Does It Matter What Kind of Printer Ink You Use?

Toner for a laser printer

Printers are essential components of any business so choosing the type of printer mainly relies on the size of your business, the features it offers, and the price point. Deciding on what ink to buy for your printer is a different story because there are so many different kinds of ink that work with different brands of printers. When determining what type of ink you’ll need, you first need to think about what type of printing you’ll be doing, the quality you require, and the size of your printing jobs. Understanding the benefits of each type of printer ink will help you match the right ones to your printer. 

Keep scrolling to find out why the type of ink you put into your printer really matters, starting with the types of printers: 

Laser Printers vs. Inkjet Printers

These two types of printers operate very differently from each other and therefore require different types of printer ink. Laser printers use powdered toner and inkjet printers use cartridges filled with tinted liquid ink and additives.


If your office uses laser or LED printers, it would be best to use a dry form of ink, which is called toner. Toner is composed of small pigment particles that undergo intense light charges. This process creates a spinning drum that attracts the toner particles to the paper. Consequently, the drum harnesses heat energy to fuse the toner onto the page. 

Toner pros:

  • More powerful and precise printer technology
  • Faster printing
  • Better picture quality
  • Lasts longer

Toner cons:

  • Expensive to replace
  • Laser printers themselves are more expensive than inkjet printers

Liquid Ink

Inkjet printers are the most commonly-used type of printer from students, to families, to businesses and require liquid ink to operate. Liquid ink is specially-designed to produce text and images by spraying microscopic droplets onto the paper. Inkjet printer ink usually comes in two forms: dye based and pigment based ink.

Liquid ink pros:

  • More cost-effective (smaller storage of ink)
  • Doesn’t smudge as easily as toner
  • More resilient
  • Easier to replace

Liquid ink cons:

  • Printer output isn’t nearly as high as a laser printer
  • Cartridges clog easier and can dry out if unused for a long time
  • Pigment-based inks are relatively more expensive

Generally, ink based printers enable you to print more vivid and evocative colors that are suitable for photos and graphics.  

Pigment-based liquid printer ink

Other Types of Printer Ink

Solid Ink

This category of printer ink utilizes solid pigment particles embedded in wax and has the texture similar to a crayon. The types of printers that operate with solid ink work by using heat to melt the wax and deposit it onto the paper. Due to this intricate process, images are formed by means of multiple layers. 

Another perk of using solid ink is that it is composed of a non-toxic formula that requires minimal packaging. If you are dedicated to leaving smaller carbon footprints or are wanting to be more environmentally friendly, your business could benefit from using solid ink. 

Ribbon Ink

If you prefer using dot matrix printers and thermal transfer printers, then you need to pair them up with an inked ribbon system. Ribbon printer cartridges contain long fabric ribbons wound around wheels. Once you start printing, these wheels pass through a supply of ink. Then, the ribbon moves between the print head and the page in order to deliver pigment.

While using this type of printer ink can be beneficial in multiple ways, they may tend to limit colour output selections due to the fact they are commonly available in monochrome or red and black options. Additionally, ink ribbon cartridges are typically bulky in size.

Ultraviolet Ink

Among some of the most expensive inks is ultraviolet (UV) ink. UV printing is done using a UV LED printer which first applies the ink onto the material, then quickly after, a specially-designed ultraviolet light emits onto the link, curing it instantly.

A person checks the type of toner cartridge their printer uses

How To Identify What Kind Of Ink Your Printer Requires

The most important factor of purchasing a new printer is knowing what kind of ink it accepts in order to function properly. If you already own a printer, you can check your printer’s instruction manual for all the vital information you need to know, including the details on its ink requirements. 

In the event that you were not provided with a manual or you misplaced it, you can always check the printer’s packaging or the packaging to the latest ink cartridge you’ve purchased to find the answer. If you’ve misplaced or thrown away any of the above, you can open your printer and move the ink carrier to the middle. All you have to do is take a look at the product number printed on the cartridges. They are usually found on a sticker on the side of the cartridge. 

If all else fails, inspect your device for the model number and look it up on the manufacturer’s website. The description will surely include information about the specific ink that your printer requires. 

The Best Printers for your Business

Before you can decide on printer ink, you would need to purchase the best printer for your specific business needs. is a leading supplier that specializes in exceptional high quality multifunction printers and copiers, photocopiers and office software solutions.

Thanks to our exclusive partnerships with top industry leaders, such as Konica Minolta, Canon, and Toshiba, we can ensure that our clients will receive products made of the highest quality. Give your home office a makeover with the best printer for ink costs that will boost your workflow and maximize productivity. Get a quote today to learn more about our products!

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