IT Employment

General discussion


Refilling inkjet cartridges worth it??

By Tink56 ·
We have about 15 HP DeskJet printers throughout our organization. I'm spending over $2,500 a year on inkjet cartridges.

I've identified two reasons we are overprinting on the DeskJets:

1. Everyone who has a deskjet can also print to a network laserjet. However, why get up and walk over to the network laserjet when you can just print it to the printer on your desktop.

2. The marketing materials (small but frequent, personalized copies) printed on the deskjets will go to a new network color laser printer. The color laser will have permissions set and logs monitored periodically. The color laserjet should allow me to remove at least 8 of the deskjets.

Okay, so those issues aside, I was told to investigate "refilling" the inkjet cartridges; that the cost for this is significantly lower than buying new cartridges. I'm not keen on this and want to put together valid arguments against it. (Kudos if you can convince me it would indeed be worth it.)

How many times can you refill a cartridge?

I understand that cartridges have the print head built into them. That over time the print quality can suffer if you continually refill them because the print head wears out. Exactly how many times can you refill a cartridge?

Someone told me that you can't just let empty cartridges sit around for weeks at a time because any ink left in them will dry and clog things up. So how often should one refill empty cartridges?

There's one of these places that refill cartridges about a mile from here but I haven't checked them out. I dread adding the task of coming and going to this place to my list of things to do. Do you have to wait while they fill them? Or do you leave them and pick them up later? Or do you drop yours off and pick up other refilled cartridges that someone else provided?

So, what's your experience and recommendation?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Company we use

by jthibodeau In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

Here is a company that we use to get refilled cartridges. They are extremely reliable cartridges and they come at a cheap price.

Another thing to consider to drive down the cost of cartridges is to recycle the old ones. the company we go thorough comes to our site and collects them so it doesn't cut into our productivity time and we also get paid for it.

Collapse -


by mjd420nova In reply to Company we use

Refilling inkjet cartridges can result in a good
return, but as noted, they need to be refilled
immediatly after they indicate low levels from
the printer software on the PC. Laserjet toner
cartridges are another matter. Because the
photo sensitive drum is also part of the cartridge, two refillings are about the most you can get before the photo drum looses its
sensitivity and fails to pick up enough toner
to deposit on the page. Recycling laserjet
cartrides back to the manufacturer id the best
as they will check the photo drum before reloading toner.

Collapse -

my suggestion

by jthibodeau In reply to Refilling

I wasn't suggesting that he refill them himsel. I was suggesting that he purchase them from a company that specializes in refilling ink and toner cartridges. then he will get the same result as an OEM cartridge at a discounted price.

Collapse -

suggested savings

by irishgjf In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

I've read thru these posts. For me personally, I've had bad luck attempting to refill cartridges before. Partly due to waiting to long before refilling, and partly to poor instructions provided with these "Easy" refills. Two items mentioned that struck me are, reduce the number of color Inkjets to only a few supervisors (although they can easily be as bad about this issue), and use more paperless forms. Various pdf creators are the best way. I'm still using my Acrobat 5.0 to create my test output documents and it saves me a lot of time and effort.
And the "incidental" time to refill these is a very real factor, and more so if the refill fails as can happen.
Good luck on this.

Collapse -

inkjet vs laser printing

by stevecad1 In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

The office printer will remain a significant peripheral beyond archiving on hard drives, forwarding email or digital fax efficiencies.

A lot of wind to basically say, the IT manager needs to look at the flow of documents in any organization, and printer output is going to be a bottle neck or a useful tool for productivity. As access to printers comes up in most work group discussions when job performance is evaluated.

Solution proposed: the speed and clarity of workgroup laser printers with multiple drawers for letterhead, legal, ledger and-or tabloid size sheets works well as an augment to personal inkjet printers. ie, make the laser printer a productive and very functional printcenter, laser will always be 2-10 times faster than inkjet. What you will find with such a good laser print system, the inkjet will be used less and less, if laser is placed in easy to reach locations. Watch out for too many users at one laser printstation, will complain of lost prints so don't be stingy with the laser systems.

