How to Change Your Ink or Toner Cartridge

We have said it before, but it is worth saying again, laser printers are faster and better at printing large print jobs. They produce lower quality photo jobs. Whereas, inkjet printers produce high-quality photos but are better at producing smaller quantities of prints. “The Guardian reports that toner cartridges can yield around 1,500-3,500 pages, whereas inkjet cartridges only last for around 200-500 pages.” (Source: The Guardian)

Ink or Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges are more expensive upfront; however, they are more cost-effective because you get more documents printed and have to buy toner less often compared to ink cartridges.

Inkjet cartridges are smaller than toner cartridges. An ink cartridge is small and portable, as well as easy to install. A toner cartridge is large, bulky and just as easy to install. Installation of either of these cartridges have a few differences but most are similar in steps.

How to Replace a Printer Cartridge

  1. Know the brand and model number of your printer to ensure you buy the right ink or toner. Consult your owner’s manual if you cannot locate your printer’s information. If you do not have the manual, Google it, as most brands have it available online.
  2. Uninstall the used, empty cartridge. Again, use your owner’s manual if you have not done this before. Better to do it correctly from the get-go.

The printer should be powered on to remove the cartridge. Then you open the lid. Inkjet printers’ cartridge will move to the center upon powering on. If your printer has a set position, there is a button to press to move the cartridge. Be aware and follow the instructions on how to remove an empty cartridge.

Toner cartridges

Look at the old ink cartridge for the product number on the cartridge label

  • Buying the correct ink cartridge or toner cartridge. OEM cartridges are the most expensive, which is why compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges are becoming more popular because they cost significantly less.
  • Open new cartridge. Both types of cartridges will need to be shaken a little. There will be a protective strip of tape that will need to be removed before the cartridge can be put into the printer. Be careful to hold toner horizontally and ink cartridges upright to prevent leakage.
  • Put the new cartridge in your printer. Check your manual for installation tips. Do not be forceful. It should easily be inserted into the ink cartridge cavity the opposite way you took the empty one out. Watch the angle and slip it in until it clicks in place. The same goes for a toner cartridge, it should slide into place until it locks in its place.
  • Print test. Your printer will run a printing test to ensure the cartridge has been properly installed and in good working order. Troubleshoot any issue with the print test by consulting your manual.

Changing your ink or toner cartridges does not require rocket science but it is nice to be able to replace it without damaging any parts of the cartridge or printer.

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