How Much Do You Know About Toner Cartridges?

How much do you know about toner cartridges? With laser printers, a digital image is downloaded from a PC, laptop, or smart device to the printer. A positive charge is passed by a hot wire electrostatically (using static electricity) to a photosensitive drum. A laser beam, reflecting off a moving mirror, transfers the digital image from the computer directly onto the drum. Wherever the beam touches the drum, the positive charge on the drum changes to a negative charge. Only the negatively charged areas on the drum attract the fine particles.

Positively charged toner particles adhere to the negatively charged areas on the drum unit. A sheet of paper that has been positively charged is then passed close to the drum, attracting the negatively charged particles of toner off the drum and onto the paper. The paper, now carrying the image, is fed between two heated rollers where the heat and pressure from the rollers melt the particles, which are mostly made up of plastic and pigment, to the surface of the paper.

The clever use of static electricity to, alternatively, positively and negatively charge various components in the unit produces surprisingly high-quality prints.

Lexmark Toner Cartridge

Who Makes Toner Cartridges?

The manufacturers of printers and copiers, known as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), obviously make replacement consumables for their own machines. These are genuine laser toner cartridges manufactured, by the manufacturer of the printer, specifically to fit your device. OEM laser toner cartridges are manufactured to strict quality standards. They have low to zero failure rates, produce high-quality prints, and come with a warranty. Printer manufacturers spend a lot of money on research and development (R&D) when designing printers and their consumables. This adds to the cost of the units, making name-brand toner cartridges more expensive than aftermarket units but they are dependable and sometimes the only option if your printer is new on the market or uncommon. They can be significantly more expensive than some of the other options available but are the safest bet by far.

New “compatible” laser toner cartridges are also available. These are made by third-party manufacturers that typically only make printer consumables and not printers. They are close copies of the OEM originals made using all new compatible parts. There are compatible toner cartridges that offer good quality replacements for a lower price than the OEMs but there are also some that will be less than satisfactory. The consumable inside compatibles is the “recipe” of the third-party manufacturer who often has a tiny fraction of the research and development budget of a leading brand manufacturer. With a plethora of compatible units on the market, it’s often difficult to tell which ones are good and which are not so good. It is easy to inadvertently buy an inferior product. If the reduction of printing costs is your primary goal, compatible laser toner cartridges may offer a solution, provided you buy from a trustworthy source. Find a reputable consumables seller and ask about the warranties on their products.

Many manufacturers offer cartridge-recycling programmes. The empty units are returned to the manufacturer, taken apart, and inspected, and worn parts are replaced before the unit is refilled, tested, and then reintroduced into the market. Remanufactured units offer good value as they will generally cost a little less than a new compatible unit. The quality can be good and they are viewed as environmentally friendly because the bulk of the old unit is recycled. Quality can vary greatly and once again, the consumables going into the unit will not be the OEM formulation, so it’s important to buy from a vendor that offers a bankable warranty. Then there are refilled cartridges on offer in the marketplace. These are empty OEM toner cartridges that are simply opened and refilled with aftermarket toner. Refilled units are an extremely risky option as it is impossible to guarantee any level of quality. They are not recommended at all.

Where to Buy Toner Cartridges

When you buy an OEM cartridge from CH Africa, you know that it is a genuine OEM unit. We stock genuine OEM replacements for all the major printer brands. For the best selection, the best advice, and the best price, look no further than CH Africa. We pride ourselves on stocking an extensive range of printer consumables with units available for both new and older printers. CH Africa recommends using genuine OEM inkjet and toner cartridges where possible but do offer compatible options that meet OEM standards for our budget-conscious customers. Contact us at CH Africa today.
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