What Is OEM Printer Toner? (Pros, Cons, Cost)

Submitted by Liz Adair on Fri, 05/05/2023 - 15:26
Someone changing toner on Xerox machine.

No one likes having to replace toner cartridges.

Toner can be messy, expensive, and replacing a cartridge can be time consuming if you’re not a seasoned pro. If you’re having to spend hours of time replacing toner cartridges, then you’re losing out on valuable time and money that could be spent on important work tasks.

Besides, there’s so much information out there about toner that it’s difficult to figure out what kind of toner to buy or how often to replace your toner cartridge after installation.

As Xerox Diamond Authorized Solution Partners, our print experts at STPT are well-versed in printer toner and other print supplies.

We want to use our insider information to help you understand key print terms so that you can make smart business decisions when it comes to your printer.

In this article, we will explain what OEM toner is, its pros and cons, and how using OEM toner can benefit your business.

What Is Printer Toner?

Printer toner is usually a dry, powdery substance contained within a cartridge. Laser printers and photocopiers use toner that comes in sets of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, (CMYK) which produces a variety of color mixtures.

Toner is a substance applied to printer paper to create a printed or copied image.

Laser color printers can use a variety of toner cartridge types, including OEM print toner, newly manufactured compatible toners, like the Xerox Everyday Toner, and drill and fill toners.

Every toner cartridge has an estimated page yield, or an approximate number of pages that can be printed using a single cartridge of print toner. Manufacturers publish page yield so consumers can figure out how many pages they can print on average with a toner cartridge.

However, estimated page yield varies based on user experience, brand compatibility, and type of toner used.

One way to maximize page yield is to use a high-quality brand-specific toner that is designed specifically for your printer. 

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What Is OEM Printer Toner?  

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer toner, which is made by your printer manufacturer to work with your specific machine. 

Because OEM printer toner is designed to work with your specific printer, it is typically the best toner for maximizing print quality and reliability. 

OEM toner is the preferred toner option because it is designed to print more documents at a high quality than generic toners. It also is tested and designed for your machine, which decreases the likelihood of excessive wear and tear on your printer.

OEM toner is best for a company or team that requires high volume or high-quality printer capability. 

Using OEM toner helps maximize your machine’s print capacity, which is why it is a good choice for a business that requires high-quality prints. If you want high-quality prints with minimal time constraints, then OEM toner is a good choice because it ensures your prints are visually appealing and cost effective for your business, without requiring a large time commitment from you.

For example, a business that makes lots of marketing materials may need to use OEM toner to ensure print quality remains consistently high, and using a non-OEM toner could lead to more printing issues over time, which would mean more re-prints and toner waste for the business. This would eventually lead to higher material costs because the business would need to replace their toner and buy printer paper more often. 

There are also options for receiving laser printer toner and other print materials as automatic shipments, which can make the replacement process simpler for busy teams that aren’t keeping track of their toner usage. Managed Print Services (MPS) may also be a good idea for a business that needs to keep an eye on their toner usage and supplies.

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2 Cons of OEM Toner

1.    OEM Printer Toner Costs More Than Other Toners

Xerox branded OEM toners cost between $100-$300 on average, whereas generic toner can cost as little as $15 per cartridge. 


OEM printer toner is more expensive than generic or compatible toners. If your print needs are minimal, or you don’t require high-quality prints for your business, then OEM toner may not be a good option for you.

2.    Higher Ongoing Costs

Due to the significant differences in price, OEM print toner can also be more expensive to maintain if you are consistently printing a large volume of documents.

Consider how important high-quality printing is for your business before deciding what kind of print toner to purchase.

3 Pros of OEM Toner

1.    Stringent Testing Ensures Print Quality 

An OEM toner cartridge is put through more stringent testing to ensure it works optimally with a manufacturer’s machines. For example, a Xerox-branded OEM toner is going to work better with a Xerox printer than an off-brand compatible toner cartridge. 

The extra testing means that OEM printer toner is designed and guaranteed to work efficiently in devices made by the manufacturer, whereas non-OEM toners may be un-tested on your machine and may not work as well. 

2.    OEM Toner Lasts Longer Than Other Toners

Because of all the testing, OEM toner tends to have a longer lifespan than that of compatible or generic toners.

The page yield for OEM printer toner is also based on your device, which means that it is more likely to be accurate and longer lasting. While compatible or generic toners may be cheaper upfront, their lifespans are not as guaranteed, and they tend not to last as long on average. 

3.    OEM Toner is Better for Your Printer 

Let’s consider an example. If you try on a pair of shoes that has been specifically made for your feet, and then you try on a similar pair from a store that’s made for anyone, which pair of shoes do you think is going to be more comfortable?

Naturally, the option that has been tailored to your feet is going to fit better, be more comfortable, and better for your feet overall than the generic option. The shoes from the store may be cheaper, but if you’re looking for comfort and a good fit, then the shoes made for your feet would be a better buy. 

It is important to remember that the cheap option isn’t always the best one. 

Generic toner cartridges are not made for your machine, which means that they won’t fit as well or be as compatible with your printer. This can lead to printer damage over time, more replacement costs, and reduced print quality. 

How Does OEM Toner Benefit Your Printer and Your Business?

If you are a business with large-volume, high-quality print needs and want a less-stressful print experience, then you may be interested in how using OEM toner can help support your printing needs. 

Our print experts at STPT have been in the business for almost 40 years and they can walk you through specific outcomes for your printer and toner options. 

Take the guesswork out of your printer supply questions:

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