Why is the quality of my printing so bad?


This is a question we get asked all the time and it can be caused by so many factors. For the sake of this article I am going to only talk about the main stream inkjet and laser printers otherwise we will be here all day!!

Before I go on, the following problems and causes can be the same for original and compatibles. Originals are not 100% faultless. However, that said, there is a higher incident of cartridge faults with compatibles, re-manufactured and generic cartridges. BUT remember that we guarantee all of our products (within date) for quality, so please do not hesitate if you are unfortunate enough to pick up a problem cartridge.

So let’s look at some common problems and causes. These are by no means the only possibilities 🙂 but I have highlighted in red the most likely.


  1. Feint printing – Toner low / bad drum or mag roller in the cartridge / incorrect toner in the cartridge / weak charge from the printer through the cartridge and toner / laser scanner unit needs cleaning.
  2. Regular marks on page – Damaged or faulty drum or mag roller / damage or toner build up on fuser.
  3. Irregular marks on page – Overfull waste unit on cartridge / faulty cartridge / fuser sleeve failing.
  4. Print smudges – Fuser not up to temperature / incorrect toner in the cartridge.
  5. Print fades on one side – Toner running low on one side of the cartridge / bad drum or mag roller


  1. Lines missing – Head needs cleaning / ink running low / faulty cartridge or heads.
  2. No print – faulty cartridge or heads  / cartridge empty / heads blocked
  3. Colours not right – one or more colours missing (same possibilities as 1. and 2. / colours contaminated.
  4. Printer giving cartridge error – Faulty cartridge / cartridge needs resetting / contacts on cartridge and printer dirty / faulty printer.
  5. Erratic print problem, definite stop, start printing or printing blocks – Electronic fault on cartridge / faulty printer.
  6. Prints symbols instead of what was told to print – corrupt driver.
  7. Printer does not print on command – bad driver or cable / faulty printer / faulty cartridge / no paper / cover open

Whatever the reason it is that your printer is not performing properly, please bring it to us and let us diagnose the fault. This way you will get the best advice and solution to your problem and ultimately costing you the minimum financially.

I hope this article is helpful and gives some insight into what your printer is up to 🙂

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions –  we are here to help you keep your printing affordable!!

Have a fantastic February folks and look out for our big news in the next news letter!


Stuart and the team at Ink Unlimited

Ink Unlimited

Shop 3, Kirstenhof Building

Knysna Rd

George, Western Cape6529

South Africa

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