Best Third-Party Ink Replacements for Canon Printers Windows Central 2021
As someone who writes and takes photos for a living, I go through a lot of ink. My Canon printer was inexpensive, as most inkjet models are these days, but replacing the ink cartridges is not so budget-friendly. Enter third-party replacement ink cartridges that sell for a fraction of the cost and do just as good of a job as OEM cartridges. My favorite cartridges from E-Z Ink produce superb results and are a great value. If you're looking for a more affordable option to Canon's OEM cartridges, check out these third-party replacements.
- Best Overall: E-Z Ink
- Best Value: Office World
- Best Evironmentally Friendly Cartridges: ValueToner
- Best Bulk Kit: Arthur Imaging
- Best for Paper Printing: GPC Image
- Best Customer Service: K-Ink
- Best High Yield: LxTek
- Best Colors: Smart Ink
Best Overall: E-Z Ink
This kit from E-Z Ink includes a whole lot of ink! You'll get three large black cartridges and for color, three cyan, three magentas, three yellow, and three small black. The page yield for black is 500 pages per cartridge and color cartridges print roughly 300 pages.
The colors that come out of E-Z Ink are bright and accurate, making them an excellent choice for color documents, brochures, and photographs. The black ink cartridges are also spot-on for color and dry quickly with no bleed-through.
On the flip side, these can be a hassle to install. During installation, once you remove the sticky tab that holds the ink inside the cartridge, the color ink tend to drip out, so you'll need to be quick.
- Includes 15 cartridges
- 24-month shelf life
- Excellent high-def printing
- Accurate colors
- Can be messy to install
- No gray cartridges included
Best Value: Office World
The Office World package comes with 18 cartridges, including six large black, three small black, three cyan, three magenta, and three yellow. The black cartridges can produce 500 pages, and the color cartridges print 300 or so before needing replacement.
This kit has a shelf life of two years, so you can stock up without worrying about the cartridges going bad or losing color before you have a chance to put them to work. The included chip accurately measures the ink level and guarantees your printer will recognize cartridges.
We found these cartridges to be an excellent replacement for Canon's models. They're inexpensive and put out more ink than the OEM cartridges. Beware though because once opened, these cartridges dry out quicker than other options. If you're not doing bulk printing, this may not be the best budget option for you.
- Clear black text
- Colors render correctly
- Cartridges do not leak
- Missing the gray cartridge
- Once opened, the ink dries out quicker than other choices
Best Evironmentally Friendly Cartridges: ValueToner
ValueToner is all about quality printing and keeping its products sustainable. Each kit comes with a pre-paid envelope to ship used cartridges back to the company where they're refurbished, refilled, and resold again.
This remanufactured kit includes a large black cartridge and a large tri-color cartridge. You can squeeze out about 400 pages per black cartridge and 300 pages with the tri-color.
The colors from ValueToner are accurate and don't smudge, always producing clear text, clean lines, and a consistency page-after-page that rivals the original replacement cartridges from Canon.
- Vibrant colors
- Simple installation
- Prints well on any type of paper
- No bleed-through
- Pricier than other options
- Ink level doesn't always display correctly
Best Bulk Kit: Arthur Imaging
If you're looking to stock an entire office or you go through beaucoup amounts of ink, this kit from Arthur Imaging is the answer to your frugal prayers. There are 28 ink cartridges here, including 12 large blacks, four small blacks, four cyans, four yellows, and four magentas.
Depending on the cartridge, page yield varies from 500 to 665 pages. We found the included smart chip on each cartridge contributed to the ease of installation, and always displayed the ink level accurately during our testing.
On the downside, the large black cartridges are prone to leaking when the ink seal is removed before installation. Have a few rags handy to catch any splashes and keep the cartridge upright until just before locking into place on the printer, and you'll be a happier camper than I was.
- 28 cartridges included
- Easy to install
- Rivals OEM ink quality
- Includes one-year guarantee
- Some cartridges prone to leaking
- No gray cartridges
Best for Paper Printing: GPC Image
You get a 12-pack of ink cartridges with this kit, including four large black, two small black, two cyan, two magenta, and two yellow. The large black cartridges can push out 500 pages before running out of juice, and the color cartridges turn out 300 pages.
Each cartridge in this inexpensive kit from GPC Image includes a chip that makes installation easy and helps to determine the current ink level accurately, so you never run out mid-project.
The black text comes out clear as can be and color documents and pages print smudge-free, and colors are always correct. If you're a photographer though, you may want to take a pass. Colors on photo paper cast a red hue, ruining landscape shots and portraits.
- True colors
- Vibrant colors on paper
- Not great for printing photos
- No gray cartridges
Best Customer Service: K-Ink
These affordable cartridges from K-Ink work every bit as well as the original Canon brand cartridges. This 12-pack comes with two large blacks, two small blacks, two cyans, two yellows, two magentas, and two grays.
We found the color to be up to par with OEM cartridges. Photos rendered accurately, and the black text was clear and clean. We had no bleed-through during our extensive testing, and the ink printed out evenly through all documents.
K-Ink wants you to be happy with your purchase, and it shows with its exceptional customer service. We received a dud cartridge, and it was replaced immediately, no questions asked. All ink cartridges have a shelf life of 24 months and a one-year guarantee.
- Good value
- Includes gray cartridges
- Prints photos and documents well
- Dries quickly
- A few dud cartridges produced error codes during installation
- Once opened, the ink dries out quickly
Best High Yield: LxTek
LxTek designed this kit for those who need to print page after page all day long. The four-pack comes with one large black cartridge, one cyan, one magenta, and one yellow. Page yield equals up to 1,200 pages per black cartridge and 900 pages per color. Wow!
These replacement ink cartridges have Intelligent IC Chips installed to ensure compatibility with your printer. Ink levels are always displayed accurately, and there was no mess with the installation.
We found quality control to be excellent with these cartridges. Each printed consistently across hundreds of pages of paper without running, smearing, or bleeding through paper. Colors are vibrant and true to life, and blacks are dark and easy to read.
- Vibrant, accurate colors
- No leaks during installation
- High yield output
- Consistent printing
- Black ink tends to clog printer head
- Not good for printing photos
Best Colors: Smart Ink
The high-capacity cartridges from Smart Ink are known for their excellent color rendering. Photos, color documents, and envelopes all print cleanly and with perfect color matching.
This 10-pack combo kit comes with two large black cartridges, two small blacks, two cyans, two magentas, and two yellows. The cartridges fit like OEM units and were immediately recognized by our compatible Canon printers.
Each cartridge comes in vacuum-sealed packaging to ensure freshness, and they have a shelf life of up to two years.
- Excellent colors
- Great for photos and documents
- Vacuum-sealed packaging
- Two-year shelf life
- Ink takes a long time to dry
- Colors may smear while waiting to dry
My favorite third-party ink replacements for Canon printers come from E-Z Ink. With 15-packs of ink included, this package is one heck of a bargain.
Our test printers immediately recognized E-Z Ink cartridges, and they installed in seconds. The only issue we had was that ink tended to cause the printer head to clog during heavy printing sessions. Since this is also an issue with some OEM cartridges, this doesn't stop me from recommending these as the best option.
If you do bulk print jobs, the cartridges from Office World are a clear winner on value. Though lacking gray cartridges, their kit comes with a whopping 18 cartridges that never leak and render colors beautifully.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jodi Owan is a freelance writer and photographer who has been published in print and online. When not hiking through the backwoods with a camera, she can be found testing and writing about technology. Find her on Instagram and her website
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