Choose your manufacturer ...

How could the quality be as good if you're up to a third of the price?

money doesn't grow on trees "It doesn't grow on trees, you know." said the timber merchant

Ahem, ahem. Actually, we were careful not to say categorically "as good". When you look at it under a microscope, it's very difficult to match the peerless quality of a brand spankin' new HP cartridge, for example.

But suppose the name of our train's "quality that's the same for nearly all practical purposes"? Isn't that worth at least a ride? If only to see where the "quality horizon" really is?

In truth the massive financial advantage of refilling isn't a quid pro quo for less than absolute perfection. It'd still be a very costly exercise to produce 100 tonnes of rubbish toner. It's more a case of not having to do as much as the Brothers and HPs of this world. Think about it. We just focus on the tip of the laser printer iceberg, the only thing that actually ends up on your page: the toner powder.

printers outside the lab Printers queuing up to make the supreme sacrifice for the U Refill Tribe

Although working with the laser printer costs us money, it's pennies compared with making one. The focus of our problem - toner - is a lot narrower, so we can afford to charge a lot less.

Bear in mind as well that - in our opinion - original manufacturers have worked out that they can set prices at the high end of the tolerance curve because they enjoy the reputation of being the originator of the technology. As independents, or "after-market" technologists, we have to comply with an expectation that our price will be a lot less.

P.S. If any spokespeople of laser printer manufacturers are reading this and disagree with our opinions on your prices, please voice your view through our contact form. We'll publish under "right to reply" and will withdraw any content for which you provide convincing grounds for doubt. In the twenty-two years of our existence so far, by the way, you haven't written to us once. Not even a snotty one.

I tried refilling my ink jet printer and it didn't work. Why will this be different?

Firstly, because laser printers are different from ink jet printers. They use a xerographic process that's more mechanical in nature. They're not prone to two pitfalls of ink jet technology: the possibility of ink drying on the tiny jet apertures and the possibility of air being introduced into the feed system.

Secondly, we're not selling something we've taken on trust from someone else. Buy a Starter Kit from us and you'll get the complete kit and caboodle of how we did, not how we imagine it could be done or how someone else said it could be done. If it worked 16 times for us, it'll work for you too.

U Refill Toner Ltd test lab The reason our "guarantee" is more than a generic platitude: development and testing with the laser printers in question

What qualifies you to be an alternative authority on my laser printer?

Have you ever phoned a printer manufacturer's "hotline"? Not so "hot" was it?

We're going to let customer Greg Howard answer this one .....

"As with everyone I'm sure, I was very sceptical of the site, fearing what sort of come-back there'd be on a company operating in the "guerrilla" market sector (sorry Doc!) if things didn't work out.
The result - straightforward job just as "it said on the tin", with "melt and pour" reduced to a trivial and fun task by excellent instructions, photos of everything for the specific cartridge and printer, and absolutely everything you need (and I mean everything down to the screwdrivers).
Last thing to say - the instructions additionally helped me understand a printer problem I have with striations or lines on the paper due to the cartridge, thereby adding even more value to my purchase. I now know how to solve it, and refilltoner's toner will even improve on it. I couldn't get any sense out of the manufacturer and the retailer other than to simply ship me a brand new printer when I complained within the warranty period.
I'm not joking - urefilltoner have a better technical understanding than the suppliers!"

What's a "Starter Kit" and do I need one for each colour?

lexmark C543dn starter kit The U Refill Toner Starter Kit. Harley Davidson of toner refills.

A Starter Kit is your instant "success in a bag". Based on hands-on refilling experience with your printer model. Manufacturers have moved on a bit since 1992 and the days of a generic refill technique are over. Without authoritative guidance on when, where and how to refill a laser cartridge, your efforts can easily fall on stony ground. So why get it wrong when you can get it right? First time. By doing what we did.

You only ever need one Starter Kit for a given laser printer. In fact, to save inconvenience all round, our shopping basket won't allow two Starter Kits for the same printer.

What are the drawbacks?

  • Bottom line? It's more hassle than just buying a new cartridge
  • You could make a mess. But we've thought about that, and you won't if you follow our lead
  • You have to read the instructions. We mean it! There's normally at least one "hero, or zero" step
  • Over the long haul, it's less reliable than buying original cartridges in the sense that, as the same cartridge is refilled repeatedly, it's more likely to suffer a wear-and-tear related problem
  • Warranty wobblies. On other refill websites you'll read things like, "our refills will not invalidate your warranty". Strange. Have they actually read your warranty? We'll say this: refilling your own laser cartridge is an act of defiance, a way of standing up and being counted. A way of sending a message to manufacturers about your business needs and the planet's. As Luke Skytoner said in the film Toner Wars, "Do or do not, there is no warranty."
    Call it a rite of passage for joining a Rebel Alliance with a higher purpose than serving Hewlett Packard's shareholders.

So, what's it to be?

Self-financing doormat for laser printer manufacturers or proud member of the fiercely independent Refill Rebels?

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