Printer Ink or Toner: Which Is More Economical?

Printer Ink or Toner: Which Is More Economical?

03/02/2023 Information 0

It is critical to understand which type of cartridge works in your printer. If you order the wrong type of cartridge, you could end up costing your company a lot of money in some way. There is a significant difference between ink and toner cartridges, and each has advantages and disadvantages in comparison.

The Difference Between Ink and Toner
To summarise, the primary distinction between toner and ink is the type of material used to print. Ink cartridges are used in inkjet printers and contain liquid ink. Toner cartridges, also known as powder cartridges, are used in laser printers and contain toner.


Ink can be either pigment based on dye based, depending on the type of cartridge you buy. Most of the popular inkjet printers out there operate using dye-based ink. It is far more economical than the pigment-based variety and has a higher capability when it comes to producing true to life and vibrant colors in photos and prints.

The primary disadvantage of dye-based ink is that it is not waterproof and thus prone to smudging. It is also not very long lasting, fading after 25 years. The finish is much crisper with pigment ink, and it dries much faster than dye-based ink. Because of its ability to print archive-quality images and text, graphic designers and professional photographers prefer pigment-based ink over dye-based ink. It is also water and UV ray resistant, allowing it to last much longer. Pigment-based ink has a lifespan of up to 200 years.


Toner is a powder that doesn’t stain the way an ink cartridge will. It can still get messy, however, especially if you don’t handle it properly. On the one hand there are monochrome laser printers, which only use black toner, which can only be loaded with black toner cartridges. On the other hand, there are color laser printers, which use four colors of toner to print. These are black, magenta, cyan, and yellow. They are mixed together in different proportions to produce all the colors when printing.

The drum unit is another important component of your laser printer that you should be familiar with. You will be unable to print without this component of your printer. During printing, it fuses the toner powder from the toner cartridge onto the paper. Depending on how your laser printer is designed, it may be sold separately as a unit or integrated into the toner cartridge.

The toner cartridges that come with a drum built in are generally more expensive than the ones without it. However, they afford you the convenience of never having to worry about replacing the drum unit in your printer. You’re basically already doing that every time you buy a new toner cartridge.

If you buy the drum unit separately as a unit, you’ll have to replace it after between three and four replacements of the toner cartridge.

Toner vs. Ink: Which Is Better?
So which one of these two should you use and what are their strengths and weaknesses? How does the toner vs. ink match-up look?

Toner Pros
Faster Printing: The main advantage of laser printers and toner cartridges is that they produce prints much faster than inkjet printers. The reason for this is that they are extremely precise. When you print with a laser, you obviously get a lot more precision than when you print with an ink jet. When you use a laser, the laser moves across the paper and etches a pattern that appears in the final print. When you use an inkjet printer, the ink jet moves across the paper, applying ink. However, microscopic ink droplets will never be able to match the accuracy and precision of a laser beam.

Better Picture Quality: This comes about because of the natural precision of the laser printer. With that kind of precision, the images are a lot sharper and clearer than what you would get with an inkjet printer. To be entirely fair, photo-grade inkjet printers produce very high-quality prints at the same level as laser printers or even better. However, they are very expensive and, if you’re comparing like for like, a laser printer will give you a better quality picture than a similar model inkjet printer.

Lasts longer: When you compare a laser printer to a similar model inkjet printer, the laser printer will print out a lot more pages in the long run than the inkjet printer. It is faster and also functions in a fundamentally different way to the inkjet printer. It also has the ability to siphon away unused toner and reuse it. With an inkjet printer, wasted ink is wasted ink.

Toner Cons
It is messy to refill toners: When dealing with toner you’re dealing with microscopic powder. It can get quite messy if you don’t know how to handle it properly. It can smudge very easily on you and can be very difficult to remove.

It is expensive to replace: Toner cartridges are generally far more expensive than their ink counterparts, which means you will inevitably spend more on refills.

Laser printers are more expensive: Laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers. The idea is that the difference in costs will be compensated for by the increased longevity and the higher yield. They are also larger on average. If you don’t have much space, consider buying an inkjet printer instead.

Printer Ink Pros
They are less expensive: Inkjet printers are less expensive than laser printers. However, keep in mind that the lower initial cost will be offset by the frequency with which the ink cartridges must be replaced. Printer ink costs are also low, so if you don’t abuse your printer, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Ink prints don’t smear as easily as toner: It might seem counter intuitive, seeing as one is a powder, and the other is a liquid, but ink passed prints actually resist smudging more than toner prints. Of course, both types of prints will be safe if you give them time to dry. However, on the whole, ink prints will be more resilient.

The cartridges are easy to replace: Ink cartridges are smaller than toner cartridges, They are also cheaper than toner cartridges, That makes them more economical and also easier to replace than their toner counterparts.

Printer Ink Cons
Ink has a lower print yield: Yes, you’ll save money when you buy the inkjet printer and the ink cartridges that go with it. This, however, is only a short-term savings. In the long run, your inkjet printer will print fewer pages than a comparable sized laser printer. If you’re going to get an inkjet printer, make sure you don’t have a lot of print work. Otherwise, getting a laser printer would be more cost effective.

Ink cartridges clog easily: This is actually one of the greatest problems with inkjet printers. If the ink cartridge remains unused for too long, then the ink stands the risk of going dry. In that case, it could easily clog the print head in the inkjet printer. For this reason, the better models of inkjet printers come with print head cleaners that have been built into the printer.

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