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If you are planning to buy a new printer, ink and/or toner cartridges should not be missing. But the offer is huge. It is important to have an accurate overview of what is on offer as the right choice can have a huge impact on printing costs. Although the acquisition costs of the printer are often low, the follow-up costs can be enormously high. Not every cartridge fits in every printer. Some inks are better value for money than others. The overview is half the battle.

Ink and toner - the difference

In general it can be said that inks are used for inkjet printers and toners for laser printers. The big difference is consistency. Toners are made of powder whereas ink is a liquid. With an inkjet printer, the ink cartridge is inserted into the printhead. The liquid ink is kept in an airtight container inside. During the printing process, the printhead moves back and forth across the page. Small ink glands transfer the ink to the sheet, which ultimately results in the finished image. How productive an ink cartridge is depends on the cartridge itself. The cartridges are tested by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This organization conducts rigorous testing to further specify yields. The yield indicates how many printed pages a cartridge creates. Incidentally, it is also very practical that printer cartridges are now almost all equipped with a chip and can therefore indicate, for example, when the cartridge is empty.

The toner

The toner cartridge is a cartridge equipped with an electrically charged roller. With the help of this, dry toner powder is drawn onto the paper. This charge fixes the toner particles and this is how text and images can be created. The toner is heated by a heating roller. This is how the particles are burned into the image. In this way, the individual particles can also be placed precisely on the paper. A permanent hold is also guaranteed. Incidentally, toner cartridges are equally subject extensive testing. The same applies here: The more pages the cartridge can print out, the higher its yield.

Toner or ink - what fits best?

In order to decide whether it should be ink or toner, you first have to weigh up the amount of printing. Also, it makes sense to clarify some advantages and disadvantages. The toner itself is superior to the ink in speed, for example. Inkjet printers have lower acquisition costs than laser printers. However, high follow-up costs can quickly arise, since the cartridges are sometimes very expensive. Although inkjet printers are characterized by very precise printing, they smudge easily when wet. In terms of durability, the toner is superior to the cartridge, as cartridges can dry out very easily. Inkjet printer owners often have to print out a test page to keep the cartridge moving. It is therefore important to examine your own printing behavior and then make the best possible selection for your needs.

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