Fax Toner Cartridge

The incredible growth in the use of email and mobile phones has led to declining sales of fax machines in recent years. Part of the reason why people are swapping to paperless communication is the cost and hassle involved with changing a fax toner cartridge. It’s hard to justify the need for a paper printout when a fax can be quickly and easily read on a computer monitor. There are still many fax machines used in homes and offices around the world, and they will continue to be used for many years to come, so knowing how to change a fax toner cartridge comes in useful on occasions.

The three main types of fax machine are the laser, inkjet, and thermal paper. A fax toner cartridge is only used in a laser fax machine, which works similar to a photocopier. A tiny laser scans the image of a fax onto a charged drum, removing the static electricity where the light shines on it. The drum then rolls over another drum and picks up toner before rolling it onto a sheet of paper. Toner is a very fine power made up of carbon and polymers particles that are attracted to the statically charged areas on the drum. The paper is then passed under a heat lamp which melts the toner and fuses it to the paper. The toner sets almost instantly and the paper can be handled as soon as the fax ejects it.

There are two main types of fax toner cartridge in use today. The first type is a cartridge combined with a drum, but the second type is just a cartridge with no drum. The advantage of having the cartridge and drum together is that both of them can be replaced at the same time. Changing a drum is more difficult that changing a cartridge, so it makes sense from that point of view. However, the drums typically have a much longer service life, so it’s a bit wasteful throwing out the drum simply because the cartridge is empty. Before buying a fax machine, it’s important to check which type of cartridge it uses and how much it costs to replace.

The most important features of a fax toner cartridge are its cost and page yield. Yield is the average number of pages that a cartridge can print, based on an assumption about how much toner is used for an average page. The usual assumption is that five percent of a page is covered with toner, so expect the yield to be much less if the average coverage is higher than this. Of course, a lower page yield results in a higher cost per page. The vast majority of cartridges are filled with black toner but there are also cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges for those machines that can print color faxes.

A fax toner cartridge is quite expensive to buy so it’s not surprising that there are many refill kits available. A refill kit cost much less than a new cartridge and only takes a few minutes to use. Using a refill kit not only saves money but helps the environment by keeping empty cartridges out of landfill. Toner spills can be a problem when using a refill kit, but they are easier to clean up than the liquid spills that can occur when refilling an inkjet cartridge. Toner power is easy to removed with a vacuum cleaner, provided that it has a good filter system.

Whether you are installing a new fax toner cartridge or using a refill kit, take care not to disturb the toner power too much. Even a small knock on the side of a cartridge can send a cloud of powder into the air, eventually settling all over the room. It’s a good idea to wear a face mask when moving a cartridge, so as not to breath in any power that may escape. While the risk of developing cancer from handling toner is very low, the tiny particles can inflame existing respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after handling a cartridge or refill kit to avoid getting toner on clothes and furniture.

This Fax Toner Cartridge Review is Written/Updated on Nov 14th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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