Can you trust remanufactured toner cartridges? The short answer is…”Yes!”  These have come a long way since the drill-and-fills that we all love to hate.

Remanufactured toner cartridges are Original Equipment Manufacturer or “OEM” cartridges that have been remade using new and recycled parts. For instance, a company might take an original used up HP toner cartridge and replace some of the internal parts, such as a drum unit, that can wear out and make your toner cartridge unusable. By using OEM cartridges as a starting point, you can be assured that they will likely fit into your existing printer or copier just like a brand new cartridge.

The advantage with the remanufactured toner cartridge is that it is considerably cheaper. Let’s look at an OEM HP 15A for example. As of October 2012, a brand new cartridge would cost you around $80.97, for the same 2,500 page yield that a remanufactured HP 15A offers at a fraction of the cost.  For around $29.99 or less, you would have an HP 15a remanufactured toner cartridge with the same capabilities and performance of a brand new OEM toner cartridge.

One of the keys with remanufactured toner cartridges is to find a brand that is not only economically responsible, but also performs to your satisfaction. They are not all equal. Some companies are more diligent in the remanufacturing process of checking them out and fitting with parts.

You may need to try a few different brands to see for yourself how reliable they might actually be or just go with brands that have good reputations. Keep in mind, that just because one might be a lot lower priced, this does not mean that it will not do the job of a higher priced “reman”, as they are colloquially known. Some are so good, that the reman’s quality is equal to the original.

An example of differences by the manufacturers for instance might be, Company A will take a virgin cartridge, which is an OEM cartridge that has been collected, used, and remanufactured only one time. Company B might collect the used OEM cartridges and refit them over and over again. Company C might collect the old OEM toner cartridges and give them a cursory look over and replace only the obviously worn components instead of all of the parts known to fail. You can see that of these three examples Company A might be higher priced than Company C, but not be much more reliable than Company B. This is why you might need to experiment with a few brands to find the best fit for your own business or read reviews and use trusted brands at our store.

One type of reman to avoid is the “refilled only.” This is the notorious “drill-and-fill” type. All sorts of malfunctions occur when  printing with these. Problems such as spreading toner powder all over the machine have earned them their bad rap. This type of remanufactured cartridge may appear dirtier or scratched up. You will also notice that the print quality is not up to par with a new or properly remanufactured cartridge.

Because the drum units in some toner cartridges tend to  wear and fail more than any other component before the toner runns out, the most reliable remans will almost always replace the drum units inside the OEM cartridge being refitted.

The bottom line is remanufactured toner cartridges from reliable brands perform nearly as well or as well as a brand new OEM toner cartridge and at a fraction of the cost.

+Scott Roy Smith


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