Buying a laser printer is a big investment, especially if it’s a high-end model for business use, so once that initial cost is out of the way, saving money on toner cartridges is essential. If you’re finding that you’re having to replace your cartridges a bit too frequently, or you’re often saying the phrase “…I couldn’t finish up because needed some new toner for my printer…” you might need some tips.
It’s true that changing the cartridge is sometimes the best solution, but there are also occasions when other methods will do the trick and save a few pounds. By improving the performance of your toner cartridges, you can make your documents – especially your balance sheet – look much better.
Some easy tricks
Before buying a new cartridge, try some of these tips:
This tip comes in handy when pages are streaky or uneven. This could mean that the ink is unevenly distributed in the cartridge, so remove it from the printer, cover it with a towel and shake it gently. You might get a week or so of additional printing.
Switch to a less demanding font
Yes, really! Some fonts use more toner than others, especially if you’re fond of bolding. Avoid chunkier fonts – Comic Sans is a notorious culprit – and use New Times Roman or Calibri instead.
Print fewer pages
This seems like a no-brainer, but some people print everything out without thinking. When you can, email important documents and save files digitally rather than printing out and filing. If a toner cartridge is overworked, it’s more likely to rebel. You should also use Print Preview to make sure everything’s set out properly, rather than printing once, seeing that the bottom two lines of text are missing and having to do it all again.
This should be the go-to solution to improve cartridge performance, rather than just replacing it.
Use black and white or grayscale
Colour is more expensive and it also works your printer more – only use colour when printing out final documents. Greyscale saves black ink and is also good for drafts. Save black and colour for official or final copies.
Adopt draft mode
Draft mode saves toner and time as it reduces the dpi (dots per inch) density of the printed characters. Documents look lighter and not as vivid or bold, but this is fine if it’s a rough draft, or for your own use.
Use toner saver mode
Adjust this setting on the computer to use less ink. This mode isn’t great for greyscale or photos, however, so you’ll want to switch in and out if you plan to use other settings.
Replace the toner cartridge
Sometimes the only solution is to replace the cartridge – you’ll get a few warnings, so keep an eye on your pages and don’t risk printing out an important document. Make sure you replace all cartridges in line with instructions – it’s easy to damage either your refill or your machine.