Very cheap laser printer toner cartridges


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/14/very-cheap-laser-printer-toner.html


#2

You are fortunate indeed, Mr. Frauenfelder. I have had several cheap toner cartridge failures, from streaky pages to leaky toner to one cartridge that the printer flat out rejected. I still buy knock offs because you can often buy two or more for the cost of HP’s/Brother’s/etc. So even with the occasional junker, I’m still ahead. Except for that toner spill…


#3

So much low-level tech happiness from ditching my HP inkjet & outrageously priced DRM cartridges.
Got a Brother laser printer & use more expensive 3rd party than mentioned above - still 1/2 price. No problems.
Don’t miss color… and all the inkjet induced anger.


#4

Good to know. When the toner cartridge finally stops printing on my Brother 4040CDN I’ll look at these. Snce I’m going on 5+ years on the original toner…it may still be a while.


#5

I use 3rd party carts for both my mono and color HP lasers. Only had one real failure. I don’t know why anyone would buy an inkjet today. Most of the ridiculously expensive ink is wasted cleaning jets unless you print the whole cart out at one go.


#6

Sweet. I have a very old laser, I was sure I would retire it if the toner ever ran out, but Amazon even has toners for my elderly Samsung, 2 for 22! Now if only I needed one.


#7

Need it. Getting it. Thanks.


#8

Gave up my 11 year old inkjet in 2004 and never looked back! 3rd-party toner for the win!


#9

I’ve been using an even older Brother that uses equally cheap TN-350 cartridges. I think the most I’ve ever paid for one was $9 and that was with free shipping. They’re often less. I bought a spare printer when they were on sale–$50 for a printer is hard to pass up. I figured if one ever broke I could use the second one and scrounge parts from the first if that one failed in turn.

So far we’re still on the first one and have plenty of drum life left. We’re about four high capacity carts in.

You’ll need to learn the special sequences for resetting the printers toner count or it will fake being out. What a crappy trick. You get spotty, streaky prints with a new cart inserted. Hit the key sequence and poof perfectly fine prints. Fakers.


#10

Those Brother mono lasers are great printers. We’ve installed about three dozen in classrooms, and they take a lot of abuse from students without being much worse for wear. Not bad for a $100-ish machine.
Plus, the model we have has an optical toner level sensor, so you can fool it with some opaque tape until you can replace the cartridge.


#11

I have color lasers, one at home, one at work, and finally got wise enough to get models that take the same cartridges. The printers were cheap - under 200. The cartridges are a rip-off - 85 each x4. So I also buy used refilled cartridges, and they are shit. IF they are not leaking toner and making a mess of the guts of your printer, they are streaking or spotting your prints. But they cost $10 each. So that means I have to toss out 7 of them before I break even with buying a new one. Or I have to use 1/8 of each cartridge before tossing it to break even. So even if you toss out every other one - nearly the average, you are still doing better than new ones. Plus Staples gives me $2 for each empty, bringing the cost down to $8ea. Its just a damn PIA.


#12

I have a Brother printer, but I’d love to get my old NeXT Laser Printer working again (it just jams and jams, which makes me sad, because the mono NeXT slab I have and its monitor still work perfectly well).

There are some things you cannot do with low-cost laser printers, one of these things is make short-run art prints onto good paper stock.


#13

Protip re leaky cartridges: If you get toner on your hands or clothes, wash with cold water. Heat melts toner, so hot water will just make everything more difficult and possibly ruin fabric permanently.

I would never buy another inkjet, unless I for some reason became a pro photographer. On the rare occasions I want photo-quality prints I go to a service bureau, camera shop, or even Walgreens.

ETA what I really want is to get my old ImageWriter II back in action. BZZZZZZZZRRRRRRRRRRP chk chk BZZZZZRRRRRRRRP… ahhhhh


#14

We’ve used Linkyos in our Brothers with success (I like them because they actually have customer service), but honestly genuine Brother cartridges make a lot of prints, and fix better on cheaper/slicker paper.


#15

“hey office supplies! the fucking department colour laser is out of toner AGAIN. please do something! yes, it is important, it’s for <incomprehensible mumble>”


#16

I don’t know, those Epson Eco Tank bulk refillable printers look pretty persuasive. They gave up the whole “razor and blades” model and just charge you what the printers and ink actually cost.

What I am uncertain about is if they have good photo reproduction. I’ve heard conflicting opinions. Then again, the more critical opinions came from photography buffs who though a $1500 printer was a better option (as compared to a $250 printer). Yeah, not quite contemporaries, are they? I’d freaking hope the $1500 (with expensive carts) printer is better.


#17

I switched to laser a couple of years ago but then bought a color inkjet again because I like making heat transfer t-shirts (mostly for my kid but sometimes for myself) and other arts projects. I use it so infrequently though that I don’t really mind the cost of the ink.


#18

Sadly, I just had to replace the drum unit and toner cartridges on our Brother laser printer. The generic toner worked for a few rounds, then leaked pink toner into the body of the printer. Necessitating a full replacement.

It was worth a try, but I’m sticking with Brother toner moving forward.


#19

Great tip, and that’s the exact cartridge that I need. Thanks.


#20

I went down that rabbit hole nearly 20 years ago, I was loading archival pigments, not common at that time, into carts for a Epson Photo printer and buying expensive paper. I ultimately decided Costco prints were ridiculously cheap and made more sense. Last year I had a bunch of 16x20’s done for $7 each. 20x30 are $10. You can’t touch that price, and the size is spectacular. Some Ikea frames and your photo is on the wall for under $20.