Peripherals forum

General discussion

How often do you have to replace cartridges on Laser Printer

by slipd / July 27, 2009 12:46 AM PDT

I was just about to buy a monochrome laser printer when I read a review that you need to replace the laser printer's cartridge or drum or something every 3 toners, and each cartridge costs just as much as the laser printer. Is this true?

I need advice on buying a printer to be used when I'm at a university. Honestly, I only need black ink, and there will be months when I won't use it since I will be on break.

How much maintenance comes with laser printers in comparison to inkjet printers? How long do they last?

Thanks, and sorry for so many questions, it's just so hard to pick.

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Laser printers
by Phil Crase / July 27, 2009 2:22 AM PDT

Do some research on toner cartridge cost and availability before you buy one. Sounds to me as if you just need something basic. The Brother 2140 would probably work, they are inexpensive and functional and the toner cost won't break you. Rule of thumb on a toner cartridge (mono) is something over 2000 copies but it can vary depending upon the unit. Some manufacturers offer two variations of toner cartridges, basic and full, quantity of toner in cartridge and the cost will reflect that. If you do a color laser the story changes they will be considerably more expensive to operate, especially if you have to replace a drum.

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Drums v. cartridges
by hfyfyd / September 5, 2009 5:19 AM PDT

Some brands of laser printers (such as HP) incorporate the drum with the toner cartridge. Depending on the machine and type of cartridge it uses, you'll get anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 pages (monochrome) of normal text coverage on the average page. You can then either buy a new cartridge -- typically costing $60 to $90, but with some outliers much more costly -- or you can re-fill the cartridge. Several firms on the internet sell refill kits. We use products from, but I'm sure there are other reputable suppliers you can choose from.

Some printers, however, separate their toner cartridges from the drums. Brother does this. We haven't noticed that the Brother toner cartridges are any cheaper than HP's, but after you've run 3-5 through the machine, the drum starts wearing out. And -- surprise, surprise -- a replacement drum costs $180 to $250. Yep, that's more than we paid for the machine. So while the Brother machines tend to be cheaper to start with, they can become extremely MORE expensive.

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