The best cost savings I have experienced is at the local Cartridge World franchise. All of their refill cartridges are first tested and guaranteed to work, they accept empties for credit and they tell you which ones were able to reuse. CW also refills laser toner cartridges, again guaranteed, but note if these are handled well you can get many more lifes than people claim. Usually at a savings of 50-80% over OEM price and expect 3-5 refills, more than others have stated.

This CW franchise picks up the old cartridges and drops off new refilled ones at the same time. They want the empties for reloading and reselling to others. With the guaranty plus 2-5 times cost savings added to a few new laser printers well positioned thru the building, Mr. hero.

Collapse -

Refills and other options

by MC_User In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

I work at a school district and there is never any enough money or manpower. We save money on refills in several ways.
First we negotiated a contract with Dell to purchase PC's and laser printers. As a part of agreeing to purchase printers and printer supplies from them we get a substantial discount on consumables for the printers. The downside is that we are locked into these printers for a period of time.
We are using legacy HP inkjet printers for all of our color printing. These printers are attached to both PC's and Macs. For these printers we contracted with Rhinotek to supply us with refilled cartridges. We collect all of the old empty ones and they supply us with refilled. Overall they have been reliable and of good quality. Personally, I have noticed that one cartridge in about 20 of refilled cartridges I have installed have been unusable out of the box. This is not just Rhinotek but in overall use. I believe that most of the problem deals with damaged or corrupted control chips on the cartridge.
Also, if you don't want to deal with recycled cartridges I believe that there are companies that will trade you a new cartridge for several old empty ones. The last time I checked I think ti was around a seven to one ratio.
We have also installed some very good midrange cannon photocopiers in shared workrooms. These are networked and the software allows users to send documents to locked storage space on the copier. This is memory on a print server integrated into the copier. The teacher can send the document to the copier, later come up and enter their password and let the document print in front of them. Most users are a little intimidated by this, but after we show them that they can set up their large jobs to sort, staple, duplex and collate from their desktop they see the benefit. My biggest concern is that the OSX drivers are sometimes flakey. I have had to reinstall the drivers on one or two machines when documents to the copier just disappeared. The Windows XP drivers have not given me any problems.

Collapse -

I've refilled my Canon BJC6000 cartages many times

by AZson In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

What I was doing was buying clearance sale cartridges at Walmart for a couple dollars and used them to refill my Canon BJC6000 cartridges. Did it may times untill the original cartridges wore out.

Collapse -


by TonytheTiger In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

Set the default on these deskjet printers to "draft". The print is good enough for all but presentation use, and the user can select higher quality if they want it. You might even want to set the default to grayscale as well.

Monitor how much they're being used. Cartridges that aren't being used often will use almost as much ink as daily users because of the clean cycle some of them do before printing after a long idle time. Our rule: If they're not printing every day, they don't need a printer on their desk. We use this rule with scanners too, and put a color laser/scanner/copier/fax on each floor.

I don't like to refill, too labor intensive to do yourself, and there have been quality issues with the places that do it in my experience, but if you must: Don't wait until the cartridge is all the way empty to refill it.

There is no "exactly, but a cartridge can probably be refilled 5 or 6 times as long as it never dries out, and of course monitoring for printhead wear, but if buying already refilled cartridges, this isn't in your control.

Collapse -

Refilling Inkjet Cart.

by artytech In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

It is my experience that after three refills the degradation in performance isn't worth the hassle. As far as companies that refill goes there are many out there with all different options,(refill your old,give you refilled cart.and refill yours and the next cust. gets yours, refill yours on a rotating basis, etc.) The best companies out there flush the old cart. before refilling and therefore prolong the refill maximum considerably.(up to about 20 times per cart.) As far as arguments go if you want to impress your employer(if you are looking to advance in your present company), would be to talk them into doing a half and half comparision for a six month period. Comparing prices, quality, availability, etc. Always keep in mind to impress upon the productivity of each way also. It always impresses bean counters if you also include the amount of time that you spend on each way also as either a detriment or asset to your personal productivity. Example: Refills-approx:$800.00 six month supply. Staff req. hours to perform pick-up/delivery 20hrs at $XXX.XX....then compare to buying them new and having them delivered. Bosses can't argue with numbers in dollars to the bottom line! Good Luck!

Collapse -


by RickySmith In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

I used inkjet cartridges from a long time i did not face any problem from it.It works good since when i purchased it.

Related Discussions

Related Forums