Samsung ML-2010 Toner Refill

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.

45 thoughts on “Samsung ML-2010 Toner Refill”

  1. Thanks for the instructions. I bought a samsung 2010, about 3 months ago, and I think I’m going to be needing toner soon – my experience with purchased refilled toner cartridges has always been that they’re a mess – leaking all over the machine and making a mess of subsequent prints. I don’t want to risk this as again, in my experience, even after switching back to a factory/OEM new toner cartridge, the messy prints remained. Can you let me know if you have noticed if your pages are any “messier” than before you refilled the toner?

  2. Well, this was my 1st time refilling a toner cartridge. The ML-2010 doesn’t need any modifications (ie: holes created) to refill it, unlike many other toner cartridges – I’ll guess that this may cut down on the mess / leak risk.

    The toner I purchased claims to be ‘the right type’ for this printer, I have heard that some people have had problems with mis-matched toner. The prints appear to be as good as the ones the original toner was making. No messy prints here.

    Apparently you can only reliably refill a toner cartridge two or three times, then you should replace it. It is possible the purchased refilled toners you got were at the end of their life.

    You may get better advice on the redflagdeals.com forum (thread linked in post above). There are a lot more users with varied experience there.

  3. Thanks very much for your help! I think you probably have it just right – refill a couple of times then get a new one… based on my experience, the messy prints happen immediately, so if you haven’t seen anything yet then I think I have no worries. I love the internet – it’s great to find someone who’s already figured out your problem & willing to share. Thanks again, I’m off to buy some refill!

  4. Many thanks for a straight forward description for refilling the samsung ML2010 toner cartridge. Completed and up and running in 5 minutes, working perfectly. Cheers!

  5. Does this work if on a replacement cartridge? Only replaced once since bought originally. Thanks.

  6. I’ve only had to refill my toner once so far. However, from what I’ve read about toner refills – you can only re-use a cartridge 2 or 3 times before it starts to fail for other reasons.

    If you purchased a replacement cartridge, it may be possible to refill it successfully. I will caution that some of the very cheap replacements are in fact – refilled cartridges. This means that it has already been used at least twice, and your refill will be the 3rd (or possibly more).

  7. It is possible to reuse the same toner cartridge even more after two or three times refilling. It will required some an additional effort and I little beet more investments for cartridge. Basically need disassembled tonner cartridge completely to the parts, cleanup it and replace OCP drum with special blade which is staying really close for this drum. After successful replacement it will ready for new life.

  8. Just a quick question, when I looked on TonerKits for the ML-2010 cartridges, I see the Cartridge #’s and on my cartridge, on the S/N sticker, it says “ML-2010 Series(E)”, does the #’s listed on the site are D1, D2 and D3. Would my “E series” cartridge be compatible?

    Btw, thanks for this blog post! If I can successfully refill my cartridge, it’ll save me over $80 from buying a new on for $60 from buying a re-manufactured one.

  9. I’m not associated with TonerKits at all – as I wrote in my original posting, I came across them from a thread on redflagdeals.com.

    I believe the only difference between the D1, D2 and D3 cartridges is the fill level (starter, normal, high capacity). My guess is that the “E series” is 100% compatible – based on a few google searches.

    The toner cartridge in my ML-2010 (which I did refill as per above) is an ML-1610D1(E).

  10. Thank you so much for the step-by-step instructions and especially the clear photos! The photos certainly help. The instructions I received from the toner company was terrible. It was unclear and the photos were worthless.

    Trick: I didn’t have a plastic funnel so I rolled up a piece of paper, taped it and used it as a funnel. Crude but it does the trick.

    Questions I ran into were:

    1) How much toner do I pour in? (I guessed and poured the whole carton in).
    2) I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to pour out the old toner (like an oil change where you pour out the old oil and put in new oil) or simply add more toner. At first I was pouring out the old and pouring in the new but after thinking about it, I went ahead and just poured it in.

    So far so good, its printing!

  11. 1) How much toner do I pour in?

    Well, I believe the capacity of the drum is 65g of toner. You probably don’t want it jammed full of toner, but I suspect you can put as much as ‘fits’ and you’ll be ok.

    2) I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to pour out the old toner

    I didn’t dump the old toner. Adding toner seems to work fine.

    Please note – you can only refill your toner a couple of times (3?) before other parts of it start to wear out. Eventually you need to buy a new cartridge.

  12. Are D1, D2 and D3 the same thing as Series(E)?

    Do you think it’s safe to buy an allegedly new toner cartridge that is discounted from an eBay store with a high rating?

    Thanks for the informative post.

  13. As I posted in an earlier comment: Yes, I believe the D1, D2 and D3 are the same thing as the Series(E). Of course, that’s an (google) educated guess.

    I’ve generally had good success with eBay – but I’ve also had a few bum deals happen. If it seems like way too good a deal, its probably a scam. I tend to stick to eBay sellers who have good reputations and are offering a ‘fair’ price relative to the competition.

