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What is the Best Toner For My Business?

If you work in an office environment, the odds are very favorable that you have come across, or at least heard of toner. That being said, you probably know toner cartridges are a key part to an office workday. But what toner is the best for your business?

Often taken for granted, we don’t realize how important toner is until we run out. Just like jamming, these things seem to happen at the worst time. You start to vigorously shake the toner back and forth, hoping that some lingering toner resin will settle and provide a few more prints. This method, though sometimes resourceful, has definitely damaged a few polos, button-downs and blouses with flying toner residue. Have one of yours ever been a casualty?

How Do I Choose Which Toner is Best for Me?

The toner cartridge industry today is huge. Go to an office supply store, retail outlet, or an online website, and you will find a wide variety of toner supply options. The question boils down to which option to choose. With so many different makes and models offered, one must decide which cartridge is going to work with his or her printer, copier, or fax machine. (Yes, fax machines still exist.) One must also consider which toner cartridge option is most accessible, cause the least amount of problems, produce the best results and, ultimately, be cost-effective.

Do Toner Brands Matter?

The conversation by default now shifts to brands. If you are a fan of the big box stores, like Staples or Office Depot, you’re likely to see a variety of name-brand products when shopping there. The most popular being HP and Brother. You will also see that these stores offer a compatible brand supply.

Is there a right choice? Well, if you ask a store employee, they’ll probably say the compatible option works just as well as the name brand. But, if you asked a representative of HP or Brother, he or she would quickly recommend the name brand.

So How Do I Choose?

Being in the industry for almost twenty years, I can tell you that there are some factors to consider when purchasing toner supplies.

First, the cheapest price is not always the best decision. Most everyone knows the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. The same applies to toner. In most cases, if you are purchasing a toner cartridge that is significantly cheaper than comparable cartridges with the same specifications, it is probably an inferior product.

How To Spot Low-Grade Toner

Lower quality toner cartridges typically have either simply been refilled with toner resin and sealed, or the internal components are very low quality.

Results vary from toner leaking into your device, or the device itself producing an error indicating that the cartridge is “unsupported”.  Either way, you’re left with a copier that doesn’t work, and are stuck with a product you can’t get your money back on.

So What Do I Do?

The smartest route for a business or organization today is to seek out a company that specializes in not only selling toner but servicing the equipment. Like choosing a grade of gasoline or getting an oil change, you want to ensure that the time and money invested in your vehicle keeps the engine running.

With office technology, you want to ensure that your printer and copier devices are properly maintained and serviced regularly. By partnering with an office technology company, your account manager or technician can provide good recommendations on the best toner for your business, including what may be most cost effective. This allows you to get the most bang for your buck and have a trusted advisor who will standby the toner supplies.

Depending on the company, you can even request or receive a warranty that protects your equipment, should a cartridge have an issue.  In the end, you get the best of both worlds with a knowledgeable supplier and service repair provider.


Marty Gohmann
Louisville Regional Branch Manager