17 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

How much print can a printer cartridge print?

5-PercentWhen it comes time to make a decision between various products offered by different vendors for the same application, there are usually many different features and benefits to think about before deciding.  With different vendors you get various types of services as well as different levels of service.  With the actual product that you purchase one may have certain advantages of another.  Sometimes it seems like an “apples to oranges” comparison for products that essentially perform the same function. When it comes to toner cartridges though, the bottom line is yield.  A cartridge’s yield is basically a measurement of how much printing you can get out of it.

Toner cartridges are given a yield rating by the manufacturer but is that a reasonable expectation?  All yield ratings are based on 5%coverage. That is basically a printed page that bears a very short memo. Does that sound realistic based on what you print every day? Most business owners I talk to laugh when I ask them that. They are printing spreadsheets and manuals. They print documents that are pages filled with paragraphs, pictures and presentations.  So, how do compatible (remanufactured) toners stack up?  Honestly, most manufacturers try to meet if not exceed OEM Standards. But, when it comes to real world use, do they?

The good news is, you can perform your own test to see.  Most laser printers have a page counter built into their software. The information is usually contained on some type of configuration page. Some of the newer printers provide a more in depth look at the performance of the cartridge with a “supplies status page.”  If not, print a configuration page before and after the cartridge is installed and the difference in the page counts is your yield.  You can do this with cartridges from different vendors to see which product gives you the best yield.  Of course this evaluation method is not perfect but is should be a good place to start.

If the performance of competing cartridges is basically a wash, then it’s time to look at other factors. Benefits such as personal and efficient service, free delivery, or better billing options, all add to the value of the cartridges but cannot make up for the value a poorly performing cartridge.

If you need help figuring out how to get a configuration page from your printer give us a call.  We would be happy to assist you.  We can also tell you what any particular cartridge is rated for in terms of yield.

And one final thought, if there is a question you have about your printer, let me know. The chances are that someone else has the same question. Who knows, your question may be the subject of our next blog post!

Leave a Reply