  14. whenever i refill my tonor it always gives very light print even when i fill dark
    ink i need dark printout so tell me.

  15. I’m not an expert on toner, but it would seem like either you need to replace your toner cartridge (but I would have expected the failure here to be streaking due to drum wear) or you have the wrong type of toner refill. There are several types of toner refills and not all will work with every printer.

  16. IMPORTANT NOTE:

    Be aware of the printer model number and the cartridge number before you order any refill kits. My printer is the Samsung ML-2510 and my cartridge is the ML-2010 Series(E) and I bought the refill kit for the ML-2010 printer because I only looked at the cartridge number.

    Result: Prints full black pages

  17. your instruction was great, but it was a mess. After refilling, and the dusts and powders began leaking, makimg a mess. Then I shook it to see if it does not leak, it leaked alot even though I closed the cap tightly. I was leaking from other portion of the cartridge. Advice?

  18. If your cartridge is leaking from another area then there must be something wrong with the cartridge itself. If it were me – I’d probably just give up on that one and buy a new one and hope that I had success refilling the new one when it ran out.

    A number of others have had success refilling their cartridges and haven’t reported leak problems, and mine doesn’t appear to leak – so it sounds like you got unlucky.

  19. I too ordered a refill kit, but the instructions were generic and did not show the removal of the end plate to expose the filler cap.
    Your pictures were a great help, I didn’t want to start unscrewing stuff with out a pic to go by.
    Thanks
    I was done in 10 min. The print out looks great.

    Jack

  20. Thanks so much for this helpful info. I just ordered a refill for my mom’s printer it is about $65 cheaper than a refurbished cartridge and $90 than another new one. I will let all know how it holds up. I’ll try it for my next cartridge for my printer too (also Samsung, different model) if it works!

  21. Why do you have to refill it. It only costs less than $50 dollars to buy a premium quality Samsung ML-2010.

  22. Why refill? The answer is simple: cost. My refill kit was about $12.

    Today I refilled my ML-2010 for the 2nd time, using the remainder of the $12 kit I bought over a year ago. The printing quality doesn’t seem to be as nice as it was “new”, but its still working fairly well.

    When this refill runs out, I’ll likely look to buy a new cartridge, or an entire new printer – it will depend on cost.

  23. Refilling a Samsung ML2010 – I decided to refill a cartridge that was purchased as refurbished. Removing screws and cap were exactly as shown from the pictures and video from various websites. A few seconds after beginning to fill the toner the toner powder begin to pour at the opposite end. When I moved the cartridge the remainder of the toner poured out. The result was a toner cloud and probably 80 gram of the 100 grams refill kit lay on the newspapers on my kitchen table. I wrapped up everything and went to the net to purchase a new cartridge.

    My question is why? Why would my cartridge leak like this when it is obvious so many others have had success? Thanks, Edw. P

  24. Wow Edward, sounds like a real mess.

    It almost sounds like you removed both end caps (one from each side) before attempting to refill (you only need to open one end). If the toner was freely pouring out, it seems like it would have been leaking all over the place even before you attempted to refill.

    My 1st guess would be user error here (sorry!). However, as I’ve pointed out a single cartridge is only good for a few refills before other aspects that affect its function start to wear out. My original cartridge which has been refilled twice now, is not producing prints that are as good as they used to be when it was new. I’ll be buying a “new” one next.

  25. I am about to purchase the toner refill kit. But some of them talk about a fuse that comes with it. Am I looking to purchase the correct refill kit for ML 2010 E series?

  26. I’m fairly certain the 2010 series does not require a fuse / chip or otherwise.

    That said, its best to choose a seller with a good reputation and one that has clear instructions/directions/information about the refill process.

  27. I didn’t even realize the other end came off. Dug through the trash and took the other end off (2 screws) and prying up the plastic plate. No cap under there just white plastic wheels and the cavity they were in was filled with toner. Since this was a refill of a refurbished cartridge could that have been a non standard item when I purchased it?

  28. Edward, I’m only guessing as I haven’t taken mine apart to validate this – but is it possible there was a missing end cap on that other end? This would explain the cause of the mess.

    Either way, based on the comments here by others – your problem is somewhat unique. I’d have to attribute it to the refurbished cartridge being non-standard in some way.

  29. OK, sounded great so I purchased the ink. Well guess what, there were NO SCREWS to remove. Called the company and they said, oh, well some newer cartridges no longer have screws so now you need to buy a hole maker for another $11.00. On another site it sells for $6.00 but this site says you should have received a piece of heat resistant tape to cover holes with the ink purchase, which I didn’t. This gets more complicated as time goes on and I haven’t even tried to fill it yet. Any comments?

  30. Sandy, that is an interesting development. The ML-2010 is very refill friendly not having any of the chips / fuses that other printers use to prevent the refilling of cartridges. So it does make some sense that they’d modify the cartridge to be less refill friendly.

