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Are Laser Printers Worth It?

If you have never owned a laser printer and are hesitant to change over, hopefully we can alleviate your fears. We have extensive experience with laser printers, both for our personal use and for managed services for our customers. 

In this article we will cover the advantages of laser printers and reveal how they are both cost-effective and long lasting. We will examine the basic question, are laser printers worth it? 

What are the advantages of a laser printer?

One of the biggest advantages of laser printers is that they are much more durable than inkjets. They have a longer life cycle and break less often. That is why they are cheaper when it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO). It is  no secret that the cost-per-page is also significantly less than standard inkjet printers.  

A typical ink cartridge for an inkjet printer is likely about 10% of the yield as a toner cartridge is for a laser printer.

Why is printing with a laser printer cheaper than an inkjet? 

There are several reasons that make a laser printer cheaper than an inkjet printer. Toner cartridges for laser printers have a higher yield, which means more prints per cartridge. An ounce of ink for an inkjet printer is more expensive than an ounce of good wine.  Toner being much cheaper than ink means a lower cost per page. When it comes to the price for toner, it is not even a competition. 

We also see less user interaction with a laser device, so fewer repairs are going to be needed. Laser printing tends to be simple and hassle-free for users.

Do laser toner cartridges dry out?

 In all of our years in business, we have never seen that happen. Unlike ink cartridges, the toner is already dry. If you don’t use all of your toner immediately, or the machine has been underused, the toner is still ready for printing.

The only issue with toner is if it gets wet. The simple solution to negating that occurrence is to keep it in a dry place and avoid spilling your coffee on the device. 

Is there a warranty limitation when buying cartridges?

The standard is a one-year warranty, but different manufacturers can have variations. Most toner companies, if they are worth their salt, will replace a defective cartridge if it is within a reasonable time frame. This is another area where toner cartridges have an advantage, since any defects would be in the functional mechanisms of the cartridge, and therefore easy to replace.

If you are getting a compatible cartridge, the warranty can be a little more tricky. We would suggest, in general, getting genuine HP OfficeJet or HP LaserJet supplies. The OEM cartridges have been designed to maximize print quality by having the best printer ink manufacturing processes.

 When should I upgrade my laser printer?

The age of the device plays an important part in whether you should upgrade it. The industry standard is five years. If it is less than five years old, it is still young and probably meets all of the security protocols, so there shouldn’t be a need for a replacement. 

Questions to ask before deciding whether or not to replace your printer:

  • Are there any security gaps within the device? Older printers leave loopholes for cyber criminals, so any out-of-date security would be a reason for an update.
  • Usage. A two-year-old laser printer with a million copies is a lot different than a two-year-old laser printer with 50,000 copies. What is the “mileage” on the device, not just the age? If you have a device that has been above its recommended monthly volumes, then that machine is older than its years. 
  • The cost of the device. If the device is a higher volume device with a higher cost-per-page, and it’s time for a repair, consider replacing it with a more efficient, lower cost-per-ownership device. The cost of repairs have to be factored into the overall cost.
  • Do you need color? If you need a color laser printer, then it may be time to upgrade from an old printer.
  • Do you print high volume? Might be time to upgrade.
  • Are you printing photos? Maybe you need something for quality printing.

Any tips for cleaning a laser printer?

We definitely don’t recommend canned air, because then you run the risk of getting toner powder into other parts of the device. The toner particles are much harder to clean out when sprayed too far into the printer. 

The best thing to use is clean wipes and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your individual device. 

If you are looking for a laser printer or a managed print service plan, we would love to help your company. We typically work with HP, Brother, Lexmark and other common laser printer brands.