Is it time to buy another new printer?
It probably isn’t your printer. It is probably the paper you are using. All paper is not the same. There are different kinds of paper. Some are for laser printers, another kind for inkjet, another for high-speed copying and another that says it can do both inkjet and laser printing.
So you may be considering buying the cheapest paper that is made for both inkjet and laser printing. Or you may even be considering buying copy paper thinking you’ll be fine. Not so fast. This line of thinking is just asking for trouble.
Here is what you need to know to help ensure you get the best print quality, avoid paper jams and damage to your printer.
Laser paper and high-speed copiers are designed to use toners that stay on the surface of the paper. The color toner is actually thermally melted onto the paper.
Inkjet paper is entirely different. It is designed to absorb ink from tiny inkjet nozzles to a specific depth, then keep it from spreading out. Some inkjet paper also has specialty coatings depending on the type of ink (i.e aqueus, eco-solvent, latex and UV-cure). These inkjet paper coatings can mess up a laser thermal system.
Also, inkjet paper is usually a bit coarser and thicker than laser paper. This can play havoc with the laser rollers that feed the paper over time. Laser paper may be too thin for the rollers to pickup the paper correctly in inkjet printers. Either issue can cause paper jams.
Paper that tries to work in both type of situations may or may not work. It all depends on the age and condition of your inkjet or laser printer.
If you are looking to purchase another all-in-one or multifunction printer, there are other things to think about as well.
The one most overlooked for small businesses is how often the printer will be used. If used regularly, the inkjet printer can work fine. But, if not used for a while (consider vacation or out of town meetings) the inkjet printers have a tendency to dry out. Once back in the office, the inkjet printer often needs to be cleaned and primed before it can work. This costs money in ink and time. Inkjet printers are known to be cheap to purchase, have vibrant colors, etc., but the ink is expensive. Over the course of a few years it can really add up.
On the other hand, laser printers can be much more costly in the upfront purchase. The cost can often be 2 to 3 times more than an inkjet printer.The toners, however, don’t go bad if left for a period of time. If you came back from vacation. the laser printer would be ready to go. Laser printers often have a larger footprint than an inkjet printer, so space is also a consideration.
Another item to consider is the cost per use. A printed laser page may cost a penny to a few cents to print. An inkjet page could cost ten to 15 cents or more per page to print.
Toner cartridges are also much larger than the inkjet cartridges. Toner cartridges can last from 1,200 pages from a regular cartridge to the high capacity cartridges of 2,200 pages. Inkjet cartridges usually last from 200-400 pages.
Whether you are buying inkjet or laser cartridges, buying genuine ink and toners are much more expensive than purchasing the knock-offs. But you will be better served in the long run if you do not us knock-off inks and toners. These can void your warranty and destroy your printer.
If you intend to keep your printer over several years, spend the money and buy a quality one. Expect to pay over $200 for a quality inkjet and over $350 for a laser printer. Over a period of 2-3 years the overall cost of a laser printer will be lower than a comparable inkjet printer. Laser printers often cannot match the vibrant colorful pictures of an inkjet printer. Maybe one of each is necessary.
As time goes on, things that should be simple aren’t so much anymore.
To keep it as simple as possible for inkjet printers, use inkjet only paper, genuine manufacturer ink and use on a regular basis.
For laser printers, use only laser specific paper and genuine manufacturer toner. Then you can rest assured your printer will be ready to use without any hassle when you return from vacation.
If you’re interested in learning more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 615-443-4842.
All the best,