No Scams. No Printer Problems: Uncover the Truth About Different Generic Toners. 

Most generic toner cartridges will fit into your printer. BUT. Not all toners are made equal. In fact, there are three different types of toner, each with different manufacturing standards and performance qualities. The person in charge of office supplies procurement for your business should understand not only the differences, but also the printing solutions offered by your provider. Unlike some many procurement partners who only sell toner, Egyptian provides solutions from beginning to end of your toner purchase. We want for all of our partners to be educated on the different products so you can make a confident decision from the get-go.

Three Kinds of Generic Toner: OEM vs. Compatible vs. Remanufactured Toner


There are 3 main types of generic toner that you can use for your printing needs:

1. OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer

2. Remanufactured Cartridge

3. Compatible Cartridge

Each one will be accepted by your printer, but when it comes to toner, you definitely get what you pay for. The lower on the triangle, the more risk you take of malfunctions. In fact, there is actually a fourth kind: Counterfeit. Counterfeit toner products will cost you more for a deplorable product and increase the risk of printer damage when used. It is suggested to avoid these at all costs, as they will cost you more in the long run.


  OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer Remanufactured
Compatible Cartridge Counterfeit
Quality Highest High Low Low
Price Full Price 15-40% Less
than OEM
25-80% Less than OEM 25-80% Less than
Legal Yes Yes Pending Supreme
Court Decision
Failure Rate 1-2% 1-2% Up to 30% Up to 30%
Warranty Yes Yes No No
Machine Repairs Yes Yes No No
Returnable Yes Yes No No
Green No Yes No ?
New Yes No Yes, Altered Design Typically Yes,
Altered Design
Dangerous No No Potentially Potentially
STMC Approved N/A Our Brands, Yes No No
Made In America Made All Over the World Our Brands, Yes Made in Asia Made in Asia
Brands We Carry HP, Dell, Brother,
Liberty Laser, Innovera, Clover ACM, PCI, ImageStar None

Signs That Your Generic Toner Cartridge Is Counterfeit

Generally speaking, a counterfeit toner is usually a low-grade compatible cartridge that has been put into a box, or replica box, of a real OEM cartridge. Here’s how to tell if the one you’ve purchase is a fake:

  • 1. Brand hologram is missing: No shiny “Hp” or other brand mark on the box? Skip it!
  • 2. Price is too good to be true: Unless your trusted dealer is running a special offer, be very skeptical about the product.
  • 3. Common malfunctions: If your printer is having performance difficulties with each use, get rid of that toner!

The Dangers Of Compatible Cartridges

Compatible cartridges come with dangers other than printer damage:

  • 1. Compatible cartridges cannot be remanufactured and so they end up as pollution in landfills.
  • 2. Compatible toner cartridges contain a dangerous carcinogen, DecaBDE, which is a flame-retardant chemical.
  • 3. Compatible toners made by third parties contain 16,510% more of the volatile organic compound, styrene.
  • 4. Compatible cartridges can release volatile organic compounds into the office air when used.

The Egyptian Printing & Toner Solution

Here at Egyptian we carry OEM, remanufactured, and compatible. We do not carry counterfeit. Not only do we warranty and take returns on, but we also clean the printer on remanufacturing and OEM cartridges. (This only applies if anything happens from the three brands we recommend.) However, our recommendations always have the fewest issues and represent “best value”. Yes, they cost more than compatibles, but their superior performance and “built in guarantee” will cost your IL organization less in the long run.

You should always be cautious of compatible toners, though. These have a high failure rate and can cause harm to your printer. We do not warranty them, will not fix, or take returns on the compatible cartridges such as ACM and PCI. Like parking in yellow and hoping you don’t get a ticket: if you buy compatible, you buy at your own risk.

Have questions about your toner? Want to save money on your toner, too?

Connect with a Workspace Partner (Business Products)

Andrew Stephens

Written by Andrew Stephens