Learn About Ink vs. Toner Cartridge to Order the Right Product

Cartridges make the printing happen in your printer. Ordering the incorrect product can cause inconvenience of the return shipment. Ink and toner are both different kinds of printer cartridges. Each has its pros and cons. It is sensible to learn the difference, so you know that you will order the right product.

Ink vs. toner cartridge

On Need More Ink e-shop, you can order premium quality ink or toner cartridges at affordable rates. In brief, ink cartridge contains liquid designed for use in inkjet printers, while toner cartridge uses dry powder used in laser printers.

Ink is either pigment or dye-based. Traditional inkjet printers use dye-based inks. They are cheaper than pigment-based and preferred for their vibrant and life-like photo printing quality. Dye-based ink is not waterproof and vulnerable o smudging and prone to fade within 25 years.

Pigment-based inks offer a crisper finish. It dries quickly and professional graphic designers and photographers’ value it because they can print-quality images that can be archived. It resists UV lights and water. It does not fade for a couple of centuries. When the ink runs out, then get it refilled or throw it away and buy a new one.

Toner is a dry powder that does not get messy like ink if handled inappropriately. The monochrome laser printer uses a solo black toner cartridge to print. Color laser printers use 4 different colors including cyan, yellow, magenta, and black for printing. The drum unit is crucial for printing because it works with a toner cartridge. It helps to fuse toner powder into the paper. The toner cartridge has an inbuilt drum unit and is also sold as a separate single unit depending on printer design. Toner cartridge is available in two types – a complete disposable unit and refillable units.

Cost per page difference

The per-page printing cost differ. It depends on the toner or ink quality. It is based on 5%-page coverage. Every cartridge is exposed to a page yield test based on the ISO/IEC 24711 specifications. It helps to decide what page yield customers will gain. Cartridge size is available in Standard and XL. The standard size cartridge is less costly than XL. Therefore, customers with occasional print needs can opt for the standard yield cartridge.

When page yield of inkjet and laser printers are compared then toner is found to be less costly than ink cartridges even though its upfront cost is high.

For example –

  • HP 63 standard yield cartridge costs $20.89 and prints 190 pages. Cost per page = 11 cents
  • HP 63XL black ink cartridge costs $39.89 and prints 480 pages. Cost per page = 8.3 cents
  • Brother TN850 standard toner cartridge costs $109.99 and prints 6,000 pages. Cost per page = 1.8 cents
  • Brother TN880 super high yield cartridge costs $124.99 and prints 12,000 pages. Cost per page = 1 cent

Remember, higher yield is equivalent to more prints but every printer is not compatible with high yield cartridges. Therefore, check your printer manual to find out if the high yield option is available or not!

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