How Do You Choose the Right Toner for Laser Printer?
It seems like a fairly simple process, but there are several key components that go into making the right decision.
We’ll walk you through the process of buying replacement toner cartridges, from selecting your items, filling your cart, to shipping them to your home or office. Easy-peasy!
Designs vary according to the manufacturer, but most toner cartridges look something like this.
Replacement Cartridge Reference List
Before you order new toner cartridges, you will need to know the following (check your printer documents for more information):
- Printer type (laser vs. inkjet)
- Printer manufacturer (HP, Canon, Brother, etc.)
- Printer model
- Cartridge type (standard vs. high-yield)
Toner Selection Basics
Regardless of printer manufacturer or printer model, your laser printer needs fuel to print. That fuel is the powdered toner found inside toner cartridges.
The more pages you print, the faster your toner cartridge will run out. When your toner cartridge is empty, you’ll need to purchase a replacement.
Replacement toner cartridges are not as readily available as ink cartridges. You will find the best prices on toner cartridges online.
This is actually very convenient for laser printer owners. You will find many more products online, and automated tools make it easy to find your replacement cartridge and model number.
Plus, some online retailers offer free shipping (like Toner Buzz) so all you need to do is put the items in your cart and check out!
Go ahead and stock up on products! If stored properly, toner cartridges have an infinite shelf life!
What Toner Cartridge Do I Need?
The first thing you need to know is your printer type or printer model.
It’s written or engraved on the front of your printer someplace, usually in big, bold letters and numbers.
Next, you need to answer another question: What kind of printer do I have? Who makes it? HP? Canon? Epson?
Knowing your laser printer brand and model is the basis for determining the correct laser printer toner.
To help you, we have a search panel at the top where you can fill in the printer model and the laserjet printer toner cartridges that are compatible with that model will be shown.
In addition to powdered toner, most laser printer cartridges contain a circular imaging drum.
Do I Buy Color Cartridges or Black Cartridges?
You then need to assess whether the printer you are purchasing the toner for is a color or monochrome printer and whether you will need to print in color.
If you own a color printer, such as the HP Color LaserJet Pro M452dw, but do not need to print in color, then you may choose to only purchase black toner for printer and avoid the additional costs of also buying color laser printer toner.
If you own a monochrome printer, such as HP LaserJet Enterprise 600 M603dn, then you will only need to purchase black toner.
Time to change the toner!
Understanding Page Yield
Next, you need to decide how frequently you will be printing and if your printer offers high-yield or extra high-yield toner cartridges.
Some printers are only compatible with standard yield cartridges, like the HP 643A.
If you don’t plan on printing that often, then a standard yield cartridge should suit your needs.
Planning on printing a high volume of pages?
Then invest in a high-yield or extra high-yield toner cartridge.
High-yield and extra high-yield cartridges contain more toner, last longer, and deliver more printed pages.
However, high-capacity toner cartridges are more expensive than standard toner cartridges.
Check out our article here for a more in-depth comparison of standard and high/extra high-yield toner cartridges.
You Might Be Wondering: What’s the Difference OEM, Compatible, or Remanufactured?
Unsure what toner to use?
First, consider your printing needs and decide whether to buy OEM, compatible or remanufactured cartridges.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toner is genuine toner made by printer manufacturers. It delivers superior text and image quality, accurate color, and more pages per cartridge. But you get what you pay for — OEM cartridges are priced higher than remanufactured cartridges.
- Compatible cartridges — also referred to as generic — are toner cartridges that have been manufactured by a third party and are designed to mimic OEM toner cartridges.
- Remanufactured cartridges, also called refilled cartridges, are used printer toner cartridges that have been restored and refilled. But this remanufactured toner delivers shoddy color, unreliable page yields, and frequently malfunctions. As a result, compatible and remanufactured cartridges are offered at cheaper prices than OEM toner cartridges.
Toner Cartridges- OEM vs. Compatible vs. Remanufactured goes into further detail on the differences between OEM, compatible, and remanufactured toner.
If you want the best quality toner cartridges, OEM toner is your best option.
If you’re willing to cut corners on image quality, then you may want to try a compatible or remanufactured printer cartridge.
Single Toner vs. Combo Pack
Finally, you need to decide whether to buy single cartridges or a combination pack.
In general, combo packs will save you money.
For example, a black-and-white laser printer uses black toner cartridges. You can save money by purchasing a combo pack of cartridges, like the HP 78A Dual Pack, which can lower your overall cost per page.
