* Prices may differ from that shown
I've used inkjet refill kits for years now.
It all started when I bought an Epson way back when. I remember hearing about how you could refill your printer cartridges rather than have to but new, which ramped up the costs of printing considerably.
The costs of ink cartridges has increased even more over the years and the printers themselves tend to be sold at what would seem a 'value' price. It's only when you realise that ink cartridges cost a small fortune that you realise the printer itself is almost a lost leader to get you into what tends to be a cartel of expensive.
The ink in these cartridges costs more than gold in weight terms if buying a branded product, I really have to wonder how people afford some of the cartridges you see for HP printers, they are seriously expensive compared to how many pages you'd expect to print.
The standard capacity cartridges you can buy, again on the HP range, are next to useless if you are printing photos. They run out so quickly.
Even compatible cartridges are fairly expensive.
But I'll stop ranting about how expensive print cartridges are... the answer is a refill kit. The product that the manufactures warn you against using... and I wonder why?!?... I've never damaged a printer by using a refilled cartridge, has anyone else?
Anyway, the average refill kit will allow you to reuse a cartridge a few times. I've found the process is fairly straight forward, but can be quite messy and frustrating on occasion.
Refilling cartridges (in my experience) works best before they run out. Look to refill the first time your printer warns of low ink. If you refill after the ink has run out, leave some time for the ink to 'work though' the cartridge and settle before using it for anything more than a short print run. Again, just my experience - mostly with HP printers which I have used for sometime now.
Ok, so the quality is not quite as good as buying a brand new branded cartridge, but it's not that different to justify the increased cost in my opinion.
I will continue to use refill kits until cartridge prices become affordable.
From price comparison websites to loyalty card points, we all love to grab hold of a bargain. Most of us are happy to save a couple of pennies here and there; the occasional tin of half priced beans and the odd two-for-one deal on shoe polish go a surprisingly long way to lowering the household shop.
Therefore, it's appalling to know that so few people realise they're letting tens (if not hundreds) of pounds soak through their fingers every year. I am, of course, referring to financially overinflated world of inkjet cartridges.
Having owned various home colour printers over the years, my epiphany came when I realised I could buy a brand new all-in-one printer, scanner and fax for the same price as a single black ink cartridge for my current HP machine.
My rebellion against 'big ink' grew after a stranger in the supermarket stopped me from purchasing a cheap 'generic' refill for my machine and suggested I try a 'JR inkjet' kit from eBay instead; the gentleman went on to claim he'd saved well over a thousand pounds in the eight years he'd been doing so!
Ordinarily I'd have been a little sceptical of advice given from a random guy in Tescos, but with the entire black ink kit coming in at only £8 I thought it was worthwhile giving it a try. And boy, am I glad I did...
I've now purchased several different ink sets from a variety of manufacturers, but they all work in the same fundamental way. They feature one or more bottles of ink, a syringe with thick needle, a hole punching device and a couple of plugs to seal the gaps. Sometimes you'll also receive a cleaning solution too, although I've found this to become an increasingly rare proposition.
Most of the time you won't require anything but the ink and syringe; the vast majority of ink cartridges already have the required holes hidden under the sticky label on top. Simply peeling away the sticker will reveal the gap through which you can inject the ink.
Most refill kits come with several bottles of 30ml ink, but it's doubtful you'd need even a third of that per refill - it depends on whether your printer is conservative about its 'low ink' indicator or not (and believe me, a lot of them are: it's not unheard of to get a warning appear before the cartridge is even half empty)!
THE REFILL PROCESS
I'd recommend you start by grabbing a pair of disposable latex gloves and plenty of kitchen roll. If there's one thing I can promise, it's that you're going to get ink absolutely EVERYWHERE the first time you try refilling.
Having loaded up the syringe, you need to plunge the needle through the appropriate hole, through the sponge and into the reservoir; if you don't go down far enough you'll find the cartridge won't refill to the correct level. Once the ink begins to bubble over the top, you know that you can stop. At this point, blot up any excess ink and leave for several hours for the ink to saturate the sponge and for any air bubbles to dissipate.
You'll probably want to rest the cartridge on a stable surface with plenty of old newspaper during this resting phase. Don't, whatever you do, put the refilled cartridge on your finest furniture, as you'll find a newly revitalised inkwell has the tendency to leach out all over your antique heirlooms.
When the cartridge has been adequately rested, simply insert back into the printer and you should be ready to go.
