How many pages will my printer cartridge print?

How many pages will my cartridge print?

How many pages will I print with a printer cartridge? This is one of the most frequently asked questions of our customers.

The problem here is that in most cases the information published in the printer documentation is highly manipulative. The number of pages that should be printed with a printer cartridge (according to the techical specs) is a purely mathematical calculation based on a “standard” ink coverage of 5%.

The 5% ink coverage per page rule

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) set a 5% rule to assist manufacturers state how many pages their cartridges will print and the document setting this standard is called ISO/IEC 24712:2007.

5% ink coverage
5% ink coverage

On the right, you see an image of a “standard” 5% coverage page.

As you can see, such coverage of 5% in practice is rarely encountered simply because, with such a coverage, the page visibly looks half empty. It is therefore obvious that in normal operation of your printer, you will rarely reach the page yeld specified in your printer’s specifications.

Moreover, it is easy to guess that, say, with 10% coverage, which would be closer to “normal operation”, the number of printed pages will be not only smaller, but it will be twice smaller!

10% ink coverage

With an average coverage of 10%, you’re using twice as much ink per page, so your page yield will be cut in half. As simple as that.

So, if your pages look more like the one on the left than the one on the top right, then the number of pages printed by your cartridge will be two times smaller than the specification data.

Therefore, as clearly visible, the specifications for the printer cartridges yield can be taken for just an approximate and very rough reference.