Buying a printer for your business: A guide to running costs

Predicting your ongoing printing expenses

There is no independent standard for determining printing running costs so you need to take the manufacturers’ figures as guidelines only. Manufacturers normally publish estimates of:

  • Number of pages that can be printed from a single toner cartridge
  • Number of pages that can be printed before the drum needs to be replaced

From these you can get a rough estimate of cost per page.

Note that some printers use combined toner and drum cartridges that will tend to lead to higher running costs.

You should target around 2p per page or less for a low cost laser printer.

The ink in an ink jet cartridge is claimed by some to be the most expensive fluid in the world to buy. If you intend to print any significant amount, you should consider laser technology instead. Ink jet is fine for occasional printing, though.

If you intend to print a lot of one colour (if your logo and material is predominantly blue, for example), you can significantly reduce your running costs by looking for a printer that uses separate ink cartridges for each of the primary colours. Normal printers use one cartridge for black and a second cartridge for the coloured inks; you have to discard the cartridge if any of the colours run out.

Source: Printing documents

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