Why Your Toner Level Is Running Out Fast - Toner Tip #4

Everyone has experienced it at some point – you’re in the middle of a project and you get that dreaded “low toner” warning. Most cartridges fall short of the page yield reported in the product specs, but that’s not because they’re improperly filled or labeled. Within the printer industry, page yields are calculated based on a 5% average page coverage. In other words, when technicians perform print tests to determine the page yield of a given product, they’re printing about a paragraph worth of text. If you’re printing full-page text documents or color images, your actual page yield will be substantially lower.

Printer Diagnosis:

You could be running low on toner, or your printer may just preemptively warn you that your toner levels are low. Many printers come with toner level monitors, but the accuracy of those measurements varies tremendously from one printer model to the next, even within the same brand or printer series. Some cartridges that are recognised as being empty by printers still contain as much as 60% of the toner inside! If you’re convinced your cartridges could be lasting longer, you do have several options that may help you improve your cartridge life.

  •  Try removing your toner cartridge and gently shaking it. If there is any toner stuck to the walls of your cartridge, shaking it gently will help remove that toner. It can also distribute the toner more evenly throughout the cartridge.
  •  Avoid using color toner unless you have to. Generally speaking, black cartridges have a higher page yield than color cartridges, and they typically cost less than color cartridges (though neither generalisation is an absolute). You’ll also save more toner, as you’ll only have to replace the black cartridge instead of having to replace the entire set.
  •  Not all cartridge models come in a high-yield version, but if you’re able to get cartridges with a higher page yield, you’ll get more print work per cartridge. You may have to pay a little more for a high-yield unit, but you will ultimately save money when compared to the cost per page of using a standard-capacity

Printer Solution:

Opt for high-yield toner cartridges whenever possible. Ultimately, though, the best way to get more toner out of your cartridges is to keep printing until you notice substantial fading on your print work.

How To Manage A Slow Printer - Toner Tip #3

A slow printer can wreck your productivity. It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home or in an office, you want your work to look good and print quickly. Some printers simply have a faster print speed than others. Typically, newer models print faster than older ones, though this isn’t necessary a fixed rule within the printer industry. However, no matter what type of laser printer you’re using, there are a few tricks you can use to improve your print speed.

Printer Diagnosis: 

Your printer may be slow for a number of reasons. You could be using default settings that favour quality and efficiency over speed. You may also be using the wrong print drivers.

  • Turn off duplex printing if your device offers this feature. When you use two-sided printing, your printer needs to turn the page over in order to complete the document, which can take a lot of time. You’ll consume more paper and consequently increase your paper expenses, but you’ll improve print time quite a bit.
  • Check the print quality settings. Many printers feature different options regarding the quality of your print work. There’s typically a draft mode, standard quality mode, and highest quality mode. If you don’t need your work to look spotless, switch it to draft mode and you’ll significantly speed up your print time.
  • Some printers allow you to switch between different printer drivers. PostScript drivers are ideal for getting good graphics, but this can slow down your print speed. Instead, opt for your printer’s host-based driver system (the setting in which your host computer processes the print work). You can also use your printer’s PCL (Printer Command Language) driver to improve your print speed.

Printer Solution: 

Check your printer’s settings and try making some of the aforementioned changes until your print speed improves. If your print speed does not improve after making these changes, you may need to upgrade to a newer printer. Shop around for the best price and always look at the print speed and product specs of a given laser printer before you purchase it.

How To Fix Paper Jams In Your Laser Printer - Toner Tip #2

If you want to solve a paper jam problem in your printer, it’s fairly straightforward. However, recurring paper jams may be indicative of some other issue at play. Take a look at your owner’s manual and perform a little light troubleshooting before you give up on your expensive laser printer.

Printer Diagnosis:

Either the page was misaligned, the paper was too thick, or the paper took on moisture prior to use. No matter what caused the jam, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the paper that’s stuck inside your device.

