How Many Pages Will My Cartridge Print?

Posted by on 12/20/2018 to Blog

When you print a lot, you may think that you are always running out of ink or toner, constantly having to order new supplies, and asking yourself “how many pages will my cartridge print?” or “how many pages per ink/toner cartridge?” Are you getting value for money, especially when you might be expecting your cartridges to last longer than they do.


How long does printer ink/toner last?

You might find that you often buy an ink or toner cartridge and don’t always get the same amount of printed pages, as your previous cartridge before it’s empty, and you may not even get the same yield as claimed in the manufacturer's specifications. This is because the manufacturer's claimed yield is only a guideline to give you a general idea, and is not intended to be the exact amount that you will be able to print. Each printer is different and there are many things that can affect the output of a printer cartridge, and above all else, what you are printing, will affect how many pages an  ink or toner cartridge will yield. Therefore, there is no clear cut answer to the question - how many pages will my cartridge print?


How many pages can be printed with one cartridge?

Each printer is different and each cartridge is also different. There is no simple answer to how many pages can be printed with one cartridge. If you take two exact printer models, one printer is old, and the other is brand new, the new printer will be much more efficient, because as your printer ages and has printed a greater number of pages, like all equipment, the parts start to wear out and therefore there is greater ink or toner wastage and therefore the cartridge will not last as long. What you are printing can also change the results. When you print photos it uses considerably more ink or toner and it takes much longer to print than text, so we need to take these factors into consideration.


Examples of page coverage:

The exact 'page yield' stated by the manufacturer's description for a cartridge is based on ‘page coverage.’ Page coverage is the amount of ink/toner used on a page, based on the type of text, images, borders that are printed. 'Page yield' is based on a 5% page coverage of print on a page. What does that look like?

Here Are Examples Of Different Coverage Types From The Standard 5%, To A Photograph Which Is More Like 80% Coverage:

 examples of ink and toner page coverage

How many pages can actually be printed? – A Quick calculation:

A quick calculation to get a rough idea of how many pages your cartridge will print is as follows: Take the stated manufacturer page yield (which is based on 5% of the page being covered in ink/toner), as a basis for calculating your page yield.

We generally print at more like 10% to 15 %, so multiply the manufacturer's page yield by say 15%, (or if not 15%, then do the same for whatever percentage you are covering the page with print)

For example:

The manufacturer's suggested page yield is, say 2,500 pages; multiply this number by 15% (or your estimate of the pages being covered by print, 20%, 30%, 40% etc).

Example of a Calculation for 15%:

2,500 (stated manufacturer page yield) x 15% = 375 pages per cartridge (2,500 x 15/100 = 375 pages)


What can affect the page yield of your cartridge

As previously mentioned, it is determined by page coverage. You might buy a cartridge that is capable of lasting 2,000 pages (manufacturer stated yield), at 5% page coverage, but if your average page coverage is higher than that, then you’re not going to achieve that amount.

Things such as the amount of text printed on the page, use of colour, printing of images, age and condition of the printer etc., will all impact on your ink/toner use, and ultimately, the overall yield of the cartridge.


Some additional factors that prevent you from getting the manufacturer's stated page yield:

 Humidity:  The humidity in your office can affect the performance of your printer. It might cause ink/toner to not print effectively onto the page, which means that you could be wasting a significant amount of ink/toner each time you print.

 Age of your printer: Older printers are generally less efficient. Advancements in printing technology means that modern printers will need to use less ink/toner per job than older machines. So if you’ve got a 10 year old printer, it might be worth considering investing in a new printer and saving money on buying cartridges.

Frequency of printing: If you leave your printer idle for long periods, it may have to use small amounts of ink to clean and clear print heads. Frequent printing means that this shouldn’t be an issue.

The mode your printer is set to: Are you printing in draft mode or best quality? Draft mode will use roughly around half the amount of ink and toner compared to best quality. Changing mode depending on the type of printing you're doing can help you to save a bit more of your ink/toner. Also, many printers have calibration devices in place that will use small amounts of ink and toner for routine maintenance, often whilst in sleep mode, further affecting the cartridge yield.

The size of your print job: If you’ve got a five page document, printing all of the pages in separate print jobs, rather than in one singular job, will use more ink/toner. Also your printer may have to heat up each time you print one single job as opposed to larger jobs, therefore printing less efficiently.

Shaking toner cartridges as they begin to run low

If you’re being alerted that your toner cartridge is running low, don’t replace it straight away. Giving the cartridge a gentle shake, (side to side and back to front), will help spread the toner more evenly inside. It means that you can maximize the amount of toner you use before you throw the cartridge away.


In summary

It’s impossible to put a definite figure on the amount of pages you’ll be able to print from one cartridge as you don’t always print the same things, and also how old or efficient a printer is can affect the result as well.

Superior Ink & Toner