• Printer ink cartridges may include built-in print heads, but others may not. Printer cartridges without attached print heads are designed for use with printers that have built-in print heads.


    The print head transfers ink from the cartridge onto the printing paper. Print heads come in two forms, fixed and disposable.

    Consumer vs. Commercial

    Disposable ink cartridges with print heads attached are commonly used with ink jet printers. When it comes to printers, ink jets are the norm in the consumer market. Ink cartridges without built-in print heads are most often associated with high-end fixed-head printers and commercial use.

    Disposable Print Head Advantages

    The major advantage of the built-in print head cartridge is that it's disposable. This results in low maintenance. If the print head inside a fixed-head printer becomes damaged, professional repairs and replacements can be costly.

    Disposable Print Head Disadvantages

    Like fixed-head print heads, disposable print heads can require cleaning, which ultimately takes away from the hassle-free nature of the disposable cartridge.

    Print Head Cleaning

    Ink can dry in the print head, which blocks the flow of ink and results in defective and low-quality printing. The print head can be cleaned manually or with the use of software.

    Source: "How To Clean A Dirty Print Head" Printers

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