  • Check the pathway that paper travels through inside your printer. Some printers will indicate where the jam has occurred, while other models will require a bit of investigative work. You can usually get a decent assessment of the jam’s location and severity just by visually inspecting the interior.
  • Avoid sticking your fingers inside any of the gears. In order to prevent the possibility of getting your fingers caught, it’s best to turn the printer off before you begin trying to remove the jammed page(s).
  • When you find where the page is stuck, carefully grasp the paper and firmly pull it straight out. Avoid pulling to one side or tugging without a firm grip on the paper, as this may cause the paper to rip. A torn page will be even more difficult to remove, so try to keep it all intact!
  •  If the page is firmly wedged between the rollers inside your printer, check the owner’s manual for how to release a trapped piece of paper.

Printer Solution:

If you suspect that the page was misaligned (one of the most common causes of paper jams), open your paper tray and take out the stack of paper inside. Square the edges of your entire stack, line up the stack properly with the inside of your tray, and set the stack down in the correct position.

If you’ve done all this and you still experience paper jams, the issue could be your paper. Check your owner’s manual, browse an online resource, or contact the printer manufacturer to find out whether your printer was designed to use that type/stock of paper. If it isn’t, stop using it immediately and purchase paper that is supported by the specific printer model you’re using.

You should also keep your paper reserves stored in a cool, dry place. Environmental moisture can cause paper to warp or stick together, creating an unwelcome challenge to your usual printing routine.

How To Install Your Toner Cartridge - Toner Tip #1

For a seasoned pro, installing and removing cartridges from a laser printer is a piece of cake. If you’re new to laser printers, though, you may find it a bit more challenging than replacing the ink cartridge in an inkjet device. Even if you’ve been using laser printers for years, there’s always the possibility that an improperly installed cartridge could cause the door/cover on your device to remain ajar. If your toner cartridges aren’t installed correctly, it can prevent your printer from functioning properly.

Printer Diagnosis:

A toner cartridge is ajar, stuck inside the printer, or otherwise improperly inserted. This could be caused by a number of things, including use of the wrong cartridge model. The most likely fix for this problem is to take the cartridge out. If it’s empty, replace it with a new cartridge. If it still has toner left inside, install it back in the printer, taking care to insert the cartridge properly.

  • Always turn your printer off before attempting to change a cartridge. You don’t want your hands inside the device while its internal components are moving or heating up. Let the printer cool down for an adequate period of time after turning it off, then carefully measure its temperature before touching any internal parts.
  • Open the cover. This will be a front-facing panel on many laser printers, though you may encounter other designs.
  • Grasp the handle on the drum unit and pull out the entire toner cartridge/drum unit together.
  • Release the toner cartridge from the drum unit. Depending on your printer model and drum unit, this may be done with a switch, lever, or button. Do not force the cartridge out of the drum unit. If it won’t release, try using the lock/unlock mechanism again. If it’s still stuck, you may need to call a specialist to help remove the cartridge without breaking the drum unit.
  • Make sure you’re using the right toner cartridges for your specific printer model. The wrong cartridge can make it difficult to close your printer’s panel door and may inhibit normal print functions.
  • Unpack your new cartridge, line it up with the drum unit, and gently but firmly press it into place. On many models, you will hear a soft click when the cartridge is locked into the drum unit.
  • While the drum unit is out of your printer, slide the tab along its edge back and forth to clean the internal corona wire. Some drum units may not have this feature, but if yours does, it’s worth doing this extra bit of maintenance to help prevent print quality problems down the line.
  • Slide the combined drum unit and toner cartridge combo back into place inside your printer. Make sure it’s properly lined up and be sure to slide the drum/toner combo all the way in so that your printer’s panel will close properly.
  • Close the printer’s door/panel and turn on your printer. If your printer has a display screen, wait until it shows that the device is in “ready mode” or otherwise indicates that you can begin printing again.

Printer Solution:

Always use the right toner cartridge for your specific printer model. If you’re unsure about what type of cartridge you need, you can consult Printerinks.ie’s Search Bar in the center banner of our home page. You can also click on your printer brand (for example, HP) from the Brands tab in the Menu.

Make sure you always install your cartridges properly the first time to prevent them from getting stuck. Taking a moment to check the cartridge model and align it properly in your printer will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.