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Owning a laser printer can be a pretty expensive affair indeed. After the initial cost of your all-singing, all-dancing printer you then need to keep it fulled with toner. Toner cartridges can be notoriously expensive, but of course here at City Ink Express we offer an exquisite range of cheap toner cartridges for all of the main printer manufacturers.


To save you even more money as well as genuine manufacturer toner cartridges, we also offer high-quality alternative compatible toner options for the majority of printer models. Simply head to our cheap toner cartridges page, select your printer manufacturer and model type to see the variety of toner options available for your printer - you're bound to find something to suit your budgetary requirements.


The problem doesn't end there, however. Of course, a toner cartridge only has a limited lifespan, and if your toner runs out you'll need to quickly replace it in order to continue your printing. Naturally, the more you use your printer the quicker your toner will run out, but our team at City Ink Express regularly get asked the question 'how long does a toner cartridge last?'.


The answer depends on a three main factors! The first of which, how often you are using your printer, we have already covered. Here are the other factors you need to consider when contemplating the longevity of your toner cartridges:


1. What kind of printing are you doing?

 If you're regularly printing a variety of high quality photos then you're going to be using a lot more toner than someone who regularly prints word documents or e-mails, for example. 


2. How well are you caring for your toner cartridge?

When you install your toner cartridge you should always let the toner cartridge run its complete cleaning course and print a tester page to ensure the nozzles are unblocked and the toner is flowing correctly. Regularly scheduling cleaning courses for your toner cartridges will ensure the cartridge is working to its best potential and the toner is fully flowing, maximising the use of your toner cartridge. 


If you feel that laser printers utilising toner cartridges will be a fairly expensive option for you considering the nature of your printing needs, perhaps you should consider a Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS). We have a variety of CISS printer bundles which are exceptional quality printers already fitted with CISS systems ready to kick start your printing immediately!


If you have any questions about which printer type is the most suitable for you please don't hesitate to contact us for expert advice. 

We do make a bit of a song and dance about the fact we sell cheap toner cartridges, but in essence, we’re not the biggest fans of the word ‘cheap’. When you hear cheap toner cartridges, you automatically think of something of an inferior quality, something inadequate, something not very City Ink Express!


You see we use the words cheap toner cartridges, because that’s what they are. We go to great lengths to ensure we offer the most competitive price on all of our toner products, and all the products we sell in general. The rising cost of ink is somewhat of a concern to all printer-users, so we endeavour to make pricing our focal point. We barter with the suppliers to try and get our toner as cheap as possible, so we can then sell it on to you for a fair price.

City Ink Express also like to offer you compatible options as well as original ones – compatible cartridges are made by alternative manufacturers to fit a particular printer, and are usually quite a bit cheaper. Now it has been proven that compatible cartridges do not give you the same quality and print-consistency that the original ones will, but they are still competent, and if you don’t mind taking a slight dint in such areas you can save yourselves a ton.


So when we say cheap toner cartridges, we are highlighting the effort to which we go to in keeping costs down; what we’re not referring to is a cheapening in the standard of the products we sell. In fact, we test all of our toner cartridges extensively, and to ISO standards – this close level of scrutiny means that any toner cartridge you purchase from us is guaranteed to produce optimum prints, consistently.

We’re big on laser printers and toner cartridges here at City Ink Express, but just how good are the devices themselves? The best thing to do to answer such a question is to look at both the positive and negative aspects of laser printers, and then you can make up your own minds about owning one.



  • Laser printers are generally faster – the higher volume of printing you need, the more you’ll notice the difference.
  • When it comes to sharp black text, smaller fonts, and fine lines, laser printers are definitely the way to go as they produce these perfectly.
  • The way in which laser printers are prepared and setup means they can handle large-volume print jobs more efficiently.
  • When it comes to printing graphically simple documents, laser printers beat inkjet machines in a price-by-price comparison. Though the toner itself is more expensive than ink cartridges, its larger yield works out at a cheaper cost per print price than you get with inkjet printers.


