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What’s the Difference Between Ink and Toner Cartridges

What's the Difference Between Ink and Toner Cartridges

While both ink and toner are used for printing, they are by no means meant to be used as an alternative for the other. Some people make the mistake of shopping for the wrong printing supply for their printer and it is frustrating, not to mention, such a waste of money unless you can find someone whom you can resell them to. Knowing the difference between an ink cartridge and a toner cartridge won’t only prevent you from making the same mistake but help you make an informed decision if you are only buying a printer now.

Compatible printers

Generally, the best explanation and the main difference between an ink cartridge and a toner cartridge is in the printer technology they are used in. Ink cartridges contain liquid ink that is intended to be used for inkjet type printers. Depending on what type of ink cartridge you have, the ink can either be dye-based or pigment-based. This is contained and sealed in an airtight container inside your inkjet printer. A toner cartridge, on the other hand, is a cylindrical-shaped container used in laser printers. They contain a toner, which refers to the fine powder material that is made from a type of plastic called polyester.

Which is more affordable in terms of replacement

From time to time cartridges need to be replaced with a new one. When you are shopping for a printer, how much the replacement is going to cost you is an essential factor that should be considered. Toner replacement cartridges are more expensive compared to ink replacement cartridges but they also serve you longer, which make them a more cost-effective option. Ink cartridges may be sold at a cheaper price but they produce less printing output and need to be replaced more often.

Which gives higher image quality

This aspect is another win for the toner cartridge as laser printers, in general, are known to print out better images. While there are new inkjet printer models that are on par with laser printers in this category, the same cannot be said for all models. Aside from this, images printed ink can smudge when they get wet. This does not happen with toner-printed images.

Do you have more questions about ink cartridge and toner cartridge? We’d be more than happy to help you. Ink Save is a family-run business that has been providing high-quality printing consumables for commercial and personal use since 2002. Please feel free to send us a message at or give us a call us on 0800 9700 346.