Inkjet vs. Laser Printing Systems: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Two of the primary printing systems today are the inkjet and laser method. However, despite their popularity, many are still don’t know the difference between inkjet vs. laser systems and, hence, are unsure which they should choose for their application. When weighing inkjet vs laser systems, there are some specific attributes of each that will readily clarify which type of printer is right for your business. First, it’s important to know what each type of machine is capable of delivering. Here is an at-a-glance chart that matches up each printer type on a few specific factors of note:


  • Inkjet- Works well with products that transport at a continuous fixed speed motion; works fast; easy set-up and operation. There are a few types of inkjet printers, including thermal and continuous inkjet systems; capable of using a wide range of inks, including solvent-based, thermographic, UV-sensitive and UV-durable.
  • Laser- It’s easy to operate and operates at top speeds; integrates well with the rest of the packaging line thanks to speed sensing shaft encoders.
  • Inkjet- Some environmental concerns.
  • Laser- Can require a fume extractor to cut down on environmental and working condition issues.
Use Of Consumables:
  • Inkjet- Use of inks and other consumables.
  • Laser- Doesn’t use consumables.
  • Inkjet- Fairly low upfront cost but higher cost of consumables.
  • Laser- Expensive upfront costs but no consumable costs and low maintenance costs.
  • Inkjet- New technology is reducing the need for maintenance.
  • Laser- Relatively low unless it is in an environment where there is dust, moisture, or vibration.
  • Inkjet- Average life.
  • Laser- Long life up to 10 years.
Primary Applications:
  • Inkjet- Primary and distribution packaging applications.
  • Laser- Excellent choice when permanent marking is needed; support both continuous and intermittent package motion processes.

Of course, both types of machines are continually realize innovation as manufacturers continue to pursue the use of technology to further the capabilities and value of each. This is why it’s important to research each type of equipment before deciding on inkjet vs laser systems to ensure that you have addressed all the specific and unique needs of your operation using the most up-to-date information possible. In Summary These are the main points found in this blog post:

  • Both inkjet and laser printing systems have their advantages and issues, which have to be weighed against individual factors that are important to your particular business objectives.
  • Other factors that must be considered include use of consumables, cost, maintenance, life and primary applications.
  • Each machine must be able to tick off as many boxes as possible for your business needs before you make an investment to ensure that you can meet productivity, quality, and volume goals.


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