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Understanding the Way Toner Cartridges Work

If you are looking into buying a laser printer, you would most likely hear the term “toner” a lot. Unlike an inkjet printer, laser printers utilise a toner like a Brother HL 1210W toner in order to print documents. Many people mistake toner as a kind of ink but in reality, they really are not ink. A toner is actually a powder that is electrically-charged and they are created with a combination of pigment and plastic.

So, How Do Toners Work?

Toners work in a really simple and easy-to-understand way. We have mentioned that toners are made of pigment and plastic. Each of this component has their own responsibility when it comes to the printing process. The pigment mainly gives the colour and the plastic component makes sure that the pigment attaches to the paper well through a simple heating and melting process.

The process of melting involved in laser printers is actually what makes it more advantageous than inkjet printers. This is because, through this process, the toner is being bound to the fibres on the paper. This makes the print output more resistant to bleeding and smudges. Moreover, the process can also provide a more vivid and even tone that gives off a crisper appearance.

Many organisations also prefer laser printers because toner cartridges actually cost less than ink cartridges. This means that they only have to shell out money for the laser printer itself, which could be a bit pricier. But, replacing the toner cartridges can save a lot of money.

Now, How Do Toner Cartridges Work?

When you are printing a document, be it an image or a text, on paper using a laser printer, the printing process starts off with the printer gathering the toner using the developer right from the hopper. This happens as the developer accorded to some sort of a metal roller contains magnetic beads that are negatively-charged moving all throughout the hopper to gather toner.

Because the beads are magnetic and they are negatively-charged, they attract the toner particles that are positively-charged. After that, the developer then brushes the particles to the drum assembly. After this, the usual printing process happens.

However, an additional melting and heating step is needed in order to set the toner in place. The paper with the toner particles goes through a set of heated fuser rollers. The heat that comes from the rollers melts the plastic components of the toner so that it adheres to the paper and binds nicely to the fibres.

Monochrome and Colour Printing

The process mentioned above is the standard process that monochrome printing follows. With colour printing, the process is still the same but it is repeated to accommodate each of the colours of the toner. You may already be aware that toner colours come in CMYK or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

The laser printer combines all these colours at different levels in order to produce literally millions of different colours in various lightness, saturation, hues, and shades. Now that you know and understand how toners and laser cartridges work, you can proceed and buy a Brother HL 1210W toner.

How do I build the perfect home office?

With over half of the UK workforce reported to be working remotely by 2020 according to Small Buisiness, as well as reports highlighting that currently over 1.5 million people are now working from home, it’s become more important than ever to create that perfect `home office`.

Working from home offers that great work life balance, with the benefits for both employers and employees being detailed by numerous organisations and HR professionals around the UK.  

Building the perfect home office and getting the setup right is crucial in order for it to actually work.  Work for you and your productivity.

It can be all of the little things when working from home that really have an impact on how motivated you are and in return how productive you then become.

Finding your inspiration

First of all, there is a little bit more to setting up the perfect home office than simply putting a desk in a room!  Yes, this is a big part of it but it’s also important that once you’ve identified where your home office will be to make your space fun, interesting and separate from the rest of the house!

Making things noticeably different, immediately distinguishes your work space from the rest of the house.  Helping you to make the switch between work and home, as well as providing others with a clear understanding that this zone is your work space/office.  

No one wants to sit and stare at four walls, but we also don’t want to be walking around our home looking for inspiration (procrastinating) as this is where work levels can dip.  So consider using bright colours on walls which can help stimulate imagination as well as using calming and reflective colours such as greens and blues, depending on you and your personality type.  If you are interested in finding out more about the psychology of colours you can find out more HERE.

Making the best use of space

Think about where your phone lines need to be, what about the folders you need on a regular basis and those books that you use for reference?  Are they placed within your work space in the right position? Can you reach them easily and have you got everything together, so you don’t necessarily have to leave your home office?  Wandering through the house to find the notepad you need with your meeting notes in, offers a number of opportunities to be distracted – the pile of washing that you could quickly put in or the toys that you can quickly put away in their box!

Once you then start thinking about what you need for your home office and where your things need to be you can then start thinking about making sure you have the right office furniture.

Office furniture is one of those things that is different for everyone.  What is suitable and comfortable for one person, can be another’s worst nightmare!  But think about what works for you. For example, do you need a shelving unit and if so how big? What about storage systems and lockable filing cabinets etc.  What about chairs, finding the right chair to meet your needs is an important part of the setting up your office process!

