Save Thousands When You Buy The Right Printer

There's a saying that it's cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to replace the cartridges.

That's not always true. Especially when it comes to a laser printer.

For the purposes of this article, we're not going to get into the reasons why people prefer lasers. We'll leave that for another day.

What we are going to dig into is the real cost of a cheap laser printer.

Manufacturers Are Meeting the Demand for a Throw Away Printer

The saying that it's cheaper to buy a new printer than new cartridges (even though it's not always true) has become a common misconception.

Especially when we go and look at the major retailers and see that color lasers are retailing for about the same price as some of the ink printers.  What gives? Are manufacturers making a profit on these cheap multifunction color lasers? The answer is of course yes!

The way they do it is twofold. First, they rely on your lack of knowledge about printers and secondly they milk you on the replacement toners. But they do it in a way that you are none the wiser. Because the replacement toners cost less than a new printer.

In this article, I'll show you a fairly straightforward way to work out the most important cost factor, even more important, than the price to purchase the machine. Toner Costs

They Want You To Replace The Toners

Now you would think that if the toners need to be replaced it's a simple enough process of just replacing the printer. Wrong. Seldom does a laser printer need all its cartridges to be replaced at the same time. On the rare occasion that they do, a full set is normally just a tiny bit cheaper than a replacement printer.

Add that to the inconvenience of setting a new machine up and chances are most folks will just grudgingly carry on replacing cartridges.

Goedkoop is Duurkoop (Cheap is Expensive)

Who wouldn't want a Multifunction Color Laser printer. These machines are brilliant. The crispness and quality, of the printed page unrivaled.

And retailers are masters at presenting these features at irresistible prices. Making it so easy to take the plunge and invest in one.

At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, the price of the actual printer is the last thing you should be looking at.

The first thing you should check is how many pages a toner cartridge yields but you can't do it in seclusion.

By itself, anything can be made to look like the best thing since sliced bread.

What you want to compare it to is a laser printer that has a high yield toner cartridge option.

To show you how it's done we put two of Hewlett Packards current printers on the chopping block and see how they stack up against each other.

HP Colour Laserjet MFP 179FNW A4 Colour Multifunction Laser Printer

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax

HP Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdn A4 Colour Multifunction Laser Printer

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax

HP Colour Laserjet MFP 179FNW A4 Colour Multifunction Laser Printer

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax

HP Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdn A4 Colour Multifunction Laser Printer

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax

With over 20 years of printer repair experience, we understand that few people are interested in their printers beyond reaching for a perfectly printed document. This is how come when buying a new printer, so many people end up making decisions that are going to cost them double, triple, or even quadruple in the long run.

How Many Pages Do Your Cartridges Yield?

All manufacturers use a 5% coverage ratio when they’re working out how many pages a toner cartridge can produce.

If we folded a piece of A4 paper in half 4 times we’d get about 6.25% square coverage.

We don't talk in squares though. So if you want to see how much toner your documents are using try out this handy free online toner consumption calculator.

5% Toner Coverage Example

All manufacturers use a 5% coverage ratio when they’re working out how many pages a toner cartridge can produce.

If we folded a piece of A4 paper in half 4 times we’d get about 6.25% square coverage.

We don't talk in squares though. So if you want to see how much toner your documents are using try out this handy free online toner consumption calculator.

5% Toner Coverage Example

Assessing Toner Consumption on Routine Documents

For this example, we took our standard quote and measured out how much toner one page uses.

We used a free online tool. In your case, it might be an invoice. Feel free to test your own documents as well. (PS Youll need Adobe Acrobat Installed)

Our document registered the following toner consumption:

Black3.03%
Cyan0.63%
Magenta0.73%
Yellow0.68%
Document Used to Measure Toner Coverage

For this example, we took our standard quote and measured out how much toner one page uses.

We used a free online tool. In your case, it might be an invoice. Feel free to test your own documents as well. (PS Youll need Adobe Acrobat Installed)

Document Used to Measure Toner Coverage

Our document registered the following toner consumption:

Black3.03%
Cyan0.63%
Magenta0.73%
Yellow0.68%

For the purposes of this example, we decided to use an average of 30 pages printed a day. In your case, it might be more or less depending on what stage of the month it is. if you're unsure, a good way to gauge print volume is to consider how often you're replacing a ream of paper. And then divide that by number of workdays between paper replacements.

