The Importance Of Toner

The Importance of Toner

Toner is an essential but often misunderstood component of a photocopier. Many users may not fully understand what toner is and why it plays a crucial role in the printing process. In this blog, we break it down for you.

What is Printer Toner?

Toner consists of a fine powder, making up a dry, bulk solid material used to create the images and text on paper. The key ingredient in toner is carbon, a stable element that resists fading and doesn't harm paper. To achieve the desired properties, carbon is melted and combined with a polymer known as a resin. This polymer ensures that the toner adheres to the paper without smudging and cannot be easily washed off.

Toner is available in four primary colours: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, often referred to as CMYK. These colours can be combined in various intensities to produce a wide spectrum of colours during the printing process, making it suitable for a diverse range of printing needs.

How Toner Works:  

Toner is electrically charged which allows it to adheres to a rotating drum or a piece of paper, which is charged with the opposite polarity. Once the toner is on the paper, it needs to be fused permanently. This is where the fuser in the photocopier comes in. The fuser heats up and melts the toner, causing it to bond firmly with the paper, creating a permanent image.

In the case of colour printing, different toners are charged with varying electrical charges. They are added to the paper in precise quantities to achieve the desired colours and shades. This intricate process ensures that the photocopier produces accurate and vibrant prints.

Importance of Toner:  

Toner is a critical element in the printing process as it is responsible for forming the printed content on paper. Using high-quality toner is essential to achieve sharp, clear, and professional-looking printouts. Low-quality toner can lead to blurred prints, smudging, and inconsistent colour quality.

Sharp offer a Managed Print Service. This service consists of Sharp taking full responsibility for the management of your print environment and activities. We employ an automated monitoring system that keeps track of when your toner levels are low and arranges replacements, accordingly, avoiding any interruptions to your printing tasks.

Printer Toner vs Ink:

Printer toner and printer ink serve the common purpose of transferring text and images onto paper, but there are significant differences when it comes to composition, usage, and characteristics. 

Printer ink is a liquid, typically water or solvent-based, used in inkjet printers where microscopic droplets are sprayed onto the paper to create prints. Printer toner, on the other hand, is a fine powder composed of plastic particles, carbon, and colourants, utilised in laser printers and photocopiers. These machines create an electrostatic image on a photosensitive drum or belt, attracting toner particles that are then fused onto the paper using heat and pressure. 

While inkjet printers are preferred for high-quality photo printing, toner-based laser printers excel in high-volume printing and business use due to their faster printing speeds and lower cost per page. 

Find out more about Sharp's Managed Print Service.