Also growing in popularity are standing desks!  Proven to help increase productivity as well as being better for circulation and posture, is this something which you could benefit from in your home office?

Then comes the detail, the equipment!  

What equipment do you need in your home office in order to make sure everything runs like clockwork?  That you have everything you need and more. So much so that going back into Head Office for supplies is not needed because you have the equipment that suits you!  Things like screens and monitors (and of course how many), wireless mouse and keyboard combinations, or maybe you prefer to work from a laptop – especially at a standing desk?

Phones also come into this, if you need a landline phone as well as a mobile.  Is this flexible, does it have a separate connection to your house phone (do you also have the technology installed to make sure you have this), does it offer you the conference call facilities that you might need or the reporting functions that you might use?

Then, when you have your computer and your phone lines all connected think about printers and what systems you might want to use.  Think about wireless printers so no matter where you are or whichever device your working from you can open things up and send them to print.  Making sure that they’re in an area in your home office that is safe, of course has power, a good WIFI connection and above all it is a printer that meets your needs.  One that isn’t going to cost the earth and certainly when you have it set up and installed isn’t going to be costly to run.

At Compatink, we can help keep the running costs of these machines low by providing high quality, low priced compatible ink and toner cartridges.  Not only do you get more for your money with Compatink we also have a quick and easy ordering system online, taking the chore out of ordering and searching for the right ink!

Health and safety tips

There are some great websites and companies online that can help when it comes to ergonomics and how best to set up your home office to make sure you’re also still compliant with health and safety regulations.

Sites such as Ergotron who offer a workplace planner guide and of course the Health and Safety Executive who have a number of articles and documents online to help point you in the right direction.

Building the perfect home office can be hard.  At first it can be difficult getting the balance right between home and work and setting boundaries.  But boundaries are needed and setting up things such as your out of office, or displaying your office working hours all help.  

Making sure that you have created the right environment for you is crucial, as this is what will inspire and motivate you during your working day.  Plus working from home can often be quite lonely, so making sure you have the right equipment helps to keep you connected to the outside world,  talking to the dog really doesn’t count!

Setting up a home office might seem like a chore to start with but when it’s complete you do take away all of the advantages, benefits and flexibility that working from home has to offer and these are the reasons why we choose to do it!

If you have any tips for creating the perfect home office we’d love to hear from you – please share your thoughts below.  And if you’d like to find out more about Compatink and the solutions we can offer visit us online today.

How do I buy the best printer for my small business


No matter what size office or environment you work from, the office printer is the one piece of equipment that is always deemed as essential.

We talk about being in the digital age, but there are still a number of people (myself included) that like the option for hard copies to be made available – hence the printer may have adapted with changes in technology and advances, but it will never go away completely.

However, when it comes to what you need from a printer, this is different for each business as well as team and individual!  We all use printers for different things and for different purposes, depending on the line of business that we’re in and also what our working preferences are. These differences are what will make up the requirements of what we look for in a printer.

There is a huge range of excellent printers and software available to meet all your needs.  What we’ve provided below is some quick tips on things to make sure you consider as well as look out for, when buying a printer for a small business.


Things to consider:


  1. Think multi-functional.  No, we’re not trying to make you buy the one with the most gadgets and “thingy me jigs” but we do want you to think about other things that the printer could be used for. Buying one printer that serves many purposes compared to multiple devices is much more cost efficient (and also stands much less chance of driving you crazy)!  Think about printing. What is it that you’re printing, mainly text, mainly photos? Are you printing from one computer, multiple, or even from your mobile or tablet devices? What about scanning documents, would this be useful, effective? What about quality of photocopying and again just what is it your photocopying so that you achieve a perfect replica?



  • Laser vs inkjet


If we’re honest this does depend on what you’re going to be using the printer for.  However, we’ve outlined just what each can do and some of the things that maybe you would need to consider when you’re looking to purchase.


Inkjet printers can be great for photos and image heavy documents as they are better at blending and smoothing colours compared to a laser printer.  Which means that inkjet is also more suitable for printing on different types of paper including glossy photo paper. However, with a laser printer, plain printing can be ultra-sharp, especially if the text is black.  Again, it comes down to what your printer will be used for the most.


