What’s The Difference Between Ink And Toner?

Differences ink and toner

Printing is something that everyone has done at least once, and in an office you may find yourself printing far more than you would at home. In the world of printing, there are two types of cartridges that are most commonly seen, ink and toner.

But what exactly is the difference between these two? While an ink cartridge may sound self explanatory, there are probably many people who have no idea what a toner cartridge is. Here at OPInfo Blog we’ve decided to look further into what some of the differences are between the two so that you never get confused over which one you need to buy!

Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges are a common sight in offices around the United Kingdom and Ireland as they have been designed for use in laser printers. In a previous article we listed some of the advantages of using laser printers and it was clear that laser printers are ideal for offices.

One of the reasons for this is that they can offer exceptionally high print yields which will often suit the high printing needs that offices require. So why can toners produce thousands of pages with minimal effort?

Well the reason is because toner is a powder, allowing cartridges to store far more powder than when compared to storing liquid ink. The way that a laser printer will print is by transferring the toner powder onto paper using a drum unit that is electrostatically charged. Heated rollers will then fuse the toner onto the paper.

This can be done exceptionally quickly, which is why laser printers are often able to print out large amounts in short time frames. When printing out office documents such as emails, letters and other commonly found documents the printing quality will be more than acceptable. If you want to print out a photo quality image however, it would be advisable to use an ink cartridge instead.

Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges are the staple of home printers, though there are a few available with capacities that make them ideal for smaller offices. A large advantage of an ink cartridge over a toner cartridge is the cost, as an ink cartridge can be bought for much less when compared to the high price that you may have to pay to buy a toner cartridge.

In comparison to powdered toner, ink is a liquid that results in a much lower page yield, often being able to print only a few hundred pages compared to a toner’s thousands. While ideal for home use, this makes it incompatible with large offices that need to print plenty. Despite the lower printing yield, ink cartridges will offer superior quality in terms of image printing.

It is incredibly easy to print out lab quality photographs using an ink cartridge as the ink will have been specially designed to produce vibrant colours every time. There are even special ink cartridges available that will have been created to print out photos, giving even better quality compared to traditional ink. This makes ink cartridges particularly ideal for use in the home as the quality and price will appeal more to home users.

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Sarah Jubb

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