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Which Printer Is Best for Your Needs: Laser or Inkjet?

color toner

Picking a new printer for your company requires a little homework.

From efficiency to speed to quality, there are several factors that need to be considered. Many of these factors will depend greatly on your decision to choose a laser printer or an inkjet printer. Deciding which of these printing technologies is right for your company comes down to your needs, preferences, and budget. Here’s a helpful list you can use when making this decision.

Laser Printers Explained

If you've ever used one of the larger commercial copiers found in an office setting, you're likely already familiar with laser printer technology. Instead of liquid ink, laser printers use a powder called toner that’s electrically charged and heated to bind it to paper using a drum and a fuser. The image is made with the laser and toner is melted into this image to create the image on the paper. These printers are typically better suited for big offices that need to print high volumes at a high rate of speed. Laser printers are great if your office needs high-quality black text and color graphics.

Laser Printer Pros

  • Faster print speeds that can handle large printing volumes
  • Produces high-quality text on any type of paper
  • Lower operating cost
  • Toner cartridges have higher yields than ink cartridges
  • Built to last

Laser Printer Cons

  • They tend to have higher upfront costs
  • May suffer when generating highly detailed or color images (less suitable for photo printing)
  • Printing typically limited to paper
  • May take a little while warm up before printing
  • Toner leaks can be immensely messy
  • Printers and cartridges tend to be much larger in size

Inkjet Printers Explained

As their name implies, inkjet printers, use liquid ink that’s heated and distributed in droplets through different nozzles. They’re a good fit for small businesses or home offices that don’t print large quantities. Inkjet printers are best suited for printing low- to medium-volume black and white documents and high-quality images or photographs. They are by far the most prevalent personal printer models on the market.

Inkjet Printers Pros

  • More affordable option upfront due to a lower initial cost
  • More versatile, can print on a wider variety of media types
  • Better at printing photos and graphics
  • Have a smaller footprint, better suited for homes or small offices
  • Inexpensive color printing

Inkjet Printer Cons

  • Typically more expensive cost of ownership
  • Many retail inkjet printer models are not designed for repair
  • Print heads can become clogged if not regularly used
  • Print quality may diminish toward ends of the cartridge life

How does the laser vs. inkjet matchup shake out?

Laser Owners

You're best off going with a laser printer if you:

  • Do a lot of printing
  • Print multi-page documents,
  • Want a durable device that will last
  • Want an overall lower total cost of ownership
  • Don't mind a larger device
  • Don't mind a larger upfront cost

Inkjet Owners

You're best off going with an inkjet printer if you:

  • Frequently need to print documents with images or high-quality graphics
  • Don’t require consistently crisp text
  • Looking for a lower initial cost
  • Need a more compact device
  • Don't mind replacing a cheaper device over having it fixed

In Conclusion

So, what is the "better printer"? That all depends on what you're looking for. Hopefully, this piece has helped you align with your values to determine whether an inkjet or laser printer is best for you and your team.

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