What Does a Print Toner Cartridge Yield and Why It Can Save Your Office Money

When shopping for a print cartridge, you may have noticed a number on it labeled ‘yield.’ Too often, this little number gets ignored. How important can it be?

More than you think! If you ignore that number, you’re likely throwing away money every day. Especially for large printers that experience high volume, understanding your toner cartridge yield number is essential when choosing the right one to buy for your printers.

What Does the Cartridge Yield Number Mean?

Simply put, the yield is the estimated number of pages that a cartridge can handle before needing a replacement.

Manufacturers like HP or Xerox will calculate this number based on the cartridge volume and the set coverage amount—or how much each page on average will be covered with toner. Most manufacturers assume a coverage rate of around 5%.


However, businesses like marketing, advertising, or publishing often have higher coverage rates due to a large output of printed images compared to other industries.

So, if a cartridge has a yield of 10,000 pages with an anticipated 5% coverage, expect to print out around 10,000 pages before having to replace the toner cartridge.

Why Does Toner Yield Matter?

Now you get what a yield means. But how can understanding print yields cut print costs? Think of it like coffee sizes at Starbucks—you order different volumes for different needs.

If you need a little post-lunch boost, a Tall coffee should do the trick. But if you’re pulling an all-nighter while being cost-conscious, you’d choose a Venti rather than two Talls, right? It’s better for price and efficiency. Toner cartridges essentially work the same way, only without the fancy names.

To choose the right yield for the right purpose, you will have to do a little math. As multiple cartridges can fit into the same printer while offering varying yields, the following example can show you how to pick the perfect product:

Toner cartridge A and B can both fit in Device X:
Toner Cartridge A costs $100 with a yield of 25,000 pages
Toner Cartridge B costs $200 with a yield of 80,000 pages

Now, calculate your Cost Per Printed Page:
Toner Cartridge A CPP = $100 / 25,000 = $0.004 / page
Toner Cartridge B CPP = $200 / 80,000 = $0.0025 / page

As you can see, Toner Cartridge B actually costs LESS money per page, even though it is more expensive upfront. Over time, you will end up saving money if you always buy Toner Cartridge B (Hint: higher yield is almost always the more efficient option).

Here’s another example:

Company Z Prints 500,000 Pages Per Month
Monthly Cost with Toner Cartridge A = $0.004 * 500,000 = $2,000
Monthly Cost with Toner Cartridge B = $0.0025 * 500,000 = $1,250


So next time you are shopping for toner cartridges, pay attention to the yield before your purchase! Yes, it’ll take some math but it’s worth the effort to save significant costs.

OR, partner with a managed print service like imageOne and we’ll take care of everything for you. From choosing the most cost-effective products to keeping your devices running efficiently every day, we can help your workflow run better than ever! Set up a FREE, no strings attached consultation today.

When shopping for a print cartridge, you may have noticed a number on it labeled ‘yield.’ Too often, this little number gets ignored. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn and keep up with my company imageOne. Check out my website or some of my other work here.