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What is toner?

Toner is the coloring agent for laser printing. The fine powder is usually found in cartridges used in printers, copiers and multifunctional devices.

What is toner powder?

The toner powder consists essentially of the following constituents:

  • Plastic resins
  • Color pigments
  • magnetizable metal oxides
  • small amounts of release agents such as waxes and silicones.

The exact mixing ratio varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The composition is adapted to the printing units of the devices consisting of different rollers as well as the fixing unit etc.
The particle size of the toner powder is between 5 and 30 microns. This causes toner to behave like a liquid. This property is imperative for the toner to flow and the cartridge does not need to be shaken.

What are the characteristics of toner powder?

In order to deliver perfect prints in the laser printer, toner must have special characteristics. A small particle size ensures good color coverage and color mixing, a thin coating, precise color transitions and a rich and streak-free cover. Also important is an optimal adhesion on the paper.

What colors are there in toner? What is CMYK?

Color laser printers work in the four-color printing system (CMYK) and require a toner for each color.

K = black (actually from English for "key plate")
C = cyan (blue)
M = magenta (red)
Y = Yellow (yellow)

How do I find the right toner for my printer?

There are thousands of different toner cartridges. If you want to know which toner fits into your device, simply select your model in the header of our page. You will then be shown the appropriate accessories.

What are the best toners?

From our point of view the original toners of the equipment manufacturers are the best. This refers to the handling and the very good printing properties, which are reflected in the optimal color mixing and the safe adhesion on the printing medium.

What toner are the cheapest?

The cheapest toner can be found in the Refill, Rebuilt or Newbuilt segment.

  • Refill toner has been refilled.
  • Rebuilt toner have been overhauled.
  • Newbuilt are toners manufactured by third parties.

Depending on the manufacturer, these cartridges have different qualities. The quality of these alternatives can differ, in our opinion, sometimes more or less from the quality of the original cartridges.

How well are third-party remanufactured toners?

The so-called compatible toner cartridges have a broad quality spectrum.

If you look at prints made with very cheap, refilled toner cartridges, you may notice that the grayscale in graphics have less homogeneous, gradient gradients, and dark surfaces do not have a uniform and accurate color hue. The graphics can look like they own more contrast, but unfortunately not in the positive sense., but unfortunately not in the positive sense. The graphics look more like an HDR photograph, with the middle color shades missing. Our observation is also that the original cartridges deliver richer black shades, which is probably because the particles of the original toner are finer.

In principle, there's nothing against the use of compatible toners from third-party manufacturers, since actually every manufacturer is permanently working on the optimization of its products. Compatible toner (so-called "compatibles") are so cheap that they are ideal for corporate documents. If you need the best possible presentation quality, however, we recommend the original toner of the device manufacturers.

How long does a toner cartridge last?

Why is the toner already used up? Depending on the manufacturer and cartridge type (normal filling, XL or high-capacity filling) the toner cartridges have different ranges.
You should consider the following:

  • The range is usually coverage of 5 percent per page
  • Even if the toner is empty, you can still print something.
  • If available for your device, use XL or High-Capacity toner to print less expensive.

The range on the cartridges refers to a side coverage of 5 percent. If the toner is already empty after 50 pages, there are probably reasons for this to be investigated. But if you could print 1.800 instead of 2,000 pages, that's really good. For who is already printing with 5 percent coverage?

How often does the toner need to be changed?

The toner must be replaced as soon as it is empty. The laser printer will report when it needs a new cartridge. Most laser printers and multifunction devices display the level of the individual cartridges in the driver. On some devices, the level and other device parameters can be printed. As soon as the expression in a region of the page becomes weaker, this indicates an empty toner.

Where is the toner in the printer?

The toner is behind a flap. For further information on the replacement of toner cartridges, please refer to the operating instructions.

How to change a toner cartridge

Refer to the device manual for specific information. If you do not have a device manual, you can also enter the "Printer name + manual" into a search engine. Most manufacturers offer manuals in PDF format for free download.
On some color laser printers with carousels (that means that several toner cartridges are installed in the device) you can select the toner to be changed from the printer menu and the printer then provides the appropriate cartridge by rotating the carrousel.
Usually, however, it is much easier. Open the door, unpack the toner, remove the new toner, remove the fuse, insert the toner, and close the door.

