Everything You Need to Know About Laser Toners

How to Find the Right Toner

You’re looking through the endless catalog of toners online. Brother, Okidata, Toshiba – the list drones on and on without much clarification. Why are there so many different brands? Do they all do something similar? And what are “Compatible” and “Remanufactured” toners?

Rest assured, we’re going to go over the basics of toners and what you should know prior to going into your purchase.

The Before the Buy

Toners can be tricky. There’s a lot of brands for a lot of printers and the information on how to match them up is decentralized and specific. While it is impossible to cover the complete scope of every situation, let’s go over some basics.

  1. First off, what’s a toner? A toner is a cartridge inserted into your printer within the printing process that allows images and text to be printed on paper. It works in tandem with your drum to provide the ink necessary for a complete print. Toners can be bought in black & white, color, and other niche options. The most common types of toner you’re going to see are black and white or color cartridges.
  2. There are OEM, Compatible, and Remanufactured toner cartridges. OEM toners are toners made specifically by the manufacturer and have all original parts. Compatible toners are toners that are designed to perform at the same level (if not better) than OEM toners at a much more affordable cost. Remanufactured toners are toners that function similarly to compatible toners but are made with recycled OEM parts. All three of these options are equal in quality. The only difference is your budget. OEM toners are the most expensive, with compatible and remanufactured being affordable alternatives.
  3. Toners will usually have an indication of what printers they can be used in within their product description. For example, the OEM Konica Minolta TN512K (A33K132) Toner will fit in any of the following models: BIZHUB C454, BIZHUB C454E, BIZHUB C554, BIZHUB C554E. If this isn’t on your toner cartridge, then the next best step would be to go onto the manufacturer’s website and double-check
  4. Conversely, if you have a printer and need to know what toner fits inside your printer, the process follows the same principles of looking up the toner. Your printer will have the toners it is compatible with listed on its respective manufacturer’s website. Sometimes you might get lucky and open the printer itself to find the brand of toner already inside, but usually new printers will not have a toner inside of it.


Okay, so now that you know what kind of toner and printer you have, it’s time to buy the toner. There are many ink distributors out there, and it can be overwhelming to sort through all the different vendors. Here are some basic tips to get the most bang for your buck:

  1. Browse around for deals. Some vendors offer special deals on products that exceed a certain weight, have regular price markdowns, or advertise for special events. Make sure you go through who has the best offer before you regret going through with a pricier option.
  2. If the exact toner you’re looking for is out of stock, try to look for other cartridges that perform the same functions. For example, the Brother TN450 toner cartridge comes in both OEM and Compatible. The OEM will cost you more and come straight from the manufacturer while the Compatible toner is an inexpensive alternative that comes from a third-party manufacturer. The reason some customer prefer compatible toners are that the OEM cartridges are expensive and frequently out of stock. To get the same level of quality, the opt for the widely available for a TN450 compatible toners instead.

The After the Buy

Fantastic – you’ve bought your toner and have your printer ready for installation! To install your toner, simply open the top portion of your printer and insert it to begin printing.  

The process of buying toners can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Despite the seemingly simple nature of the product, there’s a few intricacies that you should know about when you’re picking which toner you should pick up for your printer. For more tips on navigating the toner industry and other helpful topics, check out our other posts on our blog!

AllStuff has a wide array of toners ranging from OEM, Compatible, and Remanufactured to match the budget you have. Our toners are qualified and highly effective towards your printing endeavors. To learn more, check us out at AllStuff.com in order to receive only the highest quality toner along with free shipping on all orders over $50 in the Continental U.S.


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