A Beginners Guide to Toner Cartridges

Many of today’s modern printers rely on toner cartridges – little boxes of varying shapes and sizes that contain a substance that can make prints. Toner cartridges, like ink cartridges, run out after repeated use, and so they must eventually be replaced. There are, however, important differences between toner and ink cartridges that you need to know.

Toner Cartridges Versus Ink Cartridges: What Is The Difference Between Them?

Although people often use the terms “toner cartridge” and “ink cartridge” interchangeably, they do in fact refer to different things. An ink cartridge is a container that slots into a printer which contains ink, whereas a toner cartridge is a container which holds a special kind of coloured powder.

Toner cartridges are popular among businesses because they work with laser printers which are better at providing a high volume of prints in a given length of time than inkjet printers. Toner cartridges fit into laser printers with the printer transforming the powder in the cartridges into desirable colours and tones on the page.

Toner cartridges differ from ink cartridges in another critical respect. Many desktop printers use several different ink cartridges to deliver colour to the page and must be replaced separately. Toner cartridges, however, fit all of the shades of powder required into a single unit, making them easy to change once the supply runs out.

How Does A Toner Cartridge Work If It Doesn’t Contain Ink?

Although it might sound strange, toner cartridges do not contain any ink. So how do they work? The process of depositing the powder contained in a toner cartridge onto paper involves several steps.

First, the printer supplies electricity to the toner unit to charge it with static electricity. The static attracts the powder to the inside of the drum so that the printer can use it.

Second, the drum deposits powder on the paper.

Finally, the toner cartridge uses something called a fuser to selectively melt the powder so that it produces the desired image on the paper.

The process has several advantages over regular inkjet printing – where ink is deposited directly onto the printing material. Pages print faster with toner cartridges than regular ink, and they do not require time to dry. What’s more, because of the precision of the fuser, prints are regularly more accurate than their direct ink-to-page counterparts.

How To Replace A Toner Cartridge

As discussed, toner cartridges will eventually run out of powder and need to be replaced. How you replace a toner cartridge depends on the model of printer that you are using, but there are some general rules of thumb for all printers that use toner cartridges.

First, turn the power on using the power button on the printer. Then open the access panel to gain access to the toner cartridges. The access panel should lift or come off by pulling it with sufficient force. If you cannot remove the panel, refer to the instruction manual as this may provide additional guidance. Some models of printer use release buttons.

Next, remove the toner cartridge itself. Find the new cartridge and remove it from its packaging. Sometimes, the powder can be unevenly distributed throughout the printer drum, so it’s good practice to rotate the drum several times to ensure even coverage. (Six to eight times is usually sufficient).

Check the bottom of the toner cartridge. Can you see a plastic strip protecting the drum? If so, remove it, being careful not to touch the drum itself. Touching the drum could reduce image quality.

Insert the new cartridge back into the printer, closing the cover, making sure that plastic strip is removed. You should now be able to continue using your printer to create high-quality prints.

Are Toner Cartridges Generic?

Sadly, toner cartridges are not generic. It is not usually possible to substitute one brand’s toner such as Brother toner cartridges for another’s. If you are looking for toner cartridges, Perth, then select those made by the same toner manufacturer as your laser printer.

It is possible to buy toner in Perth made by another company than the manufacturer of your laser printer. These third-party companies make toner cartridges that are compatible with most popular laser printers, so you can sometimes find discount versions.

So, in conclusion, what have we learnt? We have discovered that a toner cartridge differs from an ink cartridge, that toner cartridges are easily replaced, and that not all toners are compatible with laser printers. Toner cartridges are suitable for use in the home, but business is where they really shine.