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Difference Between Inkjet and Laser Printer

When looking for a printer, you have likely noticed two very different printer types and they are inkjet printers and laser printers. The question now is what is the difference between laser and inkjet printers? And more importantly, which is better suited for your business needs?

Difference between inkjet and laser printers

There are several differences between laser printers and inkjet printers to consider before you make your decision on which to buy. 

Inkjet printers have either dye or pigment-based ink. They are also a great option for those who want high-quality results and those who print a lot of graphics. 

Inkjet printers are usually preferred by those who work at home and those who need printing for school and for their small offices as they can print image-heavy documents. 

Meanwhile, laser printers use toner to produce text and images. They are generally larger than their inkjet counterparts and have fast print speeds. 

Larger businesses and busy offices with high print volumes usually opt for laser printers due to their business-focused features, like optional trays for more capacity, massive replacement supply yields, and advanced security features. 

How do laser and inkjet printers work?

One of the fundamental differences between the inkjet printers and laser printers is how they operate. Even though both produce clean and crisp texts and images, they have different outcomes still. 

Inkjet printers use very small nozzles that produce ink that is dropped directly onto the paper. This method also lends itself to brightly colored images and it is a great choice if you are looking to produce high-resolution photos, images, or graphics in your documents. 

Meanwhile, laser printers use toner powder instead of dye or pigment-based ink. The laser printers produce electrostatically charged dots on drums that are light-sensitive and one that attracts toner powder. The toner is then transferred to the paper and is fixed by a heating process. Laser printers deliver crisp black and white and other color prints. 

Inkjet printer and laser printer pros and cons

Both inkjet printers and laser printers have their respective pros and cons. Here are some of them:

Inkjet printers pros:

  • Amazing for photos and documents that are heavy in images.
  • Does a better job of blending colors
  • Low start-up cost
  • Can print onto different types of paper, including glossy photo paper, textured stationery and even fabrics
  • Almost no warm-up time is needed before users print
  • Can be refilled and reused, it can cut down on waste and help save money. 
  • Inkjet printer is smaller, lighter and it is very easier to maintain

Inkjet printer cons:

  • Inkjet ink is expensive
  • Inkjet ink is water-based, so prints are susceptible to fading and to water damage
  • Ink cartridges need cleaning often. Even though printers perform this maintenance automatically, it can waste a lot of ink
  • Can be slow compared to laser printing. High volume printing are a challenge
  • Some inkjet printers will produce fuzzy and gray text if you print on plain office paper
  • Inkjet printers for home use have low-capacity paper trays of 50 to 100 sheets. The output trays are almost nonexistent. 

Laser printer pros:

  • Laser printers can print faster, perfect for high volume printing
  • It can help produce perfect sharp black text. If your print jobs are text with a bit of graphics, laser is the one for you
  • Laser printers also handle small fonts and it handle fine lines far better than inkjet printers
  • Laser printers are so much better prepared to handle high-volume print jobs

Laser printer cons:

  • Even though laser printers work faster, they still take some time to warm-up
  • Even though the toner is a lot cheaper, upfront costs for laser printer costs more
  • Toner leaks can be difficult to clean
  • Laser printers can’t handle different types of paper or printing materials unlike inkjets. 


Both inkjet printers and laser printers have their advantages and disadvantages, it is best to get the one that will suit your needs and your budget. If you are in San Francisco and you’re looking for a Copier for your business, you may contact Clear Choice Technical Services in San Francisco. You can ask about Copier Leasing Services in San Francisco, Copier rental services in San Francisco.