“BOSS! The ink’s out again!” How often do we have to say that these days? Too often if you ask me. It seems when working in a big paper producing office, this little problem can arise over and over again. This causes higher overhead in both new toner cartridges, and also in Advil pain medicine to take care of the headaches it gives us. There are ways, though, to maximize the usability of your laser printer ink and actually get it to last longer. Let’s look into a few.
Source: Andres Rueda
Let’s start with which toner you purchase at first. Of course it has to be compatible with the printer, but there are usually several to choose from. It may seem at first to be smarter to buy the refurbished or ‘used’ cartridges, because they are cheaper. I wouldn’t recommend this however, these cartridges tend to get damaged more often and can blow up inside the printer. You do not want that, you’ll spend more money cleaning out the printer and buying new paper to replace the ruined paper the cheap ink stained. I recommend chipping in the few extra bucks to buy a quality, new toner cartridge. Preferably one that can be refilled, that is where you will save the money, in the refills. The refurbs aren’t that much cheaper anyway. Also be sure to be using the right type of paper, use plain paper that doesn’t take as much ink to hold an image.
What you print has the biggest effect on the amount of toner your printer will subsequently use. If possible use black and white for everything. The color cartridges are more expensive. Try to shorten print jobs as much as possible. Get rid of the ‘fat’ that you may not really need to print, the shorter the job, the less ink. There are some software programs out there that can help with this. A couple of these programs are, ‘Print What You Like’, and another named ‘Green Print Software’. These programs can be installed on your computer, and they will help maximise the utilisation of your printer and the work you send to it. Another idea is to spread the jobs evenly between printers if possible. Most offices have more than one printer, they should be assigned jobs somewhat equally so you don’t use one printer more often than the other. Also, double check the jobs BEFORE you send them to be printed, make sure they are exactly the way you want them first. This will cut down on having to re-print jobs. There is no bigger waste of ink than having to re-print the same job over and over again.
Make sure the printer is in good working order. This starts with the settings, use the lowest resolution you can. Most printers have a hard time on high resolution anyway. Make sure it’s set up to print the way you need for that job. Clean the printer regularly, blow out the inside, clean the rollers, and change the fuser wipe every time you change the cartridge. This will keep your jobs cleaner and lengthen the life of the other components in the printer as well.
There you have it, some simple ways to save $$ and still get your job done. Happy printing!
James works at CartridgeSave.co.uk, a leading supplier of printer cartridges in the UK.