Ink Cartridges vs. Toner: Which Should You Buy?

Large printer format inkjet working

Source: KOKTARO/

It isn’t just good business sense knowing which cartridges to put into your printers; it can cost your company hundreds of dollars or at least merit an inconvenient trip to the nearest supply store if you get it wrong. There’s a big difference between these two types of cartridges, so knowing which one to buy is crucial to running a solvent business.

Have you ever wondered “Are ink cartridges vs. toner better for me?” If so, you need to know the distinctions between them. Before making any purchasing decisions on your printing devices, you should understand the specific printing processes that use ink cartridges or toner.

Distinct Printing Processes

There are two main ways of printing — laser printing and inkjet printing. Most office or multiple printing services use laser printers, whereas home offices often rely on inkjet printing options. Here are some more details about each printing process:

  • Laser Printing

In the laser printing process, the device melts the toner powder, which is what’s in toner cartridges, and uses this melted powder to create images and letters on the page. A lot of offices that depend on high-quality printed materials use laser printers.

  • Inkjet Printing

These devices spray minuscule drops of ink onto paper. These printers are adept at text or images and don’t have a problem with multiple types of printing surfaces like cardboard or photo paper.

By understanding the pros and cons of ink cartridges vs. toner, you can make a specific decision for your business or home office that makes sense in terms of upkeep and cost.

Pros and Cons of Toner

If you have many printing images and need crisp, clear letters and images, you should look at purchasing some laser printer toner for a laser printer. Upfront, a laser printer and the HP toner cartridges you need to buy are more expensive. However, a laser printer produces more printed material over the long run and requires replacement cartridges less often.

  • Pros

For sharp lettering and powerful and precise printing, you can’t beat a laser printer. For primarily print-based documents, laser printing produces optimal results in a short amount of time.

Laser printers are better suited to high-volume print jobs in large offices or commercial printing companies. However, they can also be a more economical choice for people working from home, as you typically get more prints per cartridge with a laser printer than with an inkjet printer.

  • Cons 

Printing photos is not recommended for laser printers that use toner cartridges, as the images won’t have the tonal depth that you want. Toner powder is a substance that can make a mess if you don’t have the skills to load the cartridges correctly. Printing with toner is also expensive, and you have to replace the drum after every three to four uses.

If you only use a printer periodically and like to print many photos, an inkjet printer is better.

Man puts toner in the printer

Source: Proxima Studio/

Pros and Cons of Ink Cartridges

For home offices that don’t need printing services often, an inkjet printer is an affordable way to create beautiful images and reliable copies. Here are some of the pros and cons of using ink cartridges like Canon printer cartridges.

  • Pros

These printers are cheaper than laser printers, and the ink cartridges are also more affordable than toner cartridges. Printers that use inkjet technology create gorgeous reproductions of photographs, as they can handle a lot of tonal variations. Finally, the printed pages created with ink cartridges don’t smudge as easily as laser printer toner.

  • Cons 

Your inkjet printer may not be cooperative down the road, and you have to change the ink cartridges much more often than you would a laser printer’s toner cartridges. Ink cartridges are easily clogged with the liquid colors that spray onto the paper.

Inkjet printers also take longer to print documents and images, resulting in slower print times and a reduced print volume. You also get fewer prints per cartridge, meaning you need to replace the ink more often, making it cost-prohibitive for many users.

closeup toner in printer

Source: adike/

The Final Word

Each printing method — laser printing or inkjet printing — has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you, as a small business owner or an amateur photographer, to decide which benefits mean the most to you.

If you need high-quality, powerful printing abilities, a laser printer that uses toner cartridges may be the safest decision. However, for images or only periodic use, a printer that uses ink cartridges is a perfect fit.

Visit InkJetSuperStore for all your toner and ink cartridge needs.