Are refilled printer cartridges a viable solution?

Posted by johnssmith00 on February 28th, 2013

Printer cartridges from an original equipment manufacturer are usually expensive and therefore many computer owners prefer alternative solutions. Third party options may include cartridge refill kits, remanufactured cartridges, ink bought in bulk, machines that refill cartridges automatically, or cartridges made by another entity than their original manufacturer. By refilling printer ink cartridges one of these ways, you can expect a lower price per cartridge than you would pay if you bought one made by its original manufacturer. However, you should be aware that a refilled cartridge may provide poorer quality printing, especially when it was already refilled more than once or twice.

You can refill your printer ink cartridges by yourself, either by using a special kit or by purchasing bulk ink and following a simple procedure. Using bulk ink is extremely cost-effective if you are printing heavily. What you could obtain is filling more than 30 cartridges per litre of ink. Cartridges for many types of printer are not very difficult to refill. However, there are some types that use a built-in counter chip. This chip, in some cases, cannot be reset at all. In other cases, a chip resetter will do it. The refilling process is may involve certain mess, and is a difficult experience for beginners. If you do not repeat this procedure very frequently, a good alternative would be to take them to a refiller or to a remanufacturer, who is more experienced and will save you some troubles.

You should be aware that refilled cartridges may have higher rates of failure than new ones. They may print fewer pages and may cause a series of other problems like colour bleed, streaking or curling.

There are third party manufacturers who offer refillable cartridges provided with auto-reset chips. In this case, the refilling process is simpler and these cartridges are less harmful to the environment. Moreover, these cartridges can be easily refilled more than once.

A viable solution to always needing to refill cartridges is the system called Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS). It consists of a set of cartridges connected with tubes to some ink reservoirs situated outside of the printer. The ink flows continuously from these reservoirs to the cartridges. Instead of refilling a cartridge itself, it is only necessary to refill the reservoir that corresponds to it. Early systems of this type included OEM cartridges provided with fittings especially designed to accept ink delivery tubes. They also contained some ‘ribbon’ tubes and plastic bottles with holes in their caps, so that the tubes and vents could be mounted.

When you buy remanufactured laser toner or ink cartridges, you have to know that they are usually refilled. Although newly manufactured, compatible cartridges exist, be aware that a remanufactured cartridge has been used by another consumer and refilled by the third party.

In case you need to replace your printer cartridges, you can avoid spending a lot of money on original manufacturer items and can successfully use remanufactured printer ink cartridges that will save you some money.

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