Brand new toner cartridges aren’t cheap. Many laser printer and copier owners looking to cut costs have increasingly been turning to one of the many companies which provide the wherewithall to simply refill the old toner cartridge when it runs out. But is this really a workable solution or does it come with hidden pitfalls?
The simple answer, according to most users who’ve discovered the refillable option, is that cartridge refills provide a considerable saving compared with buying new from the machine manufacturer with no significant loss of quality or other technical issues.
So what are the advantages of refillable cartridges? The most obvious is cost. Most users report a saving of around 50% in printing costs following the switch to refills. Some suppliers claim savings of up to 75% with certain types of machine. Because you are using the original cartridge body, there are no compatibility issues which can arise with “cloned” cartridges. The simple fact is that if the cartridge was working well when it ran out of toner, it should work equally well when it’s been refilled. Colour printers don’t present a problem and can be filled in much the same way as black cartridges. It’s good for the environment too. Most cartridges are used once and thrown, usually ending up in landfill. Refilling cartridges not only saves the resources used in manufacturing – approximately one and a half litres of oil in each plastic cartridge body – but prevents the environmental damage caused by these non- biodegradable items. Almost all manufacturers are catered for and most models are suitable for user refilling.
Any disadvantages? Well, like any mechanical device, the cartridge body and any moving parts will wear out in time so you won’t be able to refill forever. Sooner or later you’ll need to buy a new unit – which you’ll be able to refill again! Usually the access by which fresh toner powder is added to the cartridge is via a plug, sometimes sealed with one or two screws. However, some manufacturers have made refilling more difficult by factory-sealing the hole through which the toner is poured into the cartridge. In such cases it’s relatively easy to re-open the hole by melting the core and refill suppliers provide a simple tool and instructions to do this.
And that’s it. Refilling your cartridge provides a cheap, high quality solution and it’s environmentally- friendly. What more do you want?