With so many stores and suppliers (both online and offline), purchasing a new toner for your printer should be a breeze. But hold on! Like any tech piece, doing your research is essential to ensure that you are getting the right toner for your printer or copier. Questions like, “what kind of printer cartridge should I purchase?”, “How many should I get,” “where to get the best deals without sacrificing quality?”, can be overwhelming – especially with so many options available to choose from.
Here are some of the things you should consider when buying a new printer cartridge:
1. What Printer Cartridge should you get?
You should always start with this one. All toner cartridges are labeled with a part number from the manufacturer. Always note down this number and mention it to the clerk ( if buying from your local printer supplies store), representative(if ordering by phone) or type it in on your manufactures order website to ensure that you are ordering the correct toner for your copier or printer. Most manufacturers also have a search feature on the site that you can use to directly search for the toner model you want, instead of looking it up manually.
2. What type should you get: OEM vs. Generic.
Ever wondered why some sites could offer crazy low prices for compatible toners? Well, here’s the answer; printer manufacturers like HP or Brother, also make cartridges for all their printer models, termed as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This is why you should always get new toners from a reputable supplier or store because non-OEM toners produce poor print quality and are often unreliable. The opposite is true, and although OEM cartridges can be pricy compared to generic ones (non-branded), you’ll be sure you won’t be causing any harm to your printer or print quality.
Further, the similarity between remanufactured and compatible cartridges (generic), can be confusing, though remanufactured ones are just used cartridges put under renovation using new parts and sold at a low cost. Another common confusion you may need to avoid is to easily distinguish refill cartridges which simply means refilling the ink from remanufactured cartridges. Both are cheaper and may lessen print quality compared to OEM cartridges
3. How to get a maximized Page Yield
To get the value for your money, you will need to choose a toner cartridge with which to print a maximum number of pages. How do you know which toner to choose? Checking out the product codes for an ‘ X ’ as labeled by the manufacturer, is a common way to identify a high yield toner. With this knowledge, you’ll be getting more pages printed with your toner than otherwise. It is cost effective to do so and takes a simple calculation like dividing the cost of the toner by the page yield to see the difference.
You can as well opt for an alternative calculation like picking a standard 5% coverage for each page, which consists of about two text paragraphs per page. With that, you will arrive at a large number of printed and image pages. This method will add more work to your printing task, but in terms of saving more cash in your pocket, it is a better option than only concentrating on comparing the qualities of cartridges, and doing nothing about the page yield.
4. What do you intend to use it for?
The volume and type of printing work that you want to do should reflect the quality and price of the printer cartridge you buy. Take for instance that you have a high volume of work that involves printing black text and you have to ensure that you get the best value from the toner you will use. Won’t you go for the most cost-effective cartridge that matches this job, instead of choosing an expensive color cartridge? Of course, that is what you should do and leave that expensive and high-quality color toner for printing projects that specifically require you to use them.
Is Toner The Same As Ink Printer Cartridge?
Some people make the mistake of using the terms toner and ink interchangeably, and you shouldn’t be one of them because they are two distinct products with very dissimilar functions though both of them are used inside printers. The best way to put it is, a toner is a powder and ink is a liquid. Toner cartridges are used in laser printers. Meanwhile, ink cartridges are for inkjet printers. Toner comprises of fast-drying plastic powders that prevent printed papers from either smudging or bleeding. As a liquid, any paper sprayed with ink will still bleed, no matter how dry the ink has become. The bottom line is, never mess up and buy a toner thinking it’s ink or vice versa. You should always do your research before purchasing a printer cartridge.