When you want to purchase a printer, you may be confused by the terms ink and toner. Although some people use the words ink and toner interchangeably, they actually refer to two distinct products that are not exchangeable. You don’t want to end up purchasing the wrong product for your current printer, so it’s worth the time to learn the difference between toner and ink.
Inkjet Printers vs. Laser Printers
Both toner and ink are used in Xerox printers and copiers, and both can include color, but that’s where similarity ends. Laser printers use toner, which is actually a powder that is heated internally and pressed to the paper. Inkjet printers use ink, a liquid.
As far as affordability goes, purchasing ink cartridges initially costs less than toner cartridges, but don’t last as long as toner. Laser printers can print more pages than inkjet printers before needing replacement cartridges.
Beware of Toner Pirates
Maybe you’ve never heard of toner pirates, but you should understand their ploys so you can be aware. A toner pirate is a con artist who calls up businesses like yours, offering printer and copier supplies in bulk for a much greater price than usual. They sometimes claim to be representatives from your normal supplier, duping you into thinking all is normal. They’ll use any excuse – surplus inventory, fake discounts, closing sales – to pressure you into buying.
Even worse, if certain toner pirates know what you typically order for office supplies, they’ll bill you for overpriced merchandise and send you products you never ordered. They’ll sometimes even mark the invoice as past due, hoping you’ll pay without asking questions.
For any bill you receive, review it first before paying to ensure you actually ordered the supplies. It’s also wise to know your supplier so you can expect and recognize how they handle new orders. Just Solutions offers supplies replenishment services so you can avoid these scams.
Options for Restocking Cartridges
Once your ink or toner runs out, you may have heard of several different options for restocking your cartridges. Recycling, refilling, and remanufacturing are the most common, but which option is best for you? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as black and white as one would hope (ha, see what we did there?) but we can explain the terms so you can decide for yourself.
Recycling is a fairly broad term that refers to converting used cartridges into reusable material in an effort to reduce waste. The word “recycling” alone doesn’t indicate what type of process or technology was used to recreate the cartridges, only that the materials are not new.
Many people refill their current cartridges with either toner or ink, an economical alternative to purchasing brand new replacements. Some companies refill used cartridges using a process referred to as “drill and fill.” During this process, generic-brand ink is injected into the cartridge by drilling a hole into the lid. We do not recommend this method because drilling a hole into the lid partially destroys the cartridge and may cause ink or toner to leak out of the compartment, damaging the entire printing machine. When we refill used cartridges, we carefully disassemble the pieces so we can avoid drilling a hole and potentially rendering the cartridge unusable.
Some local remanufacturing companies personally pick up empty and used cartridges and drop off refilled cartridges in the same visit. They do so to offer competitively low prices to their customers.
Getting your cartridges remanufactured is the most comprehensive option to get the most out of your printer equipment. Each part of the cartridge is disassembled, inspected for quality, and then thoroughly cleaned. A new drum, wiper blade, and magnetic roller is installed to preserve printing quality. Obviously, the toner or ink reservoir is filled with new product, according to OEM specifications, and then sealed to prevent the product from leaking. Remanufactured cartridges are rebuilt to ensure quality and value match brand-new cartridges.
As an authorized Xerox Channel Partner, we offer free business assessments, managed print services, expertise with Xerox printers and multifunction copiers, supplies replenishment, and more. If you have more questions about Xerox printers or alternative brands, contact us and find out all that we can do for you.