Inkjet printers tend to be cheaper than laser printers and inkjet cartridges are also cheaper that toner cartridges too. Inkjet printers can be easier to maintain however laser printers run much faster than inkjet, so if you do print high volumes it’s worth considering how valuable your time is!


  • Then think ink vs volumes


Depending on what you are printing of course does depend on how much ink you’ll use.  If you have extremely large, one-off print volumes for example, it might be worth looking at getting a price comparison from an external printer, to help save on those ink costs.


Also, don’t be put off when it comes to the cost of ink, as with compatible ink cartridges you could save up to 70% on price AND, with most compatible ink and toner cartridges you will find you get more for your money in terms of volume, meaning your printing literally will last you longer.


At Compatink, we’re pleased to be able to offer this service to small businesses and help support you with your printer needs.  We have an extensive catalogue, outlining all ink and toners compatible with all of the major printer brands and we guarantee to be cheaper on price.



  • Wired or wireless


Yes, this may seem pretty straight forward but there are benefits as well as negatives to both of these options when it comes to choosing your printer.  


A wired printer is just that, a printer which is connected to your computer through a USB device.  A wired printer is very easy to install. In most cases once you insert the USB your computer will prompt you to do the rest in terms of setup.  You can also share a wired printer over a network, however a word of caution, if the computer which is connected to the printer shuts down, everyone else currently printing or wanting to print later on that day will lose their connection.


Wireless printers are of course the most common in this day and age.  Similar to a network printer but instead of an Ethernet cable it is connected via WIFI.  When choosing a wireless printer however you must make sure that your network type as well as the printer’s capability match, and of course the software will have to be installed onto all devices you require to have access to the printer.


Wired printers are usually the cheaper option and the easiest to set up, but wireless gives you much more flexibility meaning you can print from anywhere without being restricted and for us personally the less wires the better!



  • Which brand?


This can sometimes be down to personal preference, but what also needs to be taken into consideration, is the answer to all of the above questions when it comes to what your needs are and then ultimately cost.  Printers can be an expensive business so look at what is on offer and also have a budget in mind. Then consider maintenance costs if something goes wrong with the machine, and you have to pay for their repair service and parts.  Also investigate the option of buying or leasing, depending on what you choose and also the size of your business. Leasing your printers and paying a service fee could be a better option for you to help with costs.


There are some great printers now available for small businesses, which offer a number of solutions and trust us, there is most definitely something for everyone.


If you’re looking for advice on ink and toner cartridges as well as costs and more then check out Compatink’s website, filled with compatible ink solutions at a fraction of the costs of originals.  We also have a comprehensive catalogue and a great search tool, so you don’t have to spend hours finding the right ink or toner!


Or if you have any specific questions which you’d like to ask, then give us a call on: 0113 873 0135 we’d be happy to help!


Finally, if you have a printer which screams out for a recommendation, which you would like other small businesses to be aware of, then please comment and share your thoughts below!

Genuine vs Compatible Cartridges. The Truth.

In the office world it’s the ultimate debate.

What’s better for your printer…original ink or compatible cartridges?!

It’s a complicated debate with comments and opinions based around quality, price and budgets, everyone can have an opinion.  But do they really know the facts?

Do actually they know what the differences are beyond quality and price? Would they be able to notice the difference if you were to do a blind test using the different cartridges? We doubt very much this would be the case However at Compatink we sell compatible ink, so some might say we would say that!

Today we have put our feelings put aside. We want all office managers and admin teams to be armed with the facts. The answers to the key questions you will most certainly be asked if you do change ink suppliers.

We’ve pulled together some handy information and tips to help you on your ink journey!

Starting at the beginning!

What actually is the difference?

The definition of a compatible cartridge – it’s a brand-new cartridge which has been produced/filled by a third party.  A third party which has no association or link to the numerous printer brands/manufacturers on the market.

An original cartridge however, is a brand-new ink or toner cartridge which has been produced by the actual printer manufacturer.

Original ink is also often produced using a formula in designed to protect and clean the print heads during use.  This  formula isn’t included in compatible ink. That’s not to say its bad. Compatibles just have to be used wisely.  For example, it’s recommended that if you do a lot of printing, you should use an original ink cartridge to every 3/4 compatible inks.

What about the price?

