Offices may be going paperless in the past few years but one still needs to print reliable, hard copies of documents every day, even in this digital world. Which means you needs reliable inks and toners. Whether you are looking for a new machine or a replacement for your good old office printer, you might have spent a considerable amount of time and energy looking at various printer models, their capabilities, and costs. Good printers need high-quality ink and toners to work optimally, and these consumables do run out from time to time. So, it is always important to choose the right kind. Let’s find out which are the best printer ink and toner cartridges available right now.

How Do Ink Cartridges Work?

Ink cartridges contain black or coloured liquid ink and are used solely for inkjet printers. These printers have strong ink jets that spray liquid ink on the required paper, thereby creating vibrant and accurate colours. If you have an inkjet printer, you should know the capacity of the cartridges. This determines the number of printouts you will be able to take out before the ink runs out. The ink capacity is an indicator of the running costs of the printer. The ink comes in both black and colour cartridges, and for specific printers, you might need one cartridge for black and one for colour. For some printers, you might even need several cartridges for colour printouts.

What Are Toner Cartridges?

Toner cartridges are used exclusively in Laser printers. If your office regularly requires colour printing or has large printing jobs, you will benefit from having a laser printer. In a laser printer, the toner is charged electronically- heated up before being applied to the required paper using a rotating drum present inside the printer.

What is The Difference Between Inks and Toners?

There is a common misperception that toner and ink are the same. Well, the answer is a definite no. Although both ink and toner cartridges are used for almost the same purpose, they operate differently. While the ink cartridges are used exclusively for inkjet printers, toner cartridges are used in laser printers.

Ink cartridges operate using liquid ink, which is sprayed onto the paper. These cartridges come in single or block colours. Toner, on the other hand, is a dry powder that sticks to the paper. Since the print is formed by bonding, the image stays for longer, producing a higher yield.

Toner or Ink- Which Should You Choose?

It all comes down to your printer choice and your business printing needs. There are specific advantages and disadvantages associated with both kinds of printers. There are a few points you should consider before making an informed decision.

    1. Load

      Your business printing needs and daily output volume could help you decide the correct printer and cartridge you should be buying. If your business deals with higher load volume, you could think about switching to another brand or model that uses minimal ink or toner cartridge. Before choosing the printer, and the cartridge, you should ask yourself the following questions:

      • On average, how many pages do I need to print?
      • Do I need prints in black or colour?
      • How long-lasting should the print need to be?
      • Do I need high-quality printing, or would a standard 20 lb paper be enough?
    3. Compatibility

      One of the first things you should consider before buying a cartridge is to check whether the cartridge is compatible with your printer. Not all cartridges are created equally, and different printers need different cartridges. Some might need multiple cartridges, while a few might work well with individual cartridges.

    4. Recycled ink Cartridges

      Recycled ink cartridges cost at least 50 – 80% less than the branded ones. And by and large, they deliver the same print yield volume and print quality – if used properly. Moreover, they are also environmentally friendly.

    5. Print Resolution

      Print resolution is generally measured in DPI, meaning ‘dots per inch.’ The more dots in a square inch of a paper, the clearer and sharper the image will be. A printer capable of creating 600 dpi resolution print and 1200 dpi coloured images is considered a good buy. Most printers will have 4800 x 1200 dpi print resolution – a high printer resolution.

    6. Speed and Performance

      A printer’s speed and performance and its cartridge make a lot of difference to a growing business. Laser printers and toner cartridges are generally built to print faster and sharper text and images – printing at 50 – 100 pages per minute. The inkjet printers, with their ink cartridges, can only deliver 16 pages per minute.

    7. Match Your Printing Needs

      Always choose a printer and a cartridge that matches your business’s printing needs. Every cartridge comes with a specific print page yield – that is, the number of pages you can print from a single cartridge. 

      Cartridges are sold in either standard yield or high yield sizes. The standard output is, of course, cheaper. You might be tempted to go in for the standard yield cartridge size, and yet it may not help you in the long run. Although high-yield cartridges are a bit pricier, you can get more than twice the amount of ink output – which reduces the overall operating cost of the printer.

    8. Flow Rates

      Flow rate is the best way to judge the quality of print. If the flow rate is too high, you’ll get a smudgy and sloppy print output. If the flow rate is too low, the print will not be smooth, and the risk of the cartridge running dry is higher.

      Before buying a new cartridge, it is prudent to check the quality of print output first. The better quality ink you use, the better quality print and yield you will achieve. The lesser quality ink you use, you’ll receive a choppy print output. To know about your printer and cartridge output, print a test page.

    Top Ink and Toner Brands


    Brother is a leading name in the printer and cartridge sector. Brother TN-660 Toner Cartridge delivers 2600 pages worth of print yield, high-quality images in a wide colour range. Its 4-pack TN – 251 / TN -255 toner combo comes with one black, yellow, cyan, and magenta each.


    Canon delivers high-quality document and photograph printing capabilities to businesses. Canon Pixma PG50 is one of the best inkjet cartridges out there. It is highly efficient and delivers a clean and smooth finish to all your documents. Canon 104 toner cartridge (black) is compatible with a large number of imageClass printers. This cartridge combo comes with the drum, the toner, and the waste toner receptacle. This toner can give you a smooth print finish with an average volume of 2000 pages.


    Epson delivers a high-yield black ink cartridge that suits the needs of a home office perfectly well. The T802XL – BCS DURABrite Ultra Black and Colour Combo produce vibrant prints, with an average page yield of 2600 pages in black and 650 pages in colour. Epson Toner Cartridges come in individual colours – and the 3 X Epson AL- CX11NF / C1100 /C1100N black toner cartridges come with 4000 pages worth of ink.


    HP 26A toner yields nearly 3100 pages of print volume and is compatible with HP LaserJet Pro M402 and M426. It is one of the best toner cartridges out there. The HP 916XL Extra High yield Black ink cartridge series delivers 1500 pages, while the HP 962 XL High Yield series delivers 2000 pages in black ink and 1600 pages in cyan, magenta, and yellow each.