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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The Ultimate Guide for Canon PG-260 CL-261 ink Cartridge

canon 260xl guide

Canon PG-260 and CL-261 are perfect partners for home and small office printers. It can provide us with excellent printing pictures, whether black-and-white documents or colorful photos. Through this guide, you can better understand the difference between the two types of ink cartridges, how to install and how to save more expenses on the ink cartridges. Let’s jump in!

What printer models are compatible with Canon PG-260 and CL-261?

  • Canon PIXMA TR7020
  • Canon PIXMA TS5320
  • Canon PIXMA TS6420

Specifications of Canon PG-260 and CL-261

  • Canon PG-260 standard yield black ink cartridge prints 180 pages.
  • Canon PG-260XL high yield black ink cartridge prints 400 pages.
  • Canon CL-261 standard yield color ink cartridge prints 180 pages.
  • Canon CL-261XL high yield color ink cartridge prints 300 pages.

What is the difference between PG-260 and CL-261?

PG-260 and PG-260XL are black ink cartridges which only contain black ink.

CL-261 and CL-261XL are tri-color ink cartridges which contain cyan, magenta and yellow three colors in a cartridge.

PG-260 and CL-261 have fixed slots and their positions cannot be interchanged during installation.

260xl installation

The latch with the letter “B” is for the black ink cartridge (PG-260 / PG-260XL), while the latch with the letter “C” is for the tri-color or colored cartridge (CL-261 / CL-261XL). Any changeover would result in the destruction of both cartridges, so proceed with caution.

What is the difference between tri-color and individual color cartridges?

As we all know, color ink cartridges are divided into tri-color ink cartridge and individual color ink cartridge.

  • Popular black and tri-color cartridge sets: Canon PG-240 black / CL-241 color, PG-245 black / CL-246 color, PG-260 black / CL-261 color and PG-275 / CL-276 color.
  • Popular individual color ink cartridge: HP 902 / 902XL, 962 / 962XL, 952 / 952XL, 910 / 910XL.

What’s the difference between them?

1. The position of the print head

  • The print heads of the tri-color cartridges are built tightly into the ink box, so they should be replaced every time the cartridge is replaced.
  • Individual ink cartridge does not have a built-in print head. Instead, the print head is built into the printer.

2. Different colors stored in one cartridge or in different cartridges

  • Tri-color ink cartridge includes three chambers inside that are filled with cyan, magenta and yellow ink.
  • Individual color ink cartridge means cyan, magenta and yellow ink cartridge has its own separate ink cartridge.

3. Can it be replaced separately

  • For a tri-color ink cartridge, if there is not enough ink for a particular color, the entire cartridge must be replaced.
  • For Individual color ink cartridges, each color can be changed separately as needed.

View here to get more detail about tri-color vs. Individual color cartridges.

What is the difference between PG and CL?

If you carefully observe Canon printer cartridges, you will find that many of them are started with “PG” and “CL”, and these two kinds of cartridges often need to be used together. What’s the difference between them?

Canon marks their ink cartridges with specific letters to distinguish their ink types and colors. For example, the ink cartridge with “PG” is filled with pigment ink, usually black, which is very suitable for printing text.

“CL” stands for ChromaLife, usually in color, and is used to mark its dye-based ink. Dye-based ink can print bright and vivid colors, which is very suitable for photo printing.

How to save on Canon PG-260 and CL-261 ink cartridge?

As we all know, ink cartridges are very expensive. A Canon PG-260 black ink cartridge can only print 180 pages, costs $17.99, the cost per page is 9.99 cents. How to save more cost on ink cartridges? V4ink provides you with the best quality and best price alternative – v4ink Remanufactured Canon PG-260XL high yield black ink cartridge and PG-260XL black & CL-261XL color combo pack. They are high-volume versions that can provide you with more pages of printouts, all items are auto-produced strictly under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 STMC standard, with over 1.40 black uniform density, firm fixation, sharp printout, which are totally comparable to the originals.

V4ink PG-260XL black & CL-261XL color combo pack only $55.98 can provide you with 300 pages per color cartridge and 400 pages per black cartridge and save you up to 11% than ordering original products.

How to install Canon PG-260 CL-261 into Canon ts6420, ts5320 and tr7020 printers?

Before installing the ink cartridge into your printer, please note that the printer needs to install PG-260 and CL-261 at the same time to work normally. Only installing one of them cannot work normally.

In addition, the physical dimensions of the standard yield and the high yield version are the same, so they are installed in the same way regardless of standard or high-yield. Let’s start the installation:

Step 1 – Lift up the printer cover.

Step 2 – Wait until the printhead stops moving.

Step 3 – Press the cartridge to remove it out of the printer.

Step 4 – Take out the new cartridge from the package.

Step 5 – Remove the protective cover of the ink cartridge.

Step 6 – Remove the sealing tape (Note: Avoid touching the golden points while handling the cartridges).

Step 7 – Insert the cartridge into the slot (Keep in mind that the latch with the letter B is for the black cartridge, while the latch with the letter C is for the tri-color or colored cartridge. Any changeover would result in the destruction of both cartridges, so proceed with caution.).

Step 8 – Close up the machine cover and now you can start printing!

FAQs about Canon pg-260 and cl-261?

  • Can I mix standard and high yield ink cartridges?

Generally speaking, there is no problem. Since the sizes of standard and high yield version are the same, there will be no problem as long as they are installed in the corresponding slot.

  • Is XL cartridge better?

The main difference of XL cartridge and standard cartridge is the XL cartridge contains more ink. Therefore, XL cartridge can provide more pages and with a lower cost per page.

  • Do you need to install both cartridges to use?

Yes, definitely! As I mentioned above PG-260 Black ink cartridge and CL-261 color ink cartridge need to be installed into the printer at the same time, otherwise, it will not work normally.

  • What to do if the printer shows “Low ink”, “no cartridge” after I just install a new one?

There are usually two kinds of situations.

One is the ink cartridge is not installed correctly. When installing the ink cartridge, make sure that the protective tape and protective cover are removed and installed in the correct card slot.

Second, the error message is displayed only because the cartridge is remanufactured. There is a chip inside the original ink cartridge to record how many pages have been printed and they cannot be reset. As a result, the printer still reads the information of the old ink cartridge. Therefore, you need to reset your printer manually.

Reset method:

1. Remove all cartridges from the printer.

2. Power off the printer and unplug it from the wall.

3. Place cartridges back in the printer. Allow the printer to sit for 10-15 minutes.

4. Plug in the printer and turn it on.

After the above reset process, your printer should allow you to print now. If the printer still does not allow you to print after the reset process, reinstall the printer driver.

After resetting and reinstalling, the empty cartridge messages may appear on the printer. Messages include “no cartridge”, “low ink level”, “cartridge unrecognized”, or other situations that indicate a problem with the new cartridge. In any of these cases, you can safely ignore the error message and print happily.

If you find any further questions during using Canon PG-260 and CL-261 ink cartridges, please feel free to contact us by email:

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