How To Tell If Your Printer Is Inkjet Or Laser

As the number of printing technology grows, so does the confusion regarding which is which. Gravure printing, flexography printing, nano-imprinting, dye transfers printing, etc., are commonly known types. However, laser and inkjet printing technologies have always managed to dominate the field.

Have you recently brought a printer? Left rather confused when asked about which printing technology it uses? Wondering how to tell if your printer is inkjet or laser?

Do not worry! As always, we are here to save the day for you. By the time we reach the end of the article, you will be able to differentiate between laser and inkjet printers effortlessly.

What Is An Inkjet Printer?

Inkjet printers are a type of peripheral that manage to convert soft copies into hard copies. Their system consists of print heads that contain several nozzles (also known as jets). These hold the ability to spray inks onto different sections of the page. At least 300 dots can be made per inch when the paper slides in beneath the print head. Users are gifted with their printed output towards the end of this spraying job.

Modern-day inkjet printers often manage to be multipurpose devices. Besides handling tough printing jobs, they can function as scanners, fax machines, and copiers.

Inkjet printers have a slow printing speed but will manage to get outstanding quality colored output. They use liquid ink, which, unfortunately, runs out pretty fast. This increases the cost per page.

What Is A Laser Printer?

Laser printing technologies use the concept of opposite charges attracting to form prints. Toner inks are melted using a laser beam and negatively charged. A drum is present, which is positively charged in certain parts and thus, manages to attract ink on those parts only. Later on, it pastes ink onto the paper in that exact pattern. Heat is then used to melt the toner onto the paper’s surface. Users can receive a hard copy of certain files.

Laser printers are commonly used to print out text documents. They have an amazingly fast printing speed making them ideal for places where large volume printing takes occurs. Although the initial purchasing cost is high, the ink lasts for a long time, meaning you will have to spend little afterward.

How To Tell If Your Printer Is Inkjet Or Laser

Are you still confused about your printer despite being informed about laser and inkjet printing technology?

Do not worry. Here are some things that will help you identify whether you own an inkjet printer or a laser printer.

Checking The Label

If you do not have the bad habit of scraping off labels, the easiest way to identify your printing technology is by looking at it. Most will mention whether if it is a laser or inkjet printer. However, if it does not, do not worry either. You can always google the name or model number on the manufacturing company’s site.

Checking The Ink

Laser printers use ink toners, whereas inkjet printers use ink cartridges. These look very different and, thus, can help you easily identify the printing technology.

Ink cartridges are small and look a lot like cassettes, except they are bigger. Usually, colors like cyan, magenta, black, and yellow will be available. On the other hand, ink toners are much bigger, elongated, and have something similar to a roller on top. The design itself looks much more complicated.

The Difference In Noise Levels

Although this is not true for all, most laser printers are quieter than inkjet ones. They are known for working in silence and causing no disturbances to people’s work. This makes them ideal for offices and other workspaces.

In contrast, inkjet printers make a lot of noise while producing hard copies. Recently though, manufacturers have been working to avoid this problem.

Software Difference

The print dialog boxes of laser and inkjet printers will vary. For example, if you click on the print option and buttons regarding nozzles and print heads appear, then you are using an inkjet printer. Print Head Alignment, Nozzle Check, Print Head Cleansing, etc., are some common options that you will notice.  On the other hand, laser printers don’t require any such maintenance or configuration so, you are less likely to see any special settings.

Ink Refilling Period

If all the tricks mentioned above do not work, analyze how much time it takes for you to run out of ink. The time will most likely be one or two months upon regular usage for inkjet printers. In the case of laser printers, the period will be noticeably longer. It will last you for at least six months, if not more.

If none of these tricks help, then you should consider taking your printer to a printer hardware store. They will help you pinpoint which printing technology it runs using.

Remember that knowing your printer’s printing technology is extremely important. This is because different types of paper are compatible with different printing technologies. Not all can bear to have heat applied onto them, and similarly, some react poorly with liquid ink. This is why you will notice that inkjet friendly and laser friendly vellum and transfer papers are sold separately.

FAQ

How Do I Find My Printer Model Number?

A printer’s model number will be written on the front of its body. It might be located towards the top, bottom, or center. A little bit of close observation will help you easily seek it out. It is usually written right next to the brand name. 

How Do I Find My Printer’s Hostname Or IP Address?

If you are using a Windows PC, click on the Start button present on the bottom left corner of your screen. Next, click on the Settings icon and then go over to Printers and Devices. Next, right-click on your printer’s name and select the Ports tab once you notice your printer’s name. You will not be able to see your printer’s hostname and IP address.

Are Epson Printers Inkjet Or Laser?

Epson printers run on inkjet printing technology. As this makes them have comparatively lower speed and more inclined to print photos, you will rarely see them in offices. Instead, they are more commonly used for wide format printing, comic printing, photo printing, and advert publishing.

Is Canon Pixma Inkjet Or Laser?

Canon Pixma printers run on inkjet printing technology. This allows them to have high printing resolutions and be suitable options for photo printing. Using them, you can print out brochures, comic strips, photographs, etc. The All-in-one feature also lets Canon Pixma printers make scans and copies.

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