Printer Terms You Need To Know

When you are looking to find a printer that fits your needs there are several factors to consider. Here are some printer terms you should know that will help you make a decision when buying a new laser printer for your business.

Page Yield

Page yield by far is the most important thing to pay attention to when considering a new printer.  A printer’s page yield is the average number of prints a cartridge will give you as determined by the manufacturer.  Manufacturers include this number on the box and the yield can vary significantly depending on what type of cartridge you have.  Even printers with identical price points and features may have very different page yields and cartridges for a very different price.  Page yields are based on ISO standards, using a standard test page at 5% coverage.

Total Cost of Toner

Why is it so important to pay attention to a printer’s page yield?  Because of how it translates to the total cost of toner your printer will use regularly.  The cost of toner is where most printer manufacturers make the bulk of their money.  The cost of toner is calculated by dividing a printer’s page yield by the cost of the toner cartridge.  For example, the price of a genuine HP 05X black toner cartridge is $174.99 and its page yield is 6,500 pages.  After a bit of division, the cost is 2.6 cents per page.  This is why FarraTech remanufactured cartridges have become such a viable alternative.   FarraTech branded cartridges can be worlds cheaper than the genuine brand and come with a 100% guarantee too.  If you were to buy a compatible FTHP 05x black toner cartridge at $119.99, your cost would only be 1.8 cents per page. Compare with 2.6 cents a page for original HP cartridge, the savings will add up considerably over the printers life.


A duty cycle is the number of pages a printer can print in a month without any issues.  Businesses use this number as a way to keep track of performance and to gauge when a particular part might go bad.  Replaceable parts like a drum or fuser assembly will wear out over time and can be expensive to maintain. Keeping tabs on wear and tear will keep your printer running smoothly for a longer period of time and ensure you are getting the most from the machine. Consumers that routinely print at a high volume should pay attention to their printer’s monthly print volume, or the number of pages a user requires from their printer. If you print 5,000 copies a month it wouldn’t make sense to invest in a printer that only handles a 1,000.  Read up on the statistics of each machine you are considering and buy one that makes sense for your needs. If you only print a few times a day your monthly print volume shouldn’t be a concern but you should still pay attention to your cartridge’s page yield.

Print Speed

Printer companies call a printer’s speed PPM, or pages per minute, and the quality of a print can vary depending on how quickly you are churning out pages.  For example, printing in draft mode may be faster but the end result isn’t going to look as good compared to a print in optimal mode.  Laser printers tend to be much faster than an inkjet and are the preferred machine for a business that has a need for speed.


If you have any questions or would like help talking to one of our professionals about what type of printer makes the most sense for the needs of your business, please contact us here.