Own a color laser printer?
You can buy color toner cartridges in combo packs as well.
Got an HP Color Laserjet?
Buying a combo pack, like the HP 125A 4-Color Set, will save you money over buying each cartridge individually.
That Said: What About Inkjet Printers?
What about them? Did you read any of the above paragraphs?
This article is about toner cartridges for laser printers. Not “how to choose an ink cartridge for my inkjet printer?” That’s a different article that we didn’t write yet. When we do, it will be the best article the Internet has ever seen (about choosing ink cartridges).
Inkjet printers and inkjet cartridges are great. They serve a valuable function at both ends of the economic spectrum.
Low-end inkjet printers are inexpensive and good for low-volume general printing chores, like the occasional photo print, mailing labels, or printed recipes.
Another benefit of inkjet printers is that you can find a replacement ink cartridge at most office supply stores. We’ve even found budget inkjet printers and cartridges at the local supermarket.
Pick up some milk, cookies, and an HP Envy on your next trip to the grocery store! (Some some cookies for us!)
High-end inkjet printers are ideal for color-heavy graphics and oversized prints.
These professional-level inkjet printers often use multiple ink cartridges that introduce colors beyond the standard CMYK spectrum.
Specialty inkjet cartridges are costly but deliver the highest quality printed images. These printer models are often used for high-end photos and art prints.
Unlike ink, toner is a fine powder. Toner cartridges don’t work in inkjet printers and vice versa.
How Do I Access My Toner Cartridges?
There’s a panel on your laser printer somewhere. It varies according to the printer model.
Check your printer’s owner’s manual. You can often find additional information on the printer manufacturer company website. This panel is usually located on the front or the back of the laser printer.
Open the printer door and you see the toner cartridge inside the printer.
Depending on your printer model you may need to remove the paper tray to reach the toner cartridges.
If you have a color laser printer you’ll see four toner cartridges: three color toner cartridges and a black toner cartridge.
Grip the toner cartridge firmly, and lift it up and out of the printer. This shouldn’t be difficult...don’t force the cartridge if it’s stuck.
Replacement cartridges will slide in along the track of the old cartridges and click into place.
Lift up and pull out to remove the empty toner cartridge from your laser printer.
How And Where To Buy Toner By Printer Brand
Buying Toner Cartridges For HP Printers:
HP is one of the biggest printer manufacturers in the world, selling nearly every type of printers under the sun.
HP printers, and the HP company in general, are known for reliability, quality components, and top-notch printing results.
- Original HP toner is the best toner for HP laser printers
- Anything other than OEM HP toner cartridge will yield unfavorable results. Stick the genuine toner, formulated for your printer model, by the manufacturer
- Because HP is such a popular printer brand — nearly half of all personal printers are made by HP — there’s a good chance you can find replacement toner at most office supply stores, box stores, and discount clubs
- Don’t cheap out and buy knock-off compatible toner cartridges
- Buy an original Brother printer toner cartridge the next time your laser printer runs dry
- Brother is another popular printer brand, and we’ve found Brother laser printer cartridges in Walmart and other big box stores
- Buy original Canon toner.
- You may find Canon toner cartridges at your local office supply stores, but you’ll find better prices shopping online
- Again buy original Xerox toner
- Like Canon toner, you may find genuine Xerox printer/copier toner cartridges at the Office Depot or Staples out on the highway
- But you’ll find a bigger toner selection — and better prices — shopping online
- Oki printer owners are loyalists who either buy replacement toner cartridges directly from Oki or — if they’re smart — they shop around for the best price on original Oki toner cartridges
- Either way, online is where you’ll find your Oki toner
- Like Oki, Lexmark owners will need to buy original Lexmark toner online
- But don’t worry...we know where to get the lowest prices
- Panasonic laser printers are old-school workhorses
- Sometimes replacing the toner cartridges can be a bit tricky — we walk you through changing the Panasonic Workio DP 8016 toner cartridge here — and finding genuine, OEM Panasonic toner is even more difficult
- Ricoh laser printers and copiers are the backbones of businesses both big and small.
