Understanding Page Yields
Ink and toner purchases are usually accompanied by someone saying, “that’s where they getcha”. The good news is you can buy less copier toner by understanding page yields.
Editor’s note: this applies to ink as well.
Copiers are arguably one of the most annoying things in your office (except for Eddie in shipping… *rolls eyes… that guy). The problem is, they’re bought according to the price tag rather than capabilities and cost to operate. Page yield falls under “cost to operate”.
In this post, you will learn about page yield, why it’s important, where to find it, and what affects it. This information will save you time and money (and a ton of headaches) when you buy your next printer or copier.
What Is A Page Yield
Page yield is the approximate number of pages an ink or toner cartridge should produce before running out. This information is one of the most important details to look for when purchasing a new printer or copier for your home or office.
The lower the cost of the ink or toner cartridge, the lower the page yield. Buying the smaller cartridge might be easier on the budget right now, but it will cost hundreds or even thousands more over time.
Think of yield as a guideline rather than an absolute truth. Variations in usage will affect the number of pages an ink or toner will produce.
The amount of ink or toner placed on a page is what determines the page yield. Ink and toner are tested using the same process. More information about how yields are determined can be found here.
Since you aren’t printing the exact page used in the test, the actual yield is going to be different for every cartridge. Estimate your usage to be close, but it will have a plus or minus. In some cases, it can produce more pages, but most see less.
11×17 and double-sided
The calculation is figured on a single-sided 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. Those that print 11” x 17” need to account for the size difference. Each 11” x 17” page equals 2 – 8.5” x 11” page, effectively cutting your yield in half.
Check out this blog post to see how miscalculating 11” x 17” usage can be a costly mistake.
The last consideration is double-sided (duplex) pages. A duplex 8.5” x 11” page counts as 2 pages against the yield. And if you haven’t read the other blog post yet, a duplex 11” x 17” is actually 4 pages.
How to find the yield info
Now that you know what to look for, and how it’s calculated, where do you look for page yield information?
The side of the box should provide the yield. When you can’t find it on the box, mother google can surely provide the answer. Simply search for the ink or toner cartridge number and add the words page yield to the end of it.
The search results will include the manufacturer specs for the cartridge.
Research should always be done before making a purchase. Standing in the printer section of the local big box store is not the time for research. Buying what’s available instead of buying the right printer is a costly mistake as well.
Google search printer specs to compare 2 or more models. Pay specific attention to the page yields. Then google the cost of its ink/toner. Pick a round number (I recommend 10 for simplicity) and multiply each.
This will show how much more money you will spend with one versus the other in just 10 cartridges. Keep in mind a ream of paper is 500 sheets.
Paying attention to the page yields can help your office save money. Remember to purchase a printer that is a good fit for your office. It may cost a little bit more up-front, but consider the time-saving functions and the lower cost per page.
Buying the cheapest one might seem budget-friendly right now, but in the long run, you can spend hundreds or thousands too much
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