How-Tos

Printer Tips: How to refill HP toner cartridges

A user can save tons of money by refilling their HP toner cartridges and other printer ink cartridges rather than buying new or commercially refilled toners. With new toner cartridges costing sixty dollars or more it is easily possible to save a lot of money on new toner (sometimes as much as 80%) by simply refilling the cartridges that the user already has in their possession. Refilling an HP toner cartridge is pretty easy, and most technically minded individuals can complete the process in fifteen minutes or less. Here is how.

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Step One- Empty The Used Toner From The HP Toner Cartridge

Even toner cartridges that the printer says are empty still contain a small amount of unused toner. Most cartridges also have a waste area where excess toner goes during the printing process. These areas of the cartridge have to be emptied before new toner can be added.

Using a special hole burning tool (available with most commercial toner refill kits from companies like InkOwl and ) the user must burn holes in specific places in the HP toner cartridge. Individual cartridges vary in the placement of these holes so take careful note of any instructions that come with the refill kit. Also be sure to purchase only the refill kit that is appropriate for the cartridge being used.

Step Two- Refilling The Empty HP Toner Cartridge

Once the holes are made empty the excess toner into a garbage bag. Always do this step with a pair of latex gloves on and wear old clothing and a painters mask to protect from inhaling any toner dust. Once the cartridge is empty tape off the holes in the waste area of the cartridge using aluminum tape (also normally supplied with the refill kit).

Then burn a hole in the toner tank area of the cartridge and again empty out any excess toner that remains. Fill the now empty tank with the appropriate amount of toner (usually the entire bottle will be used to do one filling) and then tape off the filling hole as was done with the waste bin holes.

Step Three- Replacing The Chip On The Cartridge

Now that the toner is refilled there is still one step left to complete. Modern toner cartridges have a small chip on them that tells the printer how much toner is left. If this chip is not replaced the printer will continue to say the cartridge is empty even though it is full. Take a small knife and pry the old chip off of the HP toner cartridge and replace it with a new one (also provided in the refill kit). Glue the chip into place if it will not stay on its own.

Refilling an HP toner cartridge is a fairly easy thing to do that can save a user hundreds of dollars over the life of the printer. The only real caveat is that using refilled cartridges may void a manufacturer warranty so only do so once the warranty period has expired. HP does not recommend using refilled toners, but for older printers sometimes it can make good financial sense. Also, only refill a cartridge one or two times as after this point the pieces of the cartridge degrade enough that toner may begin to spill out into the interior of the printer while in use.

A Guide to Refilling Printer Ink in Order to Save Money

Buying original printer ink cartridges can be extremely expensive. It is therefore not surprising that, in the past few years, buying ink refill kits online has become so popular amongst printer users. However, refilling an ink cartridge is not an easy process and it should only be attempted by users with a good understanding of the steps involved.

How to Refill a Printer Ink Cartridge

To refill a printer ink cartridge, all is usually needed is a refill kit, bought at any IT store, as well as a used cartridge. It should be noted that attempting to refill an empty cartridge usually leads to various problems such as clogging. It is usually much easier to refill a cartridge which still contains a small amount of ink.

The entire refilling process can sometimes be somewhat different, according to the original brand of the printer. For example, an original HP ink cartridge is not refilled the same way than an Epson ink cartridge. It is therefore essential to closely follow the instructions manual supplied in the refill kit.

Since the process can sometimes go wrong and ink can be spilled, it is best to protect the desk or the table where the operation will be performed with several layers of newspaper or strong cloth.Once the work area is set up, the refill kit should be opened and all components should be laid out, along with the original cartridge.

At this point, the instructions manual should be carefully read. The puncture point where the syringe will be inserted is different for all brands and it is therefore important to know exactly the layout of the cartridge. Usually, the puncture point is located next to or even under the label on the top of the cartridge. Another important fact which should be in the manual is the amount of ink which should be used to fully refill the cartridge.

Once the user has found this information, the ink can be filled with the appropriate ink color and the needle can be inserted in the refill hole. The needle should be pushed firmly until it is lodged deep into the sponge which is in the ink chamber. Once the needle is in, the cartridge can be slowly refilled.

It is worth noting that some cartridges, mostly of the Epson brand, are equipped with microchips which have to be reset with a tool supplied in the refill kit. If this step is not performed, the printer may not accept the refilled cartridge.

Impact of Refilling a Printer Cartridge on Print Quality

Refilling an ink cartridge usually does not have any dramatic impact on print quality. However, it is possible to notice a difference when printing high-quality photographs on papers manufactured by the same brand than the one which supplied the printer. The reason for that is that, usually, the company which manufactured the printer designed their photo paper to react as well as possible with the chemicals contained in their ink. By refilling a cartridge with different ink, it is therefore common for high-resolution photographs to be noticeable adversely affected.

It should also be noted that attempting to refill an ink cartridge is usually seen by most printer manufacturers as a breach of the warranty agreement. If returning a defect printer to the manufacturer, it is therefore important to remove all refilled cartridges from it or replace them with original ones.