Inkjet Refills

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by wyverns4, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. wyverns4

    wyverns4 Member

    Anybody have any experiences, good or bad, with refilling inkjet cartridges? While downloading free cardmodels from the 'net is fun and easy on the wallet, printing them out to actually build can take a bite out of the hobby allowance! I'm using an HP Deskjet 3740 which uses cartridges 27 and 28 for B&W and Color, respectively. A 2-pak usally costs me just under $40.00! I'm not sure how many pages I should get out of a set of cartidges, but the other dat I printed out a 4-page kit and set the printer to hi-res, and the next time I printed, the internal counter that shows approximate ink levels was half what it was before I printed that model!

    Thanks for any help!
  2. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    I gave up on refill kits as to messy and unrelaiable.
    Now I buy remanufactured cartridges for my HP 1220cxi for fraction of the cost of anew one. I try to hit meritline (my usual supplier) when they are on sale or have free shipping within US.
  3. hpept

    hpept Member

    I have a multifunctional HP which uses cartridges n° 27 and 28 just like yours. I usually refill the cartridges at a shop for a fraction of the cost (7$ more or less). Just make sure they use quality ink specifically made for your printer brand and you will not have problems. About the ink level indicator, i noticed that it works only with the original cartridge; once opened to refill, it seems to loose its ability to indicate the correct level. Mine always seem empty...
  4. I've refilled my black HP cartridges for a long time. I don't print much any more but when I was I was buying ink by the pint. You can put twice as much ink in an HP black cartridge as they actually put in it. The caveat is that this works, in my experience, about 3-4 times. Then the jets in the cartridge start to be worn. Still, it saves a lot of money if you print a lot of text as I used to do.

    When it comes to color refilling, however, I've spent considerable money and time trying to do it with consistent results and have never been successful. There is a place here in Quebec City that I can take a cartridge and they will refurbish (clean?) it and refill it. This is done for a bit less than half the cost of a color cartridge and so I've done that recently now that I'm printing card models.

    Cheers --- Larry
  5. have a look for this for your printer!!

    i bought this a while ago and have never looked back
  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Ink Supply

    One way to avoid tye dyed hands from an ink refill is to use exam gloves. I have to agree with an earlier post that refilling can be messy. I found the following supplier and was somewhat leary of the low price at first but have been very pleasantly suprised by them. The price proved to be so low that I've now abandoned refilling as an option and bought enough ink in one shipment to last 6 months to a year.

  7. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    That seems to be my experience with refilling HP ink cartridges too. The black cartridge seems to go good, but the color cartridge has inconsistent results. Usually the yellow works for a while, then stops. This has happened every time I have refilled the color cartridge.
  8. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    When I had an HP, I tried refilling the cartridges, without much success.

    I switched to Lexmark, and have had better luck. I think alot depends on your patience and the kit you use. Good quality inks definately help.

    I've refilled my color and b/w for the past 4 months with no problems. The kit I use is made by Nu*kote, who formulates their inks according to the OEM specifications. I buy an all in one kit (color and b/w) and it lasts me roughly 2 months under regular printing. The b/w cartridge seems to take less for some reason...

    One thing I do is to refill when the ink level hits about 1/2 empty versus all empty. I also set the print head on top of a wet baby wipe (non-alcohol based) for about 5 to 10 minutes to loosen any residue.

    Also, my Lexmark software monitor has an option to reset the ink level indicator- if you select "used cartridge" the levels are inaccurate- like Larry, I tend to overfill my cartridges slightly- and so I select "new cartridge" instead, which resets the levels to full.

    Like making a card model, go slowly, be careful and patient. :-D
  9. Carl, I already have. I can't report results from color cartridges as I've never had luck with that. But when I was shoving a lot of black ink through my printers (around a ream of text per week), I would refill my black cartridges 3-4 times before I'd start seeing a degradation of the print, generally in a form that looked as though some of the jets had either become clogged or worn. Now, reallize that I was also putting twice as much ink in a cartridge as HP supplies in a new cartridge so...from one cartridge, I was getting the equivalent of at least 6 cartridges.

    As for making a mess while doing it...I would do it at my desk and not skip a beat. No muss, no fuss. The only thing I did was to replace the small BB plug with a small grub screw. A single kleenex was used to wipe off the syringe needle and I was back to work. There was that time when I knocked over half a pint of ink, though :)

    Carl, there is more than engineering driving the 'need' to place only 15-21ml of ink in a black ink cartridge, particularly when the same company sells a 'high-capacity' cartridge that is identical except that it has more ink in it.