All manufacturers use a 5% coverage ratio when they’re working out how many pages a toner cartridge can produce.  If we folded a piece of A4 paper in half 4 times we’d get about 6.25% square coverage. We don't talk in squares though. So if you want to see how much toner your documents are using try out this handy free online toner consumption calculator.

Our document registered the following toner consumption:

Black3.03%
Cyan0.63%
Magenta0.73%
Yellow0.68%

For the purposes of this example, we decided to use an average of 30 pages printed a day. In your case, it might be more or less depending on what stage of the month it is. if you're unsure, a good way to gauge print volume is to consider how often you're replacing a ream of paper. And then divide that by number of workdays between paper replacements.

HP Color Laserjet MFP179 Multifunction Printer Daily Toner Cost

Cartridge ColourCartridge CodeManufacturers Yield 5%Current Retail PriceToner CoverageActual Page YieldDays of PrintingCost per DayCost Per Year
BlackW2070A1000R1150.003.03%165055R20.90R5456.72
CyanW2071A750R1250.000.63%5952198R6.30R1644.30
MagentaW2072A750R1250.000.73%5137171R7.30R1905.30
YellowW2073A750R1250.000.68%5515184R6.80R1774.80
Sub TotalR41.30R10781.12

R41.30 a day = R10 781.12 a year

HP Color Laserjet Pro M479FDN Multifunction Printer (Standard Yield Cartridges) Daily Toner Cost

Cartridge ColourCartridge CodeManufacturers Yield 5%Current Retail PriceToner CoverageActual Page YieldDays of PrintingCost per DayCost Per Year
BlackW2030A2400R1950.003.03%3960132R14.77R3855.29
CyanW2031A2100R2450.000.63%16666555R4.41R1151.01
MagentaW2033A2100R2450.000.73%14383479R5.11R1333.71
YellowW2032A2100R2450.000.68%15441514R4.76R1242.36
Sub TotalR29.05R7582.38

R29.05 a day = R7582.38 a year

You Save R3198.00 a Year!
But Wait, It Gets Even Better

As you can see the M479 starts saving you money from the first page printed. But that's not the best part. The M479 comes with a high yield toner cartridge option. What this boils down to is a buy 2 get 1 free type of deal. That's because a high yield toner cartridge generally costs double what a standard cartridge costs. But delivers about 3 times the toner.

HP Color Laserjet Pro M479FDN Multifunction Printer (High Yield Cartridges) Daily Toner Cost

Cartridge ColourCartridge CodeManufacturers Yield 5%Current Retail PriceToner CoverageActual Page YieldDays of PrintingCost per DayCost Per Year
BlackW2030X7500R3850.003.03%12376412R9.33R2435.75
CyanW2031X6000R5250.000.63%476191587R3.30R863.25
MagentaW2033X6000R5250.000.73%410951369R3.83R1000.28
YellowW2032X6000R5250.000.68%441171470R3.57R931.77
Sub TotalR20.04R5231.07

R20.04 a day = R5231.07 a year

Most HP Laser Printers Last 6 Years or More

Printers like the Pro M479 can easily last you up to 12 years sometimes even longer. This is not necessarily the case with the MFP179.  Although in the spirit of full disclosure when a machine gets to this age there are other costs that crop up, like for example the fuser needing to be replaced.

Generally speaking, it's fair to expect at least 6 years of production out of either of these machines without the need for any significant maintenance costs.

Over the course of 6 years, printing 30 documents a day, your cheap MFP179 is going to cost you R64 686.76 in toner. While the Pro M479 with high yield cartridges will cost you R31386.40.

Saving you R33 300.36

To that take the R4620 extra that you initially spent on a more expensive machine off and you'll have saved R28680.36. leaving you smiling all the way to the bank.

We're Independent

With over 20 years in the printer repair industry, everything we know about printers comes from having seen it for ourselves. For an independent opinion about printers and how to improve your running costs, contact Kim Coetzee on 083 550 1138.

Posted in Colour Laser MFP, HP, Printers.