Everything You Need to Know About HP Toner Cartridges

Everything You Need to Know About HP Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges are a printing medium used in modern laser printers. As one of the most reliable brands in the printing industry, HP toner cartridges are often seen as the leading cartridge option. There are two main types of HP toner cartridges. Some are designed for single-use, while others are refillable and can be reused by replacing toner once it is low. 

HP toner cartridges are different from traditional ink cartridges. Instead of spraying wet ink through thousands of droplets onto a piece of paper, toner cartridges use powder that is transferred into text and images on a page through an electric charge and heating process. Although it depends on the print work you require, toner cartridges are often more efficient and cost-effective over the long term. 

Before investing in a commercial or personal printer, it’s important to consider your needs. While HP printer cartridges are some of the best on the market, they are not the only good option. For someone who only prints on occasion, other printer types and ink should be considered. Our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about HP toner cartridges.

Differences Between Ink and Toner Cartridges

The core differences between ink and toner cartridges are that ink cartridges use wet printer ink, while toner uses a type of powder. 

  • Printer Ink

Printer ink is dye- or pigment-based and only used in inkjet printers. The majority of inkjet printers use dye-based ink, as it is generally more economical than pigment varieties. They are also more effective in producing clear and colorful prints and photographs. The main disadvantage with dye-based inks is they aren’t waterproof, and prints produced with them can be prone to smudging and running. 

The primary advantage of pigment-based ink is that it dries quickly. Quality prints with crisp finishes can be produced within a short period. Pigment ink is also resistant to moisture and UV rays. If your prints may be exposed to direct sunlight, such as wall-mounted photographs, then pigment-based ink may be a better option. 

four printer toners isolated

  • Toner Cartridges

The toner cartridge printing process is a relatively complex one, with the main components being toner hopper, developer and drum assembly. To begin the process, the printer takes toner from the hopper using the developer. The developer contains multiple negatively charged magnetic beads that are attached through a metal roller. These move through the hopper, accumulating toner. 

The developer takes positively charged particles and transfers them along the drum assembly. As the drum has a stronger negative charge than the developer beads, the toner is dragged from the developer to the drum. The drum then discharges the toner particles to the shape of the electrostatic image. 

As the paper passes through the printer, it produces heat, which melts the plastic within the toner particles. At increased temperatures, the toner can be absorbed by the paper, completing the print. 

Why Choose HP Toner Cartridges?

HP toner cartridges are carefully tested and backed by years of engineering. HP products, from laser printer ink to toner cartridges, are known for their dependability. You can expect strong performance, as well as reliable and consistent page yields. HP cartridges are also designed to be environmentally friendly and can be recycled. 

It’s essential to purchase HP products from a reliable source. Counterfeit cartridges are quite common; they do not offer the same performance and may damage your printer. Luckily, there are three useful ways of detecting counterfeit HP cartridges:

3 ways detect counterfeit cartridges

1. Authenticate Them by Using a QR Code

HP products contain a QR code on the security seal. Using your phone or smart device, scan the QR code and wait for the validation animation to appear on your screen. If it’s not a licensed product, the QR code won’t take you to the HP validation screen.

2. Product Appears to Be Tampered With

Counterfeit cartridges are often remanufactured, reproduced or tampered with. Inspect the packaging and make sure it hasn’t been interfered with. One of the best ways to determine this is to check the seal label. If the package was opened, the label will read “seal is void.” 

3. Security Labels Are Present

HP uses advanced security labels to prevent counterfeit products from infiltrating the market. Each product now has improved copy and tamper protection, and the packaging contains features that make it increasingly difficult to replicate. 

Types of HP Toner Cartridges

There are three main types of HP toner cartridges, and each one is available with a standard or high yield. The higher the cartridge’s yield, the more toner that’s inside. With more toner, you can create more prints. However, all cartridges are the same size, irrespective of the yield, meaning they are suited to a variety of printers. 

A code demonstrates the yield per cartridge. Toner cartridges with an “A” in the name give out a standard yield. Cartridges with an “X” at the end of the name produce a high yield. Depending on the specific cartridge series and whether it’s black or colored, it may be capable of printing anywhere between 9,000 and 18,000 pages. 

Those who need to print significantly higher amounts may require extra-high-yield cartridges, such as the HP 976Y series. These product names end in the letter “Y.” While these cartridges are more expensive than standard and high yield types, they generally have a lower cost per page, and they don’t need replacing as often. 

three main types hp toner cartridges

Choose a specific type of toner to suit your printing needs. 

  • HP Monochrome Toner Cartridges

Monochrome toner cartridges are black, so they’re most suitable for home or office use. For text, documents or black and white prints, monochrome toner is the most cost-effective choice. Monochromatic laser printers use only one cartridge at a time. This makes them cheaper to run than other types of printers, and they require a lot less maintenance. 

  • HP Color Toner Cartridges

Color laser printers are a lot more expensive to run and maintain than monochrome models. However, they are necessary if you want to produce high-quality and colorful prints or photographs. Color toner printers use four different cartridges, available in the colors black, magenta, yellow and cyan. Depending on the main colors you’re printing, these run out at different speeds and can be replaced as needed. 

If you frequently print documents, photos or presentations in color, a color laser printer that uses color toner cartridges is an excellent choice. However, regularly changing color cartridges can be expensive. By the time you’ve replaced all four cartridges, the costs may have already surpassed that of a new printer. 

