Low Capacity or High Capacity Ink?

What is the difference between Standard Capacity and High Capacity Ink cartridges? This is a single question that I get asked far too often to only be a simple question. So we are going to take a look at the full and long answer for it.

What is High Capacity?

For those that don’t know much about the ink world, the average printer company makes two types of ink cartridges; the standard (or low) capacity and the high capacity. Now most people think High capacity means that it is better quality for some reason. But it is all in the name for what it is. High Capacity, means that it holds a higher level of ink toner. So high capacity just means that it holds a lot more ink than your standard. This is for people who need to go through a lot more ink regularly so they don’t have to constantly go to the store for more ink.

What does the Capacity Provide?

Now most people actually skip right over the high capacity cartridge, or they automatically grab it, thinking it will be better for their printer (again a misconception on what high capacity actually means). They skip over it because of the price. When looking at your inks, you’ll notice that one will be around double the price of another, but at the same time no one bothers to look at the amount. High capacity often costs around twice as much as standard, but it also provides around three times the amount of standard ink.

This means you actually save money by buying the high capacity, but only if you are going to use all of that ink (which chances are if you had gotten a home printer you are eventually going to go through all of that cartridge).

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You may have noticed through this whole time I have not mentioned the quality of the ink? That is because the quality is exactly the same. In fact in many cases the ink cartridge used is the same size and design from low to high capacity. This is because the standard ink cartridge is actually built in to restrict the ink. If you ever open an ink cartridge (not recommended unless you know what you are doing) of the standard variety you will become aware that there are binders around the ink sponges that cause the cartridge to only be filled about half way. So While you are buying a whole cartridge, you are really only getting about half its actual capacity, unless you buy a high capacity cartridge.

Is this the case for all ink cartridges?

No. Straight up, no. On average between the various printer companies, some high capacity inks last for 400 pages, and others last for over 1000 pages. In turn that also means the low capacity fluctuates too. Which means you could end up paying double the price for only a couple more pages, as the average for low capacity ran from 150 pages to 450 pages.

It is unfortunate, but this does occur, especially for some companies as the amount of ink isn’t always judged correctly, and the printers themselves will change how much ink you can get out of the cartridge before it won’t let you run it anymore. If you really want to know more, the key is to research your brand of printer that you are looking for and its average levels of high and standard capacity. That way you know for sure whether you are actually getting your money worth out of it.

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