What Is a Printer Drum Kit?

by Matt McGewUpdated September 26, 2017

Since the original invention of the printing press, technology has improved the methods used to put words or images on paper. The personal printer makes it possible to print on paper at your home or business and create professional quality documents. A personal laser printer is a type of printer that uses a toner cartridge to print. You will need to replace or refill this toner cartridge when it runs out of printing material. Laser printers also contain a drum that you will need to be replace when it stops working properly.

The Drum

The drum is a critical element of the laser printer. A laser printer uses one of several different processes to outline and draw the printed image on the drum with a laser beam. The drum, therefore, will contain the entire image that the printer will ultimately transfer to the paper. The printer transfers the image to the paper by adding heat and toner material to the drum.

Printer Drum Kit

When the drum on a laser printer starts to wear out, the quality of the printed material gradually degrades. The drum typically has a lifespan of 40,000 pages assuming it has not suffered any damage. If you are refilling your own toner cartridge, you should take care not to damage the drum when adding toner. You can generally replace or refill a toner cartridge two times before having to replace the drum on your printer.

Original Equipment Manufacturer

Genuine printer drum kits, called OEM, are sold by the same company that manufactured your printer. The manufacturer of the printer will generally only honor the printer’s guarantee so long as you continue to use OEM parts when replacing printer drum kits, toners and other printer parts. The OEM parts are generally more expensive and do not necessarily result in a superior printer image. Buying OEM parts also decreases the chances of damaging your printer by using non-OEM parts.


Many third party companies market generic printer drum kits. Although cheaper, these generic drum kits will not only void your printer’s warranty but can also damage your printer. To avoid patent infringements, the generic printer drum kits are not identical to the OEM kits. In most cases, these generic kits will look different than the OEM kits and also may offer different yields.


About the Author

Since 1992 Matt McGew has provided content for on and offline businesses and publications. Previous work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," Travelocity and "GQ Magazine." McGew specializes in search engine optimization and has a Master of Arts in journalism from New York University.

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