  • HP Pagewide Cartridges

A recent addition to the HP printer cartridge product lineup is the page-wide cartridge. They are not technically regarded as toner cartridges, but they are very similar in appearance and operation. They are most commonly used in business printers. Rather than fusing toner powder (like a regular toner cartridge), page-wide products print using a stationary printhead to form the print. 

What Printer Should You Use?

When deciding on what printer to buy, the primary decision revolves around whether you want an inkjet or a laser printer. While laser printers are generally more expensive to buy, the cost per page and long-term savings should be considered, particularly if you print large volumes.

For fast, efficient and cost-effective printing, opt for a laser printer and keep it topped up with HP toner cartridges. Determine in advance how often you’ll use the printer and choose a series that is available in a suitable yield. 

hp printer on office desk

Choosing a printer brand is an important decision, as it impacts the long- and short-term running costs. One of the most common debates is Epson vs. HP printers, with opinions divided on which is best. Although there are advantages to both brands, it’s recommended that you go with HP for long-term use of quality HP toner cartridges. 

On average, HP printers are cheaper to buy initially than Epson devices. However, HP printers can cost more to run over the long term. Epson printers usually come with enough ink to last you a year. Although HP printers come with toner, it is generally a starter cartridge and doesn’t contain as much toner powder as a standard yield. HP toner and ink are generally more expensive due to the quality of the materials used. 

Both HP and Epson have eco-friendly models that reduce the cost and environmental impact of your prints. However, you’ll have to sacrifice speed, as they function at a much slower pace. 

To help choose the right printer, consider the following factors.

  • The initial cost 
  • Text print quality
  • Photo printing quality
  • Printing cost per page
  • Printing speed
  • Duplex printing capabilities 
  • Cost of toner cartridges
  • Photocopying and scanning capabilities
  • Smart technology-enabled

What Should You Do When a Cartridge Runs Out?

One of the main complaints of laser printer users is the cost of replacing cartridges. In some cases, replacing cartridges can cost as much, if not more, than the printer. Many people don’t realize that printer cartridges are designed to be refilled at least twice before they need replacing. Some printer owners claim to have refilled their cartridges five or more times before the inner mechanics start to wear out. 

Replacement toner can be bought in bottles, allowing you to refill them DIY style. However, the process is complex, and many refilled cartridges fail due to damage or refilling the cartridge incorrectly. New HP cartridges outperform refilled products. On average, they print up to double the number of pages than refilled cartridges. 

For reliability, it’s more beneficial to replace worn-out cartridges with fresh HP products. When disposing of old cartridges, ensure you do so responsibly. When thrown in the trash, old cartridges can find their way into areas where they can cause harm to the environment (e.g., a landfill). Due to the high plastic content in ink cartridges, it’s important they are recycled where possible. 

Fortunately, there are three convenient ways to recycle an ink cartridge:

3 ways recycle hp cartridge

1. Recycle It In-Store

Many printer or electronic retailers allow customers to recycle ink cartridges in-store. They collect empty cartridges and send them back to the manufacturers who safely recycle them. Check with your local retailers to see if it’s possible in your area. 

2. Post Empty Cartridges in the Mail

Several manufacturers, including HP, include recycling information on the packaging. The toner may come with a mailable envelope, allowing you to post your empties back to the relevant HP depot. Alternatively, HP provides further recycling information on their website, where users can access a mailing form for recycling cartridges. 

3. Utilize Recycling Toner Collection Units (TCUs)

A TCU or collection kit can be recycled along with toner cartridges. It’s recommended that you recycle these goods with the HP Planet Partners Program when you’re ordering a new batch. 

Different printing demands determine how long each cartridge will last. Some cartridges can last up to two years when they are in sealed packaging. Unlike wet printer ink, toner cartridges don’t dry out. They can last for several months between prints with no issues. Over time, however, internal components experience wear and tear. 

Monitor the volume of prints you’re making and ensure cartridges are printing at a sufficient rate. You should also keep an eye on the quality of prints. Dust particles can infiltrate cartridges, leading to quality issues such as streaky or spotty prints. 

Basic build-up or congestion can usually be solved relatively quickly by removing and gently shaking the cartridge. This should loosen the powder, leading to clearer prints. Make sure to do this over the sink or trash can as some toner might spill.

changing printer ink cartridges

Installing a Toner Cartridge

Installing a toner cartridge is relatively straightforward, but the process can vary, depending on the printer or toner type. A toner cartridge can be installed in five key steps:

  1. Remove the orange protective clip around the cartridge. 
  2. Prime the cartridge by gently shaking the cartridge.
  3. Remove the entire sealing tape from the side of the cartridge. 
  4. Open the cover of the printer (follow the owner’s manual for instructions) and locate the cartridge installation section.
  5. Place and secure the cartridge before closing the front cover. 

Purchase Quality Printing Supplies from a Reliable Source

When purchasing printers and printing supplies, quality materials result in better prints and long-term cost savings. Don’t be swayed by cheap toner products, as they may ultimately cost you more in the long run. HP printing products are world-renowned for their reliability and quality. 

For all your printing needs, visit InkJetSuperStore today. We stock a range of products from the leading brands, including a variety of HP toner cartridges. Visit our online store for our full product list. 


Image Credits




Edgar Lee Espe/Shutterstock.com

My Hardy/Shutterstock.com


atsawin fugpan/Shutterstock.com

Alberto Tirado/Shutterstock.com



Michal Ludwiczak/Shutterstock.com

PMG Corporation BKK/Shutterstock.com