What’s so Bad About Off-Brand Toner Cartridges?

off-brand toner cartridge

Even though we’re in the printer industry, we’ll admit it — quality toner cartridges aren’t cheap. This has led many to consider purchasing off-brand, knock-off, or remanufactured toner cartridges for their office printers. In this piece, we’re going to discuss why this is a bad idea.

Damage To Printers

Laser printers are impeccably engineered machines. Not only is every component meticulously designed and manufactured to work together, but they are also designed to work with a very unique toner to produce the highest quality results. Off-brand toner is not what the engineers had in mind when they made your machine. Using this knock-off toner over time can cause premature wear and damage to your office laser printer.

High Potential For Leaks

Because many of these off-brand toner cartridges are actually original toner cartridges that have been “remanufactured” (which is a nice way of saying that they’re often torn apart by amateurs and filled with substandard toner), they’re notorious for leaking. They’re routinely so bad that HP even says that leaking before they’re even used is a tell-tale sign of a knock-off. Leaking inside of your printer leads to a terrible mess that can leave your printer out of commission for the foreseeable future.

Prone to Being Duds Out of the Box

According to stats from HP, 26% of off-brand toner cartridges fail to print at all. Because most off-brand toner manufacturers don’t provide product guarantees, you’re likely to be stuck with these expensive paperweights over ¼ of the time.

Decreased Image Quality

Your office laser printer was designed to use an extremely specific consistency of toner for optimum image quality. Do not be surprised when these substandard toner cartridges produce a substandard image. Images may show up streaky, patchy, blotchy, or as we mentioned earlier, they may not show up at all.

Decreased Energy Efficiency

Off-brand toner cartridges are either (a) “remanufactured” toner cartridges or (b) truly alternate designs — neither of which will perform as optimally in your carefully tuned printer. Because of this, they require more energy than their name-brand counterparts. You may feel that you’re paying less initially, but more when it comes time to pay the utility bill.


Just like you wouldn’t waste time and money with substandard products, don’t waste time with substandard service. Learn more about how JD Young’s Managed Print Services can help simply your company’s printer systems.