While inkjet printers work by depositing liquid drops of ink onto the paper, laser printers create documents and images by a laser beam directed across photoreceptors. By creating the right pattern of electrostatic dots on its drum, which is sensitive and reacts to light, the process triggers a chain reaction in which toner (dry powder ink) is attracted to the paper. Then the ink is sealed with heat.
Laser printers come in both color and black-and-white models. Color laser printers work well for offices that don't require highly detailed color prints, as they don't reproduce color gradations on the same scale as inkjet printers. A monochrome laser printer produces sharp, professional-quality prints that are ideal for reports, spreadsheets and client communications.
Why do I need a laser printer?
Generally, laser printers offer a number of advantages for both individual and business use.
First, they're faster than inkjet printers. If you're just printing a few pages at a time, that probably won't mean much to you. But if you anticipate using your printer a lot, you'll appreciate the speed. For the same reason, they're better equipped to handle documents with lots and lots of pages.
Second, laser printers create crisp, clean, non-transferable text on the page. Some inkjet documents can smudge and smear if the ink doesn't dry completely or if the document gets wet. Documents created with laser printers will stand up to the environment.
Finally, while toner cartridges for laser printers are more expensive than inkjet cartridges, they'll last much longer and print more sheets of paper. From that standpoint, they're an economical choice, even though the initial cost may be higher.
Where can I buy a laser printer on a budget?
No matter what you're printing -- thick documents, spreadsheets, or colorful brochures and charts -- Sam's Club has laser printers from recognized, trusted brand names. We have printers that will meet the needs of most home, business and personal users. Many of the laser printers we offer include features such as Wi-Fi or wireless printing and duplex printing.
How are laser printers different from other types?
Overall, laser printers offer better print speeds than inkjet printers. They can handle larger capacity print jobs -- that is, documents with lots of pages that need to be printed at once. Their toner cartridges also produce more printed pages than do inkjet cartridges.
On the other side, upfront costs to set up a laser printer will probably be higher than for inkjets. And although they do print more quickly, they can take a longer time to warm up and get ready for printing. Finally, most home laser printers aren't really the best choice for photo printing. For the best results printing your important family or business images, go with an inkjet printer specifically designed for photo printing.
What is the Best Laser Printer for Me?
Modern laser printers come in two basic types: one that's better for personal use, and one that's built more for office use.
Large Business: Heavy office users, such as law firms and other professional firms that print a lot of documents, will want a large paper capacity printer. They're built to handle much bigger jobs and longer daily usage. These printers come with both a bigger footprint and a higher cost, generally speaking, but they're the right machines for the job.
Studentand Home Use: For personal laser printer usage, you'll want to look for more economical smaller laser printers. They take up less space in smaller home offices and dorm rooms, and they generally come with a smaller price tag. They may also have a smaller paper capacity.
Small Business: Small office laser printers can fall somewhere in the middle between the big, large-capacity laser printers for large businesses and the smaller, more budget-friendly personal use printers. Look for a speed range of around 30-35 pages per minute for your business.
You can also find an all-in-one printer among the many laser printers for sale at Sam's Club's and SamsClub.com. A multifunction (MFP) or all-in-one printer can take the place of several devices in your home or business, including fax machine, scanner and copier.
What Are the Advantages of Laser Printers?
Speed: Many laser printers can handle up to 100 pages per minute, whereas most inkjet printers have a much slower speed, averaging around 10-15 pages per minute. Be sure to factor in print speed when considering a laser printer purchase. Many will do duplexing (printing on both sides automatically - also known as automatic duplex). Automatic document feeders make short work of high capacity jobs.
Low Cost: Although the initial price tag might be a bit higher in some cases, over the lifetime of the printer the laser printer is generally more economical. The toner cartridges can handle many more pages than do the inkjet cartridges, on average.
Quiet: Laser printer technology is usually quieter than inkjet printers. In an environment where you want to minimize the noise decibel level, a laser printer is a better investment.
High-Quality Text Printing: There's no doubt that laser printers produce the best print quality of printed text. Crisp, clean, and vivid -- if that's important to you, choose a laser printer.
What Brands of Laser Printers Does Sam's Club Sell?
At Sam's Club, we offer many laser printers made by brand names you know and trust, including models made by:
Brother (including the Brother MFC-L2707DW All-in-one Printer and Brother HL)
Canon (including the Canon imageCLASS MF424dw Wireless Laser Multifunction Printer)
Lexmark (including the Lexmark MC2425adw Wireless Multifunction Color Printer)
HP (including the HP LaserJet Pro and HP LaserJet Enterprise)
Xerox (including the Xerox WorkCentre 6027/NI Color LED All-in-One Printer)
FAQ - Laser Printers
How long should a laser printer last?
With proper care and usage, a good home office laser printer should last about five years. You may be able to extend the useful life of your laser printer by having it serviced and replacing worn-out components.
Do you need to clean a laser printer?
Laser printers do need regular cleaning and servicing. For best results, follow the exact recommendations from the manufacturer of your printer. Proper cleaning should address the following components:
Corona wires (the components that transfer the electrostatic charge to your paper), which you should wipe with clean cotton swabs
The toner guards (pieces of felt that protect against excess toner), which you can remove and clean with a dry cloth
The paper feed rollers, which should be swabbed with cotton pads soaked in rubbing alcohol
The fan vent, which can be cleaned using a can of compressed air to remove dust and debris
Are laser printers the cheapest to run?
Over time, laser printers are generally more economical than inkjet printers, although the initial cost may be higher. That's because the toner cartridges used by laser printers have a greater per-cartridge page capacity than do inkjet cartridges. Of course, specific makes and models may offer different performance levels, so you should scrutinize the features of any printer before you buy.
Do laser printers use ink?
Laser printers do use ink, but it comes in a different format than the ink used in inkjet printers. Whereas inkjet printers use liquid ink, laser printers use a dry powder form.
Do laser printers print in color?
Some models of laser printers do indeed offer color printing. The price will be higher than for basic black-and-white-only models, but you might be able to offset that cost by bringing your office printing back in-house. If you don't have to pay an outside vendor for printing brochures, posters, charts and more, then those savings can more than offset the extra cost.
How do you replace toner cartridges in a laser printer?
Typically, you'll have to remove the drum assembly from your printer, then remove the old cartridge (usually by pressing a lever on the drum assembly that releases the cartridge).
Gently move your new cartridge side to side to evenly distribute the toner inside, then remove it from its plastic packaging and insert into the drum assembly. It's important not to touch the imaging drum underneath the cartridge itself, to avoid streaks and other print problems.
Once you've firmly inserted the replacement cartridge, move the lever that cleans the drum side to side, then insert the entire assembly back into the printer.