3 Factors to Consider With Inkjet vs. Laser

How to Decide Between an Inkjet or Laser Printer

So you are in the market for a new floor-model commercial copier. Maybe your current unit is broken or the lease on your copier just expired, and you are now responsible for getting the right equipment for your company. The task can be daunting as you begin exploring your options especially trying to decide which type of copier is best–inkjet or laser. Which type of printer not only fits your budget, but meets you usage needs? Here 3 factors to consider before you buy.

 multi-function office printer

1. Toner

Inkjet printers use a water-based toner that cannot produce as many copies. The liquid ink is sprayed onto printer paper and requires some dry time. Laser printers use a dry, powder-based ink that is heat-fused onto the paper. On average, an inkjet toner cartridge can yield 1,000 copies versus laser ink that can produce approximately 10,000-15,000 copies. It is important to note that a single inkjet toner cartridge can cost $30 or more and inkjet printers require 6 different color cartridges. Laser ink cartridges are more expensive, but laser printers only require 4 cartridges and those will produce more copies(prints). Keep in mind the cost of toner can increase exponentially if your business creates a high volume of prints.

2. Cost per page

In order to pinpoint which solution would be optimal for your business, you must determine the approximate volume of prints your business produces per month.

Simply put, how many reams of paper do you go through monthly? Each ream is 500 pages. If you expect to print more than 1,000 copies a month, your best choice is a laser printer.

The price of toner is the main factor in determining how much it will cost to print a page. For example, inkjet printers cost about 20 cents per page and drops to about 7 cents a page when printing only black and white. A laser printer’s cost per page is about 6 cents. Remember, higher quality, higher performing printers (whether inkjet or laser), will keep the printed cost per page low as well.

3. Quality and Speed

Does your business print mostly in color or black and white? If high-quality color prints are your company’s mainstay then, go with an inkjet printer. Inkjets offer a higher quality color print, but you will sacrifice print speed. A basic inkjet printer will print about 5 pages per minute (ppm); and the speed will be even slower for color.
If you are in the business of printing mostly black and white, then laser printers are the right choice. Laser color prints will be of lower quality, but black and white copies will be high quality and printed at an incredibly efficient rate of 20 ppm.


So, is an inkjet or laser printer best for your business? Ultimately, the decision should be based on what kind of printing you will be doing.

Need high quality color prints?

Then consider inkjet.

Do you print a high volume of black and white documents?

If so, a laser printer offers printing efficiency (speed) that inkjet lacks.

A commercial copier is a big expense. With costs starting around $1,000 for a floor-model, you want a printer that meets all your printing needs and more. Multi-function copiers provide additional features to help run a smooth and efficient business. Look for all-in-one copiers with document feeders, scanning and faxing functions and much more.

A commercial copier supplier can help you find the right floor-model inkjet or laser printer. They will look at your budget, provide feedback on print volume and will offer both lease and purchase options.

Learn More

Find out more about copiers in our Commercial Copiers Buyer’s Guide.

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