"Compatible" toner cartridges for a laser printer - false economy??
November 30, 2011 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Printer Ink - Is using no-brand "compatible" toner cartridges for a laser printer a false economy?

I own a Brother B&W Laser Printer HL-53400. Toner carts used to be around £45 - £50, (for around 8,000 pages) now they are £99 - £120 !?! Will buying a 'compatible' toner cart kill my printer, or just produce cruddy print quality. ??

Compatible carts seem to be be significantly cheaper,(like £35 to £45) but I don't want to kill my printer or cause it to need an expensive service because I tried to save money on ink.


Thanks in advance - I did google this, but I can't seem to get any impartial answers on brand vs none brand toner carts.
posted by Faintdreams to Shopping (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Use reputable providers, and you will be fine. My office uses exclusively refilled cartridges, and we don't (usually) have a problem. The printers are fine, and show no ill effects from using these cartridges.

(The times we have had problems, it hasn't been with the printer, it's been with the cartridges, so the provider fixed the issues. Most reputable providers have a guarantee; don't use a provider that doesn't have one.)
posted by China Grover at 8:02 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a Brother MFC and switched to "compatible" toner a way back. It's fine--no complaints. In my experience, the compatible toner cartridges are not reverse-engineered from OEM carts--they are actually the OEM carts that have been recycled and refilled. The actual toner they fill it with is fine.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:03 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use Canon ink knockoffs from Cartridge World and have never had any problems. Granted, I also have a local CW branch so that if I DID have problems I can complain in person.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:04 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I routinely use compatible toner cartridges for my HP laser printer. The one time I had a problem (it dumped toner into my printer) the supplier arranged for me to take it to a local printer repair place for a thorough cleaning at their expense.
posted by DrGail at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, i've found a reputable company and ordered some carts that are half the price of what the branded ones are.

Thanks muchly to all who answered.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:33 AM on November 30, 2011

Best answer: If your experience mirrors mine (and it may not) you will mostly be alright quality wise. But there will be times when you might hit a bad cartridge, or a bad batch and print quality will suck. Usually the provider will replace free of charge which is all well and good, but can be an inconvenience depending on if you have an alternative print source or not. My advice will be to use the refilled carts, but keep an (1) expensive name brand tucked away to use in emergencies.
posted by edgeways at 9:49 AM on November 30, 2011

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