It is highly important to know the type of cartridge that best works and suitable for your printer. If you order the wrong cartridge, you might end up costing yourself or your firm thousands of Naira or at least an awkward moment in the products if the error is discovered in time.

Ink and toner are made with two distinct concepts. They are two completely different printer cartridges, each with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

If you’ve been searching to learn more about your printer cartridges or looking for the difference in ink and toner cartridges and you’re undecided about what or where to buy, this write-up will state everything you need to know. Stay with this piece to become your office’s ink and toner professional!

What’s the difference between ink and toner?

To go straight to the point, ink cartridges contain liquid and are used by inkjet printers while toner cartridges contain powder and are used by laser printers.

The Toner Cartridge

Toner technological concept used a dry powdery substance that won’t stain like ink cartridges, but it can get messy if mishandled.  Monochrome laser printers print with just a black toner cartridge.  Color laser printers use four separate tri-color pigment – cyan, magenta, and yellow toner cartridges to produce a print.  The drum unit is another critical term you should also be familiar with because, without it, you won’t be able to print!  The drum works with the toner cartridge to fuse the toner powder to paper.  Depending on the consumable requirements of your printer, a drum unit can be built into the toner cartridge or sold separately as a single unit.  Toner cartridges with a built-in drum unit are generally more expensive than a single toner cartridge however, most consumers find them more convenient because you never have to worry about replacing the drum.  Every time you buy a new toner, you are essentially replacing the drum.  Separate drum units can typically be replaced after the use of 3-4 toners.

The Ink Cartridge

Depending on which cartridge you have at home or in your office, the ink inside an ink cartridge can be either dye-based or pigment-based. Most inkjet printers on the market normally come with dye-based inks.  They are more cost-effective than pigment-based ink cartridges and are praised for their ability to produce vibrant, true to life color prints and photos.  Dye-based inks are not water-resistant and can be susceptible to smearing, with many prints tending to fade after some number of years.  On the other hand, pigmented-based ink gives a sharper end-result and a quicker dry-time than dye-based ink.  It is valued by professional photographers and graphic designers for its ability to print archival-quality images and text. Pigment ink also tends to resist water and UV light better than dye-based ink, and is able to resist fading for up to 200 years!


Which Printer is the best for you?

The biggest question is, which printer is right-fit for you or your business?  It all boils down to your printing needs!

Laser printer advantages and disadvantages…

Individuals and businesses with high volume printing needs will likely want to go with a laser printer. These printers are best suited for small-medium businesses and schools that print a lot of text-heavy documents and color prints frequently. Photo printing is not appreciated on a laser printer, although the technology seems to be improving every day. Photos printed on laserjets can’t reproduce the same tonal quality as inkjet printers and photos tend to end up looking dull due to the powdery nature of the toner cartridge. We aren’t saying photos can’t be printed with laserjets, but if you are a photographer, you’ll easily detect the difference and likely be dissatisfied with the results. If you just need to print in black, we recommend buying a monochrome laser printer, and your printing will be just fine. Color laser printers are available for those needing to add a bit of color to everyday documents.  Similar to the all-in-ones mentioned previously, multifunction laserjet printers (like Laserjet Pro MFP) provide a print, scan, copy, and fax functionalities. Recently, every printer nowadays is Wi-Fi ready as well, meaning you can print wirelessly from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Inkjet printer merits and demerits…

Every inkjet printers prints text, color images, and photos. All-in-one inkjet printers include some combination of fax, scan, and copy functionality too. So, many families, photographers, and small home offices prefer inkjet printers. If you plan to print at a small volume on a regular basis or are in need of quality colored photos, they are a preferred choice.  However, if you are not careful, cartridge replacement may get pricey as you print more color documents.  There are two common ink cartridge combinations.  Some printers require just two ink cartridges, a black and tri-color. The tri-color handles your color prints, but the disadvantage is you’ll need to replace the entire ink cartridge if one color is running low.  Other printers use individual ink cartridges.  In most cases,  printers require a black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridge but some photo printers may require additional cartridges like a light cyan or light magenta.


Which printer cartridge is suitable for me?

Making your mind on what options and print choices you might be searching for in a printer is solely a part of the story.  The first-timer printer buyers often overlooked the cartridges cost, which is a factor that is vitally important.   It’s no secret that printer’s cartridges can be costly. The cartridge size, cost, and the number of pages you get from a cartridge vary wildly across printer versions and what printer you choose can ultimately make or break a printing budget, depending on the cost-efficiency of its cartridges. The big-box retailer’s weekly printers deal constantly influence the first-timer buyers, only to find out later that cartridge replacements value two times up to the printer.  Please don’t get caught in that enticeBefore you purchase, map out running costs for the lifetime of the printer and ensure the cost line up along with your printing usage and budget.

Deciding what features and print options you are looking for in a printer is just part of the story.  The cost of printer cartridges is an equally important factor to consider and often overlooked by first-time printer buyers.  It is no secret that cartridges can be expensive. Cartridge price, cartridge size, and the number of pages you get from a cartridge varies wildly across printer models and what printer you choose can ultimately make or break a printing budget, depending on the cost-efficiency of its cartridges. First-time buyers are often swayed by a big box store’s weekly printer sale, only to later find out that cartridge replacements cost twice as much as the printer.  Please don’t get stuck in that trap.  Before you buy, map out operating costs for the life of the printer and make sure those costs line up with your printing needs and budget.