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View Full Version : Inkjet refills - your experiences???



04-04-2002, 04:28 PM
Hi people

I would love to have some feedback from you on inkjet refilling - what brand of printer, what brand of refill, how much you saved, and if it worked.
After a thread we had a while back, I think it needs to be an article.

thanks
robo.

04-04-2002, 04:46 PM
I once (emphasis on ONCE) refilled some Epson carts. For those who don't know Epson carts, they have a 'membrane' over the ink outlet on the bottom of a new cartrige. The membrane is broken when the cart is installed. (Epson's printhead is permanently mounted on the carriage). So when you refill a cart, you don't have the benefit of this seal - you have to rely on surface tension and good luck, not to have ink dribble out while fitting the cart. Needless to say, after developing technicolour hands and wasting copius pages trying to soak up split ink, I vowed never to bother with (Epson) refills again.

04-04-2002, 04:49 PM
Why would someone use a refill when they get a cheap aftermarket cartridge.

Tried a refill kit once, never again. It was dodgy as hell. Took quite a bit of scrubbing to get rid of the ink that ended up on the table (yes I did have newspaper down).

JM

04-04-2002, 05:00 PM
JM - Aftermarket being ones that have been refilled by a recycling company? That is another option I hadn't considered.

Keep 'em coming, people.

robo.

04-04-2002, 05:29 PM
Robo, I have used Epson compatable cartridges for about 3 years now (from www.consumablecity.co.nz). These are not refilled, but brand new copies (made in USA). About half the price, and have never had a problem.
T J

04-04-2002, 05:49 PM
When we were in chch we used a company in Barrington that did both aftermarkets for epsons and hp plus refills.
The black refills were $10 and colour was $20. The black refills were good but the colours always seemed a hassle with bleeding through so we started using there after market ones at $20 for black and 30 for colour, excellent results all the time.
Here we can only get refill kits and the cost saving is not worth it compared to new cartridges and if you take into account the time and travel costs as well......

04-04-2002, 06:45 PM
I tried refilling a black cartridge with black refil ink supposedly.

Everything was right. It was the correct ink and was the correct cartridge for it to go in. Put it in tested it out. Yay dark green. Either that or the black ink has gone bad?

04-04-2002, 07:50 PM
I refill me HP Deskjet 840 all the time, it is sooo simple, and with the refill kits i get (Inktec), they come with gloves. The black is by far the easiest, absolutely no problems, i have refilled that 8 times now, however the colour can be a bit dodgy, you have to make sure you dont put too much ink in, or put the wrong colour ink in the wrong hole. However, I have refilled it 3 times now.
Saves heaps of money do it this way, and because the print head is on the cartridge, you cant ruin the printer :)
check it out. www.inktec.co.nz

04-04-2002, 09:03 PM
First experience of refils was using a spray can product called 'Black Stuff' to re-ink dot matrix printer ribbons. Ultra messy but really cheap. Turned the printer into a grey-scale model-256 varieties of black! I've still got a can somewhere if you want to try it. Only experience of refilling an inkjet cartridge was with our HP Deskjet 500 (mono) - messy, ink everywhere, and 20 odd pages before one came out clean - however, it was a lot cheaper. I later had an Epson Stylus (300 I think). I twice used Calidad replacement cartridges, and both times the print head clogged and burnt out ($130 a time to replace - I didn't bother the second time). I now have a Canon BJC 7000. This is a magnificent printer. The 3 colour and black cartridges cost about $120 each. They are huge - 75ml. They last about 10 months of average use. I consider this good value and I'm not going to risk my printer using non-Canon replacements, no matter how much cheaper they are.
Regards,
Ray Anderson

04-04-2002, 09:46 PM
Same as JM, I find Calidad the cheaper alternative to buying a standard Epsom cartridge, being a good $15-$20 dollors cheaper. I also tried the Calidad refill kit which was about $15 cheaper and I managed to get about two refills of the cartridge out of them, with print quality being only slightly less than the original. Though this cost benfit was probably lost by the amount of soap I had to use to clean my hands afterwards.

04-04-2002, 10:07 PM
HP930c Have used Candida kits for black and colour. The ink levels are reported incorrectly which is not a great hassel. The black went well with no mess but with some lines not printing perfectly. I messed the colour one up by assuming that the colour spots on the cartridge related to the actual colours and ended up with some interesting colours. Will be changing refill brand next time with the hope of better results. With the HP cartridge the printhead is in it and so they are very dear(colour $170) and I have heard that they are going to degrade the quality of the printhead so that people can't do refills.