Here we come to the number one benefit of compatible cartridges. Compatible ink can be considerably cheaper to purchase.  One of the main reasons is that for original ink manufacturers, such as HP or Canon, have much bigger overheads. Unfortunately for you as the consumer means higher prices. This way they can not only recoup their costs but also make a profit. Also the manufacturers often build the printers and sell them at a loss. They then recoup this loss by selling the printer owner the company cartridges at higher prices. 

The good news is, compatible ink suppliers have no such overheads and pass these cost savings onto consumers. However, a word of caution. Be wary of those that offer HUGE discounts, because quality can be affected. always buy from a reputable supplier. Also be wary of those claiming unrealistic expectations for their cartridges. If you are a professional photographer for example, compatible cartridges are unlikely to be the right choice to print your photographs. No matter what the seller may try an

Machine performance

It’s often thought that compatible ink can be dangerous for printers and be the cause of the many faults and breakages.  However, (and again it does come down to buying from a quality supplier) such a claim quite simply, isn’t true.

Yes, printers break, however the likelihood of this happening due to using compatible ink is extremely slim.  It is much more likely any damage is caused by a fault with the printer itself. As long as you use the cartridge properly it should not cause any damage. Also it is illegal for a company to void any warranty for using a compatible cartridge so don’t worry. 

Is there a difference in print quality?

We could just answer this question with a resounding…no.  But we love an explanation.

Ok, so no there is no difference in the print quality when using an original ink compared to a compatible ink, but you don’t just have to take our word for it.  

Which? have also reported that when they carried out a survey with their 8,446 members the top five printer-ink brands were all third-party inks, with a difference in quality not being noticeable. 81% of people also reported having no issues with the cartridges at all. When they did it was usually an issue with the printer not recognising the cartridge. This is an issue with all cartridges and is only marginally more common with compatibles. 

Print Usage

If you do print large volumes of texts and documents, compatible ink will most certainly provide you with the most value for money. Those office budgets need to go as far as possible after all.  As not only is it cheaper to purchase but you will also find that compatibles contain more ink than originals when it comes to volumes. If you are an Office manager making this switch might be the best money saving decision you make all year. Lets face it this job is difficult enough without having to compare different types of inks. 

Making your budget when it comes to print costs go much further!

Remember it isn’t perfect for everything, such as photography as previously mentioned. But,  If you do your research and aren’t afraid to test out the products you could really make a difference to your budget.


All of the information above highlights the facts as well as the differences between compatible and original ink.  Hopefully it also helps to put to bed any myths about compatible ink.

What’s important and what we can’t stress enough is that when it comes down to quality, buying from a great and reputable third-party supplier is crucial.  Not only does it allow you to make sure that quality will not be affected but you can also rest assure that if there are any problems, these can be sorted asap.

At Compatink we’re all about the service!  We know the questions you and your team have, and we want to help provide you with the answers, putting your mind at rest and providing you with a quick ordering system as well as high quality ink at low prices.

If you are looking for high quality compatible ink for your office or home printer, why not give us a call today on 0113 873 0135 or visit our website for more information on just what Compatink can for you you!

How to Lower Your Office Printing Costs.


Just to be clear from the start, this article isn’t one of those that will make you feel bad for maybe leaving the office light on overnight by mistake. Not even for using the last of the milk out of the communal fridge and not replacing it!  This is just some good advice on how to save money in the office when using the office printer. 

We want to tackle some of the biggest bug bears and costly issues surrounding printers in the workplace.  Providing some useful hints and tips when it comes to things that we should be doing but aren’t and things we could be doing more of.

It can be a costly affair

It’s reported that approximately 64% of small businesses can’t track and monitor printer usage and costs.  They’re unsure as to what is being printed the majority of the time. They don’t know how often printers break or need replacing or just how much annually they’re spending on ink alone.  It is this combined data which businesses really should be keeping track of. When it comes to office budgets, let’s face it every little counts!

Printers are the one piece of equipment which are sure to drive most employees crazy at least once (more often more than once) in their work life.  Issues such as being out of order, breaking during an important print run are commonplace. Just being completely out of ink is a nightmare. It’s going to take a while before more can be ordered and delivered, hence rendering it `out of order`. We’ve all seen that sign on a completely functional printer. 

It’s all of these little things where the waste in staff’s time is not seen, but trust us, it is most definitely there.  Xerox have delved into this issue further, highlighting that even just the wait time at one central printer alone for staff, can be around 3 minutes.  Taking over the period of a year this equates to 13 hours per employee. Now think about how many staff you have. For this small element of simply waiting at a printer, the hours wasted are already mounting up.

