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What Is The Difference Between A Toner Cartridge and A drum Unit?

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a toner cartridge and a drum unit? Are you confused between the toner cartridge and the drum unit on your Brother printer? Many of our customers are usually confused about these two components of a laser printer. Well actually, these two printer consumables the toner cartridge and the drum unit are two different supplies.

Difference Between Toner Cartridge and drum Unit

The Brother website refers to the toner cartridge and the drum unit as “different consumables”. Everyone who owns a laser printer is familiar with replacing a toner cartridge, while not everyone is as familiar with a drum unit. Let’s first try to differentiate these two components through brief information.

What Is A Toner Cartridge?

The toner cartridge is the container that holds the toner powder, which creates texts or images on the page. So basically it functions as a container or a tank. A monochrome laser printer only needs one cartridge particularly the black, while a colored laser printer requires three to four colors like black, cyan, magenta and yellow. There are even some colored types that can use more than four cartridges apart from the general CYMK. Hence there are these light cyan, light magenta and light yellow colors.

What Is A Drum Unit?

The drum unit, also referred to as imaging drum, is an electrically charged cylinder that transfers the created image through the toners onto paper. Inside the drum unit there’s a photosensitive drum that holds the formed image (text, figures, photos, etc). This is then pressed and rolled into the sheet to transfer the image through heat and pressure, and after that you’ll get your printouts. A drum unit can be incorporated with the toner cartridge or sold separately as a single unit, depending on the consumable requirements of your printer.

All modern laser printers contain both these components. However, in most modern laser printers such as HP laser printers, the toner cartridges and the drum unit are housed within one single unit; while in Brother laser printers, the two are separate. What this indicates is that when you either run out of toner or your drum unit gets damaged, in HP laser printers you’ll have to change the whole unit, while in Brother laser printers you can change either one separately.

Now that you understand what is the difference between a toner cartridge and a drum unit, you shouldn’t be confused about the two different consumables. Here’s a hint, the toner cartridge is the one you slide into the imaging drum, not vice versa. For a colored laser printer, there should be four drum units for each toner color. The typical arrangement is something like this, the black goes at the front, followed by yellow, next is magenta and cyan at the opposite end.

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