difference between toner and ink

What’s the Difference Between Toner and Ink?

Wizix Techcommercial printers, Printer Maintenence

When choosing a printer for your business, it’s important to understand what kind of supplies it will require. WiZiX Technology Group offers the printer and services your business needs, including toner and ink. Some people use the words toner and ink interchangeably, however, they are each designed for different types of printers. We have compared the differences between toner and ink so that you can make the right choice for your business.

What Is Toner?

Laser printers use toner, which is a fine powder composed of finely ground plastic and other ingredients. The laser inside a laser printer melts the plastic components in the toner powder before adhering it to paper. Otherwise, the powder would just brush off the paper.  

Businesses with high volume printing tend to choose laser printers. Toner cartridges can produce more prints before running out of toner. Laser printers also use a faster process and provide clearer images that are more defined. 

What Is Ink?

Inkjet printers use pigmented liquid known as ink. The liquid in an ink cartridge is made up of chemicals, colorants, and water. In the printing process, an inkjet printer sprays tiny droplets of ink onto the paper. The process results in a clear, high resolution image.


If you have a printer at home, then you are already familiar with ink. Inkjet printers are popular in home settings, but small businesses with low printing demands can benefit from them as well. Unlike toner, ink can print on more types of paper and create vibrant images with vivid colors. 

Toner vs. Ink Cost

There are several factors to consider when comparing the costs of toner and ink:

  • Inkjet printers cost less upfront, but you may spend more money on ink cartridges in the long run.
  • Toner cartridges cost more individually, but don’t need to be replaced as frequently as ink cartridges.
  • You must determine the cost per page for your business.

Toner vs. Ink Longevity

Overall, toner lasts longer than ink. Because toner produces more images than ink before running out, you won’t need to replace the cartridges as frequently. Toner also lasts longer on the shelf, as opposed to ink, which can dry out quickly. However, both ink and toner will degrade over time. Luckily, there are several ways to maximize the longevity of both types of cartridges.

For ink cartridges, you should:

  • Store color cartridges upright to prevent commingling.
  • Keep the cartridge sealed until ready for use.
  • Never expose them to high temperatures.
  • Store away from direct light in a cool, dry area.

For toner cartridges:

  • Store them horizontally at room temperature, away from direct light and moisture.
  • Keep the temperature consistent when storing cartridges.
  • Never expose them to extreme temperatures.
  • Never try to open the cartridge.

Which Type Is Better?

Whether toner or ink is better for you depends on the printing demands of your business. Businesses that print frequently are more likely to benefit from a laser printer. It may cost more upfront, but will cost less over time compared to an inkjet printer. Businesses with simple, infrequent printing demands would save money upfront on an inkjet printer and still produce high quality images. 

Printers for Sale in Northern and Central California

Now that you understand the difference between toner and ink, it’s time to choose a printer. WiZiX Technology Group is a locally owned printer dealer in Northern and Central California. We sell and lease multifunction printers at affordable prices. You can even save time ordering toner and ink for your business with our easy ship service. Call 1-866-846-1411 to discuss options and get a free quote today. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/26/2021). Photo by Dario Seretin on Unsplash