There are only really two exceptions to this: Firstly, you may need to clean the print head a couple of times to prevent any streaking or smearing. Secondly, you might find your cartridge needs resetting or realigning depending on the model - these reset tools are fairly inexpensive, and can be found at various retailers around the Internet. Plus, once you've got one, you can reuse it each and every time your ink runs low.
Unfortunately, you'll eventually reach the stage when your cartridge can no longer be refilled. This is due to wear and tear of the inkwell, sponge and/or print head. When this happens you'll need to buy another replacement cartridge: yes, you will feel the sting at having to fork-out retail again, but it's a fairly rare event that only happens two or three times during the lifespan of most printers.
What concerns most people about the whole process of refilling is the quality of ink. After all, this is all sourced without the manufacturers' consent, and surely a bottle of £5 ink cannot compete with that from an official source costing £20 or more?!
I'd say, in the vast majority of cases, there's little difference in the overall print quality. The only exception I've witnessed has been printing photos on to glossy paper, but even these were acceptable. For everyday documents and the occasional pie chart, you're really not going to notice a considerable difference between the two.
In fact, over the past five years I've found the quality of these kits to be steadily improving - even at the cheaper end of the market. Still not sold? Then I'd recommend testing it out with just the black ink to begin with. See the results you get and compare with those of the official source: I'm betting you'll have a tough time disputing any areas of difference.
If you're willing to put in twenty minutes worth of effort, you could be saving big over the years with ink refills. My rough estimates put my savings into the arena of £100 a year using both colour and black kits, and I see no reason why heavier users (like small businesses and home offices) couldn't save even bigger!
For someone who owns there own business running from home, I tend to print a whole load of documents and it can sometimes take its toll on not only my printer ink, but my wallet when I have to go out and replace the ink when it is all gone. It was costing my on average of £30 each week to buy new ink for the printer, and I kept thinking to myself there has to be some other way that I can keep this cost down. I did consider buying a new printer, one where the ink wasn't as expensive, but then my friend told me able the range of ink refilling kits that there are on the market.
They are a simple little package that when bought, comes with a tub of ink, and syringe, and an instruction booklet with many of the packages to explain what you have to do. It is extremely easy to refill your ink cartridge yourself, all you have to do is fill the syringe with ink from the pot and simply insert it into the ink cartridge and fill.
My first thought when using an ink refilling package was that the quality was going to be reduced, but to my surprise it wasn't, and now I refill my cartridges all of the time. Allow I did say it was n easy process, I think I should mention that it is also a messy process, so I would wear some sort of glove, (many products come with this included in the price), and do it away from furniture.
Since using ink refilling products, I have cut the amount I spend on ink dramatically, and would definitely recommend switching to this method. I but mine from Wilkinsons and pay on £8.99, not bad at all, definitely worth trying out.
I recently found myself buying a new printer after having simply gone to get a cartridge for my old printer. The reason for the new purchase was that it worked out CHEAPER, how crazy is that. I'm guessing that in these days of credit crunch and tighter purse strings there will be a few more who like me will try to save money on computer peripherals in several new and innovative ways.
There is a way to save a substantial amount of money by refilling your old cartridge. There are quite a few manufacturers who now supply refill kits, but perhaps the most well known is JR Inkjet. The refill kits come in many shapes and sizes to accommodate most modern inkjet printers. You can purchase a simple black kit, which consists of a bottle of black ink a syringe and instructions on how to complete the refilling task.
Most of us however are fortunate enough to have a colour inkjet and this is slightly more complicated than the black cartridge. It's not exactly rocket science but its does involve a bit more work and effort. Having said this the effort will save you over and over again, because once you have refilled a few times you will become much faster and more efficient, so not only saving a big wad of cash otherwise to be spent on the very overpriced cartridges, but also the time in accomplishing the refill. There are a very few printers which will required more effort than perhaps most of us would consider reasonable, but in general the most popular makes of printer can be refilled in half an hour, less for black obviously.
Shopping around will get you the best price since for some reason the price varies considerably from store to store with the likes of Currys and PC World charging way over he odds for the kit which comes in at about £6 - £7 in most reasonable shops. The kit will refill most cartridges about 5 to 6 times saving on average about £150, which as you will now appreciate is WELL WORTH the effort. The kit comprises of the three main colour inks, which form the basis of an inkjet printer, those being Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. There are some kits, which for the same price carry an extra bottle of black ink free, but they are rare these days but I have still seen them in some obscure shops.