04-04-2002, 10:08 PM
I am currently using an Epson Stylus 300, previously a 200.
The 300 print head can be removed by flipping out the stainless steel clip. In the 200 the black and color heads were interchangeable.The main problem with refilling is the air getting in when you release the cartridge, my fix is to modify the cartridge clamp with appropriate holes to allow refilling without removing the cartridge from the print head, kid the setup program that a new cartridge has been installed, and all is OK. I have purchased refill kits from Stroud in Aussie and the service is A1 complete with syringes etc.

04-04-2002, 10:42 PM
Hello Robo,

I agree with you, there does need to be an article on this subject, as there are a lot of misconceptions, and even more misinformation around on inkjet filling pro's and con's.

The first thing people have to realise, is that ink like most other things varies in quality,if you buy a cheap refill kit, be prepared for quality that is not as good as the original, and a potentially messy refill operation (involving drills etc)

However for a few dollars more there are refill kits available that guarantee quality as good as the original OEM manufacturers product and provide good refilling equpment.

Inktec is the brand that I have first hand knowledge of, as this is what I use and supply to my customers, I have yet to have one complaint in regard to this inks quality in comparison to the original OEM product, in fact I think it's often better.

Having said that, I still don't recommend refills for all printers, as cartridges vary from printer to printer and it depends on the model as to the ease and successfulness of the refill.

My experiences and recommendations are as follows.

If your printer has a single colour (C Y M or B ) cartridge,
it can almost certainly be refilled and reused with no problems (providing you don't let the cartridge dry out prior to refilling, this happens very quickly and refilling should be done as soon as the cartridge is empty)use a refill brand that guarantees quality as good as the original OEM ink.

If you have one of the common tri (C Y M) ink tanks, refilling is not so straight forward and success depends on your make of printer, for instance, I won't refill any of the HP 7, 8, or 9 series colour cartridges as getting the inkflow right on them just takes to much time.

With Epson printers you are better off buying generic already filled cartridges (again only from companies offerering quality as good as the original OEM)the Inktec brand costs around half the price and is again very good quality.
avoid at all costs brands that want you to remove the 'smartchip' and replace it onto their refill.

Canon and Lexmarks are similar to HP (blacks no problem, Colours vary)however the majority of these cartridges are OK to refill.

Lastly, you will not void your warranty by using refilled cartridges, providing they don't damage your printer.

The only way they can do damage is if they leak, again use a good brand of refill and stay away from drills etc and you will no problems.

hope this helps some.

Alan

04-04-2002, 10:46 PM
Hello Robo,

I agree with you, there does need to be an article on this subject, as there are a lot of misconceptions, and even more misinformation around on inkjet filling pro's and con's.

The first thing people have to realise, is that ink like most other things varies in quality,if you buy a cheap refill kit, be prepared for quality that is not as good as the original, and a potentially messy refill operation (involving drills etc)

However for a few dollars more there are refill kits available that guarantee quality as good as the original OEM manufacturers product and provide good refilling equpment.

Inktec is the brand that I have first hand knowledge of, as this is what I use and supply to my customers, I have yet to have one complaint in regard to this inks quality in comparison to the original OEM product, in fact I think it's often better.

Having said that, I still don't recommend refills for all printers, as cartridges vary from printer to printer and it depends on the model as to the ease and successfulness of the refill.

My experiences and recommendations are as follows.

If your printer has a single colour (C Y M or B ) cartridge,
it can almost certainly be refilled and reused with no problems (providing you don't let the cartridge dry out prior to refilling, this happens very quickly and refilling should be done as soon as the cartridge is empty)use a refill brand that guarantees quality as good as the original OEM ink.

If you have one of the common tri (C Y M) ink tanks, refilling is not so straight forward and success depends on your make of printer, for instance, I won't refill any of the HP 7, 8, or 9 series colour cartridges as getting the inkflow right on them just takes to much time.

With Epson printers you are better off buying generic already filled cartridges (again only from companies offerering quality as good as the original OEM)the Inktec brand costs around half the price and is again very good quality.
avoid at all costs brands that want you to remove the 'smartchip' and replace it onto their refill.

Canon and Lexmarks are similar to HP (blacks no problem, Colours vary)however the majority of these cartridges are OK to refill.

Lastly, you will not void your warranty by using refilled cartridges, providing they don't damage your printer.

The only way they can do damage is if they leak, again use a good brand of refill and stay away from drills etc and you will no problems.

hope this helps some.

Alan

04-04-2002, 10:48 PM
Thanks heaps for this, general impression is that benefit is variable based on brand of printer, but is worth trying. I haven't replaced any ink in my Officejet (hell, it is only two and a half years old) because I use a laser mostly.
Keep em coming if you have an experience to share.
robo.

