The type of printer ink to be replaced inside an empty cartridge depends upon the brand and model of an inkjet printer. Every brand and model is designed to work with a particular type of inkjet printer ink that is ill suited for other brands and models.
The inkjet printer of today is equipped to produce both color and black-and-white prints on the same paper. Color inkjet printer ink is available in a single-cartridge system or a multiple-cartridge system. In a single-cartridge system all the colors of printer ink are bundled inside a single cartridge. In a multiple-cartridge system different cartridges are used for different colors.
The printer ink may be either dye-based or pigment-based. Dye-based inks provide a wide gamut of color but have inferior fade-resistance and water-resistance properties. They also dry slowly compared to pigmented inks. Pigmented inks are far superior in terms of fade resistance; water resistance and drying time but do not provide excellent color. Pigmented inkjet color inks are more expensive than dye-based inks.
One of the important characteristics of any inkjet printer ink is its resistance to fading and water solubility. Besides, the ink should not bleed or dry up too quickly, but should produce sharp print quality.
Inkjet printer ink is manufactured both by printer vendors and third-party vendors. There are many types of inkjet printer ink, and each type of ink works well only with a particular brand of printer. Since all these printer inks are patented, third-party vendors develop their own printer ink to suit the various brands. But the manufacturers of original printer ink claim that Inkjet printer ink is very complex in its composition, so third-party Inkjet printer ink does not work with the latest advancements made in the printer technology.
Third-party vendors offer inkjet printer ink in new compatible cartridges, which are more or less equivalent in quality to the original cartridges. They also offer to refill used cartridges with Inkjet printer ink, and sell do-it-yourself refill kits.
The buyers should always be cautious of spurious and counterfeit inks, and therefore buy inkjet printer ink from reputable stores that are supported by the Better Business Bureau.