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Printer supplies are in demand like never before. The world is adapting more and more to the increasing focus on the home office. You've probably noticed that there are all sorts of printer accessories, from ink cartridges to chip resetters to printer batteries.
With all the different things beyond the basics, it's easy to lose your head, so it's perfectly normal if you're looking for supplies for your printer and find yourself lost. That's why at Electropapa, we strive to bring you the full spectrum of printer supplies in as understandable yet comprehensive a way as possible. So whether you're looking for thermal transfer rolls or you're in desperate need of a new printer toner, Electropapa has you covered:
Thanks to Electropapa, you will definitely find what you are looking for.
Ribbons and their characteristics
If you have a fax printer at home or a thermal printer at work, the ribbon will play an essential role for you because, without ribbons, devices like fax printers and thermal printers cannot do their jobs. Such an ink ribbon is mainly used by systems such as office machines, cash registers, and, of course, fax printers. The textile carrier medium, which will later absorb the ink, is often nylon. Since ink ribbons are ink rolls, they naturally come in different colors.
If seriousness is important to you, black is the perfect colour of ribbons for your printer with fax. Black ribbons make for elegant printouts and are therefore often used in restaurants, but also in established supermarkets. Since this colour is simply a classic, even office or home users can almost never go wrong. Furthermore, the ink ribbons come in the forms of wax, resin, and wax-resin ribbons, with the wax ribbon being the prime example of the type of ink ribbon that is perfect for paper receipts and thus for business models such as supermarkets or restaurants. Furthermore, this type of ink rollers are the most cost-effective, but it is not very resistant to abrasion, which is usually not a problem in the usual use cases of the wax ribbon.
If you're printing on surfaces such as polyester, polyvinyl chloride, coated paper, or polypropylene, for example, the "mixed ribbon" of ink ribbons, the wax-resin ribbon, would be the appropriate candidate. This type of ribbon is much more resistant to abrasion than the wax ribbon, but for this reason, it is also more mid-range in terms of its price category and therefore more expensive than the wax ribbon. The highest-quality tape, however, is the so-called resin tape. It has the highest abrasion resistance because it lacks an essential component of the other two tapes, namely the wax. However, this in turn makes it the most expensive ink roll. Furthermore, the properties of the resin make it not only the highest-quality ribbon but also the most opaque, and it can even print very smooth textures.
You should always pay attention not only to the type of ink ribbon but also to proper storage. Since ink ribbons are textile ribbons soaked in ink, it is important that they are always stored in cool, dark places with constant humidity. If you try to reuse the already dried-out ribbon by soaking it in refill ink, this can cause damage to your fax printer or a thermal printer, for example, and often also voids the warranty due to improper use. Because of all these properties, ink ribbons are extremely relevant for so-called "thermal transfer" or "thermal transfer printing." In this process, the unprinted thermal transfer rolls are printed on with the aid of the printer's print heads. This is done by heating separate dots on the print head, which causes the areas of the ribbon in contact with them to release their ink and thus print on the surface to be printed. These printheads allow for extremely precise printing, depending on how numerous they are. As already mentioned, it is advisable to use ribbons made of textile material, which, due to their properties, can be used several times.
In contrast, foil strips, often found as carbon ribbons, can be used only once. The advantage of multiple uses of ribbons is mainly due to the fact that they are endless. There is no absolute consumption of the carrier material, which is what makes this desirable feature possible in the first place.
If, on the other hand, you use a toner printer or laser printer, you have a wider choice, since this type of printer serves a much larger market—both private and professional. In the case of laser printers, you should pay particular attention to the fill level of the printer toner.
If you have labels of a certain type for your printer, you can get started right away with the help of the functioning principle of the toner printer, because the procedure of this device is also known to be advantageous in the professional field for printers for labels. So, let's get to the principle of the toner printer's operation:
How does a toner printer work?
The toner printer works by shining a laser onto a rotating drum unit, thus charging it negatively. This negative charge on individual points on the drum unit causes oppositely (i.e., positively) charged particles to adhere to them. The material to be printed—usually printer paper—is then fed into the printer and given a negative charge in the same way as the drum unit. Then, once the drum unit reaches the paper to be printed, the printer toner will stick to the paper due to its positive charge. Now the whole printing process is almost finished.
You surely know this when you take the freshly printed paper out of your printer and it is still a little warm. That's the result of the final process, which uses a heating element to warm the paper so that the printer toner that first stuck to the drum unit can now permanently adhere to the printed material. Unfortunately, even with this advanced principle, errors such as toner residue sticking to the drum unit can occur, which can render the printout unusable, especially with source materials that need to be printed very precisely.
The waste toner container exists specifically for such situations.It ensures that the remaining toner is removed from the drum unit of your laser printer with the help of individual scrapers and collected accordingly in the waste toner container. This prevents unwanted contamination of the printout. Handling is also simple: as soon as the container is full, it can easily be emptied or replaced if necessary. Many laser printers will tell you when it's time to take care of the waste toner collection unit. If this message is ignored and the waste toner box is not replaced or emptied, it can cause contamination inside the printer.
So why are laser printers so popular? Mainly because of the laser printing process, printers with toner are just one thing: fast. In private use, they usually manage around 30 to 40 pages per minute. Office printers achieve even higher speeds—a full 50 pages per minute.
With such high figures, it's no wonder that printer toner is in greater demand than it has been for a long time, both in the private and business sectors and for exclusive applications. Likewise, printers for labels are needed in the professional sector.
In contrast to the printer cartridges of an inkjet printer, the toner of a laser printer can print significantly more pages. With him, the toner can print up to 3,000 pages before you have to look for new printer toner. Furthermore, the printer with toner does not have the problem of smudging the print, as is the case with an inkjet printer, and fonts are displayed much more sharply. This is why the higher price of toner cartridges compared to ink cartridges (usually around €60) is worth it in most cases. Because of their efficiency, they need to be changed much less often. However, if we look at the colour prints of the inkjet printer and the toner printer, we see that the toner-based printout usually can't keep up with the printouts of an inkjet printer. When it comes to the quality of photo prints, the inkjet printer has a clear advantage.
The inkjet printer is well-known and popular
As with the toner printer mentioned above, it is advantageous to be familiar with the inkjet printer. In contrast to the toner printer, the inkjet printer is the most popular printer in private households. The ink cartridges are of particular importance, and there are usually several of them, all with different colors. The printer's print head moves sideways over the paper being fed through, leaving tiny little drops behind.
There are ink cartridges for printers in different colours that can be mixed together during the printing process. Many printers have a standard set of different ink cartridges, called the CMYK colour model. This involves the colours cyan, magenta, yellow (yellow), and key, i.e. black. The droplets with which the print head prints the paper are applied to the material with the highest precision, which is possible mainly thanks to their microscopic size. Due to the construction of an inkjet printer, you will have to change the ink cartridges much more frequently than is usual with a laser printer.
The inkjet cartridges only last for 300 to 500 pages, which will certainly seem infinitesimal compared to a printer with toner. This is often a major criticism of the inkjet printer, as the cost of maintenance is much higher than with the toner printer when used regularly. However, the inkjet printer is much better for photo printing.
If you are using mobile printers with a rechargeable battery, the battery may need to be changed from time to time. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options in this category in our online store as well.
So as you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to printer accessories. That's exactly why we exist. At Electropapa, you can get everything relevant to the discussed topics at affordable prices in our online store. With our experience spanning more than 16 years, we can surely help you. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to use the contact form, or our e-mail. We look forward to helping you with our expertise!