The Difference between Toner and Ink Cartridges

Ink or Toner? Which way to go? Choosing between ink and toner cartridges is a topic of great interest for most printer users. The information below explains the difference between the two cartridges:

Ink Cartridges
A lot of people prefer ink cartridges because of its reasonable price and it is user-friendly when it comes to tougher substrates. Ink cartridges contain liquid ink and the printer uses pressure to apply the ink on the paper which is favorable for tasks or application like imprinting of objects. The results achieved through ink based devices are of very high quality and it is considered to be more beneficial when it comes to print quality. You can print a lot of documents and images before the ink runs out. The ink also acts as a coolant to protect the metal-plate heating elements: when the ink supply is depleted, and printing is attempted, the heating elements in thermal cartridges often burn out thereby permanently damaging the print head. Ink cartridges contain one or more partitioned ink reservoirs and are sometimes oil based, but most of the time it is water-based.

Toner Cartridges
Toner is a powdery substance usually made of carbon or synthetic polymers used in laser printers, xerography and photocopiers that is applied to form the printed text and images on paper. But in its early form, it was simply carbon powder. Toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Modern machines feed directly from a cartridge. To improve the quality of the printout, the carbon was melt-mixed with a polymer and toner particles are melted by the heat of the fuser. Most of the toners are based on specialized fuser technology which gives flow and viscosity which is similar to ink cartridges.
Toner cartridges are quite large and can hold a substantial amount of toner. It can print at least 5,000 pages. A toner cartridge is more expensive than jet cartridge but the reason why people choose the former is because toner based printers not only concentrate on providing quality images but also focus on long printing life efficiency of laser-imaged applications and speed which is a better choice for printing documents.

There is no doubt that there is huge difference between ink and toner but when it comes to being clean and user friendly, the toner has an upper hand. But still the choice is yours since there are advantages and disadvantages in both cartridges. Your decision will be dependent on the application or process you wish to employ since the major reason for the evolution of the ink and toners is the industry wide move towards digital imaging.

There are instances when ink would leak from the cartridge so you will need to refill it. But if you use an ink cartridge that has a good quality, it will last longer and will save you more money. Unfortunately, if you buy low quality printers, you will suffer the consequences of refilling your ink cartridges more often which will be an added expenditure on your part.

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