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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Remanufactured printer ink cartridges

I do a lot of printing at home, using black ink cartridges. I had been buying HP ink cartridges from Office Depot, but the price just kept creeping up, and the coupons became fewer and fewer. Seriously, I go through a cartridge every 2-3 months.

In an effort to save some money I looked into remanufactured cartridges. I bought a set of 3 remanufactured ink cartridges from Amazon, back in September, with a hope and prayer that they would be okay-enough for my needs.

I read the reviews and braced myself for the possibility of a dud. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well they perform. And the price is a steal. I could have had 2 of the 3 cartridges fail, and still come out ahead. I was paying about $45 at Office Depot for 1 HP cartridge. I bought a set of 3 remanufactured ones from Amazon for $30. Really, really pleased. Office Depot does have a store-brand printer cartridge, but only for select models (and mine no longer was one).

Anyways, I'm pleased with how these worked for me. Has anyone else tried remanufactured cartridges for their printer? What was your experience?


  1. I have never used a remanufactured cartridge nor have I refilled one. Once I tried another brand in my cheap HP printer and it gave me all kinds of errors about the wrong cartridge. I still haven't figured out how the printer figured that out as it was the exact same type of cartridge.

    We used to do a LOT of printing when the kids were in high school and we went through a LOT of ink cartridges. Now that the kids are almost done with college (one semester to go) we actually don't print a whole lot.

    Now the problem is that a full ink cartridge will sit in the printer unused for weeks at a time and then it won't work well so that is our new kind of waste. I don't know what to do about that.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Have you tried taking the cartridge out between use for printing, and sealing the tiny holes where ink comes out with a piece of painters tape? You might also want to put the taped-up cartridge into a ziploc plastic bag. Also, a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab will help our cartridges, if they've been sitting a long time. Just dab it on the holes. It should dissolve any dried ink that is blocking the cartridge.
      Good luck with it.

    2. Some HP printers "read" the label on the cartridge and will only accept ones that are read (usually this is a series of dots or gold markings). You can remove the label from an old cartridge carefully and apply it to the new/off brand one and it will work.

    3. Oh my goodness. So, evidently, printers that are about 8 or 9 years or newer have this "dynamic security feature" which reads the label on the cartridge. Some people have had success disabling this security feature. I found a webpage on the HP site which had a downloadable update to do this, for specific models. HP claims their reasoning is so you don't use a cartridge which mucks up your printer. A lot of folks believe this is how they make their profit -- cheap printer, expensive cartridges.

      My own HP printer is from the late 1990s, a hand-me-down. It just keeps on working. So why replace it.

      Good luck with your printer and cartridge issues, Alice. And thanks Doc for the info on HP printers.

  2. Ink is expensive, isn't it. We usually get ours at Costco which has better prices than at office supply stores. I've though about getting cartridges refilled, but have discouraging things about the results. However, I've never though about remanufactured one. I'll have to remember that the next time we need to buy one. Have you had them long enough to know how long they last or how many pages they will do? Are they so cheap because then don't have as much ink in them? Anyway, thanks for trying them and I'd be interested in an update.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I don't know the amount of pages, but I do know that I've done a lot of printing in the last 5 weeks, since putting the new cartridge in. I would expect an HP cartridge to last me another month, at most, going on past usage. This remanufactured one is going strong still. For this cartridge, it appears that there is a similar amount of ink. I think they are cheaper because they use the recycled cartridges, and fill with ink, the plastic cartridge being more costly than the ink. I'll let you know after I replace this one, if the next works just as well.

  3. I didn't realize that the "house" brand ink cartridges were remanufactured until a friend told me so--I had bad luck with them so I pay the full price. We probably go through them every 4-6 months and I cringe when I pay for them, but they sure make my life easier.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh gosh, what problems did you have with them? They are expensive, aren't they?
      Your kids are at the age where they will soon need to do a lot of printing. Have you considered buying a printer that doesn't require cartridges? They're more expensive, upfront, but you refill the ink/toner tank, instead of plugging in new cartridges, and save on ink refills. I've thought about it, myself.

    2. It's been about 3 years so I don't remember all the problems we had, but I know the type was difficult to read in some places. I cleaned the printer heads but it was still a problem. We have an Epson and overall it's been a decent printer/copier.

      I'm not familiar with other printers ... we will probably stick with this one until it no longer works, but I'll have to keep the ones you mentioned in mind. I'm not sure how much printing will be done by our kids--I think our district is moving more and more to a paperless format. Actually, my biggest use right now is for forms for my Sunday School class.

  4. I don't use ink jet cartridges anymore, too expensive. I am on my second Brother laser printer, the cheapest models. The first one was purchased in 2011 and still prints, but the drum is damaged so there are misprints everywhere. I use it for drafts or other not important tasks (I still have another toner left from a 2 pack, so I am determined to use it up.) For coupons and where I need good printing, I use another Brother printer, which I bought last year for about $60 (too bad I couldn't buy the same model and use the extra toner from the first). I don't buy Brother brand toners since the price is ridiculous. Amazon sells off brand toners for around $10 or less for supposedly 2500 pages. I can't know for sure if it prints that much, but a toner lasts at least two years or more, and I was printing tons of coupons. That's awfully cheap. I buy everything as cheap as I can, and if it is not worth it, then I step up to better quality. But cheap is where I start first.

    Have a great day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      When our printer does quit on us I will consider non-cartridge printers. For now, I hate to dump a printer which works well. That's me, if it works I don't get rid of it. Thanks for the info on how long your toner lasts, and buying the off-brands from Amazon. I'll keep that in mind. Have a great day, YHF!


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