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What is the difference between a drum and a toner?Bruneau

Printers are everyday objects in offices today. There’s no question about that. And yet not so much is known about the technology inside them. To prove the point, just ask around your office who knows the difference between the drum and the toner - two important elements of a laser printer. You can be sure that most people will be unable to answer the question.

The toner is the “ink” of a laser printer. Toner is the black or coloured powder that adheres to the paper. It is thus an essential part of the printing process. This also applies to the drum, a part of the printer that is covered with a photosensitive substance. Usually this is silicon, which is known for its photosensitive properties.

In practice, the print process operates as follows: The drum is electrically charged by a laser beam, after which the image to be printed is projected onto it. The drum rotates and comes into contact with the toner. This is how the printing takes place, and depending on the colour of the toner it will be either black or coloured.

In principle therefore you should expect to have to replace the toner of your laser printer more frequently than the drum. A standard HP drum for instance only needs to replaced every 20,000 pages. The advantage of working with a drum is that - in comparison to inkjet printers - it does not work with a print head. Indeed, these nozzles in the print head can become blocked, resulting in less precise print quality.

In principle therefore you should expect to have to replace the toner of your laser printer more frequently than the drum. A standard HP drum for instance only needs to replaced every 20,000 pages. The advantage of working with a drum is that - in comparison to inkjet printers - it does not work with a print head. Indeed, these nozzles in the print head can become blocked, resulting in less precise print quality.