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Ink and Toner Advice

When budgeting for a printer, it is important to consider the long term cost implications of the investment. The most common long term cost of a printer will be buying replacement cartridges, making it important to research how much the corresponding ink cartridges will set you back.


Sometimes a printer with a lower initial cost will incur higher costs in the long term.

Ink Cartridges

All ink cartridges have an advertised capacity, demonstrating how many pages the cartridge can be expected to print. Dividing the cost by the capacity can give an insight into the cost per page of each cartridge – use this in your budget alongside your projected usage over one financial year to determine the most cost-effective unit and ink cartridge combination.

The capacity of a printer is only an estimated guide using industry standard ISO 247111 guidelines. This actual number of pages printed by a cartridge will be further determined by the types of pages printed and the density of ink used. The number of pages a print cartridge will produce is usually based on a standard 5% coverage.

Here we explore the different types of ink cartridges available on the market and determine for whom they may be beneficial.

Single Colour Cartridges

The majority of mainstream printers utilise the CMYK scale, using tones of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black) to produce the full rainbow of colours. Units which support single colour cartridges necessitate users investing in all four colour cartridges to print a full palate of colours.

Single colour cartridges can be beneficial when used with heavily-utilised printers as they can help reduce waste, subsequently improving cost efficiency. Replacing only the depleted colour cartridge, no ink is wasted.

Block Colour Cartridges

Across the CMYK scale, printers which support block colour cartridges often have space for just two cartridges: one for Black and another for Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. The Cyan, Magenta and Yellow cartridge will need replacing when just one of the colours has depleted – potentially wasting unused ink.

Block colour cartridges can be more efficient for home printers which do not have heavy reliance upon colour prints as fewer replacements will be necessitated throughout the printer’s life.

Toner Value Packs

Like most bulk buying deals, combination colour packs can lead to significant savings for users. Printers in environments which use relatively even quantities of all colours will best benefit from these potential savings as all cartridges will be utilised – reducing waste.

XL Cartridges

Printers which have the capacity to support XL cartridges can reduce ink costs in the long-term due to lower capacity cost. By reducing the amount of packaging, costs are lowered – helping the XL cartridge user save money.

Toner Cartridges

A main component of laser printers, a toner cartridge works in tandem with a drum unit. The toner cartridge, containing toner powder and colouring agents, projects the image onto the drum – before it is pressed onto the paper.

Solid Ink

Used with solid ink printers, solid ink cartridges are melted inside the printer to produce highly detailed, vibrant colour prints. Eschewing the need for bulky packaging, solid ink cartridges are environmentally-friendly, and require much less storage space than traditional laser printer supplies.

For a full range of printers and consumables, visit the Printerland homepage or call our dedicated team on 0800 840 1992.

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