Inkjet vs Laser Printers: Which One to Choose?

There are mainly two types of printers– Inkjet and Laser. When deciding on a printer, the first dilemma you need to clear is which one is better for your use.

The first major difference between the two printers is that inkjet printers use ink cartridges and laser printers use toner cartridges. The different kinds of cartridges are responsible for running costs, purchasing cost, output, and overall performance of the printer.

There is a difference between the initial and maintenance cost of the two printers. The laser printer is much more expensive than an inkjet printer if you are only considering the initial cost of purchase. But for long-term maintenance, this is completely the opposite. The maintenance cost of inkjet printers is much higher than that of laser printers.

Inkjet printers are ideal for lower volume of printing. And, the laser printers are ideal for a bulk volume of printing. Therefore, the inkjet printers are suitable for home settings and the laser printers are suitable for office settings. But, if you are printing in volume at the home setting, then the laser printer is much economical.

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers use microscopic droplets of ink onto the paper. This makes inkjet printers ideal for printing high-quality images. They also work well for text documents if you are printing for lower volumes of work. The inkjet printers are less expensive to buy and occupy smaller spaces.

However, the cheapest models of inkjet printers are very expensive to maintain. So, if you want to use an inkjet printer on a daily basis, you need to buy a mid-range one. Or, the laser printer is a better option for you.

Laser printers

The laser printers melt the toner powder into the paper and print in a paper. The microscopic ink is more accurate, so for high-quality photography printouts, the laser printers are a better option. But, for text printing for higher volumes, the laser printer is the best option.

Laser printers are more expensive to buy than an inkjet printer. Their cartridges are also more expensive than the cartridges needed for inkjet printers. Now, you might question as to why one should go for a laser printer when inkjet printers are cheaper in almost all aspects. There is one more consideration.

If you are buying printers for bulk usage, the laser printer will save your money in the long run. The cartridges provide a higher page yield. Additionally, the per-page cost is also lower for laser printers. For office settings, this is the go-to printer. Also, the laser printers are much faster in printing than the inkjet printers and will save your time too.

Inkjet vs Laser Printer

If you want to buy an inkjet or laser printer, you need to compare between the two. Both these printers can print, but there are several differences between the two. In the following section, we will discuss the differences between the two.

Basis Inkjet printerLaser printer
Technology Uses ink cartridges to spray tiny dots of ink on the paper.Uses toner cartridges to print images and characters on the paper.
Print qualityGood for colour printouts.Good for monochromatic printouts.
Printing speedTakes more time to print.Takes less time to print.
Monthly duty cyclesInkjet printers need more maintenance.Laser printers are easier to maintain.
Cost Initial cost is cheaper for inkjet printers but per page printing costs are higher.Initial cost is higher for laser printers but per page printing costs are lower.


Inkjet printers spray tiny dots of ink on a page to print. The ink comes from ink cartridges that are plastic capsules. The cartridges are available in different colors like black, magenta, yellow, and many more. These printers are best for color printing. The printing speed of this printer is comparatively low, and are mainly designed for homes.

Laser printers use toner cartridges instead of inks to print. Toner is nothing but a powder. This powder is melted at a high temperature on a page. This toner lasts longer than cartridges and is also cheaper than them. This printing is best for monochrome printing. These printers are fast and efficient and are best for using in offices.

Print quality

The quality of print can be quite subjective. How can you understand what is a good quality for print.

While looking for print quality, we have to understand what you want as your desired result. If you wish to print bulk documents and have sharp quality, then you should look for a laser printer. If you wish to print photographs that can be readily framed, then you should go for an inkjet printer.

If you buy a mid-range inkjet printer or laser printer, you won’t be able to see the difference between the print qualities of the two. But, if you buy a high-end model the depths of the color as well as tone is better in the case of inkjet printers. But if your use for printer is to print only monochrome, then a laser printer is a far better choice for you

Printing Speed

If you want to consider the printing speed of a printer, then nothing matches with a laser printer. Laser printers are built especially to meet with the demands of a workplace. To warm up the printer, laser printers take much less time than inkjet printers. Inkjet printers can print on an average of 16 minutes per minute while laser printers can print 15-100 pages per minute.

Monthly duty cycles

The maximum monthly duty cycle decides the highest number of prints per month without causing any damage to the parts of the printer. Once you exceed the maximum monthly duty cycle of a printer, it is best you should give your printer some break and let it rest to ensure that your printer works efficiently.

The monthly duty cycle of a laser printer is better than an inkjet printer. But it is also different for different models of printers.


The initial cost price of an inkjet printer is more than a laser printer, but printing per page in a laser printer is less than that of an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are based on ink cartridges which are quite expensive to buy. Laser printers work on laser toners and last much more than ink cartridges.

Final word

There is no conclusive result on which among the two printers is better as it depends on your requirements. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages and in this article, we have specified them.

When you want a printer for your home and don’t want to invest a huge amount of money in them, inkjet printers are the best choice for you.

They are great for color printing allowing you to print high-quality images. A laser printer is perfect for your office, where you need to print documents fast and want a printer that lasts long.