Printer Cartridge Terminology Guide - Part 2

18-07-2014 by

Share this:

In an effort to help you understand the sometimes confusing terminology surrounding printing and printer cartridges, we’ve put together a handy guide reference guide to explain what all the jargon means. In part one of our Printer Cartridge Terminology Guide we covered specific types of printer cartridges and consumables. Today, we’ll look at some more specific terminology.

OEM or Original

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. A printer cartridge that is marked as OEM or Original has been manufactured by the printer manufacturer and carries their branding.


Remanufactured toner and ink cartridges have been rebuilt with mostly new parts after they have been used once. They are usually sold at a cheaper price that original printer cartridges. Using remanufactured cartridges has environmental benefits as well, as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions created in the production of new raw materials and prevent original cartridges from ending up in landfills.


Compatible toner and ink cartridges are manufactured by third-party manufacturers. They have been reverse engineered to match the same features, specifications and print quality as original cartridges. These cartridges are built brand new. They are sometimes referred to as generic printer cartridges as well.

Page yield or page coverage

Page yield is the approximate number of pages an ink cartridge or toner cartridge can print before it is empty. Page yield is calculated at 5% coverage, so you may get less than the quoted number of pages. Page yield serves as an estimate of how many pages you could get out of a given cartridge, but the actual number of page you will get is determined by how and what you print.

We explain this in more depth in our post What Does 5% Coverage Mean?.

Cost per page

Usually given in cents, the cost per page is the approximate amount of money each printed page costs you. To calculate the cost per page for black, take the cost of the ink cartridge or toner cartridge and divide it by the page yield. To calculate the cost per page for colour, divide the price by the page yield. Add each one together with the cost per page for black and you’ll get the estimated cost per page for a colour print.

We hope this helps you when you next purchase your ink cartridges or toner cartridges. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us or check out our Support & FAQ page for more answers.

Nic Venter

About the author

Nic Venter+

 is the founder and director of He started the business in 2009 with the idea to sell ink and toner cartridges online and to provide you with a quality product, value for money and convenience. He regularly blogs on about printing and technology. Part of his philosophy is having fun and making sure that he and his team think everything ink, so you don't have to.

comments powered by Disqus
visa-logo mastercard-logo eft-logo

© Inksaver CC 2012
Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Kyocera, Lexmark, Oki, Samsung, Xerox and other manufacturer brand names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective owners who have no association with or make any endorsement of the products or services provided by InkSaver.