How to Extend the Life of Your Printer

A high-performance laser printer nowadays can be $600. But before you can say "highway robbery", printers are actually worth their costs considering their lifespan. That is of course, if you’re taking good-care of your device. Whatever type of printer you are using, here are a few tips to make you them live longer.

Shut Your Printer Down Properly

When you’re not using your printer, turn it off. It prevents ink from drying and helps in keeping your printer functioning at its best. Do not just pull the plug; use the printer’s power button. Once you have already turned it off, unplug your printer if necessary. Avoid turning it off when in the middle of something.

Do not use cheap ink cartridges or toners

We usually think that compatible means the same as the original thing. Compatible parts may perform like originals, but they do not do so for a long time. This is you should never use compatible or refilled ink and toner cartridges. The worse thing is it may affect your printer’s performance.

See, it has it has something to do with how manufacturers make their cartridges. First, they buy empty cartridges from end users. Then, they strip these cartridges, clean them and finally reassemble them. In this scenario, you should be most concerned about the toner. The toner drum can only last for a set period of time. No amount of cleaning can change that.

Do not force jammed paper out

In case of a paper jam, do not force the paper out. Forcing paper out can damage the printer. Plus, the paper can tear can leave bit of paper stuck inside. These can cause problems later on. There is a better way to get paper out easily. Printers usually have a hatch at the back that can easily be removed. There, you can access the paper wheels and see the jammed paper. Then, you can get the paper out smoothly, without having to pull and tear.

Cartridge Lifespan

It all depends on frequency and quantity. Frequent and heavy users might need to replace cartridges every few months. Light users may need to replace cartridges only about 2-3 times a year (ink dries out if not used for more than a year). For more complete answers, talk to the manufacturers. For instance, they can tell you that certain printers can print 350 pages at 5% percent coverage or 5% surface area inked on each page.

Toner cartridges vary in lifespan. The less expensive ones go for $100. These printers can print 2,500 to 5,000 pages. The more expensive printers can print tens of thousands of pages. The most expensive types can even yield hundreds of thousands of pages.


Your printer’s lifespan depends greatly on the sturdiness of the machine, frequency of use and maintenance. Some printers last longer than some. To make sure that your printer will last, use it according to its (monthly) duty cycle. The monthly duty cycle tells you the maximum number of pages your printer is designed to produce.

A good idea is to buy a printer that has a duty cycle three times your estimated volume. Take good care of your printer so that it can perform at its best and last for a long time.

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