Inkjet vs Laser Printers: Which Printer Should You Choose?

Printing is part of most people’s daily lives, whether at home or in the office. A printer can help you complete many projects more easily by creating professional photos or printing important documents.

The two main printers that can help you with your printing projects are laser printers and inkjet printers. Both printers have their pros and cons; depending on your project, one may be better for you.

For example, if you are considering purchasing an efficient and cost-effective laser printer, the Brother HL-L2370DW may be a good choice. The Brother HL-L2370DW toner used in this printer ensures high-quality print output while maintaining low operating costs, making it ideal for home or small office environments where documents need to be printed frequently.

What is a Laser Printer?

A laser printer is a type of printer that uses a laser beam to produce high-quality text and graphics on paper.

Such printers combine electrostatically charged toner and a heated fuser to transfer the toner to your paper.

Such printers are known for their fast speeds, reliability, and sharp print outputs. Static electricity is the main phenomenon in a laser printer that gets images and texts on the paper sheets.

The printer manipulates static electricity to attach toner to a sheet of paper.

The laser printer gives you printing outputs by using high-voltage circuits and giving electrical charges to its components, and a laser beams against a mirror, which reflects the laser onto the printer’s photoreceptor drum.

As the laser beams, the mirror moves and, in the process, it draws out the image on the photoreceptor drum. Once the mirror sketches a negatively charged shape onto a positively charged canvas, the toner is released onto the drum.

The printer’s toner is positively charged and sticks only to the negatively charged parts of the drum outlined by the laser. Then, the toner colors within the lines.

When you roll a piece of paper through the printer, it becomes negatively charged. As the paper passes the drum, its negative charge pulls the toner grains onto the sheet of paper, and the grains sit on its surface.

Once the toner sits on the paper’s surface, the paper’s electric charge is removed, and it passes through hot rollers that use pressure and heat to fuse the toner grains into your piece of paper.

A laser printer is ideal for printing high volumes of documents, especially in black-and-white. Most models of laser printers have high printing speeds; most are equipped with high-capacity paper trays. Such trays allow you to print many pages at a given time.

Also, the printers are designed to handle several pages every month without experiencing the adverse effects of wear and tear.

Although you can use your laser printer to print basic photos, they are not designed to print photos of gallery quality. As a result, they are not the best for you if you intend to use them in your design and photography projects.

Most laser printers are larger and heavier than inkjet printers, though others come in more compact sizes.

The larger ones are not ideal for your home office, but they are best for use in a busy office environment because of their high printing capacity.

When you use a laser printer for your project, you get sharp and precise prints, lower cost per page, and less maintenance than other types of printers.

What Is an Inkjet Printer?

Inkjet printers rely on pigment-based ink to give printing output. They are an excellent option if you want high-quality results for your graphics project.

They are preferred at home or in small offices that print image-based documents.

The printers use nozzles to emit ink droplets directly onto the paper. This method gives high-quality colored images and is the best for producing high-resolution images for your documents and photos.

When you buy inkjet printers, you incur less upfront costs, and your print outputs have a higher level of accuracy.

Inkjet printers work by using ink cartridges, and the process of getting ink onto paper involves different steps. The inkjet printer processes an image or document from another device, such as a computer.

The printer has jets or nozzles that spray ink droplets onto a paper sheet as it passes. Hundreds of nozzles release thousands of ink droplets.

The nozzle releases ink droplets after it is heated by electricity. The heat causes the ink to expand through the nozzle and squirt onto the paper.

Once the ink bubble collapses, a vacuum draws more ink into the nozzle from the ink cartridge in readiness to release the next ink droplet.

The tiny nozzles must release many droplets to form a single character on the paper. The nozzles are attached to the printhead, which moves across the paper to create new characters.

You can use the inkjet printer and achieve the best results if you want bright colors and sharp images in your print output.

The inkjet printer can easily blend colors to give sharp photo outlines. Moreover, inkjet printers can print on different paper types, for example, glossy and matte paper types. You can also use the printer to put images on unconventional materials like plastic.

The inkjet printers need little time to warm up, and you can start your printing job quickly. Additionally, such printers are lighter, so you can use them in your home or areas with limited space.

You can refill the cartridges used in inkjet printers instead of getting new ones. This reduces the amount of waste and promotes environmental sustainability.

Therefore, if you are conscious about environmental sustainability, an inkjet printer is the best for you because it aligns to your environmental objectives. Inkjet printers are easier to buy than other printer types, and the cartridges also cost less per unit.

Although inkjet printers blend colors and give sharp image outlines, the cartridges are water-based, and your images might fade or become damaged when exposed to moisture.

Also, the printers hold less color than toner cartridges and require that you clean them more often. The limited capacity brings the need for replacement, which is an extra expense.

If you have printing jobs that extend for a long period, the cartridges may dry out and become unusable. Sometimes, your inkjet printer model may create fuzzy text instead of well-defined letters. Other models have low-capacity trays that limit the number of pages you can print quickly.

