XL Ink Cartridges

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Posted: Apr 13, 2016 02:46 PM
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XL Ink Cartridges

What is an XL cartridge and are they beneficial to use.  Not sure what an 'XL' cartridge is?  Let us explain.

An 'XL' cartridge has a higher ink volume than a 'standard' size cartridge.  The physical size of the cartridge will often be the same, in both standard and XL, but the XL will hold more ink inside the cartridge, lasting longer before needing to be replaced.


XL Ink Cartridges

Many manufacturers these days such as Canon, Epson and HP, offer both standard size cartridges and XL cartridges as an option for use with their printers.  

An XL cartridge can have many names such as 'high capacity', 'high volume' and 'high yield' are some of the common ones.  In most cases you will find the physical size of the cartridge is the same.  It is really all about the volume of ink in the cartridge.  

Are using XL cartridges a good idea?

Only if you print regularly and you think you will use up all the ink in a reasonable time frame.  You don't want to have to pay the higher cost for the larger capacity cartridge and not end up using it, wasting your money.
High yield cartridges, contain more ink, in theory saving you money.  If you print regularly you will find the XL cartridges a much better option.  They can be a time saver, no interruptions to your printing when a cartridge needs to be replaced, lets face it, always happening when you're in a rush. They can also be better value $ for $ against the standard size cartridge across the brands.  Some of the newer cartridges on the market can give you 2.5X the amount of prints versus the standard size ink cartridge as is common with Epson and HP.

Now I'm going to use Canon 650's as an example, but other manufacturers such as Epson and Hewlett Packard, offer the same XL versions with their cartridges too.XL Ink Cartridges


Canon 650 black - ink volume of 15mls.    
Canon 650XL black - ink volume of 22mls.


The 15ml cartridge is the 'standard size' and the 22ml is the 'XL' cartridge.




Using a printer with individual ink cartridges is a great option too in my opinion.  You can really taylor your printer to your needs.  Using my Canon ix6860 printer I can use either the standard size 650 /651 cartridges or the high capacity version.  In reality I find it more economical to use a mix of both sizes at the same time.  XL Cartridges

I go through the large black '650' and colour '651' cyan cartridges frequently so I choose to install the XL versions of these.  Both the magenta and yellow are used less frequently throughout my printing tasks so I have installed the standard size cartridges for both these colours.  Blue and black are what I use most, so for me the XL 650 / 651 cartridges are the better choice.

Not sure what the yields are for your printer?  

Take a look at your printer specifications.  Go to your particular manufacturers website and search for your machine model.  You are searching for 'printer specifications or the brochure for your particular machine which will give you the details you are looking for.  All the information is at our fingertips these days which is really helpful.

Page yields are calculated at 5% coverage, printing both text and a light graphic on plain paper or either a 4"x6 photo.  The manufacturers will usually give you yields for both types of paper.


For example, my machine, the Canon ix6860 uses the

  • PGI-650 Black
  • CLI-651 Black
  • CLI-651 Cyan
  • CLI-651 Magenta
  • CLI-651 Yellow

I have the option of using the high capacity versions (XL's), PGI-650XL, CLI-651 XL black, cyan, magenta and yellow.  And just to confuse the issue, this model printer also can use a PGI-655XXL extra high capacity cartridge, which I do in fact use.

So I can expect approximate ink yields for a

Borderless 4x6” photo
PGI-650BK / XL (approx. 2300 / 4600), CLI-651C / XL (approx. 121 / 270), CLI-651M / XL (approx. 140 / 313), CLI-651Y / XL (approx. 120 / 271); CLI-651BK / XL (approx 421 / 1130) PGI-655 BK XXL (approx 7500)

Plain paper A4
PGI-650BK / XL (approx. 375 / 620), CLI-651C / XL (approx. 332 / 700), CLI-651M / XL (approx. 333 / 670), CLI-651Y / XL (approx. 329 / 700); CLI-651BK / XL (approx. 1645 / 5000) PGI-655 BK XXL (approx 1000)


Here's what you would see looking at the Canon ix6860 brochure.  It lists both page yield specifications for printing on plain A4 sized paper or printing a 4"x6" size photo.



Are you aware an inkjet printer needs to be used regularly?

Yes they really do.  Using liquid ink means inkjet printers should be used regularly to maintain optimal printhead health!  And what on earth does she mean by that??

If you let you printer sit unused and unloved for extended periods you run the risk of ink drying in the print head, cartridges drying out and a lot of time and money trying to bring it back to health and endless frustration.

Now you just need to decide which is the best option for you - happy printing :)


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