Can You Use HP Cartridges in a Lexmark Printer?

By Tara Hornor

  • Overview

    Many people are interested in using HP cartridges in a Lexmark printer because HP produces ink cartridges that can be significantly less expensive than those required to refill a Lexmark Printer. Unfortunately, the two are not compatible, but you still have some options.
  • Size

    HP cartridges are not the same size as the LexmarkpPrinter ink cartridges. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get the cartridge to fit properly. In some cases the two companys' cartridges can look very similar, but they are not interchangeable.
  • Electronics

    Believe it or not, modern ink cartridges are small electronic devices as well as ink distributors. Each company has its own set of software---called drivers---that communicate with these ink cartridges. Even if you somehow managed to make the cartridge fit, the software in the Lexmark printer would not be able to properly communicate with the HP cartridge.

  • Ink

    All inks are not created equally. Each printer manufacturer has specific specifications that must be followed for the ink to be applied to the paper properly. HP cartridges may contain ink that is not compatible with Lexmark printers.
  • Refills

    Many manufacturers and third party companies offer ink refill kits that are often a fraction of the cost of a new cartridge. You should be able to got to a local office supply store or even national retailers and find an ink refill kit. As a caution, each kit for each type of cartridge is very different and the refill instructions can be lengthy. Make sure the dollars you save are worth the time it will take to perform the refill. Also remember that you will be working with ink, so do not work over carpet or in expensive clothes.
  • Third-Party Suppliers

    A number of third-party companies have begun to offer new cartridges for name-brand printers. These third-party ink cartridges can be considerably less expensive. You should be able to find these cartridges at office supply stores, major retailers, or even online.
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