05-04-2002, 01:39 AM
I have an Epson Stylus 300 B & W and have been refilling cartridges fairly succesfully for a couple of years. I say 'fairly successfully' because there are a few tricks to getting it consistently right and it took a while to find them out. This printer actually uses a Canon print engine and Canon BC-2 cartrides are usually a bit cheaper than the 'Epson' ones. These cartridges (and I think most others too) have a sponge in the tank to hold the ink. If the ink is used up slowly some dries in the sponge, progressively clogging it, hence successive refills usually hold progressively less ink. To minimise the clogging don't wait till the cartridge is empty before refilling - top it up at, say, monthly intervals. Introducing some as when refilling is usually unavoidable and with BC-02 cartriges it pays to leave them overnight on the printer before using them. Also, with this (and ? other printers), Epson recommends leaving the printer plugged in and switched on all the time, as in standby mode (when it is 'switched off' by the computer) a tiny element keeps the printhead slightly warm and improves ink flow when the printer is subsequently used.

I have used several brands of refill ink and the quality varies - mainly in the density of blackness. Calidad seems OK but possibly not quite as dense as the genuine stuff.

Use rubber gloves when refilling!

05-04-2002, 10:28 AM
I have refilled my own for 4 years with very good results. Now have a newish Epson C40UX and use Calidad cartridges that work perfectly (black) and also have refilled with Calidad ink: great results but it takes a few hours for the ink to settle down and print correctly, maybe due to air getting in the refilling process. Also have an old Cannon 210 and refilling has been no problem.

05-04-2002, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the info within your submission about leaving the Epson printer on standby keeping that keeps a slight heat on.

With an Epson 440 I use Calidad inks from 'Warehouse Stationary' much ceaper than Epson inks.

I have noticed if I haven't used the printer for a few days it does not print properly.I have to do a print-head clean to fix it, as it seems some of the nozzles become blocked, I suppose with dried ink.

Will definitely try your suggestion that helps to keep the ink flowing, thanks EC

05-04-2002, 05:06 PM
An interesting inkjet refill site is at:

http://www.alotofthings.com/

05-04-2002, 07:47 PM
I used to own a cheap and nasty HP400 deskjet and tried refills. I used the Calidad brand as most people have and initially found the exercise worthwhile considering the HP cart prices.

I found that I can refill an original cart (black as well as colour) about 2-3 times with a single refill kit. That alone saved me approx $50 - not bad for 15mins of mucking about with newspapers, gloves, etc. After that, I found that the cart would start having problems and it was better to get another HP again and start all over when that runs out. The drying out sponge explanation sounds about right.

Initially, the HP black cart would have a small cap on top which you can insert the refill needle into. Later on, HP changed the cart top and Calidad responded by supplying a small screw thingy that you can use to drill a small hole into the side of the cart. The colour cart caps used to be a breeze to pry off to reveal the sponges. Later on HP must have changed the glue or laser welding of the cart as it got a bit difficult - a sharp box cutter did the job. Resealing involved taping the cap back on.

Judging by what HP did to the carts, I believe Calidad and other after-market suppliers where starting to make a dent on HP's razor-blade business plan.

The quality of prints was not bad, considering the capability of the printer to start with. The Calidad black ink did seem runny and I had to print a few pages before the smudges disappeared. The colour refills were a lot better , i.e., brighter, crispier.

I eventually got sick and tired of the paper jams and shopped for better quality colour printing and paper handling; I now have a Canon S400 with
individual colour tanks.

I did my maths on this basis - the cyan and yellow inks would run out faster than the magenta which would have approx. 1/3 capacity left; I was throwing away 11% of what I've paid for each time I replaced a tri-colour cart.

I have not tried after-market refills for Canon although I will definitely give them a shot. The tank design makes the process less messy and you only replace what you've used up. I know that the heads need replacing after several tanks but the final cost works out cheaper.

05-04-2002, 10:08 PM
Ive been called a lot of things over the years but after servicing printers and such for nearly 15years I believe I do know what im talking about. to refill or not?
Answer. Honestly it depends

Branded companys like epson hp canon etc all have their inks 'patented' so 3rd party companies cannot use the same formula and this is where the problem begins. Chopping and changing between brands of ink WILL lead to some form of coagulation blocking the heads and the pumps that produce the even ink flow that we expect. And as you know it then becomes quickly uneconomic to repair these units. so we buy a new and proceed
to continue down the same path and wonder why they dont last. Have you ever wondered why after using 3rd party inks for 6 months and then decide to pay extra for the real thing for a special project only to find the output is utter crap? and then moan when it cost $100 to put it right. My advice is thus. If you decide to go the 3rd party way. STICK TO ONE BRAND. and that brand only. Then all will be well. Dont chop and change.

