If you’ve purchased a laser printer over an inkjet printer, you probably know the difference between ink and toner. But, you may not know how long you can expect your laser printer toner to last, and how it differs from the lifespan of printer ink.
So if you’re wondering–how long does printer toner last–you’ve come to the right place. We will walk through how long does laser printer toner last and provide you with some helpful tips to help extend the laser printer toner lifespan.
Does Printer Toner Expire or Go Bad?
Just like you might wonder does printer ink expire, if you have a laser printer, you may have the question–does printer toner expire? Printer ink does carry an expiration date, while printer toner typically doesn’t. Toner tends to have a much longer shelf life than printer ink and other printer supplies. However, its quality will eventually degrade over time, even if it doesn’t necessarily “expire”.
Factors Affecting the Laser Printer Toner Lifespan
It’s true that printer toner doesn’t have the typical “expiration date” that you might be familiar with. But, it’s important to understand the variety of factors that impact toner’s lifespan, which we will now lay out below.
Storage Conditions: Temperature, Humidity, and Light Exposure
How the printer toner is stored can have a direct impact on its lifespan. Toner should be stored in a cool, dry environment. This means you shouldn’t expose the toner to any heat, direct light exposure, or humidity while it’s being stored. Otherwise, these conditions could damage the toner cartridge and make it less effective once you try to use it.
Frequency of Printer Usage
Another factor that impacts laser printer toner lifespan is how frequently you use the printer. The more frequently you use the printer, the better results and longer lifespan you’ll get out of the toner cartridge. For instance, if you don’t use the printer very often, the particles in the toner cartridge can start to clump together and lead to low-quality printing, clogging, and other problems that degrade the toner cartridge.
Types of Documents Printed: Images vs Text
The types of things you are printing will also have an effect on the lifespan of the toner cartridge. If you are printing high-resolution photos rather than text documents, you can expect the toner to deplete much quicker.
Printer Settings and Preferences
The specific settings and preferences of your printer will often correlate to the lifespan of your cartridge. As an example, if you aren’t using the toner brand recommended by the printer manufacturer, you could end up dealing with a shorter laser printer toner lifespan. As we mentioned above, if your printer is set for high-resolution printing, you will likely deplete the toner cartridge much quicker.
How Long Does Printer Toner Last When in Use?
Let’s now get into the specifics. When in use, how long does printer toner last? Continue reading as we break down what impacts toner lifespan once it’s in use and the typical lifespan range you can expect from a toner cartridge once you’ve started printing with it.
Explanation of Page Yield and Factors Influencing It
Toner lifespan is often measured in page yield–or how many pages you can expect one laser printer toner cartridge to produce. So, considering how many pages you print per month or year, one toner cartridge can last you for years. Especially since it doesn’t technically “expire” like printer ink, you can expect quite a long lifespan from your toner cartridges when used and stored properly.
Typical Lifespan Ranges and Variables Affecting Actual Lifespan
In general, toner cartridges can last quite some time, especially when stored in the proper conditions and kept away from moisture. But, you can typically expect a toner to last you 2,000-4,000 pages. Some high-yield toner cartridges can produce upwards of 15,000 pages, though they will likely cost you more.
Of course, there are quite a few variables that can impact this lifespan, including how frequently you print, how dense the documents are that you’re printing, the printer make and model, printer settings, and other factors.
How Long Does Printer Toner Last Unopened?
If it’s not in use, you may be wondering how long does printer toner last unopened. Let’s take a look at some of the things that can impact how long toner cartridges can last on the shelf.
Expiry Date Considerations and Manufacturers’ Recommendations
Some things to keep in mind when you’re figuring out how long do toner cartridges last on the shelf are the dates that are included on the toner cartridge packaging. These aren’t technically expiration dates. But, the manufacturers will likely include the date that the toner cartridge warranty expires.
If there is an expiration date printed on the packaging, you can typically expect the cartridge to last long past this date when stored properly. Again, the quality of toner cartridges can degrade over time. So, manufacturers may provide recommendations as to how long you should store the cartridges on your shelf before impacting their printing quality.
Signs of Expired or Degraded Toner
You can likely use stored toner cartridges years after they’ve been purchased. But, if you go to take a cartridge off the shelf and install it in your laser printer, there are some things to look out for that may be a sign that the cartridge is past its printing prime.
If you notice that the prints are coming out faded, discolored, or with smudges and streaks, it’s probably time to replace the toner. Degraded toner may also cause a hazy appearance in the back of prints. If the toner particles have clumped together, you may notice uneven distribution on prints, noises coming from the printer, or clogs and paper jams that can harm the printer itself.
Is There Any Way to Make Printer Toner Last Longer?
So how long does laser printer toner last? It depends on whether it’s in use or on the shelf, in addition to a number of other factors that we covered above. But, you might wonder if there’s any way to extend the laser printer toner lifespan, as you’ve probably wondered how to make printer ink last longer too.
While they tend to already have quite a long lifespan, here are some additional tips to keep in mind to help toner cartridges last longer.
Proper Storage and Handling
As we’ve discussed throughout, storing and handling toner cartridges properly will have a large impact on their lifespan. If you are keeping them in dry storage areas with minimal temperature fluctuations, you can help them last longer. Moisture is the enemy of toner cartridges, so if you’re able to toner cartridges in a dry location, they will likely last longer.
Printer Maintenance and Cleaning
You should also regularly clean and perform maintenance on your printer as needed to keep the toner cartridges in good working condition for longer. This will help prevent any clogs from occurring, which can degrade the quality of the cartridge and keep it from working properly. So, regularly wiping down your printer can likely lengthen the lifespan of both the printer and the toner cartridge.
Adjusting Printer Settings for Optimal Toner Usage
Some printers will be equipped with toner-saving settings to help utilize less toner per print, which can help extend the cartridge’s lifespan. Plus, if you don’t require colored prints, change your printer to grayscale or black-and-white to conserve your toner.
Additionally, if you only are using the printed document internally and the quality of the print is not a priority, change the settings from high-resolution to low-resolution to save on toner usage.
The more pages you print, in general, the shorter the toner cartridge lifespan will be. So, if you can be efficient with how you print, you will be able to make the toner last much longer. This means proofreading all documents before printing so you don’t waste pages when you have to reprint something.
The fonts you choose can also help you be more efficient with your toner. Fonts like Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman are often the go-to fonts that are more efficient with toner. If you print only what you need, you can also help cut down on the amount of toner you’re using and help it last longer.
If You Have Unused Printer Toner You Want to Get Rid Of, We’ll Buy It From You!
Given how long toner can last, in many cases, the toner can have a longer lifespan than the printer itself! If you stocked up on toner and realize you won’t be able to make your way through the toner supply, you can free up some shelf space and recoup some of your cash by working with Sell Toner.
You can sell toner to us at high-dollar prices, and quickly get rid of the unused toner that you know you’ll never use. We have an easy-to-use offer system that helps you clear your shelves and get some of your hard-earned money back in your pockets in no time.
Wrapping Up Our Guide to the Laser Printer Toner Lifespan
After reading through our guide, you should now better understand how long does printer toner last unopened or while in use. Though toner has a lengthy lifespan, there are still some things you can do to help it last longer like storing the cartridges properly and selecting optimal settings on your printer.
After learning how long do toner cartridges last and noticing you have a stockpile of unused product you need to get off your hands, Sell Toner wants to buy them. We accept brand-name, unused toner and printer ink before they’ve expired. Visit our website to see a full list of the brand names we accept, and create an account to start selling your unused printer supplies to Sell Toner today!