In the fall of 2005 laser printers had fallen to the near $100 mark and our ink jet printer seemed to have an endless appetite for (expensive) ink cartridges. It was time for a change, and while colour printing is nice – a lot of our printing needs were very basic. At the time, staples.ca had multiple web coupons you could “stack” and cut a $199 printer down to $126, and there was a $30 mail in rebate on top of that. I never got the mail in rebate due to the standard rebate avoidance techniques (by the time I found out what I needed months later, the box had gone into the trash).
The printer I bought was the Samsung ML-2010. It was known to be easy to refill, and considering that a new toner cartridge was nearly $100 at the time – I knew I’d be going the DIY route when the time came. A full 3 years later we still use this printer and it has been mostly trouble free. The toner had finally gotten low enough that we needed to do something (taking the cartridge out and shaking it wasn’t helping much anymore).
I figured I’d be getting one of the toner refill kits from eBay, but which one? I turned to redflagdeals.com and found this thread that pointed me at TonerKits. While the thread was started back in 2004, but its still going strong at 47 pages with recent positive reports. I purchased from TonerKits via eBay simply selected the right kit for my printer. I paid $11.99 USD (7.99 + 4 shipping), but looking today – the same kit is $9.99 with free shipping. The eBay transaction was quick, and smooth.
Refill Kit Includes:
1 – 100g black toner refill
1 – pouring spout w/cap
1 – set illustrated instructions
(there are cheaper kits with less toner, 100g will fill to ~75% level twice)
Pictured above is my toner cartridge and the 3 items I received from TonerKits. The refill process was very simple.
The first step is to remove the two screws on the side of the cartridge. Then gently pull/pry the side off using your finger nails or possibly a small flat head screwdriver. You will want to avoid touching the green strip on the cartridge (normal toner cartridge care here folks).
Once the side is removed, you can access the round plug. This comes out fairly easly with a little prying from a flat head screwdriver. Take it slow – it is a friction fit and may need patience.
Once the plug is out, it is time to add toner. Give the toner bottle a good shake to break up any clumps, then carefully open it and put the pouring spout on. The spout goes in the hole, and I used a gentle tapping on the outside of the toner bottle while holding the bottle inverted. The instructions warn you to not squeeze the bottle, toner is very fine dust and will get everywhere easily.
Did I mention to not squeeze the bottle? This is the result of my barely squeezing it after I had removed the spout from the hole.
Reassembly is straight forward, reverse the steps. Give the cartridge a good shake after it is all together to distribute the toner. A quick test print verified things were all good.
If you’ve been thinking about doing a toner refill and weren’t sure if you could manage it. Assuming you’ve got a printer like the Samsung ML-2010 which is refill friendly, its very easy.