Are 'XL' Cartridges Worth the Money?
We get asked this question a lot, and understandably so! Ink and toner cartridges are expensive, so why pay even more? Let's debunk this so you know what you need, what you don't and what will actually save you some cash.
How much larger are XL sized cartridges?
There's no industry standard here. Each manufacturer decides how much more ink or toner they want to put in their 'XL' sized cartridges. Some have 250% more and some only have 50% more. It's up to you to play Sherlock and find out the details for your specific printer.
Some cartridges are easy to compare. Toner cartridges all come with a page count (based on 5% page coverage, the industry standard measure) so they're pretty simple to measure. Ink cartridges are a little more complicated though. Some are labeled with a suggested page count or the actual ink volume, but some aren't. If yours aren't, you could weigh each cartridge to see how much more the larger cartridge weighs, or you might search online to see if others have found some answers.
We want to help you as much as possible, so here's our general take on ink cartridge brands and the value their 'XL' sized cartridges offer:
BROTHER COMPATIBLE = BEST VALUE OVERALL!
CANON COMPATIBLE = BEST
EPSON COMPATIBLE = GOOD (WHEN AVAILABLE)
HP COMPATIBLE = GOOD (WHEN AVAILABLE)
BRAND NAME ORIGINALS
BROTHER ORIGINAL = GOOD
CANON ORIGINAL = GOOD
EPSON ORIGINAL = POOR
HP ORIGINAL = GOOD
Are there other benefits?
Absolutely! Purchasing 'XL' cartridges will save you time since you won't need to purchase or change them as often. They’re also of great benefit to the environment - they use less non-renewable resources and packaging because they hold more product in the same container. Another big thing to consider is if your XL ink cartridges are refillable cartridges! Brand name cartridges that are refillable will save you even more in the long term and save the environment too! Check out our ink price list to find out if your cartridge is refillable.
Are there any cons?
There are the exceptions to the rule, meaning some XL sizes don’t offer much cost savings or have much more ink/toner inside. It's a good idea to research your specific cartridges, but generally speaking it's all benefits in our opinion!
Are they worth it in the end?
Yes, for most cartridges it is! If you need some help figuring out cost savings for your particular cartridges, feel free to get in touch or stop by our kiosk and ask. It's why we're here! Rather than standing confused in the cartridge aisle at a big box store, you can chat with us and figure out your exact needs and how to get the best value for your printing.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you have questions about your specific printer or cartridges! We’re always available to help you get the best value for your printing. And let us know below if this blog helped you.. we'd love to hear from you!
*blog post updated Mar 11, 2019 to reflect new information