “third party” inks not achieve same quality, give poor performance and possibly damage your printer. In fact, most of these inks have always been manufactured by specialist original digital ink manufacturers (ODIMs) on behalf of the OEMs.

The other lever is than service. OEMs and their dealers are understandably reluctant to service equipment where they do not enjoy high profit margins from inflated ink prices.

No worries that’s not allowed.
There are also technical features applied in the firmware that hinder the use of rebuild cartridges. EU law has forced printer manufacturers to remove it to allow the use of rebuild or alternatives.

They did this to protect their market, but the cartridge can no longer be used for a second life and that is not good for its durability.

5. Price differences

The biggest difference you will notice is the prices of alternative cartridges.

For a certain printer model, the original cartridge is significantly more expensive than a rebuild or compatible. Previously stated that we are not much in favor of compatible carts. There are certain risks associated with third-party ink cartridges, so you should be careful. Basically, a Rebuild cartridge is a recycled original cartridge.

Original cartridges are a profit for the manufacturer. The costs for R&D have to be recouped by the manufacturers in some way, leading to high prices for the consumables once a customer has committed to a printer brand. It is their business model. Rebuild manufacturers have such overhead costs much less and can offer much lower prices and supply large numbers of satisfying rebuild cartridges.

 That said, you can benefit a lot from buying a rebuild ink cartridge.


6. Examples from daily practice

Ever bought a printer or several of any brand. This comes with cartridges or you can order them from the supplier of your printer or plotter. As described in the previous chapter, it would be crazy if the warranty on the device were to expire when using alternative cartridges.

When you buy a car, it will in most cases be delivered with cartires. By the time you need to replace the tires, you are free to choose. Warranty on the car remains. Another example, Coffee cups . We all know them, the Nespresso capsules for example. These are now available from various brands. You can argue about taste, but here too the warranty on your machine remains intact . We can mention a few more like this. What to think of razor blades, vacuum cleaner bags, iPhone chargers, etc.

Anyway, every expensive brand product nowadays has a cheaper equivalent.

7. Keep it simple and smart

We keep it simple. Rebuild cartridges are just as good as an original. The printer warranty does not expire. Be SMART buy Rebuild cartridges.


  • pecific (simple, sensible , significant).
  • easurable ( meaningful , motivating ).
  • chievable ( agreed , attainable ).
  • elevant (reasonable, realistic and results-based).
  • ime bound (time-based, time / cost limited).

Thanks for taking your precious time to read this Blog

We help you with Rebuild cartridges and ink which are suitable and compatible with the Brands below

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