Determining if Your Printer Uses Toner Cartridges – Toner cartridges are used by laser printers, copiers, and some fax machines. Laser printer toner cartridges are generally about 9 to 12 inches wide. This is much larger than a typical inkjet cartridge. In addition, the laser printing process uses a fuser to melt the laser toner to the page. As a result, the paper that comes out of laser printers is usually warm. Most laser printer cartridges come in black. While colored toner is available, color laser printers are generally much more expensive. If your printer does not meet the requirements listed above, then it probably uses inkjet cartridges.
What is Laser Toner?
Unlike ink, toner is a dry powdery substance. During the laser printing process it is electrically charged so that it is attracted to the printer drum. The toner is then transferred to the paper. The fuser is responsible for melting the laser toner to create a permanent image on the paper.
Different Types of Toner Cartridges
When your toner cartridges become empty, you have several options for purchasing new toner. The links below provide more information about each type.
OEM Laser Toner Cartridges – OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) toner cartridges are the same ones that come with your laser printer. They are generally manufactured by the company that makes the printer. For example, HP laser printers come with HP toner cartridges. OEM laser printer toner cartridges are the most expensive type. You can save money be choosing remanufactured toner cartridges, compatible toner cartridges, or toner refill kits. OEM cartridges offer more security because they have the backing of an entire company.
Many manufacturers recommend only using OEM laser toner cartridges with their printers to achieve the best results. However, they are also trying to get you to buy their product. OEM toner cartridges are generally the most expensive, and there usually is not a big difference in quality between an OEM cartridge and a quality compatible or remanufactured toner cartridge.
Compatible Toner Cartridges – Compatible toner cartridges are similar to the OEM cartridges that come with your laser printer. The only difference is that they are made by a different manufacturer. Compatible toner cartridges are usually manufactured by a generic company, but some brand name companies also offer compatible toner cartridges for other laser printer brands. Compatible printer cartridges generally offer the same print quality as new cartridges and are subject to the same standards.
The main benefit of using compatible toner cartridges is price. A compatible cartridge will generally cost much less than a brand new OEM cartridge, while offering similar printing results. In addition, using compatible toner cartridges will not void your printer’s warranty.
Remanufactured Toner Cartridges – Remanufactured toner cartridges are previously-used toner cartridges that have been restored at the factory. They are also known as recycled toner cartridges. When the cartridge is empty, you send it back to the manufacturer. Many companies accept the cartridges at no charge. At the factory the printer cartridges are disassembled, cleaned, and refilled with new toner. Remanufactured toner cartridges are thoroughly tested to ensure that they offer the same high quality as new OEM cartridges. Remanufactured toner cartridges are available for most laser printers.
Remanufactured printer cartridges offer two key advantages over new toner cartridges. The first is price. Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges are generally cheaper than new cartridges. Therefore, by purchasing remanufactured toner cartridges you will save yourself or your company money. Second, remanufactured cartridges are more environmentally-friendly than new toner cartridges. By reusing the cartridges, you are helping to cut down the amount of waste that is deposited into landfills and protecting other creatures from the harmful materials in the cartridges.
Toner Refills – Toner refills are generally the most inexpensive method for purchasing new toner. Most toner refills are sold as kits that include everything you need to refill your empty toner cartridge yourself. Toner refill kits are easy to use and often come with detailed instructions. It takes just a few minutes to refill your empty cartridge with the bottled toner that is included in the kit.
Toner refills can save you a considerable amount of money over buying new OEM or even compatible toner cartridges. Toner refill kits include everything you need and are easy enough that anyone can refill their empty toner cartridges in minutes. In addition, toner refills are universal. Therefore, if you purchase a new laser printer and still have remaining toner from your refill kit, it can be used on the new printer.
Toner Cartridge Brands
Toner Cartridge Advantages
Laser printers that use toner cartridges offer several advantages over inkjet printers. First, laser printer cartridges are able to print thousands of pages and are usually cheaper per page than inkjet cartridges. They also print much more quickly than inkjet cartridges, and laser toner works on almost any paper type. The only downside to laser toner cartridges is that they cost more initially. However, in the long run they are usually more economical if you will be doing a lot of printing.