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To Refill or Replace?


Cost: One factor you'll want to take into consideration before you decide whether to refill your ink cartridges or use replacement ones is the cost. Either way, you'll definitely spend less than those who decide to purchase OEM cartridges. Replacement cartridges are often available at a cost that is half or even less than those manufactured and sold by the major printer manufacturers. Obviously, these savings will add up.

Refilling your cartridges yourself, however, will result in even more substantial savings. Most print cartridges can be refilled several times - from 2 up to abut 10 times before a new cartridge will have to be purchased. So, if you refill a $30 cartridge 10 times before buying a new one, that's a savings of $300! The refill kits themselves vary in price, but a typical kit from an online printer ink store that fills a cartridge twice might cost around $10. Since 5 kits would cost $50, your actual savings would be an impressive $250.

You'll also want to consider the amount of effort involved in each choice. Generic cartridges are incredibly easy to use; they work the exact same way as OEM cartridges. Simply remove them from their packaging, pop them into the printer, and you're ready to go. Refill kits, on the other hand, are definitely more work. You may have to remove the top from the cartridge and inject ink using a syringe. You may also have to drill into the cartridge slightly before you can inject the ink.

Printing Needs: Replacement cartridges are more expensive but easier to use, while refilling cartridges results in more savings, but requires more work. Perhaps your decision should ultimately be made based on your personal printing needs. If you only print occasionally, and printer cartridges are not a substantial expense in your home, you may decide that refilling is simply not worth the effort and go with replacement cartridges. On the other hand, if your printer is constantly spitting out detailed photographs of your kids, pets, and family vacations, it may be worth the extra effort to refill your print cartridges. Whatever decision you make, you can feel good knowing you're sending a message to your printer manufacturer, and saving a few hard-earned dollars to boot.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.