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Ever wondered what’s inside of your printer toner cartridge? How does the toner work? What are the differences between ink cartridges and toner cartridges?
Printer toner cartridges

While most people tend to understand how ink cartridges work, you might find toner cartridges confusing. We’ll explain the nuts-and-bolts of laser toner cartridges so that you understand how these printing supplies work.

The Essentials of Printer Toner Cartridges

What Are the Differences between an Ink Cartridge and a Toner Cartridge?

  • The printer consumable for a laser printer is a toner cartridge. The consumable for an inkjet printer is an ink cartridge.
  • Ink cartridges consist of a liquid form of pigmentation. Toner cartridges have powder inside.
  • Toner cartridges are usually more expensive than inkjet cartridges.
  • Toner cartridges print more pages so they last longer than inkjet cartridges.
  • Toner cartridges print faster so they can handle large print jobs better than cartridges with ink.

What Is a Printer Toner Cartridge?

Now let’s define a printer toner cartridge. Break open a toner cartridge and you’ll find it a bit different than a cartridge with ink. The toner cartridge is filled with carbon, plastics, and coloring particles. Unlike an ink cartridge, these substances in a laser cartridge are dry and powdery. The printer’s electrical charge melts the powder into ink. Then, the ink adheres to the paper surface.

How Does a Laser Toner Cartridge Work?

That’s the simple version. Ready for the long one? The printer’s laser beam bounces off a mirror that goes back and forth across the drum unit. This process builds up the static electricity and the data (e.g., text or image) is then transferred on to the paper using the toner. The fuser unit, which consists of two hot rollers, permanently bonds the toner on to the paper.

Does It Make Sense for You to Buy Laser Cartridges?

So if you’re wondering, should I use an inkjet printer or laser printer, it really depends on your printing needs. If you run a business that prints a lot, then a laser printer would probably make more sense. Choose which printer is right for you here.

If you ever run into issues with your laser toner, consult our toner troubleshooting guide.

Do you prefer toner cartridges or ink cartridges, and why? Let us know below or on Facebook and Twitter. 


  1. I am only an end user when it comes to any sort of Printers and know only far too much about buying a printer. Hence, i did read through your blog and then immediately decided to buy a Printer. Your article definitely provides the inclination towards Laser Jet Printers and Toner Cartridges. I got really impressed when knowing about the process of converting power to electrostatic ink and print high quality prints. Now I know why Laser Jet Printer are a preferred choice among IT Infrastructure requirements since it offers a high yield for cartridges.


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