Whether you’re a small or big business, time is always of the essence.  Think about all of the other productive things you and your employees could be doing rather than fighting with yet another printer issue.

So just what are some of the things we could and should be doing going forward?

Turn printers off

It’s like turning out lights!  When you leave the office just like making sure that all of the office lights and computers are turned off, it’s also important to make sure that printers are turned off too.  

We’re not stressing this point because we like to be green (which we do by the way) but it’s also because reports from Optimal Monitoring have shown us that office equipment is the fastest growing energy user in the business world!  It consumes 15% of the total electricity used in offices and by 2020 this is expected to rise again to 30%.  What’s even more staggering is the cost of running this equipment is approximately £300m in the UK alone!

Turning printers off also helps them to stay newer for longer, so fewer repairs are needed as well as longer lifespans meaning no costs needed for new and updated equipment.

Make sure you have the right printer

It might seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised at just how many businesses don’t have the right printer to meet their needs. This means further costs to use print houses in order to get the work you want.

It might seem more cost effective at the time to choose a basic printer for your office needs and outsource the rest. However, what is currently being outsourced could potentially be brought back in-house. If you analyse how your current printers are actually being used, . Also you must think about what future projects and office requirements could be on the horizon. As your company grows will the investment in a quality printer pay dividends? 

Knowing from the outset what you need now as well as what you could need in the future will help you reduce costs. If not immediately, certainly in the long term.

Do your ink research!

Ink can be a nightmare for office staff.  From finding the right supplier to then looking at the most cost-effective solution without compromising on the quality of print work. Saving you money on ink costs and ensuring the high quality that you’re used to, is Compatink’s solution.  Specialising in the sale of compatible ink and toner cartridges, Compatink can save you up to 70% on your annual printer ink bill, without sacrificing on the quality. Printing really doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be thought out, planned and most importantly researched!

Don’t leave a blocked printer

It’s quite common in offices to run away and hide if the printer jams whilst printing out your materials/work (or is that just us?!).  Not just because you don’t want to be seen as “the one who broke the printer” but also because maybe what you were printing was more personal than work related?!  

But as soon as you notice the printer acting strangely or indeed it does break – let someone know asap.  It’s estimated that the average printer call-out repair charge starts from anything between £60-£80. This of course doesn’t include any parts or additional extras!

Most printer problems can be fixed internally…if you know how. Easy things to consider doing include; opening up all of the doors and checking the rollers and brushes for paper jams. Making sure that you don’t have too much paper in the tray. Finally, making sure that the ink areas are as clean as possible and not blemished or spotty. All of these are ways to do helpful easy maintenance to ensure you printer runs smoothly. 

Finally, a little funny but sometimes there’s a time and a place…

you print internet memes when really you shouldn’t.

You all know what we mean, you know the posters that state “don’t let your printer know you’re in a hurry….they smell fear” or “I don’t always use the printer, but when I do someone is printing 100 pages!”. And these are just some of the tame ones!  What we want to highlight is yes they are funny and of course can have a significant meaning behind them. When put in the right place. But, do you actually need to be printing these? No, because that’s insane.

The same can be said for all of the emails you print out because you don’t trust your email account to not crash or be hacked. Or what about all of the meeting notes you’ve typed up and have now printed out and put with the scribbled notes you actually wrote in the first place? Yes, we know this happens, but does it need to?  Think about waste, cost saving, energy saving and about doing the right thing.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to help maintain the printers and to also report a problem as soon as it happens.  There’s always things we can improve on and things we should automatically be doing as part of our everyday processes. These are just a few handy hints to help point you in the right direction.

How we can help. (Shameless self promotion)

At Compatink we have first-hand experience of the problems and stress printers can cause to businesses and staff.  They are a lot to look after, from the maintenance and check-ups to making sure you turn them off to save energy. Using the right paper in the right drawers as well as making sure you not only have the right ink, but you have enough of it!

Here at Compatink we’re proud to shout from the rooftops that we can solve your ink problems. AND save you time and money!

By using our unique search system, you can find the right compatible ink and toner cartridge faster than any of our competitors. With savings of up to 70% without sacrificing the quality of print. We’re happy to do our part in supporting businesses when it comes to cost saving and meeting your print needs. We’re even developing Free Print Management software to take this one step further in the future. 



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