Check Printing: Laser vs. Inkjet

Author: Source Technologies

Check Printing: Laser vs. InkJet

If your business needs to distribute or print checks, it’s important to make sure that you have the right printer to do the job. Many smaller businesses simply use a regular office printer (otherwise known as an inkjet printer) to print checks. It’s quick. It’s easy. But, is the inkjet printer really the most secure option for printing checks?

There are two different types of printers you can use to print your checks: the inkjet printer and the laser printer. Is there a difference between the two printers? Is one type of printer better to use than the other? 

From technical specifications to operational benefits, here is everything you need to know about the inkjet and MICR laser printer so that you have all the information you need to make a decision that best suits your business needs.

What is an Inkjet Printer?

An inkjet printer runs on ink cartridges and is used to print off a wide array of office collateral. Inkjet printers are found in office supply stores, and are generally user-friendly and easy to manage. This type of printer can be used to print office flyers, sales packets, or even invoices in a matter of minutes. Because keeping up with pre-printed checks in a checkbook can be tedious, businesses can also use the inkjet printer to print off checks. Printing in-house will reduce the chance of misplacing the business checkbook or letting it slip into the wrong hands. Inkjet printers are a popular choice for check printing because of their relatively low cost and multipurpose functions.

What are the Benefits of an Inkjet Printer?

  • Low Upfront Costs

  • Serves Multiple Purposes

  • Takes Up Minimal Space


What is a MICR Laser Printer?

A MICR laser printer is used to print secure checks and financial documents. It uses laser technology to melt MICR toner onto the check paper to create secure MICR characters and other line items. MICR toner is a specialized magnetic toner used to eradicate check fraud and check rejections. To be compliant with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), laser printers must use an Originally Manufactured MICR toner with an iron oxide additive. Using this toner will guarantee the quality and readability of the check after the check has been made.

What are the Benefits of a Laser Printer?

  • Decreases Check Fraud

  • Improves Efficiency

  • Cuts Down on Costs in the Long Run


The 5 Differences Between a Laser Printer and an Inkjet Printer

When comparing the laser printer and inkjet printer, there are many differences. There are differences in volume, speed, ink and toner, cost to purchase, and size. Here are the key components you should consider before choosing a printer:

1. Volume 

Printer volume is the number of items that can be produced in a given amount of time. Inkjet printers are best for printing at a low volume, while laser printers are capable of printing at a high volume. 

If your business needs to print numerous items in a given month, the laser printer may be the better option for you. You want to choose a printer that can handle the number of prints needed to undergo seamless everyday operations.

2. Speed

Not only do you need to consider the volume of prints you need in a given month, but you need to consider the speed at which your printer prints checks. On average, inkjet printers can print 16 pages per minute (ppm), while a laser printer can print 38-55 ppm. Speed affects the longevity of the ink or toner you are using in your printing, and it affects overall operational efficiency. 

3. Ink and Toner

There are two different ways that printers can print information on check stock: ink and toner. Inkjet printers use ink, and laser printers use toner. It is important to consider the cost differences of ink vs.toner. The cost of ink is generally cheaper than toner cartridges, but in the long run, toner cartridges can be more cost-effective because toner prints at a lower cost per page. 

4. Upfront Cost

Upfront cost is something else you need to consider when choosing a printer. Inkjet printers typically cost less than laser printers. The average upfront cost of an inkjet printer is anywhere between $60 - $300 where the average cost of a laser printer can cost anywhere from $200 - $2000+.

Although there is a price gap between the two types of printers, don’t let the upfront cost deter you from considering the laser printer. Laser printers in the long haul will save your staff time, decrease the chance of bank rejection fees, and cut down on fraud. 

5. Size

If you have a smaller office, the size of your printer matters. Inkjet printers tend to run on the smaller side, so they can fit perfectly on an office desk or on a shelf. Laser printers are bulkier in size, and they require more room to set up. 


Which Printer is Right for Your Business?

Checks should be secure and free from human error. If you are currently using the office printer to print your checks, you might want to consider switching to a MICR laser printer to ensure the security of your private financial documents. Contact a member from the Source Technologies team to see how you can make the switch from your inkjet printer to a MICR laser printer in your business operations. 

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Resources: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3