What is Drum Unit and how is it Different from Toner Cartridge?

Do you use laser printer at home or office? If so than you must be aware of toner cartridge and replacement when toner is empty. So, let’s look at definition of each of them.

Toner powder is stored in a place in printer that is called toner cartridge. Drum unit is a cylindrical part of printer that is electrically charged and pushes the toner powder over the paper to create text and image.

How toner cartridge and a drum unit differ?

These two parts of mechanism are most important to generate a print. You may need to change your drum unit occasionally, or your drum might be permanent and never need to get changed. This depends on what model of printer you use. That’s the question why this unpredictability? This occasion depends on the design and mechanism of printer. Normally the unit is attached by default with the cartridge, in some cases it is also available single in market as per the requirement of the printer. Parts of laser printer and printer itself are quite different. Many printers are manufactured in such a way that only replacement of cartridges work for them. But some printers needs both drum unit & cartridge both replaced at some interval of time. You need to check your printer manual to decide what parts are proper for your printer.

This is how a drum unit looks like with a cartridge:

Drum Unit

This is how a drum unit looks like without a cartridge (see more examples)

image 1

Most of the printers are with drum unit while manufactured. (see more examples)

Drum Unit is attached in HP Toners

If you have purchased HP laser printer the drum unit should be attached with the toner. That’s why you don’t need to change the drum unit in separate. So, whenever you buy a toner for the HP printer, you will have to change the drum as well. HP replacement ink cartridges is different and doesn’t work like this.

Toners and Drum Units are not separate in Bother Printers

Many printer like most of the Brother’s manufactured laser printers mechanism have drum unit not attached inside the toner. And that is the reason it has to be replace every time. Unattached units works longer time than toner cartridge, and can be replaced after using toner is changed 3 to 4 times. There should be indication system when replacement requirement of drum unit is there but practically when drum unit needs replacement, printed paper comes with black lines. This clearly indicates it needs replacement. While in Brother refillable ink cartridges and Canon compatible ink cartridges this system is different way, when tank is empty printer stops printing.

Are all printers are attached with toner and drum?

Yes by default all printers have starter level drum and cartridges already fitted, just a ribbon to block the printing. Remove the ribbon and it will be ready to print pages.

What is need of a drum unit?

If the drum unit is not installed, toner powder inside the cartridge is not able to throw and print on the page. These two parts are working with help of each other to get a print.

Do I need buy the drum unit separately?

This is purely up to the brand of printer you have purchased. Most of the HP laser printer have drum already attached into the cartridge of toner. But if you have Brothers printers, you have to buy the drum unit additionally with toner cartridge because it is separate from the toner cartridge. You shouldn’t get panic to hear that you have to change drum unit because you don’t have to change it frequently. It takes time to get drum unit failure.

Which printer is better one Inkjet or Laser?

When you compare ink tank printers and laser printers, find better one depends on usage. If you want small amount of prints every days or 2 – 3 days a week, you can buy ink tank printer. But if you want to get bulk printing, you should go with laser printers because it is cost effective in compare of inkjet printing. For example Canon printer toner can get more than 1000 print and costs 1$ while Canon compatible ink cartridges prints 500 prints at cost of $8 approximately.

There is one more comparison between laser toner cartridges with and without drum. But there is no one better here. It costs almost same overall.

Overall analysis says that separate toner is bit more expensive than cartridge attached with drum unit.

This price hike is obvious, you are paying an extra price for new cartridge and drum unit whenever your cartridge is empty.

Whenever you buy a new drum cum tonner both, you make sure that the quality of printing shall be maintained thoroughly nice, only problem is price shall be higher, especially when cartridge price is premium and pricing is hundreds of dollars. Price split between cartridge and drum unit makes the cost little different. Only toner is normally low cost as you are only making payments for part of the holder where they includes powder. That mechanism technology is not very much complicated as toner/drum combo cartridge that is why the cost of production is not very high.

You also should remember that drum unit shall needs replacement, we discussed previously it shall need replacement after you change toner for 4-5 times. The whole drum unit shall cost minimum hundred plus dollars or may be more, so this extra cost will be useful ultimately. When someone ask which printer is best, we have to say depends on usage. Some customer of company don’t mind to pay higher for combination of drum and cartridge because they are more concerned about quality of printing and they don’t have to compromise quality of the printing. Also they don’t have to run for separate parts whenever they find spots or rashes on the print. Some have more preference regarding cost of the printing, they don’t mind to change parts of printer frequently.

Whatever printer you buy just take care of overall costing of both type of printer, separate drum and cartridges other one is attached drum and cartridge that you have to change in short term.

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