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May 17, 2009

Printers, inkjet or laser?

The two basic printer technologies are inkjet and laser. People often ask “which one should I get?” The answer depends on how you use your printer, and how much you use it.

Inkjets work by spraying ink onto the paper. As the print head goes from side to side, it sprays a pattern of dots that when grouped together, form words, pictures, etc. Read more about how inkjets work here.

Inside as laser printer is a rotating drum that is positively charged with static electricity that attracts toner powder to it. As the paper is pulled through the printer, it receives a negative static-electricity charge and then slides across the drum. This pulls the toner off the drum and onto the paper. The paper then is squeezed between heated rollers that melt the toner to the paper. Read more about laser printers here.

Which one should you get? The easy answer is this; inkjets are cheaper to buy but more expensive to operate. Laser printers are more expensive to buy but cheaper to operate. If you print a lot and often a laser printer will save you money. If you print very litte and very seldom, then an inkjet is a better buy.

Inkjet printer = $60 + $35 ink = 250 pages.

laser printer = $500 + $90 ink =5000 pages.

You do the math.