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What is a Monochrome Laser Printer?



If a picture paints a thousand words, a printer can print a thousand pages. Printers have been around for a while and have been indispensable hardware throughout the years but some of us may not be aware what type of technology our printer has. If you have a monochrome laser printer, it has a rich history that can be traced all the way back in the 60s.


Monochrome Printer

The word monochrome means one color. In monochrome printing, it’s a printer that uses only black ink. The printed output is in a form of black and white presented in different shades, intensities, or values. Monochrome printers are generally faster, cheaper to operate, and rugged than their colored printers so it’s not surprising monochrome printers are the standard choice for professional applications in keeping their operation costs low at the same time can handle heavy duty printing cycles.


How it works

When you click the print command from your computer, the laser printer begins to warm up for a few seconds as a corona wire heats up and the drum is positively charged. As the drum rolls, the corona wire passes its charge across the drum’s surface. The laser activates and beams against reflective surface to the drum and imprints the text or image. The toner cartridge then releases charged toner particles on the drum as it turns and are embedded to any negative charged area. Then the transfer belt rolls the paper and gives it a positive charge, leaving the negative charged toner particles stamped to the paper in the shape of text or image. The toner particles are melted by the fuser and the paper is printed as it rolls out.


Qualities of a good monochrome laser printer

They are known for these efficient qualities:

  • Speed – a good monochrome laser printer can print at least 25 pages a minute so the higher the pages per minute (ppm) a manufacturer claims, the faster the printing speed. The faster the printing speed as claimed or in actual print, the better the laser printer is.
  • Printing Cost - the toner, while not necessarily cheaper than a standard black inkjet cartridge, usually has a higher printing capacity. It translates to lower printing cost per page.
  • Paper Handling – laser printers generally offer better paper input capacity than the inkjet counterparts; can easily handle 250 pages or more, depends on the model. They also accept a wider range of paper types that can also print labels, envelopes, acetates, or thermal paper.


With the availability of different kinds of laser printers today, it all goes down to your need whether you need a single-function laser printer or an all-in-one laser printer. One of the fastest laser printers available today is the Samsung ProXpress M3820DW that can print up to 40 pages per minute. If you need to print a lot of documents fast within your line of work that don’t require color, it is a good choice. There are also all-in-one monochrome laser printer models out there such as the Canon imageClass MF249dw or the more expensive Kyocera Ecosys Multifunctional M3145IDN so you also take consideration the additional features like scan, wireless printing, or copy (which have a fair chance that you will need them) unless you’re absolutely sure you don’t.


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  • Impressed with this printer, any idea where I can purchase an affordable Monochrome Laser printer.

  • I have never even heard of one of these. Thanks for the info!

    Mandy Robinson

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