Improving print quality on a Brother Laser Printer

Making adjustments to your Brother laser printer to fix print issues is easy, the following article will explain how you do it. We are focusing mainly on Brother Laser printers as they are by far the most popular printers on the Australian market for both home and business use. The Brother Laser Printer is cheap to purchase, cheap to use ( providing you stick with generic toners ) and are built extremely robust. So let's take a look at some of the print settings we can adjust and the benefits of doing so.

1. Print Density - adjusting the print darkness

Print density is the setting which will change the darkness or intensity of the printout. If you are not happy with the darkness of the black for example on a Brother Mono Laser then change the print density level to maximum. I do this to all of my Brother printers as it results in a much darker, clearer printout. Here is how you adjust this:

Go to: Control Panel>>Hardware and Sound>>Devices and Printers.

Right Click on your printer and select "Printing Preferences".

Next Click on "Advanced">>"Other Print Options">>"Density Adjustment"

Set the slider to "Darkest"

Once you have adjusted this you will immediately see the print quality darken and become much "blacker" so to speak. 

2. Improve Print Output - Stop toner from rubbing off

Have you ever had issues with the toner rubbing off of the page? This is a common issue and there are many factors involved that contribute to this happening. Often when printing on labels or thicker paper the toner does not burn onto the page enough which results in it easily rubbing off. This can be easily resolved and there are a couple of settings that we can adjust to fix the problem.

The first adjustment is under the "Improve Print Output" button, here's how to find it:

Go to: Control Panel>>Hardware and Sound>>Devices and Printers.

Right Click on your printer and select "Printing Preferences".

Next Click on "Advanced">>"Other Print Options">>"Improve Toner Fixing"

Select "Improve Toner Fixing"

Next Click "OK" and "Apply"

Once this is done you will notice an improvement on how well the toner sticks to the paper or label however if you are still not satisfied with how well it is sticking to the paper we can also change other settings to improve the adhesion even more.

3. Media Type - select paper thickness etc

If you are still wanting to burn the toner onto the paper or labels even harder then you can make adjustments to the print media by selecting a "thicker paper" setting. What this will do is slow down the speed at which the printing occurs which in turn burns the toner powder "harder" onto the print medium. The only drawback is the fact that it will slow down the print speed considerably however if should definitely stop the toner from rubbing off altogether. Here's how we make the adjustment:

Go to: Control Panel>>Hardware and Sound>>Devices and Printers.

Right Click on your printer and select "Printing Preferences".

Next stay on "Basic" and under "Media Type"

Select "Thick Paper"

Next Click "OK" and "Apply"

Now when you print you will notice that by selecting "Thick Paper" that the print speed has slowed considerably. This allows the printer to "bake" the toner powder much harder onto the paper. You can leave the setting like this if you are not fussed about the slow print speed or you can simply adjust it only when you are printing labels etc. By changing these settings you should find that the toner is almost impossible now to rub off. I personally use the above settings as I print a load of eParcel labels each day which I certainly don't want to rub off.

4. Clean the Drum Unit

Are your printouts spotted or contaminated? It could be that your drum unit needs a good clean. If you have dots or print defects repeated at equal distances vertically up the page then the drum is most likely at fault. Remove the drum unit from the machine, release the toner from the drum and then using a lint free cloth clean the entire drum roller surface or at least clean any contamination that is visible. You can use some Mentholated Spirits or Isopropyl Alcohol on the cloth to help remove the contamination but NEVER use anything that will leave an oily residue on the roller. When re-installing always move the "Corona wire" ( usually has a green knob ) back and forth several times to make sure it is clean and ALWAYS make sure it rests in the correct position, fully to the correct side. 

Cleaning a Drum Unit video

5. Fixing a dirty or gray background

A very common issue with Brother Laser printers is a printout with a dirty or grayish background. The usual cause of this is a faulty toner. Often low grade compatible toners have a poor or faulty wiper blade which means that any excess toner on the roller does not get removed completely and so ends up being transferred to the drum unit resulting in a dirty background. The only solution to this is to change the toner. When you change the toner you may also need to clean the drum unit to restore a clean print quality.

For a more comprehensive list of toner cartridge issues have a read of our article: Most common toner cartridge problems