The kit comes with other little pieces which are only required for certain printers, these include rubber plugs and a small screwed metal hook to create the hole in which to put the ink. This need not be a worry though since the comprehensive instructions cover everything. Should you lose the instructions JR Inkjet have a website where all relevant documents can be freely downloaded for future refills.
The basic refill procedure is simply that of removing a couple of labels and finding the refill holes which is usually hidden underneath the main label o the top of the finished cartridge. It is advisable however not to let the old cartridge get completely empty as this requires slightly more work. Once the refill positions for the three inks have been located ensure that when refilling with the supplied syringe that you put the correct colour into the correct hole or you will end up with some pretty peculiar results when you come to printing. Actually having done this with the Yellow and Magenta on one cartridge the results were quite pleasing but very confusing. Having placed the required amount of ink into each colour chamber on the cartridge it is time to reseal the holes. Some small sticky clear adhesive circles are supplied for this purpose but in general the refitting of the label will suffice. If in future refills you cannot find the sticky circles a small piece of cellotape will suffice. It is now advisable to leave the cartridge for an hour or so to let the ink soak into the sponges which are inside the cartridge and hold the ink. To do this, place the cartridge on a non-absorbent surface and simply leave for an hour or so. It is not unusual to return to find some excess ink having dripped out, this simply means you have put a little too much in. A wipe with a bit of kitchen paper to remove any excess which is on the cartridge will do fine, ensuring that the gold coloured metal contacts are absolutely free is essential to the cartridge working correctly once it is refitted into the printer.
Now all that remains is to refit the cartridge into the printer and print a test page. The first page might have a few lines missing but on printing a second test page everything should be fine and your printer will be as new. I haven't seen a great deal of difference in using the refill kit to using a new cartridge when it comes to the quality of the printed output. All in all the process should take about half an hour as I mentioned previously, but it is a half hour that has just saved you £30 for a new cartridge. You will not take so long the next time you refill and the savings will mount up. I don't know the reason for the 5 - 6 limit on the refilling, but have tried to refill more times with a greatly reduced quality of print, so I'm guessing the print heads have simply had enough after 5 refills. Definitely a product I would recommend.
Syringe was far too big to fit into filler hole. After half an hour of careful coaxing I gave up and threw the whole kit in the bin!
I was first introduced to JR Inkjet Refill Kits about two years ago, I had just spent around £50 to replace both colour and black cartridges in my Canon printer and was watching QVC on television, a lady was demonstrating the refill kits and it looked fairly easy so I ordered a full kit. The kit consisted of two boxes both boxes contained instructions for refilling numerous makes and types of cartridge, a syringe, blunt filling needle and plastic cover, screw plug extractor and a sealing plug, in one box there was a 20ml bottle of yellow ink, 20ml bottle of cyan ink and a 20ml bottle of magenta ink, the other box had two 20ml bottles of black ink and the kit cost me around £22 including the postage and package. I had kept my empty cartridges so as soon as the kit arrived I decided to have a go at refilling them. I found the instruction for my type of cartridge there was a diagram of both the colour cartridge and black cartridge with clear step-by-step instructions under the diagram; it looked painless enough so I started with the black cartridge. Step One Using the screw provided remove the vented plug from the filler hole by twisting the screw into the small vent hole and pull the plug out. This caused a problem because there was not a vented plug with a small vent hole for me to remove so I had to make a hole with the screw inside the circle on my cartridge; this circle was where the vented plug should have been according to the instruction. Step Two Assemble the syringe needle and fill with the appropriate colour ink. No problems here I filled the syringe with black ink. Step Three Insert the needle through the filling hole and push into the cartridge. I found a little resistance at first but no real problem. Step Four Inject up to 27ml of ink or until ink appears at the filling hole. No problems I slowly injected the ink into the cartridge. My type of cartridge did not require the
