As recycling becomes a necessity, consumers are bound to follow guidelines to conserve – particularly on materials coming from non-renewable sources. This is evident in our use of petrol for cars, for transport facilities and even in our choice of food products.
Laser printers are not exempt, as users try to recycle empty OEM toner cartridges and replenish toner supply with the use of toner refill kits. But such is hard to accomplish without the use of special tools to access the cartridge toner chamber – particularly for cartridges that do not have a fill hole.
Did you know that you can reuse empty toner cartridges for another printing cycle? Recycle. Refill. Save! has got you covered on the basics of toner cartridge recycling.
Most laser printer manufacturers (like HP and Canon) design their toner cartridges in such a way as to discourage refills (except for Brother and Samsung among others) and access is only possible by creating a hole on the polycarbonate casing of the cartridge.
This could be done through the following methods:
Drilling a hole on the cartridge. This method was popular in the early days of toner refilling; though is not advised since plastic shavings produced by the drill bit are bound to collect into the hopper and retrieval will prove to be difficult. Consequently, shavings could affect the integrity of printouts and likewise damage the sensitive drums and rollers.
Melting or burning a hole on the cartridge surface. Burn and fill types of cartridges such as the HP 2600 toner cartridge set are refilled in this manner. This is the most acceptable method since only the melted plastic piece could likely drop into the hopper and the single chunk can be easily retrieved. This method is made possible through the use of the refill tool.
The refill tool is an electrical devise that is plugged to the electrical outlet and heated up to the desired temperature within 3 to 5 minutes.The device is actually an alternate version of the soldering iron.
The pointed tip of the soldering iron comes replaced with a copper cylinder that is 16mm to 20mm in diameter. The copper tip when heated up is responsible for creating the access hole to the toner chamber.
When creating the hole, the heated refill tool is positioned vertically over the exact point on the toner cartridge and pushed gently down until a hole is melted. The melted hole is cleaned of plastic pieces that may fall into the chamber or hopper. After which, the toner replenishment process with a toner refill kit can begin.
Don’t dump that empty toner cartridge just yet! You can use it for another 2 or 3 printing cycles. Get it refilled with toner refill kits. Don’t dump that empty toner cartridge just yet! You can use it for another 2 or 3 printing cycles. Get it refilled with toner refill kits.
For the novice user, creating a hole on the cartridge with the refill tool seems like a daunting task, but after several attempts the process actually becomes simple and easy. Practice makes perfect as the adage reminds us.