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Can I Use Generic Or Compatible Toner On My Copier? Xerox Kyocera Ricoh Konica Minolta


Compatible means that the cartridge will work with the specified equipment even though it is not made by the manufacturer of the equipment in question. In most cases this situation exists when the manufacturer of the original equipment does not have a patent on the design of the supplies or that patent expired. As with generic prescriptions, this allows manufacturers of generic supplies to make brand new compatible or generic cartridges. Examples of these are many ribbons for dot matrix printers, many Epson ink cartridges as well as many Canon ink cartridges. In our highly competitive and ever changing market, there are companies that will label remanufactured cartridges as compatible. It is hard to tell in all cases, but as a guide, here is a list of products where you can expect compatible or generic supplies to be available: copier toner, printer toner and Most HP, Lexmark, Canon, and Xerox laser toner cartridges can be remanufactured.

Original Cartridges Vs. Remanufactured Toner and Ink Cartridges

Quite often our customers ask us questions about remanufactured cartridges.

• What are they?

• Do they work?

• Do they provide the same page yield as the original?

• Do they damage the copier?

• Can they void the manufacturer’s warranty?

To provide an answer to these questions, let us explain a bit about the different types of cartridges: original, remanufactured, refilled, recycled, compatible and generic.


Original cartridges (OEM) are manufactured by the maker of the equipment you purchased (i.e. Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Xerox, Lexmark). They are usually manufactured using a combination of new and recycled parts at factories throughout the world. For example, on the box of an HP C4127X you can read: “This newly manufactured product may contain parts and materials recovered from the HP Planet Partners recycling program” and on the box of a Canon FX-4: “This cartridge may contain reconditioned parts and remolded materials.”

So – Yes if you are buying remanufactured cartridges for your laser printers, they will work for the most part, if they printer is a color unit, I will not recommend it. You will have color densities problems.


We at JR Copier of Minnesota, would love to find the generic or compatible toner that works the same way as the OEM toners do, remember we are the ones who have to service the hundreds of copiers that we have in the field under service contracts, that means we could make more profit per copy by using generic or compatible toners, but you guessed it, we only use OEM toners – Why? Because the generic or compatible supplies will give us major problems…

• Low density – Colors are not bright or within equipment specs

• Low yields – Toner lower the yields on other consumables (drums, fusers, transfer belts, etc)

• Contaminates the inside of the copier – Costly repair bills

• Low reliability – More service calls ( We would need more techs to keep up with service)

But the company that sells the generic or compatible toner guaranties performance to be the same as OEM…

Sure they do! – But once you try getting the company to pay for your broken copier, they will find all kinds of excuses not to pay –

• Will they send you a local service tech to fix the machine on their buck?

• Will they pay to replace the drums, fusers or other major parts that got contaminated?

The copier ran fine after I put the toner in – (For a while)

Sure… After the non OEM toner hits the developer housing, it takes a while for the new generic or compatible toner to work its way in, so in most cases, you won’t see any problems for a while, because your machine has OEM toner still inside.

We do have seen that the most HP printer brands do run fine with generic or refill/remanufactured toners, but MOST COPIERS or MULTIFUNCTION DEVICES DO NOT.

If you still have questions PLEASE call us first and avoid the costly repairs, remember that if we can make the machines run or operate cheaper, we would the first ones to do it, we need to have a lower cost to be competitive!

We can help you in the entire Midwest Area – Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Omaha, Ohio, Kansas, Wisconsin and other areas!

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