Top 3 laser printers for refilling
Brother HL-L8260cdw | colour work horse
Refill by "unplug and pour", the simplest method there is see why in this video
Starter cartridges, that arrive with the new printer, can be refilled
No need to waste money buying chips
Refill tolerant. Tried and tested: a whole year's production printing done by January 2019 by refilling only the cartridges that arrived with our new printer
On the down side - as things stand in January 2019 - if you want to refill your "inbox" toner cartridges successfully, you'll need to buy one Brother original TN-421BK cartridge. Remove its reset wheel, and that one reset wheel can be used to reset all your inbox cartridges. As we do in the video here
The HL-L8360cdw, DCP-L8410cdw, MFC-L8690cdw and MFC-L8900cdw are the same as the HL-L8260cdw for refilling purposes. So if you need a colour multi-functional, have a rummage through the specs on the DCP or MFC models. The DCP-L8410cdw will be OK for most.
Brother HL-1210w | cheap basic mono
delay or avoid buying new cartridges by refilling the "inbox" toner
doesn't need chips
"unplug and pour" refill
"battle tested" by real customers for over 4 years now
Multi-function option DCP-1610w : has the same engine and refills the same way
Get your free PDF instructions here
Samsung M3320nd | churn out the black and white docs
we refilled OK without changing the chip
starter cartridge (arrives with new machine) can be refilled
huge waste compartment is not an issue until you get into a fourth refill of an individual cartridge
automatically print both sides (duplex)
On the down side, you do have to roll up your sleeves and drill out 3 plastic rivets. But if you can take that on board, the extra intricacy is more than compensated for: once the rivets have been drilled, that cartridge is an "unplug and pour" for the rest of its life.
17,337 trouble free test prints can't be wrong. The M3320nd has kept us going when other printers literally bit the dust. A no-brainer if you're "whackin' the black" in semi-production quantities.
Didn't make the cut
- HP M254dw family. Awkward refill technique compared with Brother HL-L8260 and you'll have to continually empty the waste to keep getting refills out of it. Run a mile.
- Samsung CLP-680nd : much more of a faff to refill than any of the Brothers and doesn't offer you anything that the Brothers don't
- Samsung C1810 : in our opinion, a pile of pooh. Don't waste your money.
- HP M452 family : much more complicated refilling scenario the the Brother HL-L8260cdw.
- HP M102 family : actually has some merit as a refilling candidate, but not compelling compared with the Brother HL-L2300d.
- Samsung M2825nd: has some merit as far as refilling goes. Strong runner-up to the M3320nd.
- Lexmark CS410 Series : as a printer, actually pretty robust. As something to refill yourself, ruined by the high cost of chips
- Lexmark CS317dn, CS417dn : no refill products available from us and that could continue for a long time
Doc Toner's last word (for now)
As we begin our gallop across The Serengeti of 2019, the more pedantic amongst us will have noticed that in days gone by this page used to be called "The top 5 laser printers for refilling".
The new Brother HL-L3230 colour family and HL-L2310 mono brood both have microchips in the toner cartridges. The first time in history that's been seen from Brother. Of course, it slows down our response and potentially makes our response more expensive if the chips prove to be "killers" and you end up having to buy chips in order to refill.
Pedant's Corner: if anything, it's actually the motherboard of the printer that'll be the assassin. The chips themselves are just "accessories after the fact".
And then "tiny waste compartment syndrome" really thins out the runners and riders.
None of my three picks above necessitated the use of micro chips for successful refilling when we used the printers in our lab. The Brothers don't expose you to waste overflow issues because the waste collection isn't part of the toner cartridge. The waste compartment on the M3320 cartridge won't need to be emptied this side of 3 refills.
So as Brother - previously the last bastion of chip-less integrity - now links arms with their chip-mongering colleagues, we gaze towards Kilimanjaro and mentally prepare for another round of nip and tuck with the predators that stand in our way. Hey ho.
Keep refilling in the free world
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