filler hole to be resealed. Step Five Install the cartridge and run a printing cycle. I duly installed the cartridge in my printer and ran a test cycle and nothing happened, I printed sheet after sheet of blank paper. Just a minute what’s this on the bottom of the instruction sheet – Note – Empty cartridges should be refilled immediately? Well my black cartridge had been empty for about three weeks so I thought I would have a go with the colour cartridge, which had run out of one of the three colours and was actually still printing but everything was printing out in green. I repeated step one on the colour cartridge and found the same problem – no plugs with small vent holes but three circles where the plug should have been. I made three holes with the screw provided. I already had the syringe assembled so I cleaned out the black ink with water, shaking the syringe well to get rid of any excess water and then filled the syringe with yellow ink. On to step three and inserted the syringe in to the corresponding hole for the yellow ink again feeling a little resistance. According to the instructions I needed to insert 9ml of yellow or as much as the cartridge would take until ink appears at the filling hole. After about 5ml of ink the ink appeared at the filling hole so I blotted the excess ink from around the filling hole with a piece of kitchen towel, my fingertip was stained with yellow ink. After cleaning the syringe I refilled it with magenta ink and repeated the procedure in the hole for the magenta ink, the cartridge took the full 9ml. Then I again cleaned the syringe and refilled it with cyan ink and repeated the procedure again, the cyan chamber on the cartridge took only about 6ml of ink and then overflowed so I blotted the top with kitchen towel and had blue ink stained fingertips mixed with the yellow. I installed the cartridge in my printer and ran a test cycle, nothi
ng happened and I was left with blank paper, I ran a second test cycle and the print was starting to come through, a third test cycle – perfect. I had good quality print with sharp colour and was really pleased. After a few days I decided to give the black cartridge another go and it printed straight away and the quality of print was very good. I now always use JR Inkjet Refills but have bought myself a pair of rubber gloves to save my fingertips getting stained and I also cover the utility room work surface with a couple of sheets of folded kitchen towel to put the cartridge on while I am refilling them. I find I often have to leave the cartridges a day or so before the ink start to run through properly while printing but this is not a problem because I refill the cartridge as soon as it empties and always have another full cartridge ready to use. I have found the starter kits on my local market and in some computer shops, the black refill kit costs around £7.99 and the colour kit is around £10.99 however once you have bought the initial starter kit you can buy blister packs containing 60ml bottles of ink for around £6.99, these blister packs come in the three colours and black and if you have bought one refill kit you will already have the syringe, screw and instructions. Inks are also available in 250ml size bottles for around £16. You can also buy a 60ml blister pack of cartridge flush to clean the sponge inside your ink cartridge and clean the print head on the cartridge, instructions for use are given on the back of the blister pack. Obviously the print head on your cartridge has a limited life span and will eventually wear out but I find the cartridges for my printer give good quality print for at least six refills and this saves me quite a lot of money. This week while I was shopping in my local Morrisons I noticed JR Inkjet Black Refill Kits in a dump bin on one of the aisles, they are not a regular line for Morri
sons but are a promotional offer for the next few weeks and are selling for £8 buy one get one free, the kits also include 50% extra ink free so in each box you are getting two 30ml bottles of ink instead of two 20ml bottles. If you have never tried JR Inkjet Refills and live near a branch of Morrisons give the refills a try while they are such a good buy you could end up saving a lot of money. JR Inkjet websites: www.jrinkjet.co.uk www.inkjetuk.com Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inkjet cartridges are very expensive, particularly so for Hewlett Packard printers. You can get the printers at very good prices now, and I have a Deskjet 710c, which has been replaced by newer models, nevertheless I think it is a good quality printer, quiet, and the print quality is crisp and clear. The only downside to this is the cost of new inkjet cartridges, and I do tend to run out fairly often, as I am always printing information which I find on the web, apart from the fact my grandchildren also like to print stuff too! The cost of a new HP cartridge is around £27 for a tri colour cartridge and £21 for a black cartridge. In an attempt to save money I purchased a recycled colour cartridge from PC World, cost £21.99, “great” I thought, a saving of £5 - £6 pounds! When I got home I replaced my empty cartridge with the recycled one from PC World, I then did a test print, what a disappointment! The yellow did not come through at all, and the magenta came out a dirty looking pink instead of the vivid pink I was expecting, so it was back to PC World for a refund! They did not quibble at all when I showed them the test print, but I declined the offer of a replacement. The sad part of this is that PC World have pre paid envelopes for you to send your empty cartridges to be recycled, the charity NSPCC get paid for every cartridge sent, this idea appealed to me, and had the cartridge worked ok in the first place I would have participated in the scheme. I had by this time already decided that I would try my hand at refilling my empty cartridges myself. I ordered my refill kit from JR Inkjet, via the telephone, a starter kit consisting of 40ml black ink, and 20ml each of Cyan, Yellow and Magenta. Included with the kit were a blunt syringe, some sealer caps, and a small drill bit. Total cost £24.99 including P&P, the web site address for JR Inkjet is listed at the end of this op, there is no
