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Laser Printer: OE or aftermarket toner?
Old 01-12-2019, 09:09 AM   #1
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Laser Printer: OE or aftermarket toner?

I have two Brother B&W laser printers that have both performed flawlessly for years (IIRC one is ~10 years old, the other ~4), one each located at my northern and snowbird locations. I really appreciate that they sit idle for about 6 months and print their first page, every time, with zero problems.

The Brother printers were approx. $100-$125 new*. Although not expensive, I'd like to keep them for a long time, as I greatly dislike unnecessary waste.

I have always used Brother replacement toner which runs about $53 for the high-yield cartridge (~2,660 pages). A cartridge lasts me a long time; my guess 1-2 years, as it sits used for 6 months at a stretch.

I'm now seeing many aftermarket "Brother-compatible" toners, for a pittance of the price of the Brother toner, by IKONG, Linkyo, E-Z ink, etc. (Example: a Linkyo 2-pack of high-yield cartridges is $21., so one cartridge is ~$10.50. This is 80% cheaper than the Brother.)

Has anyone tried after-market toner? What was your experience, good or bad?

I hate to ruin a good thing. I am wondering if it's worth it to "cheap out" on toner to save a few bucks or not?

omni

*I see that new printers that have fax and copier capabilities are only $99. https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Monochrome-Multifunction-DCPL2550DW-Replenishment/dp/B0764P8F5J?keywords=brother+printer+laser&qid=1547 308889&refinements=p_89%3ABrother%2Cp_n_feature_si x_browse-bin%3A5662335011&rnid=5662333011&s=Office+Products &sr=1-1-spons&ref=sr_1_1_sspa&psc=1
At the same time, I'm perfectly delighted with the ones I have, as I don't need fax or copying capabilities...since I use my smartphone instead.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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In the mid 90's, I bought a refill cartridge for my LaserWriter Plus (printer cost about $4500). The cartridge spilled its guts in my printer, and the company came out and cleaned up things. Re-manufacturing has improved, I'm sure, but I have not bought or recommended re-filled toner or ink since then.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:01 AM   #3
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I have a brother laser and have no problems with cheap toner cartridges .

Last alert i got i picked up a new cartridge but found the setting in the menu to turn off the alert to stop printing when low, removed to old one shook it up a bit and reinstallled it, been in there 3 months still not out of toner.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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I've been using aftermarket toner cartridges in my Dell multifunction laser for years with no problems. I just looked and high yield OEM cartridges are now $95 each from Dell . I quit buying them back when they were $80.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:05 AM   #5
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I have purchased 8 3rd party hi-yield toner carts for the cheap Brother printers in our family (HL-2270 style models) on Amazon. Some in 2012, 2013, and 2014. A 4-pack for $13 (each), one for $12, and a 3 pack for $18 (each).

Of those, I had one bad one, it actually printed OK, but the gears made a loud clacking noise, so did not want to risk any damage to the printer. Maybe just bad luck on that one, maybe I could have bought dozens w/o a bad one, who knows?

That sat on my shelf a long time, so I didn't pursue a warranty claim or anything. And at ~ 1/4th the cost of OEM, I really was not concerned. They seem to give me as many pages as expected.

Suppliers seem to come and go, I'd check Amazon (or other) for a supplier with plenty of good reviews.

These seem to be the top ones at the moment ~ $12/cart:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051MT1HU/ref=dp_prsubs_3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JA586Y8/ref=dp_prsubs_2

