Toner Cartridge Declared Yield VS. Actual Page Yield


What Does Cartridge Yield Mean?

Cartridge yield is the capacity of the toner and how many prints/copies it lasts. It is the estismated potential life of the cartridge. Most manufacturers’ including Ricoh, Lanier, Samsung will cite that the page yields listed are based on an average of 5% coverage.


When it comes to Toners and inks, actual page yields (the amount of prints/copies a cartridge should last) that customers experience with their office equipment, can vary considerably higher or lower due to different factors. The leasing factors that impact the actual page yield performance on laser printers and Multifunction equipment are described below.

Page Coverage

Page coverage also known as the percentage of page containing toner, is the factor with the most obvious impact on yield. Research shows that the average page coverage for mono pages is between 4-6%. Color printing typically had higher averages. Examples:



Image Type

The context of two pages with the same percentage of coverage can affect the amount of toner used. This is because the thickness of the toner layer deposited on the paper is often different on edges than in the middle of printed areas. So for images composed of different edges, a different toner amount may be used to create the given coverage (dots, lines, patterns).

Job Size, Duplex mode, Paper tray and Exit bin selection

The number of pages printed at the same time, or “Job Size” has an impact on the cartridge yield. Yields improve with a higher average job size. This is because a small amount of toner is consumed whenever the printer is running, and the printer does not have to run as long to print the3 page job as it does for the 3, 1 page jobs. In a similar effect to that produced by small job sizes, printing in duplex or selecting paper trays that located farther from the cartridge can cause toner loss due to increase running time per page print.

Other factors include environmental factors (temperature and humidity) long with how often the printer/MFP is being used, Copy and Fax Modes, and Calibration.