Toner Cartridges

Difference Between Ink and Toner Cartridges

Choosing the correct type of printer for commercial or household use can be confusing due to the different types and varieties of printer and cartridge options available. Once you narrow down your choices, you will probably be dealing with deciding between inkjet printers and laser prints. One of the main differences between the two is based on the toners they use to print documents and images. However, apart from this, there are other key differences that you can find out!

Ink Cartridges

Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges are used in inkjet printers which have different color options – cyan (blue), yellow, black, and magenta (a red hue). These four primary colors are used to print all colors from a printer. Some photo printers in the market also have slots for tri-color ink cartridges which are used to form lighter colors of the basic versions to facilitate a broader range of color options for photographs.

Ink cartridges are made of tiny sponges which are soaked in liquid ink. While printing a picture or document, the liquid ink is sprayed on the paper using a small nozzle. The printer head, together with the nozzle, ensures the proper delivery of the design shapes and colors of the original document on the computer. Since ink cartridges have liquid ink in them, they have a smaller shelf life which can dry out, especially if the printer is kept unused.

They also contain small chips, which communicate with the printer to ensure the right color ink s placed and check the compatibility of the cartridge with the printer.

Toner cartridges

One of the critical differences between ink cartridges and toner cartridges is that they contain powder instead of liquid ink and are mainly used in laser printers. The laser printers are made of a drum and a roller and project the documents onto the drum, which is electrically charged with the roller. The toner powder adheres to the roller according to the indicated pattern – or the image or document to be printed. The powder is then delivered and printed on the desired surface using heat.

In some printers, the drums are purchased separately. As a result, the toners with integrated drums are slightly more expensive than the former. However, one advantage of using this type of cartridge is that the powder ink does not dry out; hence it has a  longer shelf life when compared to ink cartridges.

Toner cartridges

Key takeaway

After knowing the difference between the two, which one should you buy?

The answer depends on the frequency of your use. Ink cartridges prints an average of 500 pages, and the toners can print 2000 pages with the same capacity. So an ink cartridge is the best option if you’re buying for home purposes. But, for office and official purposes, toner cartridges can prove to be beneficial.

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