The Clickinks Blog | Why Ink Cartridges Are So Expensive

Why Ink Cartridges Are So Expensive

Why Ink Cartridges Are So Expensive: The Truth Behind the Prices.
There are many speculations as to why ink cartridges for your printer are so expensive. Some reasons as to why the prices for ink cartridges are so high are due to technology research and development of ink as well as the ink cartridge and the materials used. Others are just opinions of consumers thinking the manufacturer gods want your yearly monetary sacrifices to calm the belly of the ink beast. But what is the truth behind the price?
Well unfortunately, both sides of the story are true, excluding the existence of Ink gods and there being a hungry ink beast waiting to consume your hard earned money. The reality is that quality standards and production costs are certainly a part of the price. The biggest factors playing a role in the high cost of printer ink involves both the containers that hold and dispense ink to printers and the formulated ink used to complete the printing process. I guess it is true what they say, you get what you pay for, but in this case, you definitely pay for research and development, the increase in technology to earn another award and further recognition from Technology Today on the new company development to continue to charge you more and fuel the train to continue the process all over again. Personally I feel as though some of these manufacturers should give stock options with each purchase.


The final price, after all considerations are made, come from the combination of materials spent to produce the product and the intricate technological process of printing designed to create the desired image and quality. To better summarize, the growth of modern day technology equals the growth in price. Take HP for example, early state-of-the-art printer models had about 12 nozzles in the print head and fired droplets at a rate of 10,000 per second. The technology in today's Photosmart 8250 uses 3,900 nozzles to deliver 122 million drops per second onto the paper. The reason for the improvements is simple, the more nozzles used, the smaller the dot size that can be produced in a single print, the smaller the dot size in the print, the higher the visibility and quality of the image being printed.

In addition to the increase of nozzles in the print head, so comes the increase in the technology of the ink. Thom Brown, marketing manager at Hewlett Packard, says HP spends about $1 billion a year on ink research and development (The total revenue for the printing division was $24 billion last year). Inks must be formulated to withstand heating to 300 degrees, vaporization, and being squirted at 30 miles per hour, at a rate of 36,000 drops per second, through multiple nozzles one third the size of a human hair. After all that, the ink must then dry almost instantly on the paper. This actually entails quite a bit of research for a single ink cartridge. Some manufacturers, like HP, have included the print head as part of the cartridge. The precision parts required generally make the cartridges more expensive, but the printers are cheaper since they don't include the precision print head. Other cartridges, like Kodak, do not include the print head and so can cost less, though the printers tend to be somewhat more expensive.

No matter what model printer you buy, ink prices are high. The most affordable printing solution we have found is to use remanufactured cartridges. Remanufactured cartridges include the print head, micro chip and anything else your cartridge may include, and are professionally remanufactured and refilled at or above manufacturer’s standards.

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