Printers are an indispensable tool for printing, scanning and copying in homes and businesses worldwide. With thousands of printers on the market today, making a decision on which to buy can be very tricky. The first thing to consider is whether to opt for an inkjet or laser model. But what are the differences, and which is right for you?

This guide will run you through the distinctions, pros, and cons of inkjet and laser printers. We’ll take a closer look at the key features and give you everything you need to make the best decision.


The key differences


This blog will take a detailed look at how inkjet and laser printers differ but if time is of the essence, then here’s a quick run-down of the fundamentals.


What are inkjet printers?


An inkjet printer is a type of printer that uses dye-based ink to create prints. With a cheap initial cost, compact size and capacity for vivid colour, they’re a popular choice for homes and school offices.


Inkjet printers produce image-heavy documents with ease. For as little as £30 for the printer and £10 per replacement cartridge, you’ll receive high-quality, bright results. It’s worth noting that inkjet printers have a lower overall page output than their laser alternative, and are typically slower to print. However, the emergence of increasingly powerful inkjet printers, like the HP PageWide Pro X, offer laser-like performance at inkjet prices. Likewise, the Brother MFC-J995DW is a favourite for its photorealistic prints and print speeds.


How do inkjet printers work?


Inkjet printers use liquid ink to produce prints – thousands of tiny droplets are propelled onto the page from powerful jets. The ink is stored in cartridges, which are heated to create pressure. This forces the ink through microscopic nozzles and it is then deposited in precise patterns according to the data sent from the computer. Through this process, inkjet printers generate extremely accurate image reproduction and high-resolution text.


What are laser printers?


On the other hand, laser printers use toner to produce text and images. They’re generally larger, with faster printing speeds and business-oriented features. Laser printers are now the go-to for busy workplaces and commercial users thanks to their high print volume and cost-efficiency. Whilst you will need to invest at least £100 for a reliable laser printer, and roughly £50 per toner cartridge, you’ll receive a lot more prints per cartridge. If your office prints a good few hundred prints per month, laser printers are definitely a good choice, having a more cost-effective output than inkjet printers.



How do laser printers work?


Laser printers use a laser to draw the desired text or image onto a photosensitive drum unit. This drum then picks up toner (powdered ink) where the laser hits and transfers it onto your paper. Your crisp prints are fixed using heat and this whole process takes no longer than a few seconds!

To find out more about how laser printers work, you can read our in depth blog here.



What factors should you consider when choosing between inkjet and laser??


The right printer type for you largely comes down to what you’ll be printing. Text-heavy documents or vivid images? Monochrome or colour? One printing task every couple of weeks, or hundreds of tasks a day? 

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself when making your decision:


1. Do you need to print in just black and white, or colour?

Are you primarily printing in colour or black and white? Both inkjet and laser printers offer richly detailed images. However, if you only need black and white prints, a monochrome laser printer might be the perfect choice. They use toner cartridges that are specifically designed for monochrome printing, resulting in sharper text and lines.

2. What speed or volume do you need to print?

What speed and volume of printing does your home or business need? Laser printers can produce high volumes of prints in a very short amount of time. In fact, laser prints can print up to 100 pages per minute. This makes them an ideal choice for businesses and busy offices. With a smaller print volume, inkjet printers are more suitable for domestic printing.

3. What room do you have for a printer?

What’s your space capacity? Laser printers are generally larger than inkjet models. However, there are always exceptions to the rule – for example, the Brother HL-L2370DW is a compact and highly-rated laser printer.

4. What do you want to spend on a printer?

What price range are you willing to spend? Inkjet printers are usually less expensive but laser printers have a smaller cost of ownership over time due to their huge page yield.


Shop inkjet and laser cartridges at TonerGiant


At TonerGiant, we specialise in providing toner and ink cartridges for every popular printer manufacturer and model, whether you have an inkjet or laser printer. 

Still have questions about choosing the perfect printer or finding the right cartridges? Our customer support team is here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today for some friendly advice.