Q: What color laser printer can cheaply be refilled with non-OEM toner?
For years, I bought the Costco HP inkjets which required ink priced at
about 100 times what ink 'should' cost. I even tried the Costco $20 ink
refills, but of course, HP makes refills almost impossible, on purpose,
so I simply vowed to never buy another HP ink-based printer.
I bought an HP B&W laser printer, and have happily and successfully been
buying $5 guaranteed-used-once C92 cartridges and refilling the C4092A
black toner over the years at home, for about $5 for 250 grams of toner
as shown below (after melting a circular hole in the toner cartridge):
The problem is my kid wants a color printer and the wife concurs.
I never again wish to go through the expensive ink-refill sheer hell of
the typical HP inkjet ... so the 'only' color printer for me is one which
I can easily and inexpensively refill, at home, from non-OEM sources.
Hence my question:
Q: Do you know of a color laser printer that can be as easily refilled
from non-OEM sources like the B&W laserjets can?
I feel the same way about HP but have three of their printers.
I've been buying cartridges from Double Inks:
Re-inked cartridges for way less the cost of HP originals.
I just put one of their re-inked color cartridges in one of my printers
and the color was true to the original photo I printed.
Looking at my order:
1 x Single Pack HP 23 Reman C1823A (1 Tri-CLR) () = $18.99
1 x Double Pack HP 97 Reman C9363WN (2 Tri-CLR) () = $23.99
1 x Double Pack HP 15 Reman C6615DN (2 BLK) () = $17.99
I know. I know. In fact, I had bought two sets of HP inkjet ink tanks,
and, I put one set aside as an emergency spare - and I was using and
refilling the first set - and then, at some much later date, I put the
brand new (but a couple of years old by now) spares in to start the
process anew ... and guess what? These never used cartridges ran out of
time in just a month or three. (I don't remember the exact details but I
was fuming that HP was so sinister.) I vowed never to buy another HP
inkjet all-in-one printer for the rest of my life (just like I've vowed
never to buy American or German cars ever again!).
I'm positive HP did that just to foil the refillers!
I have never refilled a COLOR laser printer. But I must say, refilling my
B&W HP office printer is trivial. You just pour the bottle in the hole
and seal it up with scotch tape.
Are the color laser printers as trivial to refill?
Is it the same pour-the-toner-in process, only perhaps three times over
(one for each color)?
Oh. I know. I know Oren. I have had blue fingers many times!
The HP cartridges I had were actually tanks with sponges in them.
So, you had to not overfill them, or they leaked.
But you had to fill them before they went too dry or they leaked.
Plus you had to drill the hole in the right spot or they leaked.
Even so, you had to deal with the time stamps that they burned
into the ink tank at the factory. There was no way around that.
You 'could' get past the time stamps they put in the printer
memory for the cartridge. I tried the CMOS battery trick and
shorting a pin on the motherboard ... but what worked best was
to have THREE cartridges because the printer would only remember
the unique id of the last two!
But all that effort simply turned me off because HP made it
difficult on purpose to refill the ink in the ink tanks.
Note: Technically, these weren't cartridges because the ink jets
were separate from the ink tanks in my HP all in one printer.
I'm OK with my HP LASER printer ... but I too will NEVER ever
buy another HP inkjet in my entire life!
Contrast all that mess with the inkjets with the trivial refill
of the B&W toner on the laserjet and I'm a believer in laser printers!
Hence the quest for a refillable color laser printer.
There is a LOT of confusion out there.
Some ink chips 'can' be overridden with 'hacks'.
Some just plain can not!
The trick is to never buy the printers that can not.
And to avoid the printers which require the hacks.
I, for one, love my B&W laser printer which lasts far longer
on one fill than any ink printer ever did for me, and which
can be easily refilled with 250 grams of toner for about $5.
The quest is to find a color laser printer which is as
easy yet still somewhat cheaply refilled!
On Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:40:04 -0700, Smitty Two wrote:
I have no experience with color laser printers.
Does that price comparison hold for color lasers also?
All I know is that refilling my B&W 92A (aka C092A) toner cartridge with
250 grams of black toner costs about $5 plus tax/shipping.
An empty used-once HP 92A/C092A cartridge costs another $5 (plus tax/shipping).
A new HP 92A/C092A cartridge is about $34 (plus tax/shipping) on Amazon:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Note: I see a new non-HP C092A-compatible cartridge for as low as $12,
but the reviews of this cheap alternative are horrific:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Yep. I've got a Dell inkjet AIO at work. I use it a lot, and it's
expensive to feed. Something like $130 for 3 black and one color
cartridge, ordered together.
OTOH, I have a Dell color laser at home, and although new cartridges are
expensive, I have yet to buy any. It's a cost-per-page advantage of 5 or
10 to 1.
I did this as a thought experiment. With a family, you'll have to do it
Estimate the cost of a color print.
That's not the cost calculated by the 5% fill numbers of equal amounts
Use the 100% fill of one color that your kids want to use for their
poster. If the toners don't come separate, count on throwing out 2/3 of
it. Don't forget the paper cost.
