Inkjet printing creates a digital image by dropping spots of ink onto paper; laser printers produce digital images by scanning a laser beam across photoreceptors. So which is better? It depends. We’ve weighed out some pros and cons of inkjet vs. laser printers below to help you figure out which is best built for use in your home. You may be able to reduce the consumption of ink or toner and thus further reduce your printing costs. There are other ways that you can stretch your dollar and make that cartridge last longer.
Some useful Tips:
Using DRAFT mode on your inkjet printer
If you have an inkjet printer you may be able to reduce the amount of ink it uses for normal and every-day printing by switching your printer to use “Draft” mode. Inkjet printers produce output by moving the print cartridge along the page and spraying ink dots to create the printing. In “Normal” mode, which is what most printers are configured with, the print cartridge makes multiple passes over the same area and sprays multiple coats of ink to make the characters bolder. In “Draft” mode, the printer makes a single pass and moves to the next line. This creates characters which are not as bold, but may still be acceptable for everyday printing. Because the printer does not lay multiple layers of ink on the same space less ink is being used to print your document. You can always switch later to “Normal” or “Best” mode when you need that extra special touch.
Reducing output resolution on laser printers
Just like the “Draft” mode on an inkjet printer, laser printers have “Resolution” a setting. At lower resolutions less toner particles are used to create the image. As a result, the printed output may be not as dark as it may be at higher resolutions. If your printer is currently set to use resolution of 600 or 1200 DPI, try changing it to use 300 DPI. Not only will you use less toner, but your printer will print faster.
Turn on Toner Save feature in your laser printer
Most laser printers have a feature that can automatically reduce the amount of toner which is being used while still keeping a reasonable quality output. Turn on the Toner Save feature for your printer and watch those savings roll in.
Reduce print density in your printer or multi-function machine
If you have a multi-function (print/scan/fax) machine you may be able to reduce toner/ink usage by reducing the density of your copied documents. The copies may look a little lighter, but may work just as well. Remember, as the toner cartridge wears out you may need to increase the copy density for acceptable output. Some laser printer has density settings although they are not scanning or copying documents. Playing with these settings will make your printing lighter but will save you toner in the long run.
Buy the right ink cartridge for your printing needs
For most printers cartridges come in various capacities. Designations such as economy, standard, moderate or XL may indicate the amount of ink in the cartridge. If you are printing a lot of documents frequently try to get an XL version of the cartridge that will work with your printer. If you are an infrequent user stock with economy or standard sizes. Overall, the cost to print using an XL cartridge is less as you frequently get 2x or 3x the ink than the standard cartridge for a fraction of the price more. However, as ink dries out, most manufacturers recommend that you use up a printer cartridge within 6 months or sooner after opening it. If you are an infrequent user of your printer, your XL cartridge may dry out before you have a chance to exhaust all ink in it. If you suspect that your ink cartridge has dried out, bring it by our store for a complimentary cleaning.
Reduce Stop/Start cycles
If you are using a laser printer you may notice that the printer does some whirling before and after every printed document. If you are printing a single page the printer goes through a start-up cycle, prints the page, and then goes through the slow-down cycle. The additional time and turning incurred during the start-up and slow-down cycles can greatly wear out the components inside your toner cartridge causing to lighter printing and increases the likelihood of developing defects. While no printing is occurring, the components in your printer and cartridge spin just as if something was being printed. In addition, toner continues to accumulate on the drum even though there is no printing. This extra toner is swept into the waste-bin of the cartridge, reducing the supply of toner available for printing.