If you’ve a laser printer, you’re a target, a target for profits that is. So who is targeting you well it’s the printer companies and it all started when you saw that great deal for a shiny new laser printer, what a bargain huh ! And all will be well as you put in the half empty ‘starter cartridge’ and start printing.
That’s the first clue you have, you’ll see lots of material and initiative about how eco-friendly all these companies are. Yet they use all the resources required to produce a normal cartridge, and then only partly fill it. A complete waste of resources, the effort and expense in real terms to just fill it with toner ink for your laser printer is minimal but of course it delays you going on to the next stage.
That’s when you get the shock, the starter cartridge will normally be less than 50% full so pretty soon you’ll be off to price up new laser toner cartridges. In many case this will often be much more than the printer cost in the first place. In fact it is not uncommon for a full set of laser toner cartridges to cost much, much more than a new printer. But of course they’ve got you now, what good is a big shiny, laser printer without ink?
What purpose does it serve, well it’s pretty much useless as we are aware.
You have no choice to hand over sometimes hundreds of dollars to get your ‘laser printer’ capable of printing again. This tactic is often seen with good like razors, you buy a very cheap fancy razor for a few pence then find that the blades cost many times more. This is how HP, Samsungs and Lexmarks make money from you, the consumables, this is where the real profit starts to flow.
Have you ever looked at a toner cartridge and wondered why you have to start again when all it needs is ink? Does it look like it’s going to fall apart ? Of course not and it won’t, the reason why you have to but a new one is because it MAKES MORE MONEY for the printer company. Years ago most cartridges used to have little stoppers on them, that you could unplug and fill up with ink, they have mostly disappeared now not for any practical reason simply because the printer companies can make more money if you don’t. There is a huge environmental impact in all this, don’t be fooled by eco-friendly recycling schemes, if the printer companies didn’t actively stop you refilling toner cartridges it would instantly reduce the resources used and the landfill problem caused by these cartridges.
So How do you Refill Toner Laser Cartidges
It’s actually usually very easy, all you need to do is get some more ink into the cartridge and it will work. That’s the general principle – there’s no need to modify, replace or change anything else in the cartridge – just top up the ink. Make sure you buy decent compatible toner from a company you can trust, and importantly advise you on how to refill it. Generally it’s fairly simple you just have to make a small hole with an inexpensive soldering iron and attachment (got mine for $5) and pour in the replacement toner ink, then seal up the whole with a stopper or even tape.
Of course the printer companies don’t like you doing this, and some have fitted ‘killer chips’ to stop that cartridge working after so many prints (another staggeringly environmentally wasteful tactic), if you have one of those you will often have to replace this little chip with a new one. It’s very easy to do in most cases but it does add a few bucks to the cost of refilling the toner, clever people in Taiwan are producing these chips very cheaply. Well that’s usually it, some printer models have little design problems which mean that they are a bit fiddly to replace but check with your toner refill supplier, they’ll know which ones to avoid. Most however can be refilled with relative ease and the savings can be dramatic on some laser cartridges, check out the process here in this post which shows you how to refill toner. Often you can refill many, many times, just keep an eye out on the print quality when it starts to get worse simply buy a new cartridge.
There are a few firms that do this and in my experience they are very professional, after all they will only stay in business if you keep refilling your laser printer. Most will sell you the little kit extremely cheaply and advise you – I always use these guys TonerTopup but the important thing is to try it, you can’t damage your printer and it is much less wasteful, search on the Internet and you’ll find many more companies who will show you how to refill your laser cartridge simply.