Is it ok to refill ink cartridges? [ASK MR. NOOBIE]
QUESTION: What is your opinion on refilling ink cartridges? We just had the black refilled at Costco and it seems to be printing fine on our HP Photosmart Premium C309 printer. – Mary Grace from Indianapolis, Indiana
ANSWER: Refilling ink cartridges is really a cat and mouse game between the printer manufacturers and the 3rd party companies trying to make a buck off someone else’s product.
When inkjet printers were first introduced, manufacturers quickly realized the money was in the ink, not the printer. Unfortunately, so did other companies who quickly produced “generic” ink cartridges for inkjet printers.
Printer manufacturers countered by creating matching chips on their printers and inkjet cartridges such that the printer could detect whether or not a “genuine” inkjet cartridge was installed in the printer.
The counter-attack from the 3rd party companies was to let go of the knock-off cartridge business and instead, offer to refill the original genuine cartridge with their own ink thus always tricking the printer into thinking it had an inkjet cartridge purchased from the original manufacturer.
The final blow from the printer manufacturers was to tell you that they will void your warranty if they find out you refilled your ink cartridges mainly due to the risk of your inkjet nozzles getting clogged from poorer quality ink.
3 questions to ask