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How to make the most of your printer

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How to make the most of your printer

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Your printer is one of the most important pieces of home or office kit that you will buy. As with any useful equipment, you tend to realise just how essential it is when it goes wrong! As well as choosing the right printer and using it to its full potential, there are also some simple steps you can take to ensure it runs smoothly.

What do you use your printer for?

The first step in choosing a printer for your home or office is to list all of the things you will use it for. Ask yourself the following questions before spending money on a new printer:

  • Do you need to make colour prints or will a cheaper black and white printer do the job?
  • What size documents do you need to print? If you need bigger prints than the usual sizes then you will require an A3 printer.
  • Is print speed more important than quality? An inkjet printer is a good all-rounder; a laser printer will be faster but the picture quality isnít as good.
  • Will people be operating the printer from different devices and locations? If so, you will need a wireless printer.
  • Do you also need to scan documents and send faxes? An all-in-one printer will best suit your needs and save on desk space.
  • Will you want to print any kind of labels? If so, have a look at the South East Labels website to see the huge range of options available to you.

Labelling equipment and software

Did you know that you can get specialised software and accessories so that you can use your printer to make your own labels?

There are a huge number of labelling options available which go far beyond desktop label printing and include:

  • industrial barcode equipment
  • thermal labels
  • different grade adhesives from peelable to permanent
  • waterproof and chemical-resistant labels

How to look after your printer

Dust is the enemy of your printer. It can prevent paper feeding properly, reduce the print quality and generally clog up the moving parts of your machine. Your printer will come with its own specific cleaning instructions but the following are general tips for maintenance:

  • For an inkjet printer you will need to clean the ink-head or cartridge to keep the ink flowing smoothly. This should be done occasionally and may be required more often if the printer is not used regularly as the ink can clog up the nozzles. To do this, simply remove the cartridge and wipe the print head contacts clean with a little rubbing alcohol.
  • Laser printers work by distributing toner using a corona wire. This wire can become clogged with toner, affecting the performance of your printer. To clean the corona wires, first make sure the printer is switched off and has cooled down. You can then blow or use canned air to remove the loose dust and toner. If necessary you can then gently wipe the wires with rubbing alcohol using a lint-free cloth.
  • Paper feed rollers should also be cleaned with alcohol if required. You could try this if the printer isnít feeding the paper correctly or you are experiencing paper jams.
  • Any vents on the printer should be kept uncovered and dust-free. You can use compressed air to clean the vents and hopefully prolong the life of your printer.

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