Factory Versus Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

Joe Churma – Printer Technician

Remanufactured toner cartridges, which are less expensive than Laser Printer Company manufactured (or factory) toner cartridges, are for the most part only drilled and filled. A drilled and filled toner cartridge is a toner cartridge that has had a hole drilled in it to insert more toner into the toner compartment and a 2nd hole drilled in it to remove any waste toner from the waste toner compartment.  Then these drill holes are sealed. These toner cartridges are usually not rebuilt or remanufactured.

When using these remanufactured toner cartridges if you keep track of how often you replace them you will find that you are using 3 to 2 or 2 to 1 compared to how many factory toner cartridges you use. Since these remanufactured toner cartridges for the most part are not rebuilt you have worn image drums, bushings and seals. The worn image drums will in many cases cause image quality problems with your laser printer printouts. You may also experience toner cartridges leaking toner from worn bushings and seals.

The above problems can also generate service calls on your laser printers incurring more expense and lost business time. Most modern toner cartridges also include the image drum and the developer for the laser printer, with some just being the developer with a separate image drum unit. The image drum and the developer are the heart of the laser printers printing system and you should use new or guaranteed rebuilt ones for your laser printers!

If you are using remanufactured toner cartridges look at the image drum of the cartridge before you first use it and if you see scrapes on the drum you know it has not been rebuilt. Another way you can tell if the toner cartridge has been rebuilt is to install it in the laser printer for a short period of time then remove it and look closely for any toner spills around either end of the toner cartridge, if you see any you know the bushings and seals have not been replaced. There are also cleaning blades or cleaning rollers for the image drums and if they have not been replaced it will also cause image quality problems on your printouts.

Your best bet is to use your Laser Printer Company’s manufactured toner cartridges which in the long run will cost you the least with less down time to your laser printer. But if you are going to use remanufactured or drill and filled toner cartridges check them out as I have stated above until you find a remanufactured toner cartridge company that actually rebuilds the cartridges.  There are a few that really do rebuild them, but they will be the most expensive remanufactured cartridges. The best is still the Laser Printer Companies’ manufactured toner cartridges!