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How Long Does Printer Toner Last

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Your Printer Your Lifestyle

how to make your printer last as long as possible

Everybody uses their printer differently.

Are you constantly printing school reports and Internet recipes? Do you print photos once a week?

Once a month?

Once a year?

Is your laser printer a buzzing hive of activity, or a dust-covered plastic paperweight?

How often you print and what you print has a major influence on the life of your toner cartridge.

Its simple math if you print image-heavy pages, your toner is going to empty out more quickly than pages that contain only a few lines of text.

Still, even with this basic equation in mind, there are steps you can take to extend the life of your toner cartridge.

Laser Printers Vs Inkjet Printers For Infrequent Use

If youre buying a printer and it wont be in regular use, laser printers are often the better option due to the long toner shelf life.

Laser printers dont suffer from the same performance issue as inkjet printers when left idle for significant periods of time.

Inkjet printers often get clogged up with dried out ink when not in regular use. Keeping them maintained requires careful cleaning.

Plus without a toner expiration date looming over you, you wont have to keep buying new cartridges and throwing out old ink cartridges filled with dry ink.

Your toner cartridge is sitting there ready to go even after long periods of inactivity.

How Many Pages Per Toner Cartridge Can I Print

When purchasing toner cartridges, they often come with an estimate for the number of pages they can print.

There is a significant variation in output, and the real-world results depend on:

  • Printer make and model
  • Color vs black and white
  • Type of printout

A typical toner cartridge will produce anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 pages, based on a coverage of 5% .

Dense pages filled with small font text or graphics will dramatically reduce this output and you may only get up to 1,000 pages per cartridge.

High-capacity toner cartridges are available, and they can print anywhere up to 12,000 pages .

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How Long Does Toner Last

Maximum time 36 months

There are many things that can be done to make the toner have a long shelf life. Some toners may expire in just 24 months. A compatible cartridge toner would not last after 36 months. There will be some exceptional conditions where the toner can last after the expiry date.

Everyone should always keep the laser print clean as it would maintain the quality of the toner. A good and clean laser print would prevent the wastage of toners. By keeping the laser print clean, the person can increase the shelf life of the toner. Use a lint-free cloth to keep the laser print clean.

People can also use damp cloth carefully to clean any dirt present in the laser printer. To remove the grime, everyone should use soft bristles. Everyone can use moistened Q-tips to clear or remove the grime. The rubber feeder rollers should be cleaned with the help of isopropyl alcohol. The use of vacuum cleaners can damage the printer.

Therefore, avoid using the vacuum cleaner or any type of compressed air for cleaning purposes. Always use the correct mode for using the printer. For example, if someone would do the printing using the print mode, then it would help in increasing the shelf life of the toner.

The Myth Of Toner Cartridges Expiration

How Long Does Printer Ink Last?

Toner and ink cartridges have expiration dates that are easily ignored by many because nobody cares. Does anyone check beef jerky or pasta noodles expiration dates? Not really, so do cartridges. When it comes to usage and storage of toner or ink cartridges, few would pay attention to the expiration dates.

The fact is cartridges storage affects how it lasts. For instance, when the ink cartridge expires, the ink would run out very quickly whereas you may continue to use the toner cartridge if you can store it well and maintain it. Followings are the processes of inner workings of toner and ink cartridge which we sum up to give you what you should be aware of.

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What Can Affect Your Page Yield/duty Cycle

As mentioned, it is determined by page coverage. You might buy a cartridge that is capable of lasting 2000 pages at 5% page coverage but, if your average page coverage is higher than that, then youre not going to achieve that amount.

Things such as the amount of text on page, colour, images etc. will all impact on page coverage and, ultimately, the overall yield/cycle of the cartridge, too. But what else might prevent you from getting the stated page yield/duty cycle?


We covered this in a post in May 2014 about how the humidity in your office can affect the performance of your printer. It might cause ink and toner to not print onto the page properly, meaning that you could be wasting a significant amount each time you print.

Age of your printer

Older printers are generally less efficient. Advancements in printing technology mean that modern printers will need to use less ink and toner per job than older machines. So if youve got a 10 year old printer, it might be worth considering investing in a new printer.

Frequency of printing

If you leave your printer idle for long periods, it may have to use small amounts of ink to clean and clear print heads. Frequent printing means that this shouldnt be an issue.

The mode your printer is set to

Also, it is worth remembering that many printers have calibration devices in place that will use small amounts of ink and toner for routine maintenance, often whilst in sleep mode.

The size of your print job

Does Laser Printer Toner Expire

Im sure Ive seen toner cartridges with an expiration date on them. None of the cartridges in my house right now have one, though. When a cartridge does have an expiration date on it, I ignore it and do fine. As I stated above, Im printing on a 3 1/2-year-old toner cartridge right now. If theres any toner left in the cartridge, I can still print. Quality drops off sometime after I use 90 percent of the toner in the cartridge, but that happens to me regardless of the age of the cartridge.

