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Laser vs LaserJet, What’s the Difference?

Does a laser printer use a actual laser? Do LaserJet printers use laser technology?

What’s the difference between a Laser printer and a LaserJet printer? To put it simply, there really is no difference. A LaserJet printer is a laser printer. It’s just a brand name much like a Kleenex is a tissue or a Q-Tip is a cotton swab. Since HP has been producing printers for such a long time, the name “LaserJet” has become a premium brand name that many people use instead of a Laser printer. Brother, Toshiba, Xerox, and other manufactures have names for their printers, but it’s not as pronounced as HP’s LaserJet line.

So what kind of “laser” is in a laser printer like HP’s LaserJet line? Does a laser burn the paper black? Well the short answer is that there really isn’t a red or blue laser in the printer and it doesn’t burn anything to paper, directly. The way a laser printer work is that a small device called a scanner uses an invisible laser to “etch” an image onto a rolling pin called a drum. It charges the drum with the image so it picks up toner in the cartridge and lays it on the paper. Then the toner (or plastic particles) are sealed or fused on to the paper. That’s it, no burning, no fancy red lasers.


11 Comments (Leave a Reply)

  1. Tiana (May 27, 2009)

    Cool. Answered my question before I went out to buy a printer. Thanks.

  2. al (September 14, 2009)

    This definitely answered my question. Thanks!

  3. Mike (January 23, 2010)

    Great explanation. Been looking all over the net for a simple answer like this. Thanks a million!

  4. Terry (March 3, 2010)

    Thanks. Appreciate the info.

  5. yanghe (April 29, 2010)

    Thanks, very helpful

  6. Susan (June 7, 2010)

    Thanks, A great straightforward explaination!

  7. Chris (October 1, 2010)

    Perfect! I needed to be sure before I fed laser printer transparency film into the HP Laserjet. Thanks for the concise answer.

  8. vera (November 18, 2010)

    Thank you so much! you are a trooper! concrete answer!

  9. Pat D. (June 27, 2011)

    We have a black and white laser in our office and a color laser jet. If I highlight the text on the black and white, the ink does not smear. It appears to be baked on. If I highlight the text that was printed on the color printer, the ink smears. Are you sure there isn’t a difference between a laser and laser jet? Jet – meaning squirted on.

  10. Soulard Poulton (July 25, 2012)

    Magnificent issues altogether, you just gained a emblem new reader.

  11. bob (October 10, 2012)

    yes there is a differance between a laser jet(a small amount of ink is squerted out of a jet) and a laser printer (a laser is employed to a drum and toner is fused as you say). Don’t forget the bubble jet is like the laser jet(it squerts).



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