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Old 01-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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I've used aftermarket toner cartridges for my Brother laser printer for years with zero problems.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:24 AM   #7
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For my Brother printer, I bought a couple of OEM cartridges, then refill them using a kit with loose toner and a reset cam. I refill them many times (don't keep track, but probably 5+, I've never had one crump out yet). If you are going to refilll them (it isn't hard, and is the cheapest way to go), I think buying the OEM cartridges is worth it, since you know it's brand new and of reasonable quality. If I weren't refilling them, I'd go with aftermarket cartridges.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:39 AM   #8
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I've been using aftermarket (Linkyo, specifically) in my Canon printer for years and have had no problems at all. They really gig ya' on those brand names.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
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On a related note, what about Costco’s toner refills? Just realized they had this as an option.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #10
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The problem is that quality is going to vary from one manufacturer to the next. Unless you have purchased from one in the past or have a good recommendation from others you trust, it's best to go with OEM. Considering how long they last for you, is it really worth saving $30 or $40 over a few years when you can get original and be sure of what you're getting?
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
The problem is that quality is going to vary from one manufacturer to the next. Unless you have purchased from one in the past or have a good recommendation from others you trust, it's best to go with OEM. Considering how long they last for you, is it really worth saving $30 or $40 over a few years when you can get original and be sure of what you're getting?
From reading the responses prior to yours, I'd say the answer to your question is "yes".
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:02 AM   #12
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From reading the responses prior to yours, I'd say the answer to your question is "yes".
The responses prior to mine are not necessarily representative of the usage of OP.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:28 AM   #13
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I have an old Samsung Multi-function printer and use aftermarket toners and haven't experienced any performance issues as for quality or short lifespan.

At a fraction of the cost (approximately $80 for new brand name vs $15 for aftermarket), I'm happy sticking with aftermarket.

The one drawback is once the toner cartridge is used up, may be harder to find a place to recycle empty aftermarket toners vs brand names.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
The problem is that quality is going to vary from one manufacturer to the next. Unless you have purchased from one in the past or have a good recommendation from others you trust, it's best to go with OEM. Considering how long they last for you, is it really worth saving $30 or $40 over a few years when you can get original and be sure of what you're getting?
I agree. While I do believe 3rd party cartridges can be good, for the small amount of savings over the length of time a cartridge lasts, it doesn't seem worth it to me to take the risk, albeit a small risk assuming you read the reviews and don't go too cheap.

I am thinking about using a 3rd party cartridge(s) the next time I need them for my color laser, but for all for cartridges, I can save over $100 buy going 3rd party so I will consider it.

Maybe you could try a 3rd party one in your oldest machine and then if it mucked up the machine, it wouldn't hurt as bad to have to replace it. If you find that you're satisfied, then go ahead and get the same brand for the other (newer) printer.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
From reading the responses prior to yours, I'd say the answer to your question is "yes".
The responses prior to mine are not necessarily representative of the usage of OP.
And how would the "usage of OP" fit into the equation? The hi-yield Brother cartridge is rated for 2600 pages. That's it. I don't follow you.

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I agree. While I do believe 3rd party cartridges can be good, for the small amount of savings over the length of time a cartridge lasts, it doesn't seem worth it to me ....
Sure, but aren't you the same guy that thinks paying 1% to an FA is OK too!

I'm just teasing/joking, I actually am interested in how your experience works out for you.


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Old 01-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #16
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Sure, but aren't you the same guy that thinks paying 1% to an FA is OK too!

I'm just teasing/joking, I actually am interested in how your experience works out for you.


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Old 01-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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I pay about $20/laser cartridge, including shipping, on EBAY for generic replacements.

I have never had problems.

Note, however, that these are not consumer-grade printers, but rather mid-size office network printers (ie HP4000 & HP CP3505n.

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Old 01-12-2019, 01:08 PM   #18
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I have an HP color and have to replace 4 cartridge.... I am now on my 3rd set of aftermarket and am experiencing my first problem... my cyan is dumping and there are blue streaks on the paper... am cleaning it up as I type this....


So far have saved a lot of money to deal with this one time in 10 years and if need be will replace it... it is already at 23% when it got bad so if I do I still go 75% of the value out of it....
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #19
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I've been using aftermarket toner cartridges in a Dell E525w printer for a couple of years and no ill effects so far. The prices of Dell toner is silly - for the price of a set of new Dell cartridges I can buy a new printer, so if one of the aftermarket cartridges ruins the printer, I'll just buy a new printer. So far I'm well ahead on that gamble.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:40 PM   #20
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I have used aftermarket refilled ink cartidges about 15 years ago and found them with short life, inconsistent results. Thus I go with HP new ink cartridges.

But the question was about laser printer powder cartridges. I've been using aftermarket laser toner cartridges last few years as I noted my workplace and the local school district regularly used aftermarket with no problems. Specifically LD brand. Very happy with them, never a problem.
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