Laser Printers... Do they dry up?

  Simsy 07:18 17 Oct 2006


Hypothetical question, which may help me when I have to advise my sister in the not to distant future...

She doesn't do much with her PC, (she's not even got an internet connection), just uses it for word processing. She has a printer, but doesn't need to print much, and was a bit put out recently when she had to replace the colour cart in her epson becasue it had run out, even though she very rarely prints in colour. I guess it was a combination of drying out and being used when the printer starts and checks itself out...

Anyway, becasue the printer wasn't new when I got it for her it's really past it's best now and I suspect it wont be too long before she needs another...

I know that b/w laser printers are getting very cheap now, and though the repalcement toners can be pricy, they last a long time in terms of page capacity...

My question is, do they last a long time if they're not being used very often, or do they go "stale" or "dry up"? If an inkjet isn't used for a while it probably will dry up, and not work properly. Will a laser printer suffer performance problems if it isn't used regularly?

My sister may go a couple of weeks without needing to print anything, and then need to print 30 pages.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts. (I'm not looking for any specific recommendations... this is just hypothetical)



  jolorna 07:25 17 Oct 2006

as its a powder they don't dry up but you need to keep them out of direcet sunlight

  Simsy 07:34 17 Oct 2006

any other problems if they're not used for a while?



  john-232317 07:42 17 Oct 2006

I have had one for about 5 years and only on 2nd ink cartridge, so obviously its not used a great deal ;-). It always starts up and prints straight away. A few times I got a paper jam when the paper had been laying too long in it.

  jolorna 07:45 17 Oct 2006

i have taken one out of a box that i had packed away for years and it still worked ok

  €dstowe 07:58 17 Oct 2006

As hinted at by dadyassa, don't keep paper loaded in a printer for longe periods, especially if it is not flat. You are likely to get the paper adhering to itself if you don't loosen it periodically.

Same with loading fresh paper into the printer tray. Always fan or flick the sheets to loosen them before loading.

Although the toner in a laser printer is a powder, it can settle after a long period of not being used and then not transfer properly during printing. This is quickly cured by taking the cartridge out and shaking it side to side - take care not to touch any rollers on the cartridge when you do this.

Although the replacement cartridges may seem expensive, they will print loads and loads of pages and are very much cheaper than inkjets to run.

You can also refill laser toner cartridges if you're careful.

  Simsy 08:31 17 Oct 2006



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