Canon Printer Cartridge Purchase Guide

Canon Printer Cartridge Purchase Guide

If you are using a new printer for the first time, you may not know which cartridge your printer uses. Never mind, through this guide, we will lead you closer to the printer and take canon printer as an example to analyze how to select the appropriate ink cartridge and help you find the best price alternative ink cartridge. Let’s jump in!

How do you know which cartridge your printer uses?

Each printer has a specific series of printer cartridges for printing. The printer cartridge series is identified by the printer brand name, followed by the cartridge number. For example, Canon uses Canon PG-260 and CLl-261 ink cartridge series.

1. The easiest way to find out which cartridges are suitable for your printer is to open the printer and check which cartridges are currently in the machine.

2. If there is no ink cartridge inside the printer, you can search the printer model on the manufacturer’s website. The manufacturer page of your printer should contain a list of compatible cartridges. You can also search the printer model on, the compatible cartridges will list on the page.

3. You can also refer to the printer user’s guide attached to the machine to confirm the cartridge series.

Standard yield vs. High yield

After you know what series cartridge is compatible for your printer, you will find that they have many different capacities. Common cartridge capacities are divided into standard yield, high yield and extra high yield cartridge.

As the name suggests, different capacities of ink cartridges mean they contain different amounts of ink. Compared with high yield and extra-high yield cartridges, standard yield cartridges have less ink, that is, they can print fewer pages, but their price is usually relatively low. For users who don’t print often, it makes sense to spend less money on standard yield cartridges. But if you print more, it’s more cost-effective to choose high yield version. Because they can usually provide you with 2-3 times the number of printed pages of the standard yield cartridge, but the price is generally not higher than 2 times of the standard cartridge. The extra-high yield option is not common. It has more ink than high yield cartridge. In short, ink cartridges of different capacities have their applicable groups. Before buying ink cartridges, you need to consider according to your actual needs. If you are not sure about your printing capacity, it is recommended to choose standard capacity ink cartridges as a try.

  • How to identify standard yield and high yield cartridge:

Most of Canon ink cartridge models have standard and high yield version, and some contain extra-high option. How to distinguish them? The high yield version usually carries “XL” more than the end of the standard cartridge, while extra-high yield version usually carried “XXL”. Let’s take a look at the following examples:

Canon PG-260 Black ink cartridges only have standard yield and high yield options:

  • Standard yield: Canon PG-260 Black, Prints 180 pages
  • High yield: Canon PG-260XL Black, Prints 400 pages

Canon PG-250 Black ink cartridges have standard, high yield and extra high yield options:

  • Standard yield: Canon PG-250, Prints 300 pages
  • High yield: Canon PG-250XL, Prints 500 pages
  • Extra-High yield: Canon PG-250XXL, Prints 800 pages

Individual cartridge vs. Tri-color cartridge

When purchasing Canon ink cartridges, you will also find that some printers need to be used with multiple cartridges, while others only need to be used with two cartridges. Some color cartridges are individual, while some cartridges contain multiple colors. How should I choose?

  • Individual ink cartridge

This means an ink cartridge only contains one kind of color. Generally, all of the black ink cartridges are individual ink cartridges, and some series of color ink cartridges are individual ink cartridges, such as Canon CLI-251XL, CLI-270XL, CLI-281XXL, etc.

  • Tri-color ink cartridge

This means an ink cartridge contains 3 kinds of colors, it usually contains cyan, yellow and magenta in one cartridge. Such as Canon CL-261XL, CL-246XL, CL-210XL, etc.

The individual ink cartridge is more flexible than the tri-color ink cartridge. Once one of the colors is used up, you only need to change that ink cartridge. However, for tri-color ink cartridge, once one color is used up, you need to replace the whole a tri-color ink cartridge. This means you may have to throw away a cartridge when two colors are still available.

Before you buy an ink cartridge, you can open the inside of your printer to check the slot of the printer. If there are only two slots, it means that the ink cartridge you need to buy is a black and a tri-color ink cartridge. If there are more than 4 slots, it means that the ink cartridge you need to buy is individual ink cartridges.

PG / PGI vs. CL / CLI

If you observe carefully, you will notice that most Canon ink cartridges begin with “PG” and “CL”, as well as “PGI” and “CLI”. What do they mean?

In fact, Canon uses these words to mark their different types of cartridges. “PG” and “PGI” are similar. Both represent that the ink cartridge is filled with pigment based ink, which is very suitable for printing text. This cartridge is usually larger than the “CL” / “CLI” cartridge because Canon knows that most consumers print more documents than color pages. Pigment inks are often more resistant to water and UV than dye-based inks, and can resist fading for up to 200 years.

“CL” is similar to “CLI” and stands for ChromaLife, a term created by canon to mark its dye-based ink. Dye-based ink can print right, vibrant colors, which is very suitable for photo printing. They are more economical than pigment  based ink cartridges, but they get dirty easily.

“PG” ink cartridges usually need to be used together with “CL” ink cartridges (like, PG-260XL and CL-261XL), while “PGI” ink cartridges usually need to be used together with “CLI” cartridges (like, PGI-280XXL and CLI-281XXL). They complement each other and can provide you with professional black-and-white text and colorful pictures.

Original vs. Non-Original

Before buying Canon ink cartridges, you must be most concerned about the price. You will find that the same model of ink cartridges have different prices. What causes the difference in their prices?

Their main difference comes from whether they are original or non-original.

  • Original product

Original ink cartridges are usually expensive because they are made by original printer manufacturers. Original printer manufacturers don’t mind selling their printers at a lower price because they know you have to buy their cartridges for a long time to keep the printer working. Therefore, they will put the profit opportunity on the ink cartridge.

  • Non-original products

Non-original ink cartridges usually include new compatible ink cartridges and remanufactured ink cartridges.

New compatible ink cartridge are brand new and produced by a third-party manufacturer, all its parts are new. It may look different from the original ink cartridge, but it is perfectly compatible with your printer. They usually have the same print volume as the original product, but the price is only half of the original product.

Remanufactured ink cartridges are through recycling original ink cartridge, then cleaning it up, removing the damaged parts and replacing with the new parts, refilling with the new ink and through a strict test to make them reused again. Remanufactured ink cartridges are usually cheaper than original ink cartridges, and their appearance is basically the same as that of original ink cartridges, so they can be perfectly compatible with your printer. In addition, purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges is also better for the environment and can prevent one less ink cartridge from entering the landfill.

To sum up, choosing compatible or remanufactured ink cartridges can save you more money. Choosing a good brand, such as v4ink, can provide you with the best price without sacrificing product quality. V4ink products are auto-produced strictly under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 STMC standards to ensure that each product is 100% compatible with your printer and provide you with excellent printing effects. Using non-original ink cartridge can save you a lot in the long term.

If you have another question during purchasing Canon printer cartridges, please feel free to contact us with Hope this guide can help you!

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