Drum Unit and Toner Cartridge, Which Is Which?

If you do shop for toner cartridges a lot, then you might have noticed that that there are printers that can use drum units. Some printers can even use both the cartridge and a drum unit. This makes most people wonder on whether to try a drum unit or just continue using its original cartridge.

1. Toner cartridges: Definition

Ink Toner

A toner cartridge is a simple equipment that contains toner power needed for printing purposes. Most of these toner cartridges have an inbuilt drum unit assembled as one component. A good example of such cartridges is the HP 12A black toner. Alternatively, simpler printers such as the Samsung 406 require both the toner and drum separately. This is to say that, the printer will not print if any of the two is missing, meaning you have to purchase and install each separately.

2. Drum Units: Definition

Ink Drum

A drum unit is the main printing component in a printer. The unit is made of a corona wire and a photo photosensitive drum. The drum works with the help of a laser light, which writes whatever needs to be printed on the photosensitive drum. With the laser light altering electric charge on the drum, visible printouts appear on the printed material. The drum requires some heat and pressure to print on a paper, and has to roll over for a continuous print. Shown below is an image of a drum unit.

Should you need a drum unity and a toner cartridge, you will then have to buy the two components separately. The drum unit has to be installed inside the printer, while the cartridge is slotted in the drum unit.

Ink Toner Drum Combo

Why are toner cartridges and drum units sold separately?

One of the reasons why toner cartridges are sold separately is because they contain a limited amount of toner powder. This powder can only print a specified number of pages, after which it is depleted triggering a replacement. The drum unit however lasts much longer than the cartridge. A single drum unit can last 4-5 times a toner cartridge will. The DR-2255 (a drum unit) can print out more than 12000 pages while its brother, the TN-2060 (toner cartridge) can only print about 1200 pages.

If both the toner and drum unit were to be replaced at the same time, then one of the components would be underused. This would be extravagance and waste of money and resources.

Which do you need to buy, and when?

Printers are designed in a smart way such that, they will notify you whenever one of the components needs to be replaced. Although some older versions may not have this capability, you can check the printers performance and troubleshoot problems as the happen. For instance, faded prints indicate that the toner is too low on ink powder. If the prints are visible but there are blank spaces in between prints, then the drum unit has worn out and needs immediate replacement.

Alternatively, you can check the printer’s manual to determine what part you have to buy, and when. The manual outlines what is needed for the printer to work, and recommendations of the same. Printers that use OKI, Xerox and All Brother toners require cartridges and drum units replaced individually. Other makes such as HP, Canon and Lexmark Toners come with the drum units installed as one component.

We hope this will clarify any confusion about Ink Toner and Ink Drum.

Please visit our ink cartridge section to shop out large quantity of compatible Printer Ink Toner and Ink Drum.



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