  • Though faster, laser printers take a long time to warm up.
  • The upfront costs of toner are greater – though you will find it cheaper in the long-run.
  • Any kind of heat-sensitive paper or printing materials cannot be run through a laser printer (although you can do so with inkjet printers).
  • Laser printers can handle simple graphics just fine, but for more complex prints like photographs an inkjet performs much better.
  • Laser printers are generally a lot heavier and more sizable than their inkjet counterparts, though you will find more compact devices on the market.




Colour printing, as a general rule, is significantly more expensive than black-and-white printing. For one thing, colour printers cost quite a bit more than their monochromatic counterparts; you can get a B&W printer for next to nothing nowadays, but you still have to fork over quite a bit of cash for a colour machine.


But what about the toner? Are colour toner cartridges more expensive than standard black ones? And if so, how much more expensive?


Let's look at two examples from City Ink's toner department:

  • The HP LaserJet 4000 is a mono printer, only capable of printing in black and white. A compatible toner cartridge for the HP 4000 costs £30.30 (at time of writing); an original HP cartridge costs £95.40.

  • The HP LaserJet 3600 is a colour printer, and so it requires four toner cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to print properly. The compatible cartridges for this printer are £37.57 apiece, although the black cartridge - being slightly larger - is more expensive at £43.38. Original cartridges for the HP 3600 are £86.97 each - slightly cheaper than the LasreJet 4000's original cartridges, but also offering a lower page yield (4-6,000 pages vs. 10,000).

So there you have it - now you know why colour printing is so much more expensive in your local library!

At City Ink Express, we understand that people are fed up with paying astronomical costs for printer ink, which is why we strive to ensure that our toner cartridge prices are as low as possible. We go to great lengths to get the best prices from our suppliers, so we can then sell to you the customer for an extremely competitive price.


As we documented before in a previous blog (it’s such a staggering fact that it's worth noting again), did you know that if you filled up the fuel tank of a brand new £300,000 Lamborghini Aventador with Neopost’s printer ink, the cost of the ink would surpass the cost of the car itself? Quite unbelievable, you'll surely agree!


It is for this reason that we need to keep our toner cartridge prices low, as low as we possibly can in fact. Even in our particular collection of toner cartridges you will find a range that includes both compatible and original options; one is made by the manufacturer themselves, the other by a third party, and both are of an extremely high quality.


As you can tell, then, City Ink really do strive towards cheaper toner cartridge prices – though thankfully all of our cartridges are still tested to ISO standards, so a dip in prices needn’t mean a dip in quality whatsoever. 

A question we are frequently asked here at City Ink Express is ‘Do I actually need an original toner cartridge?' By this, the customer is referring to the difference between original and compatible toner cartridges; original toner is made by the printer manufacturer themselves (Epson, for example), while compatible toner cartridges are made by a different company to fit that specific printer.


Now, compatible cartridges are generally much cheaper, but are they cheaper for a reason? There have been hints of unreliability in the past, but just how common are they?


Well, for starters, rest assured that we extensively test all of our products to ISO standards, so we’re confident that all of the compatible toner we stock is of a very high standard. Under closer scrutiny though, which one performs better and which one do you actually need?


Printer manufacturers have often made big claims about using their original toner, and even made threats about what will happen if you don’t – at one point they claimed it would void the warranty, but this is illegal in many countries. One of their biggest claims is that their toner is of an irrefutably higher quality, and studies support this. A study on HP showed that original toner on average printed 97% of acceptable sample pages, while the non HP toner had an average of just 61%.


This same study also found that compatible toner had an average reliability score of 41.7%, while impressively the original toner had no failures. In fact the only category in which the compatible does score highly in is pricing – so it really is true that you get what you pay for.


What you have to consider when deciding whether or not you need original toner is how much the quality of your prints means to you. If you are in a company and sending out a lot of external documents then this may of a great importance to you. A cost-effective solution may be to have two printers, one with an original and one with a compatible, and use the original one for those prints that need to be of a superior finish.