This is only my opinion, but I think either the people who tell me they get a year out of a toner cartridge print more than I do, or they are underestimating the amount of time they get out of a cartridge. I know when I bought the cartridge in the printer now because I have the e-mail from 4inkjets asking me for a review.

I bought the printer in July 2010 and the toner cartridge in it at the time wasnt new. So I routinely have been getting 3-4 years out of these cartridges. This is why I really like laser printers for home use. I can buy a toner cartridge and just print for years without thinking about it.

So, while HP, Lexmark, and the like may tell you that laser printer toner expires, I ignore it. And Ive seen no effect on either print quality or the longevity of my printers.

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Does Laser Printer Toner Go Bad

The toner itself in laser printer toner cartridges doesnt go bad, or at least it wont in your lifetime or mine. Its plastic dust, after all, and plastic is very stable. There are components in the cartridge that can go bad much sooner than the toner itself does.

Anecdotally, Ive had people tell me they can get about a year out of a toner cartridge after they open it.

Also anecdotally, Ill tell you that I get longer than that out of a toner cartridge. My printer currently has a toner cartridge in it that I bought four years ago. Its critically low but the print quality only started deteriorating last week. If I have to print any correspondence that someone aside from me will see, Ill change it. But its still good enough for draft printing. This isnt an isolated experience either I got 2-3 years out of the cartridge I had before this one.

As long as the toner cartridge spends its life in a box, or in the printer, I dont expect it to go bad. If you remove it from the packaging and leave it sitting out in the light, it probably will go bad at some point, because some of the parts of a toner cartridge dont like light exposure. So dont do that. But I dont know anyone who does that anyway.

The cartridge itself has some rubber parts in it that degrade over time, but that generally takes 15 years or more. I dont generally keep cartridges laying around that long.

Tl dr Get A Monochrome Laser But With Anything Choose Based On Tco

Shelf Life Of Toner Or Printer Ink Explained By A Seasoned Tech

There have been many excellent answers, which I will summarize and 100% agree with, that boil down to:

  • Inkjets clog and/or dry out if left to sit, laser printers, by and large, do not. The only concern I’d have with a laser printer is if it is left in a hot, non-air conditioned environment for extended periods of time.

  • As a general rule, inkjets, even with normal usage, tend to cost far more per page than lasers.

In addition, I have done a LOT of analysis about the issue of pricing not just of inkjets vs. lasers but of differences within each category. My bottom line is TCO – Total Cost of Ownership. When you factor in ink or toner costs, a little more more spent on the printer can pay off over the life of the printer.

Shameless self promotion: I have written extensively on this topic on one of my blogs, . For example, in this post I analyze costs of purchasing a printer + toner for various levels of usage of monochrome laser printers. YMMV, of course, but basically there are huge differences and it pays to do the calculations based on your usage before buying a new printer.

That being said, if you already have a laser printer, keep using it until it quits and don’t worry about the toner wearing out. Far more likely is some cheap mechanical plastic part will break first – which almost always won’t pay to repair. My previous laser lasted ~ 12 years, 10 or 11 if you count my buying another off of eBay cheap to replace some cheap mechanical plastic parts that broke.

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How Long Should A Printer Ink Last

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by new printer users. There is no particular science behind it. When your prints start to become lighter and shadier, know that it is about time you install a new ink cartridge. Furthermore, when you buy a new cartridge, its capacity is often written on the packaging. Modern printers also provide a notification when a new cartridge is required.

How Long Do Laser Printer Toners Last

How long does printer toner last?

This question has plagued printer users since the dawn of the laser printer. You just bought an expensive OEMtoner cartridge…how long will it last?

The answer is simple yet mind-boggling.

With proper storage, your toner cartridge will last forever.

But a better question is: What kind of life will you give your toner cartridge?

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How Long Should A Printer Last

A printers lifespan highly depends upon your usage. Home usage is less frequent, and usually people prefer using an inkjet printer for it. Office usage requires a printer to be up and running throughout the day, which means more prints and higher durability are required, which is where laser printers come in.

But this doesnt mean that you should always get an inkjet printer for home because if these printers are left unused for a while, their ink dries up, and you might have to go buy a cartridge more often this way. Laser printers are perfect for office use and good for residential purposes, where you make prints at least once every two to three days.

Does Toner Last Longer Than Inkjet

How long does printer ink last? Blog

tonerthan inkjettonerlast longer than

. People also ask, how long does Toner last compared to ink?

