Understanding the Types of Cartridges for your Printer

While buying a printer, the most common questions people ask are the size, price, ink color options, installation, and other fundamental questions. People often have a misconception that setting up a printer and putting in cartridges is a daunting task. But, in reality, it is inexpensive and can be easily installed by anyone. Home printers are generally inexpensive, but the question lies with installing and selecting the correct type of ink cartridges to save printing costs.

All printers worldwide run on different types of ink. For instance, laser printers run on a powder called toner, and inkjet printers use dye-based ink. So, if you’re skeptical about buying a printer, you need to understand the different types of ink cartridges for a printer and choose the best one, depending on your needs.

What is a toner cartridge?

A Toner cartridge, also called printer toner, is a powder-based ink used in laser printers. They are made of plastic particles of carbon black and other coloring agents. These colors are transferred to the substrate using an electrostatically charged drum, and the image is infused on the paper by the heated rollers on the printer.

Since they follow a slightly complex working mechanism, they are used in offices. However, the toner cartridges are affordable and can be refilled easily.

Toner cartridges have two main components – the roller and the drum- running smoothly until three toner replacements. Once the parts start wearing out, the printing quality also diminishes. However, they can be easily replaced. One of the significant advantages of toner cartridges is that the ink does not dry out if the printer is not in use, making it cheaper than running inkjet printers. They are mainly used to print black and white colored documents.

What is an inkjet cartridge?

Inkjet cartridges are dye-based inks capable of dissolving in glycol or water. They spray liquid on paper through a tiny nozzle. They also come with built-in microchips to control the ink spray and deliver accurate printing. Since the ink from these cartridges is thick, they are well-suited for printing important documents and photos at home on all pages like gloss, fabrics, etc.

Inkjet cartridges are expensive, sometimes higher than the cost of the printer. In addition, since these cartridges follow a sealed design, they do not allow refilling, and the ink dries up if left unused.

ink tank cartridge

What is an ink tank cartridge?

Ink tank printers have integrated ink tanks that continuously supply ink into the nozzle. Most printers use silicon-based elements, which help rapidly heat and vaporize small amounts of ink. The vaporized ink then expands and pushes the ink through the nozzle, dispersing the ink on paper in droplets to print images and documents.

Although ink tank printers are affordable, since the liquid takes time to dry, they can sometimes be irritating. Therefore, they are best suited for home use and mixed purposes – like printing posters, documents, images, etc.

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