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Toner vs Ink: How Your Store-Bought Printer is Wasting Your Money

October 24, 2016

Many growing small businesses rely on an everyday inkjet printer. They are inexpensive, easy to operate, and don't take up much space. When the ink cartridge gets low, you can easily run to the store to pick up a replacement cartridge. As a business grows and document output inevitably goes up, switching over to a laser printer usually makes more sense. While the upfront costs of an inkjet printer are low -- around $60 for a printer and $20 for an ink cartridge -- that store-bought printer can cost your business significantly in the long run.

What Is The Difference Between an Inkjet and a Laser Printer? Are Toner and Ink The Same Thing?

The answer is no. Ink is pigmented or dyed liquid, while toner is a very find polyester-based powder. Inkjet printers use ink and usually print in both color and black and white. Laser printers use toner and typically only print in black and white. (Color laser printers are significantly more expensive.)

Is Toner Cheaper Than Ink?

Toner is more expensive than ink upfront. However, a toner cartridge lasts much longer than an ink cartridge, which can dry up and clog if used too infrequently. From a cost per page standpoint, toner is less expensive. The cost per page of inkjet printers is around 20 cents (which includes printing in color), while toner cost per page is around 6 cents.

The average life cycle of an ink cartridge is 500 pages, whereas the life cycle of toner cartridges is at least 2,000 pages. If your small business is printing more than 500 pages a year, then ponying up the extra money for a laser printer will save you money in the long run. It will also save you time: A laser printer can spit out 20 pages per minute vs. an inkjet printer's 6 pages per minute.

Pacific Office Automation Can Help

Finding the right printer to fit your unique business needs can be intimidating. With many products on the market, there are several factors to consider, including cost per page, pages per minute, and special features. For more than 40 years, we have been matching businesses with the right printer for their specific business needs. Our goal is to cut your printing costs while maximizing productivity. Contact us today for a free workflow assessment and let us find you the right printer.

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