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Understand The Different Printer Ink Types to Make an Informed Decision

The most common printers are inkjet and laser. Both operate differently and need specific printer ink types to operate. The former uses ink cartridges, while the latter employs powdered toner. Each printer ink type differs in style and pricing. 

Before you visit it is necessary to know about the pros and cons of different printer ink types before you purchase. 

Laser printer ink characteristics 

The laser beam is used onto the drum and toner is transferred to the paper. Laser printers are expensive but the long-term cost is low because less toner is used. 

  • Toner is powdered pigment, which adheres to paper the moment it heats.  
  • A great option for precise, swift, and convenient printing offering fine quality text and images. Toner does not dry out, so the prints last for ages. 
  • Toner s expensive but long-lasting. The upfront cost balances with the toner cartridge lifespan.
  • Laser printers handle company letterheads, marketing materials, labels, and business documents easily.
  • The potential issue of laser printers and toner cartridges is less accessibility to some because of the high price point.

Inkjet printer ink characteristics

Inkjet printers depend on dyed or pigmented ink designed from drying agents, carbon black pigment, solvents, binders, chelating agents, and more. Other additives can change printers’ output like better permanence, dulling effect, or opaque ink quality.

The ink droplets are fired onto printer paper and then reproduced image is sent for printing. The ink drops are more minute than the human hair cross-section. The colors blend seamlessly as well as produce fine print quality in brilliant colors.

Ink cartridges are costly and even the output is not as high as a laser printer. Therefore the inkjet printers’ per-page cost is more costly than laser printers. It is a great option for photo printing. The possible dilemmas associated with inkjet printers are drying of ink in the cartridges, which places users untimely in a frustrating situation. 

Other printer ink types

  • Liquid ink – Pigmented or dye-based liquid ink is commonly used in inkjet printers.
  • Solid ink – It is a wax-type ink with crayon consistency. The ink is heated and applied to the printing surface.
  • Toner – Dry power ink is composed of many plastic particles. The laser printer heats the toner and applies it to a printing surface using the drum.
  • UV ink – It is dried and cured on the printing surface when exposed to UV light but comes with a high price tag.
  • Ribbon ink – Dot matrix or thermal transfer printers are used. Ink soaked ribbon gets pressed against the printing page in a dot matrix printer. Wax or resin-coated ribbon is melted via heated print head on the page in thermal transfer printers.
  • 3D printing ink – 3D printers use resin and not actually ink. 3D printing resin comes in an extensive range of colors and materials. It is fairly pricey!

If you have an inkjet printer then choose an ink cartridge and for a laser printer opt for a toner. Match the printer’s make and model. You can stock printer supplies, so you are always prepared for the inopportune moments!