    The deal with the hole maker is that they melt the plastic vs. drilling. The reason you don’t want to drill/cut is that any plastic waste will contaminate the cartridge. I suspect using a soldering iron would work fine (it might make a bit of a mess to the iron tip, but some sandpaper should clean that up). If you look, the hole makers are basically a soldering iron with some copper pipe on the end. If you’re handy you can probably build one easily.

    As for ‘heat resistant tape’ – hah. I can’t imagine that the plastic gets all that hot. I’d use some black electrical tape to cover up the hole.

  31. Hi, Thanks for the instructions. Bought mine from ebay (apparently the seller is topinks.co.uk) and it came with the instructions (although your site is helpful as the pictures are bigger), the toner, the toner cap, and also a replacement sealing plug (in case you damage the plug while trying to take it off – I used a swiss army knife, it was a tad tricky!) and a fuse (which you don’t need to use on my ML-2010, but apparently on some other models if you don’t change the fuse, the printer won’t recognise the toner’s been ‘changed’. Its not too complex to do (although as I said getting the cap off did require a thinnish instrument), just put down some newspaper as if you’re like me, you will get some toner on the floor! It was the cheaper option, and also for someone like me who doesn’t really know how these things work, it was kinda fun :-p

  32. Thanks for the guide. My ML2851 seemed pretty easy to refill, but now it just prints pages that are almost completely smeared with black toner. When I pop the cartridge out, I can see a film of toner across the green roller. Any ideas what could be wrong?

    Thanks
    Charlie

  33. UPDATE – I think I may have just overfilled it. I dumped a little out and printed about 10 test pages and now it looks great.

  34. OK – these new ones do not have screws…..so what are people doing? Anyone burned a whole through the end? If so where?

  35. Thanks for the instructions and picture. I got it done in 10 mins for the ML 2010. I have a 1660, but did not dare to refill it due to the complex process. Old is gold!

  36. I just refilled my ML-2010 and it works fine. I hope I can can keep refilling it. Last time I scratched the drum by mistake with the screwdriver (printed but with marks) and had to buy another cartridge. Just ordered a backup refill kit for next time. WOOHOO, cheap printing.

  37. Thanks for tips – Lost instructions to my refill pack!
    ML-2240 Samsung now refilled for 10th time + bought it 2nd hand for £10 (with 5x bottles of toner) – still two bottles over.
    Fuse replaced with 1Amp hardware fuse – pagecount says 0 😉 – best printer ever!

  38. Is there a page count / low toner count anywhere? My printer just stopped printing and I had a no-name replacement cartridge from Amazon for $16. Made the change and now its printing again but I’m wondering…

    How can I see toner level on the ML-2010 ?

    Now I have 3 cartridges all together (one OEM and two non-OEM) and it seems like such a waste to throw them out and buy another one when my current one eventually dies… The cost for a refurbished cartridge is so low its not worth even the mess but I’m considering refilling them.

  39. With the printer ON press ‘cancel’ button for > 3 sec, it will print a test page with the total page count of the drive mechanism. I believe its rated for 30,000 to 50,000 pages, that is ‘typical’ rate life most printers would give before malfunction. You can exceed that easily if you take care for the printer drive mechanism, avoid paper jams [ feed it good quality paper] and take care yanking out sheets if jams occur.

    The starter cartridge does 1,000 “ISO” standard pages. Standard cartridges do 3000 pages.

    FWIW, printer makes are on to the refill market for some years, and many new Samsung printers only do 1000-1500 pages per cartridge and have anti-fill chips built into them that is a nuisance to replace. So keep the ML2010 humming as long as you can. Its very user friendly despite its default print quality not the most dark.

  40. To estimate a cartridges remaining life note the page count when you change cartridges and mark it on the cartridge, each time you are curious reprint the test page with the current page count and subtract. Use the estimated ISO pages per cartridge to estimate remaining pages. The downside of this method is the page count only holds for Samsung controlled factory fills; DIY or 3rd party fills may not provide the same volume of toner are the factory cartridges.

    The most accurate way to know the level of remaining toner is to weight it with a weight scale with 1 gm resolution. Weigh the empty then full cartridge, and then when you are curious as to the intermediate state, weigh in between. Cross reference this against the page count and you’ll get a measure of grams of toner/page.

    Note, cartridges can be refilled many times, but they will likely smudge or streak after the first refill usually due to dirt, trapped toner, or finger prints on the printing surfaces. An overhaul is mostly a thorough cleaning, see many youtube videos. You can reuse nearly all the parts. If you need to change any part, you find this out because the print quality is still poor after cleaning, its best to buy a new cartridge.

  41. Most recent laser printers have a green chip on the side of the cartridge that will indicate the printer the numbers of pages printed. After a finite number of pages, the cartridge will tell the printer to stop printing and to require cartridge replacement. Original cartridge replacement contains a chip as well that will reset the page count so the printer will start working again. Non original cartridges may not include this chip so the printer may not start printing pages. Ebay sells for around $10 chips that can replace the original chip so as to remove the page count. With this chip you can refill the same cartridge several times without the printer to ask for the cartridge to be replaced.

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