When it comes to printing, ink or toner is the essential ingredient. You might buy a costly printer, but if you use the wrong type of ink, your printer will not work. You will get a terrible print even if you somehow make it work. An example is that of Epson printers, which work well with only Epson ink cartridges.

What is the purpose of a print if the ink smudges or fades away with time? Companies today invest in various technologies to make the perfect ink to deliver sharp and professional photos. However, in some cases, you will need a toner rather than an ink cartridge.

We have brought this guide to help you easily differentiate between printer toner and printer ink and get the best results from your printing job.

Printer Ink

When using inkjet printers, ink is the ingredient used for printing. It is a tinted liquid used to produce the desired images on paper. Ink is present in ink cartridges or ink bottles. Here, ink bottles are more economical and last longer than cartridges. This is because ink cartridges dry out and clog while ink bottles last longer. But if you like to make cash for ink cartridges, you can explore a sustainable option like recycling or selling used printer cartridges.

There are several ingredients in printer ink. Some of the essential elements include
  • Carbon black pigment
  • Binder
  • Solvent
  • Drying agents
  • Chelating agents
  • Opacifiers
  • Extenders

Types Of Printer Inks

Inkjet printers use ink. However, the type of ink you use also determines the quality of print you will get. Printer inks are widely divided into two categories: ingredients and photos. These are as follows:

1. Dye-Based Ink

The dye-based ink has a colorant dissolved in a liquid carrier or a solvent. It is affordable and recommended for printing photos and prints for regular use. Although it delivers an exceptionally vibrant image, it could be more long-lasting. The dye-based inks are highly susceptible to damage by water, heat, and other external agents because they disperse on the paper. These also smudge easily and last only a few years. Dye-based ink is the perfect choice for printing documents only.

2. Pigment-Based Ink

The pigment-based inks contain excellent solid particles suspended in the carrier fluid. Despite being expensive, these are worth investing in if you run a sublimation printing business. This type of ink delivers very crisp and professional prints that last longer. The pigment-based ink does not fade or scratch away with time. It is also waterproof and highly resistant to harsh environments.

These inks do not penetrate the paper and provide a seamless print. Furthermore, the pigment-based inks cover a wide range of color spectrums.

Working on an Inkjet Printer

The inkjet printer uses liquid ink and sprays it as droplets on the paper. Your printer either works on the PiezoElectric technology or the thermal inkjet process. Explore our range of dropship toner for compatible printers to ensure uninterrupted printing. 

A printer that uses PiezoElectric technology uses electric current instead of the heating element. A pressure pulse is created using this electric current, which forces the ink droplets onto the paper via a nozzle. It can accommodate a broader color spectrum.

On the other hand, Thermal Inkjet printers come with a heating element in their cartridge area. The heat generates bubbles, increasing the pressure and forcing the ink droplets to spread on the printing paper. The thermal printers use only four primary printing colors: cyan, magenta, black, and yellow.

Pros And Cons Of Printer Ink

Although widely used, printer ink is not recommended when printing professional images. Below is a list of pros and cons to help you make a better decision




Chances of drying out if printer not used for long 

Replacement of ink cartridges is easy and not heavy on the pocket

Tends to clog with time, leading to fewer printed pages 


Has a lower page yield

Vibrant image 

Genuine ink cartridges might be hard to find 

Printer Toner

Printer toner is in the form of powder and is used in laser printers. A toner has totally different components than ink. It combines finely ground silica, plastic, iron, chromium, and zinc. Unlike ink cartridges, these do not dry out over time and print more pages, making them cost-effective in the long run.

Working on a Laser Printer

The laser printers have a built-in drum that reads the image data provided. When you turn on the printer, there is a buildup of static electricity, and the charges are distributed on the drum as per the image. These attract the printer toner, which is then put on the paper. The printing paper is then moved through heat rollers to fuse the picture perfectly.

Pros And Cons Of A Printer Toner

Printer toner is expensive, but investing in it goes a long way. We have summarized its merits and demerits below to help you decide whether you want to use toner.

Very fast, precision printingExpensive
Delivers high-quality and sharp prints
It is in powder form, so there is no chance of drying out.

How To Reduce Ink And Toner Waste?
Whether you use an inkjet or a laser printer, you must save on the toner or ink. Buying toner or ink occasionally is not economical and will not last long if you don't use them carefully. Here are a few tips that you can follow to lessen ink and toner waste.
  • Run the printer every few days to prevent your ink from drying out
  • When you do not need a professional print, switch your printer’s settings to grayscale
  • Recycle your cartridges

To Wrap Up

When choosing a printer, be clear about the type of print you need. Make sure you choose a printer with readily available toner or ink cartridges. This will make replacement easy and budget-friendly.

If you need to print documents, go for the inkjet printer. On the other hand, investing in a laser printer is sensible if you want to print sharp, professional prints.