Now, you've got a number.
Put a coin jar next to the printer and make everybody put money in the
jar for every print they make with the current printer.
You're gonna need a big jar.
After a month, see how badly they want that color printer.
While you're at it, ask why they needed all those B&W prints.
If you want to print photos, you've got another problem.
A laser that prints nice photos is gonna cost you.
My neighbor has a very nice HP ink jet that prints
He figures that, given all the ink he throws out for plugged cartridges,
that it's costing him about $5/picture.
The photo shop inside the Walgreens around the corner will make a nice
print for 15-cents if you catch them in a sale.
I have three color printers. I haven't made a color print in 15 years.
Color is over-rated if you're not in the advertising business.
My kid is going to Kinkos to print color.
I think it's a few bucks each time.
Probably something like half a buck per picture.
When you think of it, it isn't bad considering you're not
paying to maintain the printer and buy printing supplies.
But, it's not convenient for them (the wife/kids).
That's a great point!
If we were to scope the 'perfect' refillable color laser
printer, would it have SEPARATE toner tanks for the 3 colors?
Heh heh. I get where you're going. But these are 'women'.
Hmmm... that's a key point. Yes. They want to print photos!
I understand. And I don't disagree!
But, the comparison starts with scoping out a color printer
that can be refilled.
Are these the specs so far?
1. Photo quality color laser printer
2. Separate toner tanks/cartridges for each color
3. Refillable by the home owner with non-OEM toner
With smart phones and laptops becoming more and more popular, just
show the kids a photo hosting site. Printed pictures are so
Photo hosting will allow you to view the photos everywhere on the
On Sat, 18 Aug 2012 21:24:28 -0500, Jim Yanik wrote:
I have to say, refilling the HP 3200m laser printer is as KISS as it gets!
1. You buy the soldering iron hole-melting tool (optional).
2. You buy toner at the same time (about $5 for 250 grams).
3. You melt the hole & pour in the toner.
4. You put scotch tape over the hole!
Here's a picture of my refill yesterday, in fact:
The 'white' circle is a bit of finesse ala' alt.home.repair hints. I
scotch tape the white plastic top of an orange-juice pull-out over the
melted hole. Voila!
Total costs for, say, five years toner is something like:
a) Original HP C4092A (92A) cartridge (about $40)
b) Refills about every six months (about $5 each)
c) Empty used-once cartridge every 2.5 years (about $5 each)
Because of the ease of refilling, I LOVE my HP 3200m laser printer!
Because of the cost of refilling, I will NEVER buy an HP inkjet or
officejet printer ever again for the rest of my life!
Of course, if I go 'color', I'm assuming the refilling of the color laser
printer will be as simple as the B&W is currently.
I just realized that the color laser printer 'might' not work for pictures at
Here are some articles I'm reading, to determine if it can:
Laser Vs. Inkjet Printer
Should Your Office Buy an Inkjet or a Laser Printer?
Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Inkjet Versus Laser Printers
Yeah, when I was working I went thru several color laser printers with
the idea they would be able to do color photos better then the
"expensive" inkjet process. After wondering why the printed photos
weren't all that good I came across similar articles to your links.
Based on my past experience, if all you want to print in the way of
color photos is stuff to place in a work file to document <whatever>
then the color lasers are fine for that. Or if you just want to be
able to quickly and easily print color flyers with action photos for
your Rock Band's upcoming concert the lasers are great for that. But
if you want to print a really nice copy of Antie Ems's 101 birthday
party and see the sparkle in her gray hair you won't be happy with
what you get from the laser color unless you buy a very expensive one
and use the proper glossy paper. At that point they have lost any
advantage over inkjet cost.
On Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:08:43 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:
I'm slowly coming to the following hard-won realization,
much to my chagrin, regarding printing color photos at home:
0. B&W laser writers (such as my HP 3200m) are trivial & cheap to refill
1. Most color laser writers are also trivial & cheap to refill.
2. However, color laser writers stink at printing pictures at home!
Given that, we are FORCED to look at ink-based printers:
0. IMHO, all ink-based printers from HP are to be avoided at all costs!
1. Kodak/Canon/Dell ink-based printers 'may' be a viable alternative.
2. The key is to buy the printer based on the ease of "replacing" the ink!
Drat! Color lasers, which are the subject of this task, are slowly
dropping off the radar screen ... and the dreaded ink-based printers
are rising up, again.
Why is finding a decent printer to print photos at home at a decent
price such a miserable process? :(
Gosh to you remember what it cost to bring in a roll of film for
processing? You had to drive both ways, and maybe make a phone call to
see if it was ready? And you had to wait a few weeks to see pictures of
your thumb! The good old days, huh? : )
It's supposed to be. Walgreens and others spend many $thousands for
photo printers. They print photos cheaper than ever because of
volume. Probably gave their business analysts and purchasing
departments many miserable days.
I rejected home photo printing out-of-hand by looking at costs.
Didn't want to get miserable.
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