Core Differences Between Inkjet and Laser Printers

When deciding on the printer type to acquire, you have most likely faced the dilemma of deciding between laser and inkjet printers.

There are differences between the two printer types and understanding them will help you choose an ideal one for your needs. Here are the core differences between laser and inkjet printers.

1. Functionality

Inkjet printers work by squirting small droplets of ink onto paper through the printhead. The printhead in an inkjet printer uses tiny nozzles to spray the ink precisely as it moves across the paper.

The ink is solvent or water-based and contains a blend of colors to create an image or text. On the other hand, laser printers use a laser beam to create an electrostatic image on a drum or belt inside the printer.

The beam charges specific drum areas in a pattern aligned with the print input. Then, the drum is rolled through a toner, which is attracted to charged areas of the drum, sticks to it, and then transferred to paper. The final image is fused onto the paper through heat and pressure.

2. Quality

The quality of the print output depends on the functionality of your printer. Inkjet printers produce vibrant and high-quality color prints.

This is because the ink droplets sprayed on the paper through the printhead create smooth gradients, precise details, and rich color saturation.

Inkjet printers can use several cartridges to enhance the image quality of your print output. In this regard, inkjet printers are good at creating detailed images and high-quality photo reproductions.

As a result, the inkjet printer is ideal for you if you require high-quality color output with accurate colors and clear images. Also, you can get excellent outputs when you print onto photo paper sheets.

On the other hand, the functionality of laser printers makes them ideal for producing precise and sharp text and graphics. You can buy a color laser printer for printing images and producing fast prints.

Laser printers generate efficient and fast outputs, making them ideal for office environments where there are high-volume printing jobs. Moreover, they are a good choice for printing your text documents that require crisp reproduction of text.

3. Speed

You will likely experience slower speeds with your inkjet printer when printing large volumes of documents. However, you can improve the speeds by using a printer with page-wide printheads and adjusting the print speeds.

A modern inkjet printer can achieve fast printing speeds, especially for small to medium-sized print jobs. On the other hand, laser printers are generally faster and can serve you efficiently, especially when printing large volumes of documents.

You can get up to 100 pages per minute, depending on the model and size of your laser printer. The high speed of a laser printer makes it the most suitable printer for you if you are in a busy office environment.

4. Maintenance

If you buy an inkjet printer, you will undertake regular maintenance to ensure the print quality of your output remains consistent over time. Such printers experience printhead clogging, which creates missing lines in your print jobs.

Most inkjet printer models are programmed to undertake self-cleaning to deal with printhead clogging, but it is still necessary to undertake occasional manual cleaning and printhead replacement.

On the contrary, laser printers have fewer maintenance issues. This is because the toner is in powdered form, eliminating the risk of drying out or clogging as is the case in inkjet printers.

However, over time, the drum unit of your laser printer may need to be replaced, but it is a simple task that can be done in a few minutes.

5. Size

Most inkjet printer models are portable and small in size. This makes them ideal for you if you have limited space in your home or office and can easily place it on your desk or shelving unit.

On the other hand, laser printers are often larger and may require more space or bring the need for you to designate an area in your home or office for it.

Laser vs Inkjet Printer Cost Analysis

Most inkjet printer models are less expensive than laser printers, making them ideal for you if you are on a budget. However, ink cartridges can increase the overall cost if you frequently print in color.

The cost of refilling the ink cartridges varies across different models and manufacturers, and it is important to compare such expenses before deciding to buy a specific model.

On the other hand, laser printers have a higher upfront cost than inkjet printers. However, they provide better value in terms of the cost per page, especially if you have a high-volume printing project.

The toners used in laser printers can give you a higher page yield than inkjet printers. In this regard, you can print more pages with your laser printer before replacing the cartridge. This results in a lower cost per page in the long run.

Moreover, you can buy an all-in-one machine that copies, scans, and prints, making it cost-effective to complete your printing project.

Related reading: Brother TN223 vs TN227

Which One is the Best?

The best printer between an inkjet and a laser printer depends on your needs and budget.

Both printers perform specific printing tasks, and when choosing the best one for you, it is best to consider the following factors.

  • Speed
  •  Quality
  • Type of printing tasks
  • Ongoing costs

Based on the type of printing tasks, if you need a printer for your photos and images, the best one for you is an inkjet printer. It produces vibrant and high-quality prints.

On the other hand, if you want a fast and efficient printer, then a laser printer is the best choice for you.


Both inkjet and laser printers give unique benefits depending on your printing needs. The best one for you depends on your needs and what you value most.  

For example, a laser printer is the best one for you if the functionality, speed, cost and quality of output align with the objectives of your project. 

If you want to choose the best toner to match your printer, consider YBtoner. They have been specializing in cartridge toners for ten years and will select the best performing toner for you.

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