Toner vs. Ink Cartridge Differences – Which one is best?

Getting to know about the main differences between toner and ink is quite helpful in different circumstances. If your boss asks you to place some printer supplies and order bulk or toner for the inkjet printer, you are probably fired.

Moreover, knowing the main difference between the toner cartridge and the ink cartridge will also save you money. Neither toner nor ink is cheap, but nothing would be costlier than buying the wrong supply. This won’t just waste your money but even time too.

The first place thing you need to know related to inks and toners is that:

  • Inkjet printers use the ink cartridges
  • Laser printers use the toner cartridges

Before you invest your money in ink or toner, make sure you know whether your printer is a laser or the inkjet one.

Ink and toner both act as fuel, and both work in different scenarios for your printer engine. Let’s get into a discussion about major ink and toner differences for the readers.

Ink versus Toner: Are Toner and Ink the same?

Well, you have already guessed it right! Toner and ink are not on the same page at all! You cannot use them interchangeably. Toner is a powder, and ink is a liquid.

Ink is used in inkjet printers, and toner is used for laser printers. You cannot use laser toner for inkjet printers, and ink will never operate in a laser printer.


What is Printer Toner?

Printer toner has a dry and fine powder texture which you will commonly find inside plastic toner cartridges inside the laser printer.

Toner generally comes in different colors, such as magenta, yellow, black, and cyan. These finely powdered toner particles are generally positioned on the piece of paper by using static electricity. This electricity will, later on, form an image. Particles are melted on a piece of paper by using pressure and heat.

What is Printer Ink?

Talking about printer ink, you will find one such ink in the plastic cartridges of your printer. They are yet available in various colors such as black, cyan, yellow, and magenta.

Ink is generally divided into two main parts, i.e., binder and colorants. Colors are added to the ink with dye or pigment.

Longevity – How Long Does Toner vs. Ink Last?

Before you purchase toner or ink, you should know about toner vs. ink longevity! We believe that toner longevity and lower overall print costs often make laser printers the perfect way to go.

Ink cartridges do have some risks of malfunctioning if the heads become clogged or dry out. This small risk will deprive you of using the inkjet printers for a longer duration. If still, you want to, the inkjet printers are best to use every week.

Toner cartridges never expire, and you won’t face any clogging if they are not used.

What Is The Difference Between Toner and Ink In Cost-Per-Page?

Now let’s highlight the difference in toner vs. ink cost per page! When it comes to cost per page, it probably varies greatly between laser and inkjet printers. On an average basis, inkjet printers cost around 20 cents per page for colored print.

When using laser printers for monochrome and color printing, it costs you almost 5 cents per page. Using high-capacity ink and toner cartridges is the best approach to drop the overall cost per page.

Plus, laser printers are quick in printing speed, with the capacity of printing 15-100 pages per minute. But the inkjet printer has a top speed of 16 ppm. In short, as the overall page production and print speed are concerned, laser printers will always be on top.

Toner vs. Ink Price: Which one is cheap or costly?

It might sound strange, but the ink is costly! Printer ink will cost you around $13 and $75 per ounce, which is so much more expensive. Ouch!

In the same way, the cost per page of inkjet printers is quite high compared to the laser printer. In cartridge costs you around $20, but the toner will cost almost $100.

Although Toner cartridges are a bit pricey in comparison with ink cartridges, they deliver more pages and are long-lasting.

Laser printer often operates at a lower cost per page.

Comparison Table for Difference between Toner and Ink

Reaching the end, let’s highlight a few important points in a table to clarify the difference between toner vs. ink cartridges:

  • Liquid
  • Used in inkjet printers
  • Great quality photo reproduction
  • Capable to print on paper stocks and non-paper materials
  • Dry out
  • Expire
  • Having a lower page yield
  • Lower cost of start-up
  • Higher cost per page
  • Powder
  • Used in laser printers
  • Having the fastest printing speed
  • Just accept standard paper sizes
  • Does not dry out
  • Does not expire
  • Produces more printed pages
  • Higher cost of start-up
  • Lower cost per page

Toner vs. Ink: Which One is better?

Well, our vote is in favor of toner! Toner cartridges will never expire or dry out. But Ink can easily dry out or gets expire.

Commercial inkjet printers are generally used for posters, product packaging, or advertisements. But for the small or home business, considering a laser printer is the best option for you. As technology has advanced, laser and inkjet printers have moved to the same page in terms of price. The only difference is coming in the use of ink and toner.

What do you prefer the most?

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