Otherwise Ill see you at my place of business. Printer in hand and when you get the bill I will say 'told you so'

==Orac==

07-04-2002, 06:32 PM
Hi
Ihave been using refills on HP550 HP850 HP720 and HP970cxi
mostley with good results and very cheap . 2 or 3 refills from one pack. Currently using Inktec stuff and found it very good.
Inky Fingers

17-04-2002, 10:39 AM
Your experience is not uncommon...The ink that you were using was obviously not compatible to the original ink in the cartridge...This is a Major problem with the 'Less Expensive' brands of Refill Kits. Also some of the refillers are using these same Cheap Chinese Inks...Stay with Korean Types.

17-04-2002, 10:51 AM
Dear wuppo:
I will have to agree with you...The epson cartridges are a pain in the B...to refill and besides you will never get one totally refilled anyway...I wouls suggest that you buy Compatible Inkjet cartridges for your Epson Printer...INKTEC makes and has developed a compatible cartridge that will always work and will not ruin your printer because it has too much Alcohol etc.. in it..The inks are very good and the cartridges are the most reliable around! I would suggest that you begin to use this brand of cartridge and see if your troubles won't end..they are available from selected outlets throught NZ...Check NZSearch and find yourself a reliable source for compatible cartridges @ 50% savings as well over Epson Brand cartridges..
regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 10:51 AM
Dear wuppo:
I will have to agree with you...The epson cartridges are a pain in the B...to refill and besides you will never get one totally refilled anyway...I wouls suggest that you buy Compatible Inkjet cartridges for your Epson Printer...INKTEC makes and has developed a compatible cartridge that will always work and will not ruin your printer because it has too much Alcohol etc.. in it..The inks are very good and the cartridges are the most reliable around! I would suggest that you begin to use this brand of cartridge and see if your troubles won't end..they are available from selected outlets throught NZ...Check NZSearch.co.nz and find yourself a reliable source for compatible cartridges @ 50% savings as well over Epson Brand cartridges..
regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 11:00 AM
Dear JM:
I would suggest that you try Inktec's refilling system...It is awesome! Easy to use and pretty much Dummy Proof..(not suggesting anything)...The technology in tha last 5 yrs. has changed drastically and if your still not willing to try than the loss will be yours. HP cartridges are running as you must know $80.00 plus for all the cartridges you named and refilling is the ONLY way to go...Look into NZSearch.co.nz and you'll find the source for Intec products...
Regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 11:05 AM
Dear JM:
I would suggest that you try Inktec's refilling system...It is awesome! Easy to use and pretty much Dummy Proof..(not suggesting anything)...The technology in tha last 5 yrs. has changed drastically and if your still not willing to try than the loss will be yours. HP cartridges are running as you must know $80.00 plus for all the cartridges you named and refilling is the ONLY way to go...Look into NZSearch.co.nz and you'll find the source for Intec products...
Regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 11:34 AM
Dear Mike:
With the 930C Colour cartridge there are alot of little things you need to know to successfully refill them...Air flow into the cartridge is a major and when you poke out the plug to refill it it must get air after you put the ink in..but not too much either...I would suggest that you take or send your cartridge to a professional refiller to have it refilled next time, but if you aren't willing to do that...Inktec refill kits are the only way to go..The inks are a perfect colour match to the originals and if you put the ink into the cartridge VERY SLOWLY it will not mix in the printhead and will work great! the refilling kit for the C6578 cartridge which you have has a tool for equalising the air and bringing the ink gently into the printhead to insure good results...Those kits can be purchased from Refill Inc. In Auckland or at their website www.refill.co.nz
Regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 11:40 AM
Dear John B:
Give the Inktec Brand kits a try...There is no shipping costs when ordered from Refill Inc.Ltd. in Auckland and the cost for the kit is $26.00 inc. GST and shipping to your door!
All the necessary supplies are there along with enough ink for 2 refills. and you won't have to do all the things that you have discribed in your letter...
Regards;
RP

17-04-2002, 11:44 AM
Dear Bam Bam:
For $25.00 you can get a Brand New Inktec Cartridge and never have to wash your hands or give up Print quality of yeild of pages printed..They are GREAT!
Regards;
RP

01-05-2002, 11:41 AM
I've been refilling for years and never had a problem like that. Occasionally an ink port will dry too much, which blocks flow of ink, but the cost savings is considerable enough to continue refilling.

The printer manufacturers make the majority of their dollars on the ink cartridges they sell.