A Basic Overview Of How Laser Toner Cartridges Work

A Basic Overview Of How Laser Toner Cartridges Work 1

Given the influx of new technologies within the last ten years, you may believe that inkjet printers and laser printers are basically the same things. Though this may be true in functionality, in the method, these two printing technologies are very different. Where inkjet printers use liquid ink, similar to a typewriter, laser printers use lasers, powdered ink (called toner), and changing magnetic fields. In this article, you will get a basic overview of How Laser Toner Cartridges Work?


In sci-fi movies, lasers are often used as weapons that can cut through steel, but in today’s world, lasers are primarily used for much more constructive, household purposes. Keep reading to learn about the fascinating world of laser printing, and how lasers and electrical charges work to produce the simple printed page.

How a Laser Printer Works


In short, a laser printer takes information from your computer and processes it in the electronic circuit. That circuit activates a high-voltage wire, called a corona wire, and gives off a static electrical charge to the photoreceptor drum. A laser draws the image that is ultimately to be printed onto the photoreceptor drum.

Where the laser touches the drum, the electrical charge is reversed. The ink roller then brings the toner, or the powdered ink, close to the drum, where the toner is statically attracted to the places where the laser erased the positive charge. At this point, the printing paper approaches the drum and is also charged by the corona wire.

When it passes by the drum, the toner is magnetically pulled onto the paper. Finally, the paper with the toner upon it passes through a set of hot rollers, effectively fusing the toner particles permanently onto the paper.

Similarities Between Photocopiers and Laser Printers

Modern laser printers use almost identical technology as photocopiers. The ultra-bright light of photocopiers makes a precise copy of a given page, which is reflected onto a photoreceptor drum. Again, static electricity is used to attract toner to the page and is finally fused by hot rollers.

Laser printers are almost identical in practice except for one major difference: instead of copying from an original, lasers must sketch out the image based on the electronic data received. Simply put, a photocopier uses reflective techniques while a laser printer uses transcription.

The Role of Fusers in Laser Printing

Hot rollers, or fusers, are an essential part of laser printing. They ensure that the toner melts into the page. Unfortunately, fusers sometimes fail. usually for one of two reasons: a foreign object passes through the printer and destroys it, or its service life naturally comes to an end. In smaller printers, the fuser lifespan is about 50,000 pages, while in larger printers, the lifespan of the fuser can last for more than 250,000 pages. Although fusers are adept to burning out over a long period of time, this does not mean that the laser print is completely defunct—many retailers sell replacement fusers that can be substituted into the existing printer.

The Role of Toner in Laser Printing

With inkjet printers, you only need to refill the liquid cartridge, but laser printers have more delicate parts that must be replaced regularly. With all the electrical charges and precise laser etching, things can get messy and imprecise without a high-quality toner cartridge, such as the HP Laserjet p1102 Printer Ink. Typically, when you replace the toner cartridge, you’re getting a new toner hopper, developer, and drum assembly in a combined unit.

The last thing you want to do is sacrifice printing quality with a poorly made replacement toner cartridge. Do your research to find top-of-the-line printing supplies to ensure the long-term health of your printer and the continuous quality of your printing.


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By albertkrav

Albert Krav is an IT expert and computer hardware specialist, working with his coworkers at 1ink to deliver the best possible solutions to all printing issues. His expert knowledge has satisfied countless offices and homes with their laserjet and inkjet printers, and has contributed to making printing an easier task. When he is not busy with work, he enjoys writing about technology.

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