Just about every printer owner would like to save money, and the availability of refill kits for toner cartridges might make you consider refilling them yourself instead of purchasing new ones. While the cost-savings might seem appealing, there are a few dangers involved that you should be aware of. Here are a few of the dangers of refilling toner yourself:
Harmful to Your Health
While toner powder isn’t considered toxic, it is not recommended to be inhaled or ingested. Refilling a cartridge requires working in close contact, and could expose you to harmful fumes. These fumes might be particularly harmful to children or animals.
Toner powder is designed to be adhered to paper and last for a very long time. Therefore, spilling the powder onto surfaces in your home or office could lead to a big mess that is difficult to clean up. Toner powder particles are often so small that they go through vacuum cleaner filters and are then dispersed into the air. Getting toner powder out of clothing can be particularly difficult.
Damage to the Printer
If you refill or reseal a cartridge incorrectly, there is a chance it could leak and cause damage to the printer. The money saved by refilling will then have to go toward a new machine.
Voiding the Warranty
Printer manufacturers are forbidden by law from voiding the warranty when using remanufactured toner cartridges, but the rules are less clear for cartridges that are refilled. If the process causes damage to your printer, you may find that the manufacturer will not honor your warranty when it comes to costly repairs.
The Alternative: Remanufactured Cartridges
The biggest reason not to refill cartridges yourself is the availability of remanufactured cartridges. These are cartridges that have been re-used and refilled by professionals, with non-working or damaged parts replaced. They have also been tested for quality to ensure that they meet the same standards the manufacturer puts in place, while they can be purchased for a much lower price than the OEM versions. For example, remanufactured HP toner cartridges for popular models are often 1/3 to 1/4 the price of those manufactured by HP, without the extra risk.
The next time you are considering refilling your own toner cartridges, ask yourself if these potential dangers are worth the risk. By using remanufactured toner, you can avoid these potential pitfalls and still save a lot of money. Lastly, don’t forget to recycle your empty toner cartridges!