online ordering facility at present, my order took a week to arrive. There are however many other web sites where you can order the same product online, I shall list two decent sites at the end of this op. I carefully read the instructions for refilling, armed with rubber gloves, and the syringe I went into the kitchen, placed old newspaper on the worktop, and set up operations next to the sink! I had to push in the sealant plugs with the end of a ballpoint pen, and then fill the syringe with each colour of ink. There were no guidelines for how much to use, so I put in about 5ml of each colour in the corresponding compartments. If you read the instructions carefully you will soon see which colour goes into which compartment! The Yellow did not come through, so I syringed it all out, and put some flush into the yellow compartment, after a few minutes the blockage cleared and the flush started to seep out. I then removed the flush with the syringe, and re-filled with yellow. I gently blotted the print head with kitchen towel, reloaded the cartridge into my printer and I am very pleased with the result, the colours are excellent. It can be a bit fiddly using the syringe to draw out any ink or flush solution; you basically only have one hand as you are holding the cartridge with the other! But with patience it is pretty easy. You must also avoid touching the metal components of the cartridge with your fingers. Obviously the life of a cartridge print head is limited, but I hope to get several more refills at least before actually having to purchase a manufacturers cartridge again, this will save a considerable amount of money. If you visit any of the inkjet web sites, you will find the answers to many technical questions you may have. Sites you may want to visit http://www.inkjet.co.uk/kitsinfo.htm JR Inkjet - no online facility, but can order via phone. http://www.inkjetu
k.com/inkjets InkjetUk – you can order online, other printing related products available. http://www.inkjetcartridgesuk.com/ Inkjet cartridgesuk – online ordering facility available, plus replacement cartridges and other supplies.
Why oh why did I not think of this before? My ink cartriges for my Lexmark Z42 printer are about 30 quid a go, and when mine ran out last week, I thought "what the heck", "I'll try a refill kit". There are many fab reviews of refilling ink cartridges, and with the hope of saving a lot of cash, I went for it. My only problem was that my Mum had been covered in ink before whilst trying to refill her HP cartridge. Maybe she was just inept. I don't know. Anyway, the kit arrived this morning, with two little squeezy bottles with attached syringes, which seemed a much better idea than the others "draw the ink up yourself and feel like a doctor for 2 minutes of your life"-style kits. But that was the kit I bought, and of course your may be different. The instructions are really simple. 3 simple steps, you drill out the air hole, with a screw, stick the syringe in, and squeeze the ink out. I thought "pah, there's got to be a catch, and I'm going to come out looking like I've had a roll in some tar", so off I headed to the bathroom, just in case. I think I spilt 1 drop of ink and that was when I decided to squeeze the bottle for fun. I didn't even need to use the rubber gloves from the kit. Upon sticking the cartridge back in the computer, and following the normal on-screen stuff, I assumed that this was the time when it'd go wrong and the cartridge wouldn't actually print. In the back of my mind a little devil (who I'll have words with later) was saying "3 quid for a new cartridge, don't be so silly Louisa". It printed. Despite the instructions saying that "cartridges must be refilled IMMEDIATELY, and even 30 minutes can ruin a cartridge", and me having had an empty cartridge for 2 weeks out on my windowsill, it printed perfectly, first time. Golly I'm impressed. Now my hou
semate has a similar printer to mine, and always buys reconditioned cartridges, a sort of "half-way-house" really. She reported that you can't really highlight stuff you've printed with this sort of ink, as it doesn't dry out totally or as quickly as normal proper ink does. I've just run my finger over a sheet I printed an hour ago, and a little bit of ink came off on my finger, and the page now looks a bit "dirty". I'll try again later, and update my op! And trying a highlighter pen on it is also fairly disastrous, as my green highlighter now has a black streak in it, and the page really does look manky now. As a student, Im happy to underline rather than highlight, but some other peoples demands may be higher, and as such, I wouldn't recommend this ink to them. All in all, it's great for me, and at about 10% of the cost per refill (and that was with an expensive kit!), it's fantastic. ******Update****** For all you who asked where I got it from, it was off the www.injet-cartridges.co.uk website. It took a couple of days for delivery, but then I did order just before the bank holiday weekend. The kit was about 8 quid for 2 squeezy bottles with syringes, a napkin (to wipe up non-existent mess!), a glove (again, not needed), a screw to drill out the hole, instructions on a floppy and lots of little polystyrene thingies! Good luck.
