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10 Ways to Save Copier Toner and Printer Ink

Did you know that copier toner is listed as the 8th most expensive liquid in the world? If you feel like you are wasting printer and copier toner, it may be time to start saving it. Here are 10 things you can start saving on your copier and toner right now.

10. Choose Wisely, Between Ink and Toner

While you can buy a printer for as little as a hundred dollars, the sticker price of your device is only the beginning: total cost of ownership (TCO) includes energy, replacement parts and, most importantly, the cost of ink or toner. If you calculate how much a page costs you, every time your print it, and compare the cost of that print between a laser printer or copier and a device that uses ink cartridges, you’ll quickly realize that, if you have an inkjet device, you’re probably spending up to 10 times (yes: ten) more per page with a little, inexpensive machine, than you would with a laser device. And that’s not counting the fact that inkjet cartridges have the nasty habit of drying out, when not in use, making them a $60 paperweight, if they become inoperable.

9. Use Color Ink Only When Necessary

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people print documents or web pages that contain color images that are not needed. Black and white prints use only one toner color (you guessed it: the black one). Color images are created by mixing color toner in various quantities. This depletes toner at a much higher rate.

Our tech team often sets specific rules, when setting up a Managed Print Services program, that allows people to print in color only in specific instances and to specific devices, set up specifically to reduce wasted toner. Depending on the number of printers/copiers within an organization, this can result in thousands of dollars per year in savings. If you are setting up laptops for new employees, make sure you set they default printer settings to greyscale, or that you ask your IT department to do so.

To set black and white as your default print mode, go to: START MENU > CONTROL PANEL > HARDWARE AND SOUND > DEVICES AND PRINTERS. From there, right-click on the printer for which you want to change the default settings. Select PRINTING PREFERENCES and manage your settings as necessary.

8. Stop Unnecessary Print Commands

When you send a print command to a printer, the device starts moving, before starting the actual print. That’s when the printer makes a whirring noise, in preparation for the paper to be fed. The noise you hear is the toner cartridge rotating into position. Every time this happens, you are wasting a little bit of toner. Once the job is complete, the printer resets itself, and more toner is lost.

This happens every time someone sends a print signal to the printer. Imagine when that happens hundreds of times a day, within an organization. This is especially important if people send single-page signals for large documents. Send the document as a whole, and save toner!

7. Use “Print Preview” to Save Copier Toner

Often, entire documents are wasted because the output of the job isn’t what the person printing it expected to see. Enters “Print Preview”: it is a tool that allows you to examine the document before it’s printed. By seeing what the document looks like, you’ll be able to make adjustments before you have wasted unnecessary copier toner. This is also important when you are printing emails or web pages, which often contain unnecessary things like the website map, at the page footer, or grey boxes that waste toner without being necessary. By deciding if something is relevant and useful before printing, you are going to save on copier toner before you know it!

To use “Print Preview” in Microsoft Word and Excel, go to FILE > PRINT.

6. Use the appropriate copy and print devices for the job

Copiers, multifunction devices (MFP) and printers come in all sizes, speeds, and features, to fit a broad range of business applications. Plug and play printers you find in big office supply chains are great for occasional jobs. If you print daily, however, the cost is going to become staggering before you know it, as your Total Cost of Ownership (TOC), which includes replacement parts, supplies, energy and life of the machine, will be several times higher than with devices that have a higher price tag. If you consistently rely on your device to print, copy, scan, a larger machine is probably the best solution.

You have to look at the cost per page, rather than the sticker price of the device. Ink from cartridges can bring the cost-per-page of a device from a few pennies to nearly a dollar! Every. Time. You. Print.

Working with a knowledgeable copier and printer sales and service dealer can help you immensely. It will allow you to match you with the right equipment for your needs and budget.

Reputable dealers can also offer organizations with multiple machines (copiers, printers, etc.) Managed Print Services (MPS): a great option to save up to 30% on printing costs.

FREE DOWNLOAD >> The ULTIMATE Copier Buyer's Guide Learn what you should ask before buying your next copier

5. Print in Draft Mode and Save More Toner

Draft mode allows documents to be printed with no formatting, or minimal formatting at most. Think of it as a “test version” of your final copy, allowing you to see what your final printed document will look like while saving ink. For documents that don’t need formality (internal memos, reports to review during a meeting, etc.) this is an option that, over time, will save you a lot of money on copier toner.

To print in draft mode, go to FILE > OPTIONS > ADVANCED. Under GENERAL, select ALLOW OPENING A DOCUMENT IN DRAFT VIEW. Select OK. Under the VIEW tab, click DRAFT.

4. Use this trick, when printing webpages

Printing web pages can waste a lot of ink. Images, links, advertisements, and formatting on web pages add a lot of clutter and unnecessary printing. PrintFriendly is a free online tool that converts web pages to printable PDFs, removing advertisements, navigation, and other unnecessary elements to help you save paper and ink when you print.

3. Keep “Toner Pirates” at Bay

“Toner Pirates” represent companies that call businesses in an attempt to sell printer toner or ink cartridges over the phone using high pressure tactics and offering prices that seem too good to be true. Why? Because they’re not true.

Toner Pirates dishonestly claim to be calling on behalf of your supplier, mentioning the ability to provide better prices that you must take advantage before the end of the day. It is possible they may even know the models of equipment your company uses. The problem is that Toner Pirates are selling high-priced and/or low-quality products. Learn more about Toner Pirates, here.

2. Change your Font and Save on Copier Toner

Different fonts use different amounts of ink to print, so using the right fonts can help you use less ink and save money. According to Patrick Austin in Consumer Reports Fonts such as Century Gothic, Times New Roman, and Calibri use less ink than Veranda, Arial, and Tahoma. According to Consumer Reports, Times New Roman takes up to 27% less ink than Arial. Choosing typefaces that use less ink to print will help extend the life of your ink and toner and save you money.

1. Find a dealer that offers maintenance contracts that include supplies

The sure-fire way to save toner and save money on copier toner is to sign up for an all-inclusive maintenance plan from a reputable service provider. Through these maintenance plans, your price is calculated on a per-copy base, which means that you know exactly what printing that piece of paper is going to cost you. No more hunting for best prices (we purchase in bulk, which means that you’re not going to find a lower price from anyone) and ship toner to you before you even know you’re low, thanks to our remote monitoring system.

What’s even better, our price-per-copy includes supplies like color and black-and-white toner, all of the preventive maintenance needed to make sure your all-in-one copier is in perfect condition (no more jams, streaks and lines, or error messages) and even a replacement loaner, if your machine has to be down for a few days! Give us a call today, to see how much you can save on copier toner, maintenance and more.

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