Buy original and compatible toner cartridges here >

As we live at an increasingly green-conscious time, it is handy to know just what you can do with your empty toner cartridges that doesn’t involve just chucking them in the rubbish. By recycling your empty toner cartridges you reduce your amount of solid waste, conserve raw materials, and even potentially make a profit in the process.


There are 3 main ways in which you can recycle your old toner cartridges, and here they are:



There are a few charity organisations that directly accept your used cartridges, so this is a feel-good way to dispose of them. You may also want to consider local organisations such as churches, libraries, and schools, as these may also have a toner recycling programme.


Sell Them Back

A lot of stores will now buy back your used cartridges for cash, but more often than not for store credit. Always remember to seal your cartridges in a plastic before bag before sending them off to prevent any accidental leakages. It is also advised to place your toner back in its original box to stop breakages in transit.


Sell Them To A Special Organisation

It is not just printer ink vendors and charities that accept toner cartridges, but also certain organisations specialising in recycling too. A quick Google search pulls up a number of different companies that will buy back your toner cartridges, and a lot them will even send you prepaid packaging too – which is nice of them.

Printer toner health and safety, you ask; what could possibly be dangerous about a toner cartridge? Well actually this isn’t just an example of the nanny state overbearing their hyper-sensitive regulations on us, toner can actually cause harm to us humans, so it only makes sense for us to share a few quick pointers on printer toner health and safety:

It’s the dust that toner produces in substantial quantity that is actually hazardous to us (by causing us respiratory irritation).

Spilled toner dust working its way through the vents of your printer, blocked waste compartments, and careless changing of your cartridge can all cause hazardous toner spillages.

While the dust produced can irritate anyone, it is those with existing respiratory conditions who should be especially cautious and avoid changing cartridges themselves.

Spilled toner should be vacuumed and not brushed – to avoid a dust cloud forming. Cold water should be used to remove the remaining toner, as hot water may cause the spillage to turn sticky.

Toner can be disposed of as normal, though we recommend using a sealed bag to avoid the fine powder leaking.

There's no doubt about it, laser printers are dominating the printing game. Their quality and speed of printing is a force to be reckoned with and pretty difficult to argue against. However, the one element of purchasing a laser printer which seems to involve continuous disappointment is the astronomical cost of toner cartridges. Toner ranges in price depending on which printer manufacturers you are opting for, but one thing is unanimous - Brother, HP, Lexmark, Epson - no matter what the brand, the cost of toner seems too high. 


So why is toner so expensive? There are many theories floating around on the internet, but here are the plausible reasons why printing companies charge through the roof for their branded toner cartridges.


1. Laser printers are relatively cheap 

Considering the technology implemented within laser printers, the number of functions which they can perform and the quality of the printing job guaranteed when using a laser printer, the actual cost of the machine is extremely cheap. Many of the larger companies such as HP, Brother and Lexmark are actually operating at a loss with the cost of their laser printers when you take into consideration the parts, the technology and the hours required to create one, which is why they make their money from toner cartridges - because a printer cannot run without toner, and you will need a replacement toner cartridge every couple of months or so. 


2. Toner cartridges utililse exceptionally complicated technology

Many printer manufactuers include a special microchip in their toner cartridges which attempts to stop counterfit toner cartridges from working in their printer. This is an added expense to actually make the toner, and consequently the retail cost is much higher. 


So how do we get around the cost of toner?

There are two options. You can try and make your toner last longer by reducing the output resolution, saving your colour cartridges for colour printing, turning on toner save (a function available for most laser printers) and using an eco-friendly font. The alternative is to swap to high-quality alternative compatible toner cartridges, like our exceptional range of cheap toner cartridges by Fotorite. Fotorite make a range of incredibly high-quality toner cartridges and offer different cartridges which are compatible with the majority of printer models and manufacturers. Fotorite toner cartridges offer a significantly lower price without compromising on the quality of your print job. Get your compatible toner cartridges from City Ink Express today.