The difference between Ink and Toner Cartridges

If you don’t know what the difference is between ink and toner cartridges, it is important that you find out sooner rather than later. If you don’t, you could end up putting the wrong cartridge in your printer and this could end up costing yourself a lot of money when you need to have the cartridges replaced. As well as this, you might think that you could just return the wrong cartridges, but most companies don’t allow this once the packaging has been removed. So, if you are looking to learn the difference, keep reading.

What’s The Difference?

Well, quite simply, the difference is that there is ink in ink cartridges, and toner cartridges contain powder. While ink cartridges should be used in inkjet printers, the toner should be used for laser printers.


The Ink

With an ink printer, the ink is sprayed onto the paper through a variety of nozzles inside the machine. Of course, the ink is released in tiny droplets to ensure that it can create images or words clearly.

Ink printers are typically used by small businesses, photographers and families. Why is this? Well, there are a few reasons why you won’t typically find an inkjet printer in an office. First, inkjet printers are far cheaper than the average laser printer usually. As well as this, they are suitable for printing both color and black & white images. That’s why photographers love them. Families like them because the images or text printed provide a fantastic quality finish, even with photos that contain a lot of detail. They can also be used on a range of different paper. The ink can be pigment based or dye based, and this will depend on the type of cartridge you have. Pigment-based ink is resistant to UV light and water and can last without fading for 200 years! Dye-based ink is more susceptible to issues and will only last fifteen.


The Powder

Powder printers or inkjet printers work differently and create static electricity. This bonds the toner to the page to create the print. Printers like this can commonly be found in public buildings such as schools as well as a variety of businesses. The reason for this is that they are faster to print and can handle massive workloads in minutes. This is substantially different from an inkjet printer that can take minutes to produce even a couple of pages.

Toner cartridges also tend to last longer and are fantastic for both texts based or color business documents. However, they printers that use these cartridges will almost always be more expensive and will not provide the same level of quality as an inkjet printer. This is why using a powder cartridge to print photographs is not recommended.

The good news is that the powder substance will not cause the issues with stains that can be apparent with an ink cartridge, but they do need to be handled correctly. They also require a working drum unit to operate. This can be part of the cartridge or sold separately.


We hope this helps you understand which cartridges are right for your needs.