Thursday, November 16, 2006

Should You Use Refilled Cartridges In Your Printer?

There are both pros and cons to using refilled cartridges in your inkjet printer, no matter what brand you own. If you listen to the manufacturers, refilled cartridges can damage your printer and void your warranty.

If you listen to the refill companies, on the other hand, the cartridges will work as well as the originals, at a much lower cost.

The truth is somewhere in the middle - here are some of the pros and cons of refill ink.


The biggest advantage of refill ink is the lower cost. They cost less than half the price of a new cartridge, and this can really add up over the life of a printer.

And no only do you save money, but you're also recycling the ink cartridge, which is better for the environment.

Another advantage of refill ink is the availability. If you keep a refill kit on hand, it won't matter when your cartridge runs out - you can just refill it. This is especially helpful if you run out of ink in the middle of the night or you use a printer like Dell, whose ink is not available anywhere except by ordering from Dell (and waiting for it to be shipped).


One of the biggest cons of refilled ink cartridges is they can be tricky to refill. The printer manufacturers are making it harder and harder to refill their cartridges, and if you're not careful you can have problems after filling them.

Air bubbles can form in the ink which can translate to splotchy printing. The refill process can also be messy, with spilled ink being a common problem. Ink stains are next to impossible to remove so you want to be sure you're not wearing good clothes or working over carpet when refilling your cartridge.

And finally, using refilled ink can void your warranty in some cases. If you have a problem and it's determined to be caused by the aftermarket ink, your printer warranty won't apply. You have to weigh the cost of ink versus the cost of replacing your printer and make your own call on this point.

Frank Bolsom writes about refill inkjet cartridges and other related topics for the Inketeria website. For more money-saving printer tips, visit


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