I have just run out of ink on my printers,i have two,a hp610 and a hp930,and im sick of the price the cartridges are and the fact that they dont last long. Firstly i had the hp610 but i was told that the hp930 had bigger cartridges,which they do have but it just seemed to go done quicker.In order to save a bit of money i thought it would be a good idea to go for the compatible cartridge and if you are ever thinking of doing this,dont! They are not filled properly and they are very poor quality,so that brings me to the refill option.I was on the phone today to a company where the female assistant gave me great advice about the refill kit and when she had finished i realised that i was actually buying compatable cartridges that were in fact old cartridges refilled by this method. So the point is,why give someone extra money for something you can do yourself and plus you would be putting much more ink in and therefore getting more usage out of it. Anyway i looked at a few sites that show how you refill the cartridge and it looks easy enough to me so im going to save myself some money and buy myself this refill kit and fill two printers with the same ink. I would appreciate it if any off you have embarked on this venture yourselves and could offer me any helpful advice before i spend my hard earned money...
If there is one aspect of computers that people are moaning about at the moment it is the price of inkjet refills. Printers seem quite a bargain, costing only around £100 for one capable of very high quality. While mine is a slightly cheaper (£60) Lexmark Z12 it still claims to offer photo realism. This comes at a price however, as the printer guzzles ink. When printing an A4 sized photograph at the highest quality you can literally see the ink level dropping on the on-screen display as the page is printing. And when you consider that a new ink cartridge costs around £28 then you soon realise that your printer's cost will soon be multiplied massively if you use even a moderate amount of ink. It's not just my printer that is the problem, everyone seems to be complaining now regardless of what brand of printer they have. It seems every new printer now eats ink and people are beginning to realise that it is going to cost them a small fortune. Some people are revering to their old printers for plain text and only using the new one for colour, some people are simply paying the money, but others are realising that refilling their ink cartridges is very cost effective. How well your ink cartridge can be refilled depends a lot upon the make, as the four main printer manufacturers have varied designs and ideas on how their printers should work. HP and Lexmark both incorporate the print head in to their cartridges, meaning that the print head is replaced every time you buy a new cartridge. This ensures good quality printing but when it is empty you often throw away a perfectly good print head. Of course this also increases the price somewhat. A typical HP cartridge costs around £21 while a Lexmark cartridge is going to set you back about £27. Cannon on the other hand use separate print heads and ink tanks, meaning that you can replace them at will, making most Cannon cartridges a bit cheaper at about £16. Epson on the ot
her hand build the print head in to the printer and all you buy is a tank of ink. This has the advantage that it should, in theory, reduce the price of the cartridge but the cartridge for the Epson Stylus Color 680 is still a whopping £23. You may just think that what I said above wasn't really important, but it is. The manufacturers claim that refilling your ink cartridge is dangerous as it can damage the print head and produce inferior quality prints. With Lexmark and HP you have nothing to lose by refilling your cartridge, because if any problems should arise then all you need to do is buy a new cartridge. With Epson though, if the print head is damaged it is difficult and expensive to replace. But should we believe all that the printer manufacturers tell us, after all they obviously don't want us to refill our cartridges instead of buying them at extortionate prices from the printer manufacturers. Personally I doubt that there will ever be any problems, but be warned that it is not without risk. If nothing else on certain makes of printers refilling may void your warranty. Then again warranties only last for a year, so is it that much to lose if you've already had your printer for 8 months? There are two types of ink that you can use for your printer, universal refill kits or printer matched refill kits. Universal ink is just that; ink that can be used in any printer. To print colour printers use three colours, namely cyan, magenta and yellow. So it would follow that you could just use the same ink in any printer. The answer is yes and no. It will probably work, but different manufacturers ink may vary slightly in colour, texture and how runny it is etc. If all you want is black printing then these will do fine but for colour printing I would recommend a printer matched kit. Printer matched refill kits solve this problem by trying to copy the ink that the printer manufacturers make for that printer. Thi
