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Top 3 low carbon laser printers

Refilling original toner cartridges halves the carbon footprint (evidence here).

All three printers listed here arrive with toner cartridges that can be refilled with currently available, fully battle-tested refills.

Help stem the flow of cheap, carbon-indebted plastic cartridges.

Brother HL-L8260cdw | colour work horse

See HL-L8260cdw refill video Unplug and pour refilling with the HL-L8260cdw
A rare luxury in 2020

tick Refill by "unplug and pour", the simplest method there is see why in this video

tick Starter cartridges, that arrive with the new printer, can be refilled

tick No need to waste money buying chips

tick Battle tested. Two years' production printing done by us: still going strong. 18 month's success in the market place.

See HL-L8260cdw refill bottle prices

The HL-L8360cdw, DCP-L8410cdw, MFC-L8690cdw and MFC-L8900cdw are the same as the HL-L8260cdw for refilling purposes.

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

Brother HL-1210w toner refill how to Brother HL-1210w : an "unplug and pour" refill can't be sniffed at

tick delay or avoid buying new cartridges by refilling the "inbox" toner

tick doesn't need chips

tick "unplug and pour" refill

tick "battle tested" by real customers for over 5 years now

Multi-function option DCP-1610w : has the same engine and refills the same way

Get your free PDF instructions here

See HL-1210w refill products and prices


Samsung M3320nd | churn out the black and white docs

M3320nd link to how to refill video The Samsung M3320nd's almost an "unplug and pour"

tick we refilled OK without changing the chip

tick starter cartridge (arrives with new machine) can be refilled

tick huge waste compartment is not an issue until you get into a fourth refill of an individual cartridge

tick 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.

Samsung M3320nd refill products and prices

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

  • Brother HL-L3230 colour family: refillable and resetable thus far, but the presence of a microchip on the toner cartridges leaves the door open for "lock out" shenanigans
  • HL-L2310 mono family: same deal as the HL-L3230 brood. A microchip on the toner cartridge. Exact significance as yet unknown to us
  • 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.
  • Lexmark CS317dn, CS417dn : easy to get the toner in, but motherboard forces the use of expensive chips on every refill. Not ideal.

Doc Toner's last word (for now)

As the world burned from the Amazon to Australia and we all left it to a 15 year-old school girl to lead the charge against climate change, how did the laser printer manufacturers of the world respond?

test printersAll recommendations are based on our experience of refilling the printer in the lab and while printing our own stuff for business

Battered between the "tiny waste compartment syndrome" of HP, the "chips with everything" approach of Lexmark and OKI and the un-even offerings from Samsung, it was hard to find 3 refill-friendly laser printers to rub together.

As the planet warms and we begin to lose bio-diversity at the rate of 200 species per day, innovation is needed across a range of human activities. Refillability has a role to play in that innovation.

Will printer and cartridge manufacturers continue to look the other way? Can they be brought inline by customer pressure?

Keep refilling in the free world

Doc Toner


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Yes. I'm extorting a Facebook "like" out of you in return for my posts about the best laser printers, which you'll then get.

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