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Refill kits

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rloveys, May 22, 2002.

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  1. rloveys

    rloveys Thread Starter

    May 16, 2002
    Any one use refill kits for their printer cartridges? Do they use universal ink or are they specific for the type of printer?
  2. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

    Apr 10, 2000
    I'm sure there are those who will jump in with opposing anecdotes; however, I don't personally know anyone who has refilled their own ink cartridges who hasn't eventually (if not sooner) had a cartridge-leak disaster.

    Such a leak voids your warranty AND can easily produce a repair bill that rivals (if not exceeds) the cost of a good printer.

    As for the ink, I haven't seen a do-it-yourself refiller that had ink of equal quality to the original. First, the letters are not as sharp. Second, the ink is more readily smeared than the genuine, original ink. Third, blacks are not as black; colors are not as saturated and neither are as opaque.

    All of this is noticed only on close examination, of course.
  3. joe2cool


    Feb 7, 2002
    Yep!!! I Agree stick with original cartridges for pure quality ;)

    Less hassle !! :)

  4. slipe


    Jun 27, 2000
    There is always the voice of dissention.

    I’ve been filling my cartridges for over 5 years with excellent results. I’ve gone through well over a pint of premium black for a savings of many hundreds of dollars and think nothing of printing things at photo quality because the only cost is effectively the paper.

    Refilling the HP black is falling off a log easy. Before I do a large two sided print job I just automatically top off the cartridge to make sure I don’t run out of ink in the middle. It is less than 5 minutes from removing the cartridge to printing with a full cartridge. It is a lot more convenient than buying HP cartridges.

    The color is a little more difficult. The black works on a vacuum, which is easy. The color ink is held by capillary action within the fibrous sponges. If you add more ink than the sponge will hold, ink leaks to the head and contaminates the other colors. Most instructions have you wait until the particular color is empty and then add a measured amount of ink. I find it is more reliable to refill while there is still ink in the sponge and it is too much of a hassle to wait for each color to empty in turn. Someone a couple of years ago suggested to just sample the ink level with a syringe and then add ink based on that level – works like a charm once you get the hang of it.

    I like the WJ1010 premium black pigmented ink better than the HP ink. It prints darker at economy and is much more waterproof than the original. You have to be careful to not let an empty cartridge sit or the carbon will clog the heads. I don’t think I would use pigmented black in a printer like Epson that tends to clog and has permanent heads that can’t be replaced.

    I took a newsletter in to the print shop the other day that I had printed at best quality. The printer commented on the quality of the printout and asked what it was printed with. When I told him it was a HP 930 he was amazed and got his loupe. He said “This was printed on an inkjet?” and “Looks like it was done on a laser”. I’m sure everyone prints at best quality to have something photo offset printed and HPs are common, so the only thing I can think that caused the comments was the darker pigmented black ink.

    I hang out (mostly lurk) on a digital photography board that has a separate printer section. Many of the folks that post there are pros that sell their printed photos. These folks think nothing of dropping $500 for color calibration software, so we aren’t talking about low standards. Some claim it is worth the money to stick with the manufacturer’s ink but many fill their own. Some of them use the continuous inking systems that require aftermarket inks.

    When I got my current HP I printed an image (30Mb from my film scanner) at best quality on HP premium photo paper using the HP ink. I later printed the same image on the same paper using MIS color ink. It has been two years now and I still can’t tell the difference between them.

    Sorry about the lengthy diatribe, but I’m not just shooting from the hip when I say you can get excellent results and save a bundle if you print a lot by refilling with quality ink. If you don’t get good instructions specific to your printer and follow them you are likely to leak ink into your printer. If you don’t get quality ink specific to your make and model printer you will get poor results. If you use one of those universal refill kits you are almost guaranteed crappy results.
  5. Fabiogump


    Jul 17, 2001
    a good ink site I've used many times... www.reinkkit.com.

    They custom make kits for just about every printer/faxmachine on the planet (which are also rated on how difficult it would be to refill the cart by hand 1-easy/no modifacations 5-very difficult)

    if your not up to doing it yourself they also offer recycled cartridges for just a little more.
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