If you are like me, then I am sure you know how expensive buying toner is for printers. It seems that the price of toner keeps going up, yet, cartridges are sadly lasting shorter amounts of time.
I have compiled a few ways that you can save money by extending the life of your HP, Samsung, Brother, Lexmark, Dell or any other branded toner cartridge. Some are more fearless than others, but hopefully, you can use these tips to save a little cash.
Use this feature on your printer to help shave toner costs. HP is famous for introducing this toner-saving feature in many of their printers in the 90′s. Sure the printout is a little lighter, but it lasts from 10-30% longer depending on your coverage. Other companies have followed suit and provided similar features. If you don’t see a similar option for your printer, consult with your operator’s manual and see if they called it something similar. It may just be within the printer’s menu system and not on a screen show below.
Ever wonder what the big different is between the extended version and the standard version of a toner cartridge is? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s just the amount of toner in the cartridge. That’s it. All other components are exactly the same. So what’s stopping you from reusing that old cartridge and just buying a bottle of toner? Go right ahead and save some money by purchasing a “drill and fill” kit.
Here are some examples. I have an HP LaserJet 2300 printer at home. When I run out of toner, here’s what I look for.
Instead of buying one of these:
I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I just buy one cartridge and then reuse it time and time and time again? Who needs to buy cartridges? Well, as good as purchasing refill kits sounds, they do have some limitations.
In most of the recent toner cartridges, you may have noticed this small chip on the cartridge somewhere. The printer uses the chip to verify that the cartridge is from its maker (HP, Brother, etc). It also uses it to tell how much printing you have left based on several mathematical algorithms. Is it right on target in terms of how much you use? Nope. Do you think that the manufacturer wants you to buy more toner? Absolutely! So what’s a customer to do?
You could do a few things to hack or extend the life of the cartridge depending on your printer. If the printer is reporting that the cartridge is out of toner based off of this chip you can remove or replace it. By removing the chip, the printer no longer knows that the cartridge is genuine (no biggie) and it lost all sense of how much printing it can do from this point on. So you can run the toner cartridge dry at this point with no chip.
Some printers require a chip for other reasons and so you’re forced to either replace the cartridge or not print. Well, these chips can be found easily on amazon (I did a search for “laserjet chip”).By replacing the chip, the printer will think a new cartridge is installed. Most chips are secured using double-stick tape, so you’re safe in removing the chip and installing a new one using some tape (or glue).