s should ensure a print quality that is undistinguishable from the original cartridge. These kits are quite professional too, they come with the ink, all the tools needed, gloves and instructions. So how much do these things cost, bearing in mind that it takes roughly 30ml to fill a normal black only cartridge or around 10ml each of cyan, magenta and yellow to fill a colour cartridge. Generic ink is by far the cheapest. 100ml of black ink can be bought for £3.99, which is roughly 3 refills of a normal tank. That is less than £1.50 per refill. Colour ink is £5 per tank and you will need one tank of cyan, magenta and yellow so the total cost will be £15. This should refill about 10 cartridges making the price work out at £1.50 per refill again. And to think that a new cartridge could cost you £20 or more!! Printer matched kits cost a little more. They are usually around £7 for a black kit and £10 for a colour kit and most offer about 3 refills per kit. This still works out at £3.33 which is very cheap compared with a new cartridge. Epson is the only manufacturer who actively fight refilling. They place a chip in their cartridges which monitors the ink level. When it runs out the chip renders the cartridge useless forcing you to buy a new one. Not beaten though, the ink refiller’s have made a kit costing £25 that allows you to reprogram the chips and refill the cartridges as normal. The only problem with refilling cartridges is the fact that you have to personally refill them. This is not always easy and can be messy, and as I sit here I have multi coloured fingers from refilling a Lexmark cartridge earlier this evening. The normal process involves removing a cap from the cartridge, sometimes by force depending on the model of printer. You then inject the ink in to the sponges in the cartridge. It is important not to add too much ink as the separate compartments may flood over in to the next, mixing the colours and
ruining the cartridge. Excess ink may also cause leakage through the print head which could damage the delicate head. For people who don't know (and I didn't till I refilled one) an inkjet cartridge contains a separate tank for each colour. These are filled with a sponge. The reason for that is when the ink is used in the printer it is heated up and therefore expands. The sponge simply helps it to expand freely. Refilling a cartridge can be very difficult and confusing at first but once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature. My advice would be to lay down some paper to catch the stray droplets and take your time when injecting the ink. Rushing could lead to over filling. It is also essential to remember that cartridges cannot be refilled indefinitely as components like the print head will wear out over time. Between 5-10 refills is the average for most cartridges. I have refilled a number of cartridges and have never had any problems with it, nor do I know of anyone who has. It is an easy way to save a LOT of money, for example I can refill my Lexmark Z-12 for £3.33 as opposed to £28 and to my eyes it looks identical in terms of quality. There are lots of places to buy ink refills online but my personal favourite is a site called www.aktivdirect.co.uk. They are friendly, reliable, cheap and offer a profession looking kit. Before you splash out on a new cartridge think of the cheaper alternatives!!!
I feel that there is a conspiracy going on. No, I don;t mean the one about area 47, Roswell and those little green men, or the true whereabouts of Lord Lucan, or whether Elvis really was seen in Sainsbury?s in Bournemouth high street last weekend, this is a bigger conspiracy altogether. I?m sick and tired of paying extortionate costs for something as simple as a cartridge for my printer! I don?t know who came up with the idea of refill cartridges, but they are laughing all the way to the bank, and so are the manufacturers, who are really raking in the cash. Printer cartridges are designed to be thrown away when the ink runs out, and you are supposed to buy a whole replacement cartridge, made by the same company that manufactured your printer (a nice little earner eh!) for up to £30 each time. Wow, that?s a lot of cash these companies are making. The whole system strikes me as very bizarre. When you run out of fuel on your car, you don?t throw away your old fuel tank and install a new one that is full of petrol, when your fountain pen runs out of ink you don?t throw away the ink barrel, you just refill it from a bottle of ink. So why do we have to buy a whole, new cartridge. Many companies are becoming more and more environmental aware by producing refills specifically designed to cut down on waste, such as packets of washing powder so you don?t have to keep buying a box. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but you can save money. The good news (for us and not the cartridge manufacturers!) is you can now buy an ink jet cartridge refill kit, which as the name might suggest, allows you to refill your empty ink jet cartridges. I bought a JR Colour Ink jet refill kit, which are quite widely available from all the major PC retailers such as the dastardly PC World, Dixons, etc. but I found my kit at Maplin Electronics, where it was only £12.99 (instead of around £18) and came with a free black ink refill. So, what d
o you get for your money? The kit contains a 20ml bottle of Cyan ink, a 20 ml bottle of Magenta ink and a 20ml bottle of Yellow ink, the three colours used in most colour ink jet cartridges. You also get a filling syringe with a blunt needle, so the careless amongst us do not inject their fingers with ink!. You also get some sealing plugs to prevent leakages, and a plug extractor. The kit also comes with a fairly comprehensive set of instructions giving a step by step guide on how to refill cartridges. Looking at the list of instructions, most printers are covered. All the popular makes such as Lexmark, Epson, Hewlett Packard, Canon, Olivetti etc and most printer types are covered, even the newer models such as the Lexmark Z32+52, Epson 580 and Canon B400. For most cartridges all you need to do is cover the ink outlet holes with some adhesive tape and squirt the ink through the filler hole, ensuring you use the correct colour ink in the correct hole or you may end up with some rather intesting colours in your photographs! On a few cartridges you may have to drill a small 3mm hole to inject the ink through. Although this may seem a little daunting, you can buy a Starter Kit from JR that includes a little drill. Handy eh! Also, don?t worry if you?re cartridge is not listed. The instructions are constantly updated and new cartridges being added. Go to their website at www.ink jet.co.uk to see if new instructions for your printer have been added. I know it might seem a bit of hassle messing about with syringes of ink and maybe even drilling holes, but it really isn?t that difficult to fill a cartridge and it will save you an awful lot of money.
