The expendable portion of laser printers and photocopiers is what you call the printer toner. Printer toner is a mix of polymers and carbons that is used in powder form and stored in cartridges for laser printers and photocopy machines. Different from ink cartridges, toner cartridges are burnt onto paper to produce print-outs. Traditionally, printer toners were used only for black-and-white prints since the production of colored toners was too expensive. However, more and more cheap printer toner that can be used for both black-and-white and colored print jobs are becoming available.
Different Costs of Printer Toners
A number of laser cartridges are more expensive than laser printers themselves. This is primarily because manufacturers intend for these inexpensive printers to be thrown out and replaced once the printers run out of toner. This has caused a lot of people to believe that laser printers are too expensive to use. However, there are two alternatives that can make the use of laser printers more budget-friendly and inexpensive to regular household users.
Both these alternatives rely on the use of cheap printer toner. The first alternative is to use non-original or third-party toner cartridges instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) toner cartridges. This means using a toner other than the toners produced by the same company that built the printer you own. These third-party cartridges are much cheaper than OEM cartridges. You just need to make sure you are buying a third-party product that is compatible with your printer to avoid additional costs caused by the damage that may occur when you use incompatible ink. Compatibility is usually listed on the box of third-party products.
The second alternative is to buy a printer toner refill kit for self service or to take advantage of a third-party refilling service. The former means buying a big bottle of printer toner either from your original manufacturer or from a third-party cheap printer toner supplier instead of buying a toner cartridge that is ready to use and then using the tools in the refill kit to manually refill your empty cartridges. The latter, on the other hand, means bringing your empty cartridges to a store or a person who professionally refills empty cartridges with fresh toner.
To sum it up, buying laser printers meant for use only as long as the toners last is the most expensive option available to consumers. Regular purchases of OEM or original cartridges are the second most costly. Lower priced alternatives include buying toners from third-party suppliers and refilling empty cartridges (through one of two ways) with cheap printer toner.
When to Use Alternative Toners
In the end, consumers should decide to pursue alternative options to OEM cartridges when minimizing cost is the first priority. For print jobs that only require fast, bulk printing, and where OEM cartridges are inaccessible or insufficient, alternative toners should be used. When using cheap printer toner, consumers should pay close attention to the box label to ensure compatibility with the printer. You should also observe regular printer checkups regardless of whether you are using OEM or alternative toners to ensure printer efficiency and avoid the need to purchase printer part replacements.