Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Frequently asked questions about HP Laser printers
Top 15 End User Questions About HP LaserJet Printers
1) How long should a printer's toner cartridge last?
Generally, a laser printer toner cartridges should produce from 3000 to 40,000 pages depending on the printer model and cartridge yield.
How long a toner cartridge lasts depends on four important factors:
Laser printer engine type
Type of documents printed
Toner cartridge (OEM or recycled)
The type of print engine dictates the cartridge type used in that printer. Printers can be classified by a duty cycle or expected monthly use. The higher the expected monthly use, the larger the toner (dry powder ink) supplied in the toner cartridge which dictates cartridge yield.
Obviously, the type of document to be printed varies-some more complex than others. More laser printer toner is used if the image is complex or if there are large areas of black. This means fewer pages will be printed over the life of the toner cartridge. Estimates on the number of pages a toner cartridge yields are based on an average office letter amounting to about five percent toner versus 95 percent white space on the page. The yield of a laser printer cartridge drops depending on the use of graphics.
OEM means original equipment manufacturer. Many people don't realize this, but Canon produces the engines for HP LaserJets up until recently. Canon also makes the original (OEM) laser printer toner cartridges. When you buy a new HP brand toner cartridge, it comes from a Canon factory.
The original idea of the cartridge was to throw it away after it ran out of toner. Not so good for the environment or for our recycling concerns. Over the years, a whole industry has been established to recycle or remanufacture used toner cartridges. You need to be aware that new and remanufactured cartridges contain recycled parts. Cartridge performance depends on the quality of the manufacturing process.
The printing environment influences toner cartridge life expectancy as well. Toner cartridges are complex devices in their own right. Their operation depends on highly charged static electricity. Outside environmental conditions change toner cartridge performance especially when relative humidity (RH) swings either high or low. Although these extremes of less than 20 percent or more than 80 percent RH chiefly affects cartridge image quality, cartridge yield also suffers.
Other factors alter cartridge yield, including the type of paper used and laser printer configuration. Make sure your printer is set for the best performance to assure getting the most from your toner cartridges.
2) What is the life span of a laser printer?
Manufacturers suggested that early laser printers were expected to last for around 500,000 printed pages. More recent laser printers should last much longer.
If you perceive that the printer has served its usefulness, that it is not worth repairing, or that a better printer is available at a reasonable price, replace it. However, if parts are available, service is reasonable, and it serves your needs, keep it. In that case, a printer could last as long as you want-usually far beyond the manufacturer's expectations.
Printer lifespan depends on several factors
Laser printer engine type
The general condition of the printer
Type of paper
Laser printer replacement parts and service
Some laser printers last longer than others depending on the design and durability of the print engine. Canon makes the engines (print mechanisms) within HP Laserjets. Canon engines are reliable and thoughtfully designed with service in mind. Consequently, they perform well and last longer than some other manufacturer's machines.
The printing environment influences laser printer life and performance. A printer used at a construction site or housing development, unless protected from the dust and dirt, will not last nearly as long as a printer in a normal air-conditioned office.
Most laser printer maintenance involves replacing worn parts due to normal wear and tear. The more dirt and dust, the more wear and tear. Such printers should be regularly serviced and cleaned more often than under normal conditions.
When buying a used laser printer, consider having its general condition checked before accepting delivery. How a printer has been used in the past will influence the remaining useful life.
The type of paper directly affects the life-span of pickup and feed rollers of the printer. Most laser printers are designed to handle common copy paper (20# bond stock). The assortment of paper out there is astounding. Many people try using a wide variety of their printing needs, not realizing its effects on the printer.
Heavy stocks resist bending around the sinuous paper paths of some printers, causing paper jams. We have long praised HP in its thoughtfulness to provide parts and service manuals for independent service companies. As a result of that ongoing support, third-party service has flourished throughout the market place.
People who need laser printer service can easily find help from multiple sources. Competition has driven service prices down for laser printer users. With economical parts and service, many HP owners choose to fix their printers rather than replace them with other models. For example, many thousands of older HP Laserjets still operate today, 10-20 years after they were introduced. That is truly amazing considering the changing technology seen in laser printers since then.
Current HP Laserjets are certainly good options in light of the advanced technology they contain and their reasonable prices
3) Should remanufactured toner cartridges be used in laser printers?
It depends. Toner cartridge recycling has come a long way since the old days of "drill and fill." Many reputable companies produce quality remanufactured toner cartridges that perform as good or better than the original manufacturer, at a fraction of the cost.
Others may not consistently produce good quality cartridges. This is what frustrates the quality producers: They get a bad reputation from those who make poor products. We suggest that you ask the following questions when purchasing remanufactured cartridges
Are engineering, tool & die capabilities part of the company's remanufacturing capabilities? Remanufacturers must be able to make tools and manufacture parts, adjusting them to meet any changes in OEM specifications.
Is the installation of a "long-life" drum required in every cartridge? OEM quality cannot be consistently met without the use of a high-quality, long-life drum.