Learn more about: Change toner

Can you refill toner cartridges yourself?

While in the past it was a popular sport to refill ink cartridges with, for example, Pelikan ink and some solvent (for example, Isopropanol from the pharmacy) itself, this trend has never prevailed in toner cartridges. We also advise against this.

Learn more about: Refill Toner.

The toner prints strips. What is the cause?

Streaks in the printout or weak printouts happen when the toner is empty or when there is a problem in transferring the toner to the print medium. The transfer takes place within each laser printer by using the image drum. For most printers, the drums are located directly in the toner cartridges. If the unit has separate drums, it makes sense to check the drum. If you use refill toner, the likelihood of these streaks -to appear is higher as when using original toners. The drum is not replaced within a Refill toner. So the same drum is used a second time. We have written an extensive article on this topic on this website.

Streaks when printing - what is the reason?

If you spot streaks or dirt marks on your prints, this can have several causes. Here are the three most common reasons:

  • The residual toner container is full and excess toner powder can not be picked up. This may happen, if you are using compatible XL toner cartridges with an integrated residual toner cartridge which is too small.
  • The drum is not cleaned properly during the automatic cleaning after the printing process. The reason may be a worn out or defective Drum Wiper Blade. Its function is to clean the drum of toner residues that are not transferred to the paper.
  • The printer is not optimally matched to the paper loaded. You can adjust the paper thickness manually on most devices.

Order toner online or rather buy locally?

How should we as an Internet trader answer this question neutrally? Of course, order the toner directly online and even better on this website. It's a matter of fact that even the largest electronics markets only have fitting articles stock for a small number of devices on stock. Other advantages of the online purchase are of course the simple price comparison, the speed and the reliability with which you find the required product. Further details on the topic can be found in our 21 tips for saving printing costs.

How long can toner be stored?

Unlike the printer ink that dries very quickly, Toner can be stored for almost an unlimited period of time.

Toner does not dry. Even cartridges, which have been found in discarded devices after many years, often print directly right away. Toner that has been stored vertically for a long period of time should be returned to the horizontal installation position before use and must be swung slightly back and forth horizontally. We also strongly recommend the storage in a cool, dark room in a horizontal position.

Learn more about: Storage of toner cartridges

How to remove toner from hands, skin, textiles?

Toner is an extremely fine powder consisting of color pigments, metal oxides and resins. Because the resins can melt very quickly, toner can only be washed off with cold water from the skin and hands. Warm water would only fix the toner. If toner dust gets on textiles or on carpet, it is advisable to shake the textiles first. Most vacuum cleaners are unsuitable for taking toner powder, because the fine toner dust can pass through the filters and possibly even damage the vacuum cleaner.

Is toner harmful to health?

In the area of office security, there was hardly a more controversial debate than whether toner dust is harmful or not. Toner dust in larger quantities can be hazardous to health. Toners that work properly in the printer are certainly not harmful to health.

Dust of any kind should not be inhaled!

From our perspective, it is advisable to place laser printers so that they do not stand directly on the desk in front of you and possibly blow particles into your face.

Recent investigations have shown that printers are emit additives (such as release agents) in the toners during the fusing process in the fusing unit.

Depending on the type of printer, it is advisable to wear disposable gloves when changing the toner. You should also pay attention to the pollutant emissions of the selected model when buying a laser printer. Earlier, laser printers have still emitted ozone - but nowadays this is hardly an issue.

How to dispose empty toner cartridges properly?

Clay cartridges should not be thrown into household waste.
It is best to return empty cartridges to recyclables, to dispose them in public collection boxes (for example, in electro-markets) or to collect boxes, which can be sent by Caritas. Many printer cartridges also contain components that are still good for a second or third cartridge life. There are many web pages on the Internet, which will dispose of your empty toner cartridges for you and also pay you some money for the empty ones, depending on the cartridge type. This sounds like a win-win situation.

Further information: Tips on disposing of ink cartridges and toner cartridges.