Now I know despite being hugely ripped of for replacement cartridges, many people feel a little unsure about refilling their toner, so I thought I’d post a little refill toner review. Now the method will vary slightly depending on the printer cartridge your going to refill but essentially the vast majority now focus on one distinct method.
This method is the ‘make a hole’ and ‘pour’ method. Now if you are really lucky on the side of your cartridge their may be a little stopper that can be opened. If you have you’re in luck as all you have to do is open the stopper and pour in some replacement toner ink. Difficult huh ! Most cartridges used to have these little refill plugs but the printer companies now have helpfully replaced them as they realised they can make loads more money by selling you new ones or refurbishing your existing cartridges (the annoying thing is they pretend to be eco-friendly by doing this!).
If the printer companies put back these little stoppers it would have a huge environmental benefit, people could refill toner in their cartridges with no effort at all. Unfortunately I don’t think this is likely unless they are forced by legislation. The reality is most of us will be faced with the problem of the cartridge being sealed so will have to find a way of opening the cartridge.
Refill Toner Review – Some Steps
So let’s first start by looking at the tools needed, you can either put these together yourself or the companies who supply refill toners will sell you one. The picture here contains the standard items in kit, which is all you’ll need on most cartridges, they’re not expensive I think I paid about $14 for my first kit to refill toner.
You can see from the kit, there’s some gloves, stoppers, pincers, plugs and a soldering iron. The most important item is probably the soldering iron with a little adapter. To use this you simply let it heat up and touch the side of the toner cartridge. A little hole will be created and you use this to pour the replacement toner into the cartridge.
You can then use the stopper to reseal the hole and make a nice neat job, and that’s basically it. No really for many printer cartridges that is all you need to do. It takes a few minutes and provided you don’t pour the toner all over your shoes instead of the cartridge and use quality compatible toner your toner cartridge will be as good as new.
I’d like to say it takes great skill but actually it doesn’t – it can’t do I have done it on many occasions.
I’d like to say a little word in my mini toner refill review about the replacement ink. This is probably the most important part of refilling the cartridge, if you fill it with rubbish then you will get poor results. Fortunately most of the companies I’ve used all provide top quality ink which is exactly the same as the toner you will get in the original cartridges.
When you shake the toner bottle, the ink is so fine that it behaves like liquid. This makes it very easy to pour into the hole you have created, obviously be sensible and don’t do this over your beige lounge carpet though! Most of the bottles are supplied with a pouring nozzle like this one in the image, it really is a very simple job to refill toner.
Once you’ve poured the toner in, then you just have to use one of the stoppers in the kit to seal the unit. It’s nothing fancy as long as the toner doesn’t leak through the hole you should be fine. Don’t worry if you don’t have any stoppers, you can use strong packing tape just as well, it doesn’t look as neat but works fine.
Here’s one that has been completed and ready to go back into your printer. So I urge you to give it a go, you will be making a big difference to your pocket and also it’s saving new cartridges being produced (takes about 2 litres of oil to produce each one) plus the old one going to landfill.
You can often refill your cartridges many times and you’ll save a small fortune on replacement toner. The cartridges are all self contained so there’s no risk to your printer and if you buy quality ink you’ll not notice any reduction in quality of your printing either.
Many schools and businesses refill their cartridges routinely and literally save thousands every year, the savings do add up. I hope my brief toner refill review has given you the impetus to give it a go, it really is simple and the savings can be considerable! Here’s the company I use if you want a recommendation – Toner Topup