A printhead can be considered to be the very core of an inkjet printer. It is the component that does the actual printing process. It consists of a series of nozzles that sprays the ink on to the paper. There is no contact between the paper and the printer head in case of inkjet printers. Printheads are generally of two types, the fixed head and the disposable head. The fixed head is an inbuilt printhead that will last throughout the life of the printer. The printhead need not be replaced when the ink runs out. Only the ink cartridge needs to be replaced. In case of disposable printhead the entire printhead is replaced every time the ink runs out.
The advantage of disposable printhead over fixed printhead is that the damage to the printhead is a very minor problem that can be solved by mere replacement of the head which is relatively low priced. On the other hand, if a fixed head gets damaged professionals have to be called to replace the head and its replacement cost is very high. However, in case of fixed head only the ink needs to be refilled in case it runs out and the entire head does not need to go. The cost of refilling the ink is low. The print quality obtained from high end fixed head printers is of high quality. Since both these type of print heads use alcohol based inks, they dry on the ink head and most often causes clogging. Some printer companies have come up with a solution to avoid this by adding a sponge to the unit which automatically cleans the print head after certain hours of usage. This keeps the printhead relatively free from clogs and it last longer. This also reduces the effort that need to be put in by the user to clean the head from time to time. Companies are also coming up with water based inks that do not clog the system.
It is a fact that disposable heads are used more in consumer products while the fixed head printers are found in high end industrial products. Printers with disposable heads cost less and are low maintenance when compared to printers with fixed heads. When purchasing a printer the usage of the printer need to be considered. Based on that, the printerhead need to be decided upon. The budget is also important as high end printers are costlier when compared to the consumer printers.
About the Author: Andrew Yeung is the Marketing Director of ComboInk, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including Canon cartridges and HP deskjet cartridges. By purchasing a large volume from factory, ComboInk is able to sell laser toner cartridges at steep discounts, saving small businesses thousands in operating costs each year.