The most apparent difference that separates Ink and Toner cartridges is the equipment that each are respectively used in. While Ink is typically used in Inkjet printers, toner has a wide variety of other uses besides printing, including copiers. However, toner is most commonly used in laser printers, which are seen as a luxury due to their speed and printing quality.Another big difference between Ink cartridges and Toner cartridges are the materials that each are made of. Toner was originally just carbon powder, but when industry demand called for higher quality, more smudge resistant materials it was combined with dye and polymers were added to increase production value. Ink, however, has remained with tried and true ink liquid, the same that has been used before printers were ever even thought of.
For a moment, i’d like to discuss exactly what toner is, because there tends to be a lot of confusion in this specific area. Toner is taken from a base, carbon powder that is then mixed with polymers and dye depending on what it will be used for. The highest quality toner powder is incredibly minuscule and fine, while lower quality toner will typically have granules in it, or “pebbles” as they are called in the industry. The thing about these “pebbles” are that they typically cause blotched on the paper when they are used, which can result in a messy looking document. When shopping, this is an important thing to keep in mind. Color toner is mixed with a pigment, usually organic dyes, and a poly binder. The most commonly used binders are polyester and styrene acrylate. The main use of the binder is to hold the color in place when producing the final image. It also serves to provide a shiny, professional looking gloss to the image, which is one of the most common appeals of a toner cartridge rather than an inkjet.
But what about ink cartridges? The constant industry demand for faster and higher output printing is what brought about the original ink cartridges. In the early 80′s the first ink printer was placed on the market. People were ecstatic about not having to stop and refill typewriters and dot matrix printers, and they didn’t have to manually refill toner cartridges, which was typically a messy and dangerous operation. Soon, in the late 90s, they made an incredibly big splash in the household printing market, and still control the field because of their inexpensiveness compared to laser printers.
Determining which is right for you, however, depends on a variety of variables. If you’re looking for increased picture output and overall picture clearness, you’re probably going to want to invest in a printer that accepts toner cartridges. If you’re a home user that’s just looking for a barebones system that’s simple and cost effective, you’re going to want to use an inkjet printer.
To help you make your decision, i’m going to list the cost effectiveness factors to help you decide which is more financially viable for a person in each listed situation. Lets start with toner. A typical toner cartridge costs anywhere from 50-60 dollars. The page yield for each cartridge is 2,000-3,000 pages, which comes around to 2-2.5 cents per page. However, a typical inkjet cartridge is cheaper, about $20-$30 per cartridge. However, there is a substantial reduction in page yield, only 400-500 pages. Believe it or not, this comes out to 4-6 cents for page, making it more expensive than a toner printer in the long run!
In conclusion, there’s plenty of differences between inkjet and toner cartridges. Depending on your situation, both can be useful and utilized in a variety of different circumstances. I hope that by reading your article, you are more informed on the differences and will more easily make a decision on which one you want to purchase.