Toner Refill Kit
What are toner refill kits ?
If you feel duped spending as much on a replacement cartridge as you originally spent on the printer; a toner refill kit might be the answer. Toner refill kits offer a low-cost alternative to investing in a new cartridge when there's nothing wrong with the old one (it's just empty). After all you wouldn't throw your car away just because it ran out of gas.
Toner refill kits promise substantial savings, of up to 80%, for what could be just a couple of minutes work. Exactly how easy your toner hopper is to refill depends on which model of printer you have. Some can be refilled with your eyes closed, while others require all the mental dexterity of a chess Grand Master.
In the 'best case scenario' all you'll have to do is remove the empty cartridge, take out the hopper bung and replenish with fresh toner. Recent years have seen OEMs taking steps to make their cartridges more and more difficult to refill. Measures include developing microchips which disable the printer head after use and manufacturing 'one-piece' cartridge housings which can't be opened. Hence it's essential to establish the ease/ difficulty of refilling your particular cartridge before handing over you credit card details.
If you're 'refilling' for the first time, you may need to invest in a 'starter kit'. Besides the bottle of toner you should find detailed refilling instructions, any tools specific to your printer cartridge and a funnel. Other kits use something akin to a soldering iron to burn a hole in the cartridge casing, through which the new toner can be poured. The hole is then sealed with melted plastic. It sounds complicated, but in reality should take no more than ten minutes.
Toner refill kits will triple the life of your cartridge, before parts become worn and the quality of printing becomes diminished. A lot of fuss has been made about printer warranties being invalidated by consumers using refilled or remanufactured cartridges. Technically this isn't true, unless the replacement product actually damages the printer.
Other concerns focus on print quality, which varies from supplier to supplier.