How Much Printer Ink Do I Need?

If you are wondering how much ink you need, let us help you determine how much by answering some questions.

What Type of Printing Will You Be Doing?

Let's analyze what you need to print. First, let’s focus on the type of printing needed for different usages; printing for businesses, printing for personal use and printing for school.

Printing For Businesses

A regular office prints numerous types of documents; depending on whether you are a lawyer printing large contracts on several sheets or an accounting firm sending out single invoices or statements.

Typically, the documents are printed primarily in black ink, and color will be used less frequently.

If the business is more into graphic design like an advertising agency or sales firm, they may print more graphics and/or presentations which require color ink cartridges.

If you are printing for a business, determine what type of documents are typically printed and the length of the documents.  Are they mostly black text or do they contain a lot of color graphics in them?  Are they short single page invoices or longer presentations / contracts?

Since all businesses are different and have various printing needs, you’ll need to determine if your business requires more black ink or toner cartridges vs. more color ink or toner cartridges. And the longer the documents are that you print, the more cartridges will be needed.

Printing For Personal Use

The internet made a lot of things accessible for people who love to DIY in their own homes. Whether you are a cooking enthusiast who prints new recipes, an amateur photographer printing digital photos to frame or an entrepreneur managing your own business, you consume a moderate amount of ink for your printing needs.

Regardless of your printing needs, it is essential to have ink cartridges on hand when you need them. To identify how many cartridges you’ll need, you should identify what you’ll most likely print in the future; the amount of text documents vs images is used to calculate your ink consumption.  Any documents with a lot of images and photos will require more color ink cartridges.  

Printing For School

Whether you are in college, or you have kids in primary school, you likely have more printing needs than usual during the school year.  Students, at all levels, will have to print items for school; whether it is for a project, thesis, or maybe a school field trip.

Children in pre-school and grade school would probably need to print color-heavy documents. While students in college and high school print more term papers, most of which are text heavy with maybe a few small images in them. 

You will notice that ink runs out a little faster during the school year, so you’ll want to stock up.  You’ll most likely need more black ink cartridges for older students and for younger students, you’re more likely to need black and color ink cartridges.

How Often Do You Print?

Now that we know what you are printing, we need to know how much you need to print.  The frequency of printing will help to determine how many cartridges to get as well as how to choose which ink cartridge you need.

To determine the number of cartridges, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How frequently do you print?
  • How many sheets do you print in an average day?
  • How many sheets do you print on a heavy day, and how often does this happen?

Armed with this information, you can calculate the approximate number of pages you’ll be printing.  Based on your needs from above, you’ll want to determine how many pages would be mostly with black ink vs color ink.  Next let’s look at the ink cartridges themselves.

Ink Cartridge Capacity

Most ink cartridges are available in standard capacity and high-yield capacity versions. A high-yield cartridge prints anywhere between 2-3x more than a regular yield cartridge. Of course, these capacities vary based on ink and printer models, but you can verify the yield of each cartridge on the manufacturer’s website. Please note that most standard yield estimates are based on 5% of ink coverage on a page and will also vary based on what is actually printed.

Standard capacity cartridges are the most common cartridge size and a practical choice if you are not using your printer very often.

High-yield capacity cartridges are recommended if you require a higher number of printouts. High-yield ink cartridges hold more ink and yield more pages per cartridge. Even though they are more expensive initially, the overall cost per page is lower and makes it the more economical choice for most heavy printers. 

Using the above frequency questions as a guide will help to choose which cartridge capacity you need, for example*:

  • If you print mostly pure text documents, you can buy a standard capacity black ink cartridge.
  • If you print mostly graphics and photos that are covering up more of the page, then you’re using more ink and may need to buy a high-yield capacity color ink cartridge.

Of course, if your printing habits suddenly change and you need to either print a lot more or in more color, you don’t want to run out of ink.  Keeping a spare handy will ensure that you avoid running out of ink when you need it the most.

*Examples above are for illustration purposes only. Each person may have a different experience based on what they print.

Printers and Ink Capacity

It is important to note that not all printers are the same; some, like LaserJet printers, use a little more ink when printing at a higher resolution, plus the printer itself uses a little ink for maintenance, causing it to run out a little faster.  You’ll need to keep this in mind when calculating your use.

Printer Quality Preferences

Before printing, be sure to set your printer to an appropriate printing quality level to match your printing needs and print quality.

If you are printing for personal use and school, perhaps a quality of 50% is sufficient and will not affect the clarity of the printouts. This setting would save you so much ink without compromising clarity.

On the other hand, if you print many images, you should keep the resolution at the maximum so that every detail is visible and you get higher quality printouts.  Just expect that your ink cartridge will run out a little bit faster.

How to save money on ink cartridges?

Ink Genie is an ink and toner cartridge retailer that stocks tons of brand-name ink cartridges, ready to be packaged and sent to your home.

We have lower prices and offer discounts for all our ink cartridges and toners, thanks to our unique way of buying and selling that allows us to have the best prices in the market.

We carry a wide range of printer ink and toner from top brands such as HP, Epson, Brother and Canon. We have a great selection of ink cartridges and toners. To top it all, we provide our customers with outstanding customer service and quick delivery.

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.