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How Long Does Toner Last?

Variables to Consider

There are several variables in play when addressing the question, ‘How long does toner last?’. The two most influential variables in play are: 

  1. Amount of coverage on the printed page
  2. Amount pages produced in a given period (day/month/year) 

Estimated Yield

Since the early 2000’s, all toner manufacturers have provided an estimated yield for their products based on a standard established by the ISO (Industrial Organization for Standardization).  This enables consumers to make informed purchasing decisions when it comes to which printer and toner to buy.  The ISO standard for printer cartridge yield is based on 5% coverage on a printed page. 

As you can see from the example, 5% is not very much coverage, in fact, on average most print jobs contain 10%-15% of coverage on a page.   

5% toner coverage

Are You Fully Consuming The Toner Cartridge?

Another consideration to factor in when determining how long a toner will last is whether or not you are fully consuming a toner cartridge before replacing it.  Many printers will begin notifying users of “low toner” when there is sometimes as much as 40% left in the cartridge. 

The reason for this is simple, when it comes to printers, the profit is in the supplies!  Many consumer grade printers feature a relatively low cost for the printer itself, but when it comes time to buy ink/toner, you may find yourself spending 2-3 times as much. 

How to Determine How Long Toner Will Last?

The most accurate way to determine “how long does toner last” is to first figure out the TRUE yield of the cartridge based on the coverage of want you most commonly print and then divide that amount by the average number of prints you produce in a given period. 

Example Scenario:

  • If the ISO stated yield on the toner cartridge for my printer is 5,000 pages 
  • My average print job has 15% coverage 
  • My average volume is 200 pages per month 

Here is the Formula:

  • My average page coverage (15%) / ISO coverage (5%) = new coverage value “3” 

  • Stated Cartridge ISO yield “5,000” / new coverage value “3” = True Cartridge Yield “1,667 pages” 

  • True Cartridge Yield “1,667 pages” / Period “200 pages per month” = 8.33 months 

Based on the amount I print and my average coverage, the toner should last me a little over 8 months – provided I use the cartridge until it is completely empty. 

Pollock Company

Printing is a necessity for just about every business. Some businesses need to print hundreds of receipts, contracts or patient forms every day, while others print very few documents but need more scanning capabilities.

If you are not sure which printers are right for your business, Pollock Company can help. We provide free assessments to help businesses determine what they need. We are a local dealer who provides local service for everything we sell.

Pollock Company will help you determine the best printers for your needs, backed by the peace of mind that you’ll also get local service and maintenance.

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