What does toner do in a printer? How is it different from printer ink?
If you use a printer for your office or your business, it is either an inkjet or a laser printer. These printers run on two distinct principles to produce text and images on paper. Inkjet printers and laser printers are similar in many ways.
You wouldn’t be able to differentiate prints made by ink printers from ones made by a laser printer.
Before we go further into comparisons and similarities, we need to answer the question,
What Does Toner Do In a Printer?
Laser printers use a very fine powder substance in the printing process. The powdered substance is what we call toner. Toner is made of a fine plastic substance. It comes in different hues that give the dye its color.
To keep the powder loose and usable, the toner has silica particles. An electrostatic charge runs through the powder during the printing process. Toner powder primarily comes in yellow, cyan, and magenta.
Can A Printer Print Without Toner?
Laser printers must use toners to get prints. The technology relies on toner pigment to relay toner particles onto paper. Without toner, the printers are useless, as there wouldn’t be any substance to cast upon the paper.
Inkjet printers do not use toner, so that they would be fine. They rely on printer ink channeled through tiny holes.
These printers use different printing technology. The liquid printer ink fixes to form different colors on paper.
You can’t use toner or an ink cartridge on an incompatible machine, as machines only accept compatible cartridges.
Toner Printer vs. Ink Printer
There are two main categories in the printing industry: laser printers and inkjet printers.
Laser printers rely on toner, and it is impossible to get prints without the powder substance. The machine uses and mixes the substance to produce color on printed pages to match text or pictures.
The printer runs a charge across the toner cartridges. The positively charged toner particles adhere to the print surface producing text or images. Without the powder, it could be impossible to get prints.
Inkjet printers use cyan, magenta, and yellow in varying ratios to produce millions of colors. A black toner is great for text.
A laser gets shown through the metal drum to map out an electrostatic template onto the paper before printing. The toner hopper releases the fine powder onto the paper before the infuser binds it.
Inkjet printers, on the other hand, use very different technology. The printers use liquid ink rather than color toner. They, therefore, don’t need toner when laser printing.
Ink printers infuse ink onto the print surface. The Print head has thousands or hundreds of thousands of holes.
Ink flows through the holes and onto the surface. The select ink adheres to the surface, forming text and print. The print quality depends on the spacing and density of the holes.
The pigment or dye on the ink determines the print color. The printers use blue, yellow, black, and red pigment to generate colors across the spectrum.
How To Recycle Expired Toner Cartridges
When using printers, it is important to be environmentally conscious. You should try and reduce as much waste as you can.
One of the key sources of waste with printers is ink and toner cartridges. Once they get depleted, most people don’t know what to do with them.
There are many ways you can recycle your old cartridges. They do not need to end up in a landfill. Here are practical ways you can do it:
Give your cartridges to a remanufacturer
Some organizations sell remanufactured cartridges. Depending on the cartridge type, they collect old cartridges and refill them with ink and toner powder.
These remanufacturers use third-party toners to fill old cartridges. The cartridges undergo inspection and get certified before being released to the market.
The remanufactured models are cheaper because they cost less to make. Some remanufacturers even pay for the toner and inkjet cartridges. It is not only environmentally conscious but also rewarding financially.
You can look for remanufacturers in your city and give away your old cartridges.
Return the cartridges to the original equipment manufacturer
Most printer manufacturers like Epson, HP, and OEM accept old cartridges. These cartridges get tested for quality and get refilled. Damaged cartridges get discarded or repurposed accordingly.
Ask whether they collect old cartridges from where you get your print supplies. Some retailers collect the cartridges on behalf of toner manufacturers.
Some of the retailers include Costco, Staples, and Walmart. They work with the manufacturers on a recycling program.
You could get points for discounts on your next cartridges when you return the old ones.
There are several recycling centers located across major cities and towns. These establishments reduce waste by collecting ink printers or laser printer cartridges.
The empty toner cartridges get repurposed to replace ink cartridges or other products. You can do a quick google search to find these centers in your location.
Sponsored Program Donations
Did you know that there are programs that collect old cartridges and use them for schools? Charitable institutions such as Cartridges for Kids use old toner and inkjet cartridges to reduce printing costs for schools. It helps lower the school’s operating costs.
Many other charitable organizations use old toner cartridges for good causes.
Invest in a cartridge refill kit
Some manufacturers sell refill kits for their printer toner cartridges. OEM cartridges have refill kits that you can use to top up your printer toner whenever you run out. It is cheaper for your business and less wasteful. You can refill your OEM cartridges.
Replacing The Toner Cartridge In A Printer
Replacing the cartridge in your laser printer is easier than it looks. The steps are easy to follow. Here is how you should do it:
Access the Cartridges
Open your printer compartment that houses the printer toner cartridge.
Access your drum assembly
The printer toner drum assembly is easy to access. Pull it out of the compartment without yanking forcefully.
Detach the depleted cartridge
Release the latch to free the whole cartridge from your printer.
Unbox the new cartridge
Remove the cartridge from its box. You should shake it gently to move the finely ground plastic powder in the cartridge. If the new cartridge has been idle or in storage for long, the plastic dust settles at the bottom of the drum.
Unseal the cartridge
New cartridges have a plastic seal around the imaging drum. The plastic keeps the drum clean by preventing smudges. Be careful not to touch the imaging drum to get more efficient toner use.
Place the toner cartridge into the printer.
Carefully place the new cartridge into the slot without touching the imaging drum.
Clean the drum
Printers have a leaver that you can side to wipe dust and debris off the drum.
Return the drum assembly
Once you have returned the assembly, close the slot.
Is Using Toner Printer Worth It?
Using a toner printer is great, depending on your printing needs. Here is a toner vs ink comparison.
Toner is not affected by temperature. The print quality for your documents remains the same even when printing at a very low temperature.
Ink printers are affected by temperature changes. Ink tends to become viscous at a low temperature. At high temperatures, you get thin ink.
The toners are ideal for businesses. Toner has a high page yield when compared to ink. The toner lasts longer than dye-based inks.
They are cheaper to replace and, therefore, less expensive to run. An efficient toner could save money (up to 66% on operating costs). You get a larger printing volume.
People use printers for text rather than photos in many office settings and home printing. Toner printers excel in producing crisp and clear text. The powdered plastic is great, and it works well with most paper types.
Toner powder does not smear. Once the infuser runs over the powder, it adheres firmly to the printing surface. The result is sharp, clear-quality standard toner cartridge prints for text and images.
Inkjet printer cartridges tend to smear, especially in high temperatures. Hot ink is less dense and more prone to smudging. You get a faster print speed.
Ink does better when printing photos. Ink printers have better color accuracy and picture clarity than color laser printers. It is also less toxic than toner, which isn’t made from organic compounds.
What does toner do in a printer? Toner is a thin polymeric substance that gets used to print documents. It comes in various tints, each giving the dye its distinct color. Toner contains silica particles to keep the powder loose and usable.
During laser printing, an electrostatic charge passes through the powder. Yellow, cyan, and magenta are the most common toner colors.
Laser printers use toners. Inkjet printers use liquid ink when printing. The two printing substances get stored in cartridges. When looking at a laser toner vs ink comparison, both have their advantages and cons.