Inkjet refills: malarkey, or effective way?
August 31, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Inkjet refilling: am I worrying too much about quality?

I'm researching ink refilling for our office's old inkjet printer - an HP CP1700. At roughly 35 per cartridge, I figure we can save some money.

There's no shortage of sites selling refills, but I wonder about quality - probably because I murdered an Epson home printer with off-brand ink a few years ago. So maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but is there a brand/maker I should get (or more importantly avoid)?
posted by O9scar to Technology (7 answers total)
I've heard that third-party ink is usually sub-standard and will clog your jets. I've had three printers clog on me, all using either third-party ink or refilled carts, and one printer that hasn't (using only the recommended brand).

Not a definitive answer, exactly, but it's all I can offer.
posted by Oops at 12:52 PM on August 31, 2006

I tried using refills. Once.

Awful, runny, spotty print quality. I never finished the refilled cartridges. Threw 'em out and bought new ones.
posted by jammer at 1:51 PM on August 31, 2006

I offer you the ink refilling experiment as a cautionary note.

I noticed the other day that Office Max had started an in-store refill service. If I was going to experiment I'd start with something like there (but I think I'll start with my crummy printer that I use with the old computer for non-important jobs...)
posted by nanojath at 1:53 PM on August 31, 2006

Inkjet refills: malarkey.
Laser toner refills: effective way (but only once, then you need a new toner cartridge).

/voice of bitter, then happy refill experience
posted by evariste at 2:19 PM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

From what I've heard, the commercial ink filling stores are actually pretty good. They suck all the old ink out in a centrifudge, then inject new ink in a vacuum environment. Usually you can trade in your empty cartridge for an already-filled cartridge they got from someone else. The DIY or "we do it while you shop at the mall" folks are another story.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:27 PM on August 31, 2006

Huh. I've been refilling my cartridges for about a year and a half now with a $15 ink refiller pack I got off of ebay, and I've only used half the ink they sent me. Never had a problem. (Although the ink did turn out not to be waterproof, which slightly annoys me.)
posted by Marla Singer at 3:17 PM on August 31, 2006

We refilled Canon BJC-600 carts 10 years ago with no problems at all (except that refilling can be messy til you get the hang.)

I have aftermarket carts for my Epson C-88, but haven't used them yet.

Photographic colorimetry can be an issue, though.
posted by baylink at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2006

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