Choosing Toner for Your Printer - A Quick Owner’s Guide

Finding Toner for Your Printer Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

It never fails! You run out of toner the second you need to do a large print job for an upcoming meeting or seminar. So, what do you do? You panic buy the wrong one. 

Does this scenario sound familiar? 

If you aren’t a printer expert, it can sometimes be intimidating to buy toner for your printer. There are countless brands, types, and sizes available, and it can be challenging to know what you need to ensure you get the high-quality prints you need for your meetings. Luckily, we are here to demystify the shopping process and make it easy for you to stock up on the right toner, so you never run out at the wrong time. 

3 Ways to Simplify the Process of Finding Toner for Your Printer

Before you even type ‘printer toner’ into the Google search bar, you need to identify a few important things about your printer that will make sure you get the correct type of toner for your printer: 

  1. What is your printer type (inkjet/laser)? 
  2. What is your printer manufacturer? 
  3. What is the model of your printer? 
  4. What is the cartridge type? 

Luckily, almost all of this information can be found printed on a label on the actual printer or by browsing through the owner’s manual. Designs vary by manufacturer, so it’s important to know what your printer requires before you start shopping. If you don’t have access to your owner’s manual, be sure to look it up online and save a copy to your computer for easier access in the future. 

When you are ready to start shopping for toner, consider the following information to help you make the best purchasing decisions: 

Color Cartridges vs. Black Cartridges - When shopping for compatible cartridges for your printer, you need to assess the colors your printer takes. If your printer only prints in black and white, you will always only need the black toner cartridge. If you own a black and color laser printer, then you have the option to buy color or black based on what is running low. The best deal will always be to purchase all of the cartridges at one time. . 

Black is the most common choice for laserjet printers as they are often used in professional and business settings. When printing documents, you can choose to deselect the use of color printing if you feel the document is not important. This will increase the lifespan of your color cartridges as they are usually more expensive. 

Page Yield - Depending on how often you use your printer, you might choose to buy high-capacity toner cartridges. If you do large print jobs regularly, buying high-capacity toner will prevent you from having to purchase toner frequently and will save you money in the long run. Regardless of how much you print, it is always a good idea to keep extra toner on hand for when you need it. 

Toner Type - Yes, there are different options for the type of toner you buy. 

    1. OEM toner is genuine toner that is produced by the manufacturer of the printer you own. It offers the highest quality and usually the highest price tag. 
    2. Generic toner is manufactured by a third party but is designed to be compatible with name-brand printers. Because they don’t have a brand associated with them, they tend to provide a better value, but you lose a lot of quality in your prints and they could severely damage your printer. Additionally, manufacturers are embedding chips in their printers more and more to only allow branded cartridges in your printer. 
    3. Refurbished toner is when old cartridges are restored and refilled. This cheaper option typically produces a lower quality print and should be used for unimportant print jobs. These will work in your machine,as the casing was made by the equipment manufacturer but could easily harm your printer and cause a lot of printer maintenance.  

Is Printer Toner the Same Thing as Ink?

Believe it or not, there is a difference between printer toner and printer ink. Understanding this difference will make it easier to shop for replacement print cartridges and ensure you’re getting the right type of ink for your printer. 

Inkjet printers use liquid ink that is exclusively employed in an inkjet printer. The liquid ink used in ink cartridges is typically cheaper than the toner used in laser printers, but tends to print less pages before needing to be replaced. Inkjet printers have been around for decades and they use heat and physics to control ink distribution during a print job. This process involves nozzles spraying tiny drops of ink across each sheet of paper to create the finished print project. 

Printer toner is composed of mostly polyester in the form of a very fine powder. Toner tends to last longer than printer ink and is ideal for situations where you print mostly text-based documents. Laser printers can print text two or even three times faster than most traditional inkjet printers making them the perfect choice for offices and large businesses. 

Toner powder is collected and transferred to paper by the charged printing drum. The paper is usually heated up to melt the powder particles and make sure the print sets properly. The printer drum’s electrostatic charge is imprinted by lasers, which is why it is called a laser printer. While laser printing mainly involves black and white printing, you can find quality color options that will work for your high-quality print jobs. 

How to Install Your Printer Toner

Installing toner is usually simple as long as you follow the instructions on the box and any instructions that came with your laser printer. Manuals can easily be found on the internet if you didn’t keep your paper manual on hand, so be sure to locate this before starting. Most printers have a visible panel that is easily accessible, and the toner should only take minutes to replace. 

Installing your printer toner is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t take you too long. You’ll be back to printing in no time if you follow the steps below. 

  1. Turn off your printer and unplug it (unless the instructions tell you to keep the device on and running). 
  2. Locate the printer toner cartridge compartment, which is most often located on the front panel of your device. 
  3. Remove the old and empty printer toner cartridges and discard them or recycle them as needed. 
  4. Open the packages of your toner cartridge replacements and read any included instructions. Remove any tags or stickers as directed. 
  5. Open your toner compartment and put the new cartridge firmly in the spots for each corresponding color. 
  6. Gently close the cartridge compartment and make sure everything is back the way it was. 
  7. Plugin your printer and start it up. Follow any instructions for test prints to ensure the toner cartridges were correctly installed. 

When you find the right toner for your laser printer, you might want to stock up so that in an emergency, you have exactly what you need on hand without any scrambling. We believe it’s always best to be prepared for your next printer emergency. 

Where to Buy Printer Toner 

From Amazon to Staples, you can find printer toner almost anywhere. But to ensure you are getting OEM, quality toner for your laser jet printer, you need to shop from a company or online retailer that sells the exact brand of your printer. HP, Brother, Canon, and Epson are some of the leading printer brands globally. If your laser printer is one of these brands, find a company online that offers a diverse selection of OEM printer toner, and be sure to set reminders to order at regular intervals to ensure you never run out again. 

Regardless of where you shop, be sure you are not buying refurbished or generic printer toner if that’s not what you need for your print jobs. We always recommend only shopping with companies like Ink Genie® that offer genuine ink and toner cartridges.. Doing this will help guarantee the toner you buy works for your printer and that you don’t have to deal with any headaches in the future. 

Find the Right Printer for Your Needs at Ink Genie

Ink Genie® is one of the leading ink and toner suppliers to businesses, government institutions, schools, and homes in the country.  We have thousands of customers that we consider part of our family and always offer them our best service, satisfaction, and savings! Learn more about Ink Genie and shop our selection of name-brand ink cartridges and toners.