Single-ink Cartridge vs. Multiple-ink Cartridge

Some HP printer models can only carry single ink cartridges while others can carry multiple ink cartridges. What’re the differences between them?

Single Ink Cartridge

These are cartridges that contain only one color. Since ink cartridges can’t last forever, you need to replace them once they run out of ink. For single ink cartridges, this means you have to buy a black ink cartridge and a tri-color cartridge with HP refills. A tri-color cartridge is composed of yellow, magenta, and cyan. There are also HP printer models that use extra colors like light magenta and light cyan. These colors can ensure higher quality print.

The advantage of the single ink cartridge is this: When the black cartridge is empty, you can still print text and pictures. When the tri-color cartridge is empty, you can still print documents in black. The disadvantage is that you have to buy them separately and this will cost you a lot.

Multiple Ink Cartridge

To understand what multiple ink cartridge is, you need to think about the tri-color cartridge. However, instead of just yellow, magenta, and cyan, it also contains black. Thus, if you’re buying HP refills, you only need to buy one ink cartridge.

The advantage of a multiple ink cartridge is this: It has higher page yield. When a single ink cartridge becomes empty, it purges ink from the other cartridge. Purging uses a lot of ink. With multiple ink cartridge, you don’t need to worry about purging.


When choosing between a single ink cartridge and multiple ink cartridge, you need to consider the cost, page yield, and quality of the print.

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