In summary, these devices are for anyone who always has a ton of “paperwork” to do. Home printers are for people looking to ease the worry of where to sort out their printing needs by providing a solution that allows them to do so from the comfort of their home.
Different types of printers
Deciding that you want a home printer is one thing, but knowing the exact type of printer that will meet your needs is another. We’ve compiled a list of the different types of printers and their uses to help you make better informed decisions.
These are the most common types of printers. They use liquid ink to print and are great for people who don’t need as much print work. These printers also offer the widest range of features than any other printer.
As their name suggests, laser printers use a laser beam to heat a toner material that embeds itself on the paper. They are ideal for high volume print jobs as they are faster than inkjet printers and also produce better quality.
These printers are similar to laser printers, but instead use a light-emitting diode to create prints as opposed to a laser beam.
Just like most of our picks below, these printers take their functionality one step further by usually combining printing, scanning, faxing, and sometimes copying into a single device. They can use inkjet or laser printing technology and are larger than conventional printers. Their versatile functionality also makes them perfect for home or office use.
These are all-in-one inkjet printers that use large refillable reservoirs as opposed to cartridges. This is an eco-friendly option that works well with high volume tasks.
If you need to print on unusual special surfaces like plastic or clothing, this should be your printer of choice. They use thermal printing technology to embed the ink onto the chosen object to prevent the prints from fading.
Dot matrix printers
The eldest of printers, dot-matrix printers use a pin or wire printhead to press an ink ribbon against a piece of paper.
These are the most modern and futuristic type of printers. They use layering and slicing to produce 3D objects based on digital models created in your choice of software. These 3D objects are usually made of plastic and these printers are perfect for engineers, designers or other types of creatives.
Environmental impact of printers
Using printers can be a double edged sword. Although these devices are undoubtedly ingenious, we must be aware of the damage they can cause to our environment.
When in use, the printers can consume a lot of power, with an average inkjet consuming 30 to 50 watts and up to five watts on standby. To reduce your printer’s energy consumption, you can implement small practices such as unplugging it when not in use, turning off your printer instead of leaving it on standby, using an energy calculator to track quantity consumed and schedule tasks in advance to avoid blocked usage.
Paper use is the number one environmental hazard faced by printers, with an estimated 26,000+ tons of printing paper products produced in the United States each year. The average office worker uses around an entire tree of paper each year, and a single sheet of A4 paper requires half a liter of water to produce. Reduce your ecological footprint by eliminating unnecessary printing by any means necessary. Think before you print and perform double-sided (duplex) printing whenever possible.
Disposing of ink cartridges
Another way printers harm the environment is through the use and disposal of ink cartridges. Printing ink itself is toxic to us and the environment, and the effects of throwing away your used cartridges are even more harmful as they take centuries to degrade and the ink pollutes the earth, water and air. Reduce these effects by recycling your cartridges when possible or by opting for a printer with refillable ink tanks.