Effective Printing For The Home-Based Business: Inkjet Vs. Laser

The battle over whether you should buy an inkjet or laser printer for your home office is perpetual, with viable arguments on both sides. The truth is, you may need both. Which printer is best for your workplace depends on what you print, the volume and how many people share the printer.

Text Vs. Images

If you only print black-and-white text, either printer will do, but if you print large volumes, a laser printer is your most economical alternative. While there are color laser printers capable of printing images, inkjet printers produce a much clearer, higher quality image and are the preferred choice for photos. Your profession plays a big part in the type of printing you do. For example, a screenwriter would find a laser printer more economical while a real estate company that needs promotional materials would need a high-end inkjet printer for crisp, clear images.

Media Choices

While laser printers do an excellent job on plain paper and card stock, you cannot put anything heat-sensitive through them. Inkjets, on the other hand, can print on a wide variety of types and weights of paper. They can also print on fabric and canvas, and can handle banner-size sheets. There are even specialty inkjet printers that can print on specially made DVDs and CDs.

Durability of Printed Material

Since laser printers heat-fuse images and text to paper, they are the only way to guarantee water- and smudge-proofing. This durability is especially important for legal documents or those which will be stored long term. While inkjets have improved over the years, their print is still not smudge proof, so they are not suitable for papers or images that will be handled or pulled in and out of files or folders continually.

Volume and Speed

One area where inkjets still suffer is speed. If you regularly need large print jobs done quickly, a laser printer is definitely the way to go. Another area where lasers excel is memory. If you are a sole proprietor or have only a couple of people printing at a time, an inkjet may suit you fine. However, if your printer is shared by several people with large print jobs, a laser printer provides the memory necessary to store multiple documents or images without refusing or losing them.

Either or Both

Many home-based businesses choose to have both a laser and an inkjet printer. Not only does each excel at different specialized tasks, but having more than one printer cuts down on time waiting for documents or images to print. While cost is always a consideration, you must also consider why you need an additional printer and what jobs it will be handling before deciding on adding either a laser or inkjet printer.

When choosing a printer for your home-based business, don't decide on cost alone. Let your office equipment specialist help you choose the printer that will best suit your needs over the long term. For more information, contact Office Products Services or a similar