Bravo Analysis: Toner Costs

by  Sam C. Chan

First Published: September 1, 2005
Last Updated: December 10, 2007 (costs refresh)


Toner cost is the bulk of the life time printer costs. The actual printer itself represents only an insignificant portion. At a typical law firm, accounting firm, and real estate appraisal office, toner costs over 7-year lifetime range from $4000 to $12,000!

Commercial grade workhorse printers have a typical service life of 12 years. Purchase decision must be driven by total cost of operation.

Here is a real-life analysis using current distributor cost figures, comparing Lexmark Optra T series 21K hi-yield vs 32K extra-hi-yield, both prebate (aka Return Program) cartridges. This table shows the lifetime savings from using extra-hi-yield cartridges.

Cartridge Type Cents per Page
Extra Hi-Yield: 1.031
Hi-Yield: 1.420
Savings 0.389

Lifetime Toner Cost Savings (in dollars) using Extra Hi-Yield 12/10/07
extra-hi-yield savings
Actual savings will be higher than shown here since calculations are based on rated pages. Printing 100K actual pages costs the equivalence of 120K to 150K "standard test pages."
NOTE: this table shows the SAVINGS, not COSTS

This table is based on September 2006 cost figures


Additional printer maintenance items not included:
  • Fuser Assemblies
  • Photoconductor Kits
  • Cleaning Supplies & Tools
  • Roller Kits
  • All labor costs

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