How to refill a laser printer cartridge? General information
The very idea and concept of refilling a toner of a laser printer cartridge are, as it were, custom, or rather, popular because manufacturers of office printing equipment do not officially provide for this action. Their official position tells users that if the cartridge runs out, then you need to go to the store and buy a new one, which is worth noting, it costs a lot. That is why this concept of refilling cartridges was invented. It is worth saying that cartridge manufacturers i.e. printers do not officially release toner powders to refill their cartridges for the reasons I mentioned above. Therefore, toners are supplied to the market by third-party manufacturers. It is clear that such toners are not exactly identical to those that were in the cartridge at the time of purchase, but still make these powders and try to bring the composition and consistency as close as possible to the original ones. Naturally, print quality after refueling will slightly deteriorate due to minimal incompatibilities of toners and wear on the internal mechanisms of the cartridge.
Therefore, refilling the cartridge forever will not work – the mechanisms wear out. On average, a regular cartridge can be refilled productively 4-5 times.
I also mention a problem with the chips. What is a cartridge chip? A chip is a device on a cartridge that stores certain service information about the cartridge. When you insert a cartridge into the printer, the latter reads this information and makes further printing decisions. What kind of information does the chip store? Usually it says how many maximum pages this cartridge can print. This factory information does not change and, in fact, the chip does not have the slightest idea of what is going on for the cartridge and how much toner remains there. Therefore, after refilling the cartridge, the printer may inform you that there is no toner in the cartridge. Usually, you can print further, but some printers refuse to do this, and therefore you will have to reflash the cartridge chip, if at all possible for a particular cartridge. In order to reflash the chip, special software is needed programmatically, but this is a topic for another article.
Oh well, that’s enough with theory, let’s get down to practice.
What do we need?
Well, first of all, this is the cartridge itself, which will need to be refilled. And as you probably already guessed, the toner (powder) itself is more suitable for your cartridge model. In principle, this will be enough, but for completeness you will also need a talchik or its substitute – baby powder, as well as personal protective equipment (mask, rubber gloves), because as you know, toner is poisonous. All other tools are cartridge dependent.
The workplace does not require special preparations, just lay the newspaper on the desktop and put a ballot box (trash) nearby to pour the remaining toner from the cartridge hopper.
Bolts on the sides of the cartridge
Bolts on the fasteners on the sides of the cartridge.
It’s them that we need to unscrew,
to disassemble the cartridge.
We start refueling.
Take the cartridge and carefully examine it on the sides. If there are screws (bolts), then you are already lucky because to disassemble the cartridge it will be enough to unscrew them.
It is much worse if such bolts are not observed on the sides. So you have to drill plastic shafts to open the cartridge and then insert normal metal bolts in their place. Drilling plastic fasteners is not difficult, it is much more difficult to accurately find the places of fastenings where you need to drill. You can drill with anything, best with a screwdriver. The diameter of the drill should be approximately the same as that of the plastic drill shaft. The depth to which you need to drill is about the same as the length of the plastic shaft – no more than 1 centimeter. Some manufacturers specifically complicate the mechanism of fastening the cartridge, which would be harder to disassemble and refill, because refueling is not profitable for them. That is why the cartridge is fixed with plastic shafts instead of normal bolts.
So, if you have bolts, then we unwind calmly the cartridge, remembering the assembly scheme or writing it down, because with a stick you will have to assemble it in the same order. But often, there are few bolts alone, and to separate the 2 parts of the cartridge (print and hopper) from each other, you still need to remove the small metal shafts along the side of the cartridge (there are 2 in total). After pulling out the parts are easily separated from each other. If there are no such shafts, then the mounting mechanism rests on the plastic bases inside, after unscrewing the bolts and removing the side covers, the parts will be disconnected.
And so we unscrewed all the visible bolts, now we remove the side covers that we just unscrewed. There may still be bolts in this case, we unscrew them too. Again, everything that was unscrewed must be removed.
After that, the two parts of the cartridge will separate from each other.
On the first printed part there will be two shafts – the transmitting and the most important drum. On the other part (bunker) there will be another shaft – the magnetic and the bunker compartment itself for storing toner.