copier and printer consumables
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Copier and printer consumables: toners, imaging units, drum units or fusers cost money too

Updated: 2021-06-25

Mechanical parts vs consumable parts

Printers and copy machines have both mechanical parts and consumable parts. Toner is an example of a consumable part. It is a supply that gets consumed when you use the copy machine or printer. Toner needs to be replaced fairly often depending upon your printer and copier usage.

On the other hand, mechanical parts include cleaning blades, fuser rollers or lamps. They also need to be replaced but periodically only when they are worn out, break or stop functioning properly. For example, when your machine has enough toner but is not printing properly, you may want to check your drum unit. Replacing the drum unit can often fix many print quality issues. All of these mechanical parts have a limited service life.

When buying a new printer or copier, it’s very important to not only look at the cost of the actual machine but to figure in the cost of printing supplies or copier supplies to your budget, as well. 

Copier drum units, fuser units, toners, developers, imaging units, and maintenance kits can add considerably to your monthly expenses and should be factored into the pros and cons of buying a particular model. If you wince when you look at the cost of the toner, it’s maybe not the best one for you to purchase.

But if you’re set on that particular model, there are things you can do to lower these costs. 

Here are some advantages of shopping online:

• Online retailers have many advantages over brick and mortar stores, and one of them is low prices. You can buy generic toner or genuine OEM toner, and you’re still going to get a good price.

• If they have a price matching guarantee, that’s even better. That means if you find your toner, developer, etc., on sale, they’ll match the sale price, and you don’t have to shop all over the place to get good deals. You can continue to use the same online retailer yet still get your low prices and save money.

• They have coupons. Most online retailers have coupons that you can apply to your order that save you money. You don’t have to clip anything out. You have to add in a code when you’re placing or paying for your order. This is a big deal; coupons can save you a lot of money. If you have a coupon that saves you 5% and you spend 500 dollars, that’s 25 dollars you’ve just knocked off your bill.

• Convenience is the word for online retailers. Online stores are available 24 hours a day, and you can go on and shop whenever you want. If you’re buying from a store, you have to work around their hours, not yours, and you have actually to go out to do so. With online retailers, you point and click. You can spend your travel time doing something else, making your workday more efficient.

Buying a new laser printer or copier is a major purchase, and it’s not one that you want to enter into lightly. With the high cost of equipment and supplies, it can run you some serious money. You want it to last a long time, so buy the best and defray the costs of supplies by using an online retailer for digital copier supplies or inkjet printer supplies.

When replacing your toner cartridge, there are a few things you need to look for and a proper way to do it.

Here are a few tips and a little instruction on replacing your toner cartridge for most office copiers:

• Is it necessary to replace your toner yet? The copier will tell you when you need to replace your toner cartridge. If it doesn’t say to replace it, it’s not time yet. Only replace toner when the copier machine tells you to, or you’re going to spend that you don’t need to pay. A lot of toner cartridges can be recycled, so check and see if you can recycle the kind you use. A lot of places have programs that take your empty toner cartridges; Staples is one. There are even places that buy your empty toner cartridges if you want to go that route. Check online for a location near you to recycle them or sell them.

• Make sure you properly handle your toner cartridge. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight. Make sure that you don’t scratch the surface of the drum when you’re replacing the cartridge. It’s best not to touch the drum at all, or you’ll start to get poor printing results and have to replace that, as well.

• Gently dislodge the cartridge for removal. When you pull out the old toner cartridge and remove it, please don’t do it forcefully. Pull it out gently, and don’t risk breaking something on your expensive machine. If it doesn’t come out when you gently pull, you’re doing something wrong.

• Make sure that you shake it gently when you take a new toner cartridge out of the box. Not roughly, or you’ll end up with toner all over you, and that’s not a pretty sight.

• If you do get toner on your person or your clothing, here’s what to do: Do not rub! Please take off the clothing immediately, and wash them with cold water. Don’t use hot or warm, because it will soften the toner and cause it to stick to the clothing. Your normal body temperature is warm enough to fuse the toner to the dress, so taking it off quickly is a must. If it’s on your skin, wash your hands with cold water, or use an abrasive hand cleaner. If it does fuse to your hand or other parts of your skin, don’t worry: It will wear off in time.

• If there is protective tape or packaging, make sure you remove it. You won’t get any printing results with the tape on there.

• Insert the toner gently. Make sure it’s in there securely, but again, don’t force anything. If you have to force it, something is wrong.

• Close up your machine because it’s ready to use.

• Print a test page to make sure that everything is working correctly.

Quick FAQs

What are the different types of printer consumables?

Consumables (and mechanical parts) are the things you need to replace during the life of the printer, and can include:

  • Toner cartridges
  • Ink cartridges
  • Printer fuser units
  • Printer drums
  • Feed rollers
  • Transfer belts
  • Waste toner boxes
  • and more…

You’ll need to find out how many consumables the printer requires.

Printer maintenance and replacement repairs

Most maintenance and replacement repairs can be accomplished by a person who possesses basic mechanical skills and common sense. He or she will need to review the instructions that come with the machine and have a Phillips Head screwdriver or similar, a smaller screwdriver with a thin blade and small pair of pliers.

printer costs Vs Printer Consumable Costs?

Printer manufacturers are notorious for selling their printers cheap because they expect to make their money back in ink and toner sales.

What are the cheapest printer ink replacements?

Compatible cartridges are built from scratch to adhere to these same standards, but for a whole lot less.

What are third-party ink cartridges?

Third-party aftermarket consumables in the form of compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges offer customers a way to cut their print costs by as much as 50% or more.

In Terms of cost, How do laser printers win over inkjet printer?

When it comes to better cost per page.

How much does a high-quality ink cartridge cost?

The main difference is that high yield cartridges can print usually about twice the number of pages than that of a standard cartridge so they’re slightly more expensive. How efficient is your printer?

Your printer’s cost per page is the most important factor to consider when determining the true cost of your printer and how efficient it is.

What is an ink-efficient printer?

An ink-efficient printer is an economical printer in the long-run.

How do you calculate cost-per-page?

To get the cost per page, simply divide the cost of the cartridge with its page yield: Cost per page or CPP = Cartridge Price / Page Yield. E.g., for the HP 63XL black cartridge, the cost per page is about $0.08 or 8 cents.

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