Page Yield Meaning

Updated: Feb 11, 2024 5:29 PM
page yield meaning guide

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A printer’s page yield is an estimate of the number of pages an ink or toner cartridge can print before the cartridge will need to be replaced. Printers can be a significant investment, as can their associated ink cartridges and toner cartridges.

To that end, consumers may be wondering about page yield for different types of top-rated printers.

What is Page Yield?

When you are talking about a printer’s page yield, you are actually referring to how many pages a printer can print before the ink or toner will need to be replaced.

The page yield of a cartridge is based upon the ISO standard for measuring ink cartridge yields when it comes to printing out pages with the standard 5% page coverage.

This 5% coverage means that 5% of the page is covered with ink or toner, allowing for a consistent comparison of page yields regardless of cartridge type or printer.

5 different types of test print pages

The ISO/IEC standards for page yield:

  • ISO/IEC 19752 yield standard is a test for monochrome printing with toner. The page will have 5% coverage with text and graphics in black and white, and the printer will continuously print until the cartridge reaches the end of its life.
  • ISO/IEC 19798 (color toner) and ISO/IEC 24711 (color inkjet) use a set of 5 test pages that are continuously printed until the cartridges reach the end of their life.
    • The test prints using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink. The pages contain a mix of images/graphics and text with different percentages of page coverage that averages out to be approximately 5% coverage per page.

STAT: For the purpose of cartridge yield measure, almost all printer manufacturers base their black ink/toner cartridge yields on 5% coverage. (source)

Learn How Yield Changes by Type

The different types of printers each have their own average page yields. Knowing these figures can help you make a decision about what kind of printer to buy.

You may also want to check our page on how many pages an ink cartridge can print or, if you have a laser printer, how many pages you can print with one toner cartridge.

In addition, you can also learn how to get more ink out of a cartridge if you are curious.

page percentage 5%, 10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%

Inkjet Printers

Impressive page yields are not one of the strong suits of inkjet printers. Generally speaking, ink cartridges can print around 220 pages before needing to be replaced. This will depend on its usage, obviously, as reproducing high-resolution color images will deplete the cartridges much faster.

You can help ease the financial burden of consistent ink cartridge replacement by going with third-party or generic ink cartridges and manually refilling them themselves.

Also, many big-box retail stores will refill ink cartridges at the store location. We advise calling ahead before bringing in some nearly depleted ink cartridges.

Laser Printers

Laser printers use toner cartridges, which are highly efficient when it comes to page yields.

The average page yield of a laser printer is many times more than what is found with an inkjet printer, at around 2,500 to 4,000 pages per cartridge. This is why laser printers are the de facto standard in highly trafficked office environments.

The downside with laser printers is the initial buy-in cost, as the printers themselves tend to be much more expensive than inkjet printers.

And if you are new to laser printers, you may have seen a message about a chip that you didn’t understand. Don’t worry; we have you covered with an article on what no chip means on toner cartridges.

High-yield Cartridges

If you are really looking to maximize your page yield, you should consider high-yield cartridges. High-capacity cartridges are available for both inkjet printers and laser printers.

When it comes to inkjet printers, choosing a high-yield cartridge can up the average yield to around 350 pages per cartridge.

Opting for a high-capacity cartridge for laser printers can up the average yield to 8,000 or more pages.


How many pages will my cartridge print?

This depends entirely on your printer, the size of your cartridge, and the types of print jobs you typically complete.

What can affect your page yield/duty cycle?

A number of factors can impact your overall page yield or duty cycle, including the efficiency of your printer, your printer type, the size of your cartridge, and the kinds of print jobs you normally complete.

Is it cheaper to print at home or at a store?

This depends on the number of prints you need. It can be cost-effective to conduct print jobs at a retail location if it is something you do rarely. If you find yourself needing to regularly print documents, it may be time to buy a printer.

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