- You’re going to have to shop online for Ricoh replacement toner cartridges, whether you have an Aficio or another Ricoh printer model
- Samsung Printers have been under the ownership of HP since 2017 and as a result, you may be able to find original Samsung toner cartridges in well-stocked office supply stores
- As with most things in life, however, eCommerce offers the best deals
- Original Sharp toner cartridges can be difficult to find, but if you poke around the internet, you’ll find great deals on genuine Sharp printing supplies
- While not as popular as HP or Brother printers, Sharp is an electronics giant, and Sharp MX, JX, and UX Series printers are well respected in the imaging industry
- Dude, did you get a Dell? If you want to keep your Dell printer running smoothly you better hunt around online for the lowest prices on OEM Dell laser toner cartridges
- Do you own a Dell 1000 Series or 7000 Series printer? Congratulations! You’ve got one of the hardest working printers in the imaging business
- Invent the time machine and hop in! Seriously, Epson stopped making laser printers decades ago, so if you’ve still got an ActionLaser or some other Epson laser printer around, donate it to a museum and upgrade to a modern laser printer
- However, Epson is renowned for high-end inkjet printers and if you’re a professional photographer or print house you’re probably intimately familiar with Epson’s rainbow assortment of ink cartridges
Product Bonus Tip: Update Your Printer Drivers
Any time you replace your toner cartridges it is also a good idea to update your printer drivers.
It doesn’t matter the number of times a printer owner types “update drivers” into the finder — this is one piece of software that always seems to need an update.
You can download the latest driver software for your printer from the support section of your printer manufacturer’s website.
Want To Know The Best Part? Toner Buzz Is The Total Toner Solution!
Toner Buzz is the total toner solution for all of your toner cartridge needs. Ink cartridges too! We only sell genuine, OEM ink and toner and we have the lowest prices anywhere. Plus FREE SHIPPING! Set up your own Toner Buzz account and reap additional savings!
The Toner Buzz custom search engine makes finding the right toner cartridge a breeze. Type your printer model, brand, or series into the finder window and a list of compatible toner cartridges will be displayed.
Whether you’re looking for an OEM ink cartridge or toner cartridge, Toner Buzz makes the buying process simple. Our custom search engine allows you to enter your printer model number, cartridge number, or printer series. You’ll see a list of OEM replacement cartridge options.
We have OEM supplies for all major brands of laser printers and inkjet printers...even dot matrix printers! There is no comparison! Save money and reduce waste! Buy your next computer product or original printing product from Toner Buzz! The end result is you will save more money! The more you order, the more money you’ll save!
You will find every type of toner cartridge and a complete line of printing supply products on the Toner Buzz website. You can trust that your toner cartridge or ink cartridges will be genuine, brand-name original items.
Toner Buzz wants you to be happy with your toner cartridge or any other item you purchase from us. That’s why we offer a money-back guarantee. (The warranty is limited on ink cartridges since they have a shorter shelf life.) Toner and laser printers are our bread and butter.
We love toner at Toner Buzz! Toner, toner, toner! And we have quite a fondness for ink cartridges as well. The printed page is our number one priority. We are all about laser printers and toner cartridges. Ink, too!
Ink cartridges and inkjet printer series rule! Regardless of your printer series or model number we’ve got your replacement toner cartridge… and we have it at the lowest price possible. Amazing deals! Bookmark this blog for future reference.
Toner Selection FAQ
What Is Toner In A Printer?
Toner is what a laser printer uses to print text and images. It is a powdery substance that’s basically plastic dust. The heat of a laser printer’s fuser melts the toner onto the paper. The laser printing process is fascinating, and we’re not just saying that because we’re printer geeks!
You will need replacement toner when your printouts and text begins to get faint. Your printer will likely issue a “low toner” warning before you run out completely.
Color laser printers need four standard color toner cartridges to run: black (K), cyan (C), yellow (Y), and magenta (M).
Monochrome laser printers only use black toner.
Laser printers are different than inkjet printers. An inkjet printer uses ink to print text and images. Like toner cartridges, ink cartridges also run out the more you use them and need to be replaced. While ink cartridges are priced way lower than toner cartridges, they also deliver a far lower page count.
If you print any volume of pages or documents on a regular basis, you will find a laser printer — and replacement toner cartridges — is a more cost-effective option for your printing needs.
What Are MICR Toner Cartridges?
The banking industry uses MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) toner cartridges to print checks. The unique magnetic powder used in MICR toner cartridges deters the counterfeiting of printed checks. Electronic scanners draw a comparison between genuine money and counterfeit money and flag the fake bills. The result is a severe reduction in counterfeit crime.