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KNow anything about laser printers? Does refilling toner cartridges work?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by PolterGeist, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. PolterGeist

    PolterGeist

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    My wife bought a new Konica Minolta laser printer in the spring for all of her papers.

    It came with a starter toner cartridge. (I don't know why if I pay for a new printer, why can't I get a full toner cartridge?) Anyhow, it's almost out.

    A new cartridge is $70 on ebay, $80 at the store.

    A refill kit on Ebay is like $18.

    Does refilling the cartridge work or is it a waste of time/money? Am I better off just getting a whole new cartridge?

    Steve
     
  2. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    I have about 16 years of past experience with copiers, laser printers and faxes. I personally would never try to refill or use one refilled. Things might be diferent now but I've seen too many problems with them leaking or damaging the machine. While they will replace the cartrige you are usually stuck with the repair bill.
     
  3. Rogorn

    Rogorn

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    These days I only use new mfg brand toner cartridges. I would not try to refill toner myself, cleaning spills seems an impossible task. Only ever used HP brand laser printers if knowing printer mfg makes a difference.

    Previously, tried some 3rd party refills, not convinced it was a wise idea. Aftermarket toner impressions include (1) insufficient amount of toner, (2) not as fine granuals/powder, thus some instances of "clogging", and (3) collectively big and little issues sum to the overall impression that compared with price of laser repair or new purchase, not worth it.

    However, to mitigate the cost of new cartridges, I regularly run the laser on a "draft" setting for 95% of the output. Manually switch to high quality for those rare times it's needed. This has extended cartridge life considerably.
     
  4. alvarorb

    alvarorb Color Geek in Charge

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    Steve,


    I don't know how much you print. My wife has got a laser printer at home for he business. The starter cartridge did not last too long. But after that we replaced it with a regular cartridge for that printer model. She prints all her work related suff on that machine and we change the toner cartridge every 18 months or so.
    Yes, the cartridges are expensive, but they last so long that I don't think it's worth putting something other than what the manufacturer recommends.

    Regards

    Alvaro
     
  5. 60wag

    60wag SILVER Star

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    Not all toner is created equal. Some is good, some is crap. Slower printers are more forgiving than the newer faster ones. Also in most newer printers, the toner cartridge contains more than just toner. While you can get several toners refills to run with the same charge roller and imaging drum, they need to get replaced every so often also. If you have lots of time on your hands and don't mind prints with some black speckling in the background, refilling is a cheap alternative. The replacement cartridge replaces most of the elements in the printer that wear over time.
     
  6. PolterGeist

    PolterGeist

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    Not terribly often, but when she does, it's a doozy. She prints like once every six weeks, but she prints research papers that range from 50 pages to 300 pages, and usually makes multiple copies.

    She then feeds all the sheets into an electric hole punch we bought and sticks them in binders.

    One print job can go thru a pack or two of paper.

    We bought this one cause of the speed... it does close toi 30 pages a minute when they're one sided, and about 15 or so when she prints two sided, so it's pretty fast.

    and since she's willing to do the hole punching and binding herself, we avoid the $200 bills at Kinkos, 2 of which pay for the printer...

    Anyway, it sounds to me like refill is a waste of time. THanks for all the advice.

    For the life of me I don't understand why, if we pay $500 for a printer, don't we get a full cartridge?

    Steve
     
  7. dmc

    dmc

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    I would say stay away from re-manufactured cartridges. From an HP perspective I can say that the cartridge does more than just hold toner. It contains other consumables that will affect the quality of print and longevity of the device. I'm not sure about Konica-Minolta but HP will void the warranty of any device if re-man cartridges are used. Regardless, long term you'll save more money using factory toner.
    dmc
     
  8. Rogorn

    Rogorn

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    <Grin> For the very same reason some of the mfgs are now using timer chips on their cartridges that force expiration of the refill regardless of the amount of ink/toner remaining. (IBM/Lexmark and HP for sure, not all refills though, thank goodness...)

    Answer ==> $$$$
     
  9. PolterGeist

    PolterGeist

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    Hmm...

    What do you think would happen if an auto manufacturer equipped it's engines with some kind of shear pin or smemthing that broke every 40,000 to get you to buy a new engine, regardless of the fact that the one you have was still good for another 100,000 at least?

    And, on top of that, you bought a car with a V8, but the ECM is programmed from the factory to only allow 4 cylinders to work, until you reach the 40,000 miles and get your new engine.

    They'd get the s*** sued out of them.

    To me, seems like dangerous ground for a printer company to be treading.

    Steve
     
  10. dmc

    dmc

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    Bad analogy. Use water instead of gas then see if Toyota will stand by their warranty. Toner is a consumable. The printer engine has very little maintainence and damn near impossible to find on ebay. Instead of buying Chevron or Texaco gas why don't you start pumping it out of a rusty barrel you found somewhere down in Mexico where more than likely it is more water or diesel fuel than gasoline? I work with customers every day that that have HP LaserJet 4s and 5s from 10-15 years ago. Seems to me like paying extra for factory toner is a good thing. Yeah that chip is there to minimize re-man competitors but we would sell a lot more printers if people didn't use our toner.

    Regardless, the smart chips don't 'kill' the cartridge. There is no expiration date programmed into it. Expiration dates are established on naturallly grown toner which is on it's way out. Most printer manufacturers have moved to checmically grown toner. When it comes down to it our printers just like the cartridge a lot better with smart chips. print quality, reliability, network stability etc are all improved by them.
    dmc