4 Different Types of Printer Toners & How to Choose

Submitted by Karla Metzler on Thu, 09/10/2020 - 09:00
Person changing a yellow toner cartridge

Many people are not aware or educated on the different types of toners available for copiers/printers and this often leads them to purchase the cheapest toner available. 

Buying the cheapest toner possible often results in problems such as poor print quality or spilled ink. Ink spillage, and other issues caused by cheap toner, can cause damage to the machine, which is a costly repair.  

Cheaper toner often uses banned or hazardous materials such as plastic to cut costs. These toxins can cause problems for the machine and the users. 

To prevent copier/printer owners from making this mistake, this article breaks down the four different types of toners and which one is best for your home or business printing needs.  


The 4 different types of toner
1. OEM Toner
2. Newly Manufactured Toner
3. Remanufactured Toner
4. Drill and Fill Toner


1. What Are OEM Toners?  

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) are toners made by the same manufacturer of your printer. They are high-quality, reliable toners because they are made and tested to work for your specific machine. 

While these toners can cost more than the other three toners discussed below, they are the highest quality toner you can get for your machine.

2. What Are Newly Manufactured Compatible Toners?   

Newly manufactured compatible toners are made by other manufacturers, not the original machine manufacturer. This toner is made up of compatible parts and tested to ensure effectiveness, but are not available for brand-new models. It takes reputable manufacturers time to design and test a new manufacturing process.  

Xerox Everyday Toner  

To ensure all copier/printer owners have reliable but affordable toner, Xerox has released a line of newly manufactured compatible toners called Xerox Everyday Toner.  

Xerox is the only company in the printing industry to create a newly manufactured compatible toner. However, they provide cartridges for most major printing brands, opening the ability for most companies to take advantage of this product. 

The Xerox Everyday Toner service the following brands:  

  • Brother
  • Canon
  • HP
  • Kyocera
  • Konica Minolta
  • Ricoh
  • Sharp
  • Toshiba

If deciding to purchase manufactured compatible toners to cut back on costs, the Xerox Everyday Toner could be an option because it's compatible with multiple brands.   

3. What Are Remanufactured Toners?  

Remanufactured toners are when a toner manufacturer takes a used name-brand cartridge, cleans and repair them, and refills it with comparable-quality toner. With 80% of businesses using this type of toner, it’s a popular choice. 

These toners cost less than OEM, but cost more than newly manufactured toners due to contemporary developments in the marketplace. For new models, there will be a delay in availability for this type of toner. Manufacturers will have to wait for used empty cartridges to arrive in order to refill them.  

There are a few potential problems to keep in mind. Reusing and repurposing old parts can result in faulty products. These manufacturers also use comparable-quality toner, not exact-quality toner, which can result in lesser print quality and produce premature failure which will cost more in the long run. 

Another problem to watch out for is shady toner sellers. Some toner manufacturers don’t offer warranties and provide low-quality toner or don’t ensure the cartridge is in good shape. Read the reviews before purchasing a remanufactured toner.  

If thorough research is done before purchase, remanufactured toners can be a solid choice for businesses. 

4. What Are Drill and Fill Toners?  

Drill and Fill toners can be purchased as a cartridge or sold as DIY kits, where the user replaces the toner each time, not the entire cartridge. These kits can be found online at Best Buy and other similar tech/IT stores, for a low cost.  

While reusing the same cartridge may save you money,  according to research, refillable toners have a failure rate of 40%. Even if the machine manages to successfully accept the refilled cartridge, you’ll then have to play Russian roulette with the several other problems that come with refillable toners, such as:  

  • Poor print quality 

  • Less durable cartridge, resulting in fewer pages printed 

  • Health hazards 

  • Spilled ink 

This toner may save you money upfront, but it is still hard to recommend this product due to the financial burdens that may arise from the previously discussed problems. The best decision for copier/printer owners will likely be to avoid this type of toner.  

Which Toner Is Right for Your Business? 

Although OEM has the highest quality, if a company doesn’t need high volume or high-quality prints, OEM may not be the best fit. Choosing which toner is best should depend on the company’s business needs. 

When deciding which toner to buy, take into consideration:  

  • How much you print
  • Your budget
  • Quality of prints needed
  • The inconvenience of toner issues

Businesses that need high-quality and have a high print volume will likely need to invest in OEM toners. OEM toner should be used for businesses with marketing/creative needs that require flyers and other marketing materials. Additionally, businesses with high print volume usually can’t afford downtime due to supply issues. 

Auto-toner shipment services can be added to most service or leasing plans that break the cost into affordable monthly payments.  

Businesses needing a high print volume and decent prints, at an affordable price, will likely find newly manufactured compatible toners (when made available) will get the job done

Individuals utilizing a copier/printer for home needs or very low budgets can likely buy remanufactured toners. However, thoroughly read reviews before purchase. Purchasing from shady manufacturers could lead to wasted money, with no way to recoup the investment. 

Businesses or individuals who are trying to get the cheapest toners possible, and don’t care about quality or failure rate, could buy a drill and fill toner. However, we recommend avoiding this type of toner entirely.  

Changing and Recycling Used Toner Cartridges 

You’ve picked your toner of choice. Now what? 

Once you receive your toner, follow your vendor’s instructions on how to properly remove and install toner cartridges. Call your vendor or manufacturer if extra assistance is needed. 

If you’re utilizing the auto-toner replenishment system, be sure to avoid toner phoners and the major common toner mistakes that can mess up the delivery process. These mistakes include: 

  • Changing toner too soon
  • Using toner for the wrong machine
  • Ignoring updates
  • And more

After your toner is empty, follow the recommended guidelines on how to properly recycle toner cartridges to ensure the safe disposal of used supplies.  

Know Which Type of Toner You Want? 

Now that you've learned about the different types of toner, take the information discussed in this article and use that to decide which toner would be best for your machine.

If you have a Xerox machine or are interested in the Xerox Everyday Toner, contact us so that we can set you up with the toner that will best benefit your business. We can provide you with Xerox branded OEM or newly manufactured toner. 

Even if you have a non-Xerox machine, reach out to us if you need help deciding which toner to buy and we can use our expertise to point you in the right direction.  


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