Recently my printer’s colour cartridge began to run out of ink. On finding that a new cartridge for my Hewlett Packard printer would cost around £23 for a new colour cartridge, and £15 for a black one, I decided to try a refill kit. The JR inkjet colour refill kit cost me £9.99 and will refill my printers cartridge approx. three times which is a significant saving. The method of refilling varies from printer to printer but the procedure seems to be quite straightforward, with clear instructions on how to refill most printer cartridges. The job can be quite messy and it is important to have plenty of rags handy. I have found that the colours are not as strong as the original ink, but for the price I can’t really complain. On the hole I think that the JR inkjet refill kits are excellent value for money even though I have lost a little strength of colour in printing.
Have now run out of my first black cartridge, and after scouring the magazines, decided to buy a duo pack, black and colour from Aktiv Direct. They have a good reputation for cartridges, but are not the cheapest, even with an extra colour or black thrown in for free, it came to £15.99. I could have got the same for about half price, but as I do not intend to block up the jets, thought better of it. They were very efficient, and the orders come out pretty quickly, and are reckoned to be of superior quality.
JR Inkjet Refill kits are the greatest! To start with you need to buy a colour refill kit. This comes with three small bottles of ink in cyan, yellow and magenta enough for about 3-6 fills depending on your cartridge type. Also, you get a syringe with a blunt needle and cover to avoid accidents, and a set of three ink plugs and a plug extractor for the next time you refill the cartridge. The kit comes with complete instructions for refilling all the most common cartridge types. The black ink refill kit has the same tools and two bottles of black ink as most printers have double the black ink capacity. Once you have the kits you can simply buy more ink in larger sizes (60ml and 250ml) saving even more money. I use a lot of black ink and I have the 250 ml black ink for £19.99 including VAT and delivery and this fills my cartridge over 50 times. This compares to £7.99 per cartridge or even compatible cartridges for £3.99 and represents a saving of hundreds of pounds. Some modern photo-realistic printers use six colours to get greater realism to this end you can get light-cyan and light-magenta inks used in these six-colour printer or ‘photo’ cartridges in a single kit. You can also get a flush liquid if you want to use the cartridge for different colour ink. From time-to-time you may have to replace the cartridge itself, especially if the cartridge has been left dry for a long time. In this case JR Inkjet sell compatible cartridges for most popular printers. For more information on the products, see their website on http://www.inkjet.co.uk bigdoug tips ============ You may, like me, not be blessed with the best co-ordination so to avoid getting inky fingers when refilling cartridges, use a pair of those plastic gloves you can easily get for free from your local petrol station. To make cartridges last as long a possible always keep them topped up or if you don’t want to refill the cart
ridge when it runs out wrap it in cling film so the internal wadding does not dry out.
Having to pay nearly £35 for my cartridges is a bit of a pull on the purse strings. With the kids printing anything they create on the computer the cost soon mounts up. Then comes along the refill kits that printer companies do not like. They are marvellous. But sometimes they can be a bit fiddley when you fill your cartridges. I prefer to where rubber gloves when I am filling my cartridges as it can be quite messy. It is a cheaper way to make your cartridges last. The ink provided is a good quality ink that does not smudge. The thing to give up first is the actual cartridge. Maybe printer companies will get the message and lower the price of new cartridges.