Ink cartridges can also stop working early if the heads dry out or become clogged. For that reason, it is critical to use the printer at least once every week. Toner cartridges, on the other hand, typically last for at least 2,000 pages and cartridges for large laser printers last even longer.

One may also ask, what lasts longer inkjet or laser? Inkjet printers are better at printing photos and color documents, and while there are color laser printers, they’re more expensive. Unlike inkjet printers, laser printers don’t use ink. Instead, they use toner which lasts much longer. The trade-off is that laser printers are generally more expensive.

Beside above, how long should printer toner last?

two years

Does toner expire?

The toner itself in laser printer toner cartridges doesn’t go bad, or at least it won’t in your lifetime or mine. It’s plastic dust, after all, and plastic is very stable. There are components in the cartridge that can go bad much sooner than the toner itself does.

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Cartridge Warranty Vs Expiration

You should look at two dates on the new cartridges when you get your cartridges. On the box of OEM, original equipment manufacturer, there will be a date shows when the warranty will end. This allows you to know how long the manufacturer will cover the item and the second date is the expiration. This is usually found on the cartridge packaging or sometimes on the cartridge itself

However, do be too surprised if your cartridge expiration date has already passed while you bought it as its for the original buyer and its refurbished. What you should do is to make note of the time that you purchased the cartridge and bear in mind that toner cartridges can last for a couple of years whereas ink cartridge can use for a few months.

How Long Will A Laser Printer Copier Toner Cartridges Last

ByMike Klein | Submitted On September 23, 2009

HP, Lexmark, Sharp, Ricoh, Savin, Brother and other manufactures of laser printers and copiers’ office equipment all use the same industry standard of how long a toner cartridge will past. They use the 5% rule. However, most people print 7%to 12% on the average.

First, we need to define what is the 5% rule toner cartridge usage on your laser printer, digital copier all in one machine. When HP toner cartridge specifications says 10,000 pages at 5% it means 10,000 pages of text DOUBLE space on a 8.5″ by 11″ with 1.25″ margins . If you just send simple memos on your laser printer copier then you are set. However, most companies especially accountant and lawyers use way more toner per page than 5%. Here is a 5% (between the dotted lines page of toner on HP laser printer, Sharp copier, Canon printer copier or other brand of office equipment:

Start this is 5% page coverage for a hp printer or digital copier. You will notice its only two paragraphs long. If this is all you print on the average then the estimated pages per toner cartridge the manufacture specifies will be close. However, you will notice there are not graphics, company logos or anything else. If you print graphs or tax returns you rate of usage will be much higher.

Advanced Business Computers, Inc.

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What Is Printer Toner

Printer toner is a very fine powder composed mainly of plastic polymer and coloring agents. Toner powder is electrostatically charged inside the printer and fused to the paper as it passes over a metal drum in the printer.

Black toner is typically used in laser printing. Color toner is available, but it’s expensive and rarely used outside specialty businesses.

Toner comes in long rectangular cartridges that are larger than inkjet ink cartridges. Although toner cartridges are more expensive than ink cartridges, they last much longer making laser printing a more cost-effective option in the long run if you do a lot of printing. A standard toner cartridge prints about 2,000 to 3,000 pages, compared to an inkjet cartridge that yields 200 to 300.

Inkjet Vs Laser: Which Printer Should You Get

DTM Print Tutorial: How to reactivate dried cartridges

It really comes down to what type of printing you’ll be doing.Inkjet printers are more commonly used at home or in small businesses because:

  • they’re less expensive
  • they don’t need to accommodate large volumes of printing

Laser printers are typically found in office settings:

  • they’re fast, which makes them ideal for printing a high volume of text-based documents
  • though they’re more expensive, they’re a better long-term investment

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Sell Unused Ink Cartridges

Business owners may need to think twice about ordering cartridges in advance. Businesses that dont do high volume printing might be better off making OEM ink cartridge purchases as needed.

But what to do with unused printer ink cartridges if you made a mistake and ended up with surplus amounts of them? Dont freak out! You can sell unused printer cartridges for cashback!

How Many Pages Can Be Printed With One Cartridge

If you want to know how many pages your printer cartridge will print You should be able to find an estimated number of prints listed against the product of the place where you bought the cartridge, but bear in mind:

Each printer is different and so each ink cartridge is different too. There are many factors that affect how many pages one cartridge can print. A simple way of looking at things is if you imagine you and a friend both have a drink of water. You arent thirsty, but your friend really needs a drink. How long will that drink last? It would be different for each of you because your friend is likely to drink much faster than you, because they are thirsty.

Its the same for printers. If you take 2 exact same printer models but one printer is old, and another is brand new. The new one will be much more efficient and so ink will last longer. Also what is being printed can change the result. Photos use more ink and take longer to print than text so we need to take these factors into consideration.

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