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Printer Tips: How to Calculate Total Cost of Ownership

How to Calculate a Printer's Total Cost of Ownership

Yesterday, we posted a video article about 5 Tips on Buying Office Printers.” And in one of those tips, we mentioned the importance of knowing the printer’s total cost of ownership.

To start with, the total cost of ownership refers to the purchase price of the asset you brought plus its cost of operation. This is vital if you want to invest in the right office equipment without going over the budget. To give you a short breakdown, here’s a breakdown on how you should calculate a printer’s total cost of ownership. 

Upfront Cost/Purchase Price

Toner and Supplies

Paper Supplies




+          Maintenance Cost

=        Total Cost of Ownership


While the percentage goes as follows: Upfront Cost (20%), Toner and Supplies (40%), Paper Supplies (10%), Hardware (7%), Repair (10 %), Support (8 %), and Maintenance (15%).

Over time, 75% of the printing costs go entirely to the supplies and maintenance costs. This is an important thing to consider so you can make a smart purchase decision.

Aside from that, here are a few tips that can also help you in purchasing the right office equipment:

Supplies Cost

Some printers have a lower purchase price but cost more in the long run due to the price of its supplies. So before buying a printer, make sure to check the price range of all the supplies including the print cartridges and replaceable parts.

Software Compatibility

Offices are likely to upgrade their current OS as a new version of their operating system is released. Some even change their operating system to another. So when buying an office printer, check the software compatibility. Make sure that the printer you want to buy works on several operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Unix.

Print Cartridges Page Yield

When buying print cartridges, you can see a page yield included in its description. This page yield refers to the estimated number of pages it can print. Some print cartridges can print 1,000 pages, while some can print up to 5,000 pages. The more it can print, the more it can save you in the long run.

Recommended Monthly Print Volume and Monthly Duty Cycle

Printers and office copiers have what we call recommended monthly print volume and monthly duty cycle. The difference between these two is: (1) the recommended monthly print volume is the suggested number of pages you can print using the unit, while (2) monthly duty cycle refers to the maximum pages you can print with the printer. So check if these two factors meet the specifications of the equipment you need.

Printing Speed

Not all working environment needs a fast printing speed. So don’t make the printer speed the basis of how great the unit is. Just pick a printer or office copier with a printing speed that matches the one your office needs.


Buying an office printing equipment is an important investment, so make sure to search before purchasing one.

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