What Is a Doctor Blade?

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Printers can be complex machines. It is typically frustrating to have one break or report an error when no one from IT is around to fix it. Even if an employee is brave enough to open the flap to view the inner workings, they might become so intimidated by the mass of black plastic pieces that they don’t attempt anything further. One simple part of printers, though, is the doctor blade. This blade helps in creating evenly printed products in most types of printers and industries.


The job of this part is to scrape extra ink off of the printer cylinder so it does not deposit excess ink onto the document being printed. Without the blade, the document may come out with thick, wet ink that is unable to dry in the correct pattern. The blades can be plastic or metal, but both will inevitably need repair and replacement as they wear down from running against the printer cylinder. Updating the blade can ensure quality printing and no messy accidents.


The blade scraping the extra ink from the printer cylinder helps to make a print come out even. This means no globs of ink on one side of the document with no ink on the other. It also means only using the amount of ink that a page can absorb and not overloading the document. Without the blade, the printer cylinder would not be metered and documents might never come out correctly. The blade needs to be positioned properly within the printer to work effectively. It should be the right length for the printer and angled correctly to pull the correct amount of extra ink off the cylinder.

Although many parts of printers may seem confusing, the doctor blade is a simple, but important, piece of the printing process.