What’s Different between Toner Cartridge Replacement and Imaging Drum Replacement?

Laser printer users often talk about replacing toner cartridge and imaging drum. Are you aware of the differences between these two consumables? Scroll down for answers to this question and more.

Do All Printers Need Both Consumables?
The toner cartridge contains several components including the color pigment used to create letters and images. The imaging drum is the unit that transfers the toner to paper by following the principles of electrophotography. Not all laser printer models require both toner cartridge and imaging drums. Smaller, more affordable printers such as those offered by HP, Canon and Samsung brands to name a few have combo-cartridges that contain both these components in one single unit.

toner cartridge

When to Replace?
The confusion of which consumable to replace does not arise in laser printer models running on combo-cartridges. Separate printer toner cartridges and imaging drums are seen in larger, professional grade printers such as ones offered by Brother. The toner cartridge will need to be replaced when print quality becomes poor – you may notice that the print out is lighter than usual and shaking the cartridge sideways sometimes solves the problem. If you notice stripes or repeating spots on the print out, it’s usually a sign of a defective drum.

Why Should You Replace Imaging Drum?
Chances are you won’t have to guess because the printer will display an appropriate error message. Like laser printer toner cartridges, imaging drums too need to be replaced periodically because the coating on the imaging drum can lose photoelectric properties over time. Using inferior quality paper can leave residues on the drum – an unclean or worn out imaging drum can significantly compromise print quality. Depending on the type of printer, you may have to replace a single drum or several drums for individual colors.

Before Replacing the Imaging Drum
Lift the flap on the printer and see how the existing drum is set up. Depending on the device type and set-up, it may be behind the toner or under it. Determine how to remove the old image drum before. This will help you minimize time loss and prevent the image drum from being unnecessarily exposed to sunlight after unpacking. As a lot of heat gets generated during laser printing, make sure that sufficient time has lapsed since you last used the printer. Methodically follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Know what you need? Use the search bar on your favorite printer supplies’ website and find out if the required item is in stock!

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