    For the record, I love HP printers but their cartridge pricing is the 'bottom line' that's caused many people, including me, to try other printers...unsuccessfully in my case. I've noticed that the more recent cartridge numbers from HP are cheaper so maybe you guys are finally recognizing that as well :)

    Cheers --- Larry
  10. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    Disclaimer (so the HP death squad leaves me alone :grin: )

    I love my HP 1220 and in order to separate it form me you would have to pry it from my dead fingers!

    Now refills - I did that at least three times for both black and color cartridge. No problem with the cartridge but as I said before, to messy and urelaible, but that was ink or refill kit problem.
    I ended up throwing the refill kit out and started buying remanufactured cartridges. I just open them, snap in place and don't have to worry about a thing.
  11. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    I have successfully refilled my color and b/w cartridges eight times now without any clogging or print degredation. :)
  12. hpept

    hpept Member

    I succeded four times with one cartridge, another only once, another three times. A cartridge resulted in a complete mess: it worked for a while, then after some days it started to print without yellow, and then the blue started to leak. Had a hard time to clean the printer (which is still leaking blue ink from the bottom of the chassis from time to time ... i think it needs a diaper :grin:
  13. There are two issues here. One is HP vs the others. The other issue is simply "should the ink cost this much." Until you try them all, though, it's hard to tell the difference between them.

    I bemoaned the fact that my HP printers were costing me an arm and a leg to feed. I swore I would never buy another one...until I bought someone else's :) I bought a Canon (in fairness to Canon this was a long time ago). It kept up with my demands for a couple months before it died from non-ink related problems.

    Then, when Durabrite inks came along I picked up an Epson printer because they can tolerate water and alcohol and I like to print on tissue for stick-n-tissue airplanes. Only problem, there are two problems. First problem is, if you don't use these printers constantly, they gum up and don't work. Epson user groups sound like printer mechanic school as everyone is tearing them apart in attempts to get them working again.

    Second problem, however, is an interesting transition to the other part of this equation. YOU can't use third party cartridges in Durabrite ink machines...period. They are the surest way to kill the printer so you're stuck paying, as Carl says, considerably more for color cartridges than an HP cartridge would cost. the second part of this...the cost of ink. Carl, you suggest that I void my warranty by using third party inks. Fine by me. Consumers are not stupid and we've all figured out that there isn't a printer market. Printers are a tool in an ink cartridge market and just the means to hooking customers on your product. Heck, I paid $80 (sale) for my Epson printer and to replace the cartridges would cost me ....$75.

    So, the consumer looks at all this and responds. If they don't print much, they probably just pay $40 for 21ml of ink. But those who find themselves doing that once a week, it's worth their time to investigate alternatives. That's what I did and I found that for $30 I could buy a pint of ink. If I bought a pint of ink, I could 1) stuff 42ml into the same cartridge and fill a WHOLE bunch of cartridges. My costs went from $40/week to less than that per week even though I was buying new HP cartridges every once in a while so that I didn't have to worry about using worn cartridges.

    So, that about does it for me. How the printer industry became a 'give'em the printer and sell 'em the ink at his cost' is beyond me but I suppose it would be hard to change now. I wish the home video game industry would do the same thing, though, as I'd sure like to have one of those nifty XBoxes but they just cost too darn much :)

    If there's a silver lining in all this for HP, they still make the best printers and third party ink support is far better for their stuff than others...mostly because they put the jets in the cartridge rather than in the printer.

    From my perspective, there are better reasons than that to buy HP but what irks me is that if I can buy a perfectly good third party cartridge for my HP, I shouldn't have to pay $35-40 to HP for the same thing. I know...I know...your ink if far superior. But the bottom line is that it looks the same on the least to me.

    You're right, HP cartridges are large. They also have a set of jets in them. Fill them up rather than selling them half-empty and you'll slow third party sales of HP cartridges real quick :)

    Thanks for listening. I'm sort of lucky as most of my printing needs have vanished, at least until I got involved with card modeling :) Wanna buy an Epson printer that hums real nice?

    Cheers --- Larry
  14. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    I liken it this way.

    You buy the Rolls Royce(or any car for that matter) and you decide to put Napa(or your local aftermarket car parts store) parts in the car

    You are asking for trouble.

    I only buy HP carts, for my printers, 45 and 78, last forever, best color, IMHO bomb proof.

    and my HP desktop printer, in the office, is the best, all headache free, based on my time with it, and I have not needed to work on the unit at all.

    GB, tell yourself and your coworkers to keep up the great work.

    Proud HP printer(photosmart 1315 and OfficeJet G55, Business Deskjet 2800) and Plotter(DesignJet 5500 42" Dye Ink) Owner
  15. shrike

    shrike Guest

    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that using non-HP cartridges will not void your warranty. There is some pretty big anti-trust legislation re: warranties and replacement parts that came out of the automotive field a long time ago.

    That said, I doubt if warranty is an issue for 99% of consumers. I got my Epson partly for the Durabrite inks, more for the individual ink tanks (big complaint about HP was having to buy a new cartridge when I still had 50%+ of 2 out of 3 colours) but mostly because I could buy a whole new printer with ink for $5 more than replacement cartridges for the old one. If it dies, I'll just buy another one, so to me at least, a printer is just another consumable, albeit a longer term one.

    HP may be the lowest cost per unit of ink - not going to argue it one way or the other and I don't have the numbers in front of me anyway. I do know that I get more (3x) pages/cartridge from my current printer than I did with the old one. I think that's a more practical comparison than $/ml of ink

    On the refilling front, I had passable luck with refilling black cartrigdes, but the colour one never seemed to work right afterwards
  16. tglenchur

    tglenchur Member

    Canon inkjets work best whenever print volume is large

    We use Canon printers here for the heavy usage that my children's school projects require. There's a lot of emphasis on printed projects. The numerous drafts and assignment emails rack up lots of ink and paper.

    The local printer repair shops tell me the average inkjet printer lasts about two years of hard use so I feel fortunate when ours lasts five years.

    Regardless of unit cost ink, I like the option of replacing only the empty ink cartridge tank. We find that if the ink tanks are not allow to run completely dry, that refilling the cartridges, inktank only or inktank-printhead units, last pretty much indefinitely until the sponge filter material breaks down. The knockoff inktanks for Canon are pretty inexpensive as well.

    Some continuous ink cartridge systems have printhead cartridges without sponges. The longevity of these systems claims to be much longer.

    The refill kits claim five refilling cycles for the inktank-printhead units. I think as lonk as the sponge material and the resistors in the printhead electronics hold up, you're good to go print. The professionally refilled tanks appear to use hot glue for sealing drilled holes. The nicer refill kits, e.g. Ink Station, even come with an integral pump for each color and templates for drill hole placement.
  17. rwguess

    rwguess Member

    i agree with the continuous ink system
    i bought mine on ebay and i will never refill another cart again
    its highly recommended
  18. Dnlgtr

    Dnlgtr Member

    I was only able to refill my cartridges 2 or 3 times.
    I don't know why but i could not get the ink level right in the black one. Either i would have too much and it would leak, or I would take out too much and it would act dry.
    I have 4 HP printers, All second hand.
    2 952c, a 940c and 682c.
    The first 952 came with my PC. The second and the 940 I bought at a yard sale for $5.oo Total!
    The 682 came with a yardsale[win95] PC for $10.oo Total!(this one I haven't used at all)
  19. Sorry if it sounded like a rant. It wasn't meant to be. I just think that the two issues (differences between companies and the high cost of cartridges) are two different issues and should be separated from one another.

    Cheers --- Larry
  20. Gecko23

    Gecko23 Member

    remanufactured carts are working out great in my epson

    I used to refill HP cartridges all the time, way back in 93-94 or so. They usually would only fail if you pushed ink into them too fast. The section around the printhead was easily damaged by too much pressure.

    Years later I got a Lexmark, refilled it once or twice, with far less success. The cartridges just didn't seem to stand up to handling much. Tried 'remanufactured' ones as well, quality was very poor, colors rarely if ever matched the OEM carts.

    These days I've got an Epson rx620, which has worked like a dream. (Sorry, but despite the horror stories, I'm a very satisfied customer.) Fast printing, shockingly fast scanning, all around winner. OEM carts are about $11-13/each, takes a set of 6. But decided to try the remanufactured route again and found a supplier that guarantees color matching, and lived up to it. Now a full set of carts runs about $8.

Share This Page