Archive for May, 2010

The Drawbacks of Refilled Toner Cartridges

If you find yourself spending a lot of money on toner cartridges, you may have considered purchasing refilled toner cartridges, or even taking your empty cartridges to be refilled. While this might seem like a good way to avoid the high prices of OEM versions, such as genuine Oki toner, there are many drawbacks to using refilled cartridges that can make them unreliable and potentially even harmful to your printer. Other options such as remanufactured cartridges can offer higher-quality, affordable alternatives without the extra risk. Here are a few of the drawbacks of using refilled cartridges:

Toner spillDamage to the Cartridge

Refilled cartridges are just as they sound. They are previously used cartridges that have been refilled with new toner. In many cases, this simply involves drilling a small hole in the cartridge and refilling it with toner powder. The process is often referred to as “drill and fill”. The problem with this process is that plastic shavings from drilling can drop into the toner chamber, which can cause damage to the printer toner cartridge, and sometimes even your printer. If the cartridge isn’t sealed correctly, it could even leak or spill causing a huge mess. Continue reading “The Drawbacks of Refilled Toner Cartridges” »

Printing on Garments with Brother GraffiTee Printers

Brother is one of the top manufacturers in the printing industry.  This company is known for being innovative and is a front-runner in the topic of “who makes the best business printers?”  Brother has also designed lines of sewing and embroidery machines.  In recent years, though, the Graffitee series has taken over the garment printing industry.

There are three models in this line of printers: the GT-341 (entry level), GT-361 (mid level), and GT-381 (high level).  The GT-341 and GT-361 have a modular design, meaning they can be upgraded to have the same features as the GT-381.  This allows the machines to grow with a company as volumes increase, eliminating the possibility of an entry-level printer becoming obsolete when higher capacities are required.

Brother GT-341Brother GT-341

This beginner’s garment printer offers only black, cyan, magenta, and yellow Brother ink, meaning you will only be able to print on light or white materials.  The 1200 dpi quality will produce photo-quality images that can be loaded directly through the USB flash drive port.  An ethernet interface is also available so multiple users can share the GT-341 in an office or shop.  GraffixPro Studio t-shirt design software is provided by Brother, making this is a perfect machine for a startup company. Continue reading “Printing on Garments with Brother GraffiTee Printers” »

Warranty Information for OEM Printer Cartridges

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) printer cartridges are products that are manufactured directly by a brand name company, like HP or Canon, and have the manufacturer brand name directly on the product packaging.    If you purchase your printer cartridge from a retail web site, OEM or brand name cartridges are typically sold side-by-side with non-brand cartridges, typically called “compatible” or “remanufactured” cartridges, which are typically much less expensive than their brand name counterparts. Continue reading “Warranty Information for OEM Printer Cartridges” »

Ways to Reduce Printing Costs

At home or in the office, if you print on a regular basis the costs will add up over time and take up a portion of your budget.  Because we do not pay per print, it is easy to disregard printing costs.  However, there are some simple things you can do to reduce those costs, thus opening a significant chunk of the budget for other things. Continue reading “Ways to Reduce Printing Costs” »

HP Model Numbers Explained

Many HP printers feature letters after the model number.  For instance, the HP LaserJet CP5525 comes in 3 variations: CP5525n, CP5525dn, and CP5525xh.  If you are a buyer looking for a new HP printer for your home or office, these extra letters may be confusing, but they help to describe some of the main features of their particular models.HP

Here is a list of many common model variations and what the letter represent: Continue reading “HP Model Numbers Explained” »

Disposing of a Printer

Do Not Throw Printer AwayNothing lasts forever, including printers.  Whether you have a personal inkjet printer at your house or a high-volume MFP printer in your office, a day will come when it is time to bid farewell.  But how will you dispose of your machine?  Tossing it in the nearest dumpster is an option, but there are a number of other options that would be considerably better for the environment, and potentially beneficial for all parties involved. Continue reading “Disposing of a Printer” »

Drum LED Light on Brother Printers

Brother laser printers track the life of the drum unit very closely, as it is an essential component in laser printing technology.  The machine will warn you when the drum is nearing the end of its life with a blinking LED light, usually indicating that the drum will need to be replaced soon. The drum is the part of the printer that transfers printer toner from the cartridge to the page, so if the drum unit gets dirty or worn down, the quality of the prints will suffer.

Brother Drum LED Light

The green light blinking next to ‘Drum’ indicates the end of the drum’s life is near and the blue ‘Go’ button is used to clear the blinking light.

If the drum LED is blinking, you can replace the drum immediately to avoid any further issue, but don’t jump the gun on this.  Even if the indicator light is blinking, it is recommended to continue using your current drum until you can see a noticeable decline in quality. Once you start to see this, the drum is truly at the end of its life.  The LED indicator light is actually based on the number of pages printed rather than the actual condition of the drum, so it is entirely possible for you to get many more pages after the first warning sign. Continue reading “Drum LED Light on Brother Printers” »

How to Clear Paper Jams

Paper jams are a frustrating part of using a printer.  Not only does it waste paper, it could waste perfectly good ink or toner.  Fortunately, there are only a few common causes of paper jams and multiple possible fixes that most anyone will be able to perform. Continue reading “How to Clear Paper Jams” »