If you are grappling with important prints for the first time, you will surely be faced with complicated choices. Laser or inkjet printer? Ink or toner? In fact, it’s easy to get into trouble, especially if you’re a beginner and don’t really know what you’re dealing with. At a glance, however, once we compare the two systems, a question immediately arises: why does printer toner make a better impression than ink? What I feel like asking before answering is: do you know what kind of inks your printer needs? And do you know what the difference between toner and ink is?
Let’s start with the type of printer you have. Do laser printers use ink? No, a laser printer uses toner which will need a replacement toner cartridge when it runs out. If you have an inkjet printer, you need ink cartridges. Both types of printers do the job they were designed for: it’s the way they arrive at the result that is different. So, are toner and ink the same? The answer is no, and they are not interchangeable. Printer toner is one thing, inkjet toner is another. Let’s explore the differences between the two and some pros and cons of each.
Toner for printer and ink
The ink is especially made for inkjet printers. It comes in liquid form inside a small plastic cartridge. Inkjet printers work by squeezing the ink through small nozzles that deposit microscopic dots of ink directly onto the paper. It is a bit like putting pen to paper when writing, but it is done more quickly and meticulously. Most inkjet printers print in black or colour. This type of printer contains four cartridges: black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. Each cartridge snaps into place and pops out easily when it’s time to replace it. Some inkjet printers now come with refillable “ink tanks” which limit how often the entire cartridge needs to be replaced.
The advantages of using ink:
• Cartridges are small and easy to replace
• Cleaner prints are less prone to smearing
• Inkjet printers are cheap
The cons of using ink:
• Inkjet printers have slower output
• Ink cartridges need to be replaced more often
What is Printer Toner?
Printer toner is a very fine powder composed mainly of plastic polymers and dyes. The toner powder is electrostatically charged inside the printer and fuses with the paper as it passes over a metal drum in the printer. Black toner is typically used in laser printing. Colour toner is available, but it is expensive and rarely used outside of specialized businesses.
Printer toner is available in long rectangular cartridges, which are larger than inkjet cartridges. Although toner cartridges are more expensive than ink cartridges, they last much longer, making laser printing a more affordable option in the long run if you are printing a lot. A standard toner cartridge prints 2,000 to 3,000 pages, compared to an inkjet cartridge that produces 200 to 300.
The benefits of toner for the printer
• Laser printers print faster
• Images are sharper and clearer
• Toner cartridges produce more prints
The cons of using printer toner:
• Laser printers cost more
• Toner refills are more expensive
Having said that, the problem is not whether to choose between ink cartridges or toner but rather what type of printer to buy. This mainly depends on the type of printing you will be doing. Inkjet printers are more commonly used at home or small businesses because they cost less and don’t need to accommodate large print volumes.
Laser printers are typically found in offices because they are fast, making them ideal for printing a high volume of text-based documents although they are more expensive. In short, they are a better long-term investment. The important thing is that you know that printer toner is only suitable for one of these two options!