pigment ink vs. dye ink

Dye Ink vs. Pigment Ink: What’s the Difference?

When choosing between printer inks, it’s time to get a little bit technical! Well, not so much, just a bit will help you understand the scenario better and utilize a printer wisely. You might already have learned that printer inks are usually categorized as dye-based and pigment-based.

So what are these inks?

And which one should you choose?

Basically, it’ll vary based on the type of your printer and the purpose of your printing. While some printers will use dye-based or pigment-based, others like Canon printers might have the ability to use both.

Also, the quality will vary based on a certain type you’ve inserted. So that’s when your question rises; dye ink vs. pigment ink, what’s best and why?

With that in mind, let’s dig down deeper into that!

Difference between Dye and Pigment Ink

Knowing the difference between these two types of inks will indeed help you a lot. If you know the pros and cons of each type, you should understand what you need and why. Most importantly, if you’re about to upgrade to a brand new high-quality printer, you can set on a certain type that’ll meet all your needs perfectly.

So, let’s take a closer look at each of these types -

What are Pigment Inks?

For this type, the solid color power particles are suspended into the ink to produce the color. That makes it more stable, preventing it from fading out easily. So you can achieve very accurate printing without any smudges. One way to identify pigment inks in your printer is that they’re filled in black cartridges.

1. Benefits of Pigment Inks

pigment inks

Here’re some great advantages you’ll get from your printer loaded with pigment-based inks -

  • Better printing quality
  • The color is more stable
  • Dries quickly and doesn’t pass through
  • Good for photos and special items
  • Sunlight protective and waterproof
  • Great for formal printings
  • Doesn’t fade out quickly

2. Disadvantages of Pigment Inks

Being more a professional option, however, it also has some drawbacks such as -

  • This is a bit more pricy
  • The output might not be much more vibrant or bright
  • Less color option

What are Dye Inks?

Dye Inks

In this case, the dye is liquefied in water. And it also contains some other ink compounds, providing a more vibrant printing capability. It's worth mentioning that dye-based inks are filled in color cartridges in your printer.

1. Benefits of Dye Inks

This also has some pros and cons on its way. And we’ll start first by looking at the benefits.

  • Brighter printing output
  • A more vibrant option
  • Many color options

2. Disadvantages of Pigment Inks

Now, it’s time to talk about the cons. And those are as follows -

  • Not sunlight protective
  • The surface is a bit more anoint
  • Some will fade out within a short time
  • Not very sharp and accurate printing
  • Ink might pass through the paper
  • Takes a longer time to dry
  • Not water resistant

Dye Or, Pigment Ink: Which One Should You Choose?

If we go straight, the choice depends on what your printer supports and what type of document you’re about to print.

If you’re printing any important office text documents, records, deeds, academic papers that need to be preserved for a very long time, then you must choose to print with pigment-based. So, it’s more suitable for industrial and commercial applications.

It'll ensure the ink doesn't fade out besides giving you a high-quality image. Also, the papers will be water and sunlight-protective.

Contrarily, If you're printing something on a gift card, cardstock, envelop, or some sort of craft paper that isn't intended for long-term use, dye-based inks will suit you best. So it's mostly recommended for indoor purposes.

And you’ll get it pretty much brighter that attracts eyes. However, this might not last for a long time.


So that’s all about the differences between pigment ink vs. dye ink. Hopefully, we're able to give you a quick round-up. And this will help you set on a certain type more accurately.

But, if you've got a printer with a dual ink setting, this shouldn’t make you worried, though. Based on the printing needs, you can switch between the two options. For the most part, show up your printings skills very cleverly!

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