Canon, Epson, HP and Lexmark printer ink
Canon, Epson, HP and Lexmark printer ink

Best printer ink for quality and reliability

Although third-party and aftermarket printer ink is often less expensive, the overwhelming majority of experts say that if quality and reliability matter most, you should stick with the printer manufacturer's recommended ink cartridges and ink. Especially in the case of photos, the combination of a manufacturer's printer, ink and paper most often results in photos that look the best and last the longest without fading. If you mainly print text pages or noncritical items, reviewers say you can probably save some money by skipping new, name-brand ink cartridges and buying refilled cartridges like those from Cartridge World.
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*Est. $10 to $20 Estimated Price
Cartridge World
Cartridge World

Best alternative ink

Cartridge World sells used printer cartridges in stores and online that have been cleaned and refilled with its own ink, saving you about $1 to $3 over new manufacturer's cartridges. You can also get your own cartridges refilled while you wait, or buy new cartridges. Most expert tests find that documents and photos printed with Cartridge World cartridges look approximately as good (some a little better, some a little worse) as those printed with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges -- in other words, fine for the usual office and snapshot printing. However, one overseas tester gets poor results with Cartridge World ink, and it fades more quickly than OEM inks in several tests. This franchise operation has more than 650 stores in North America and 1,700 worldwide, and you can buy ink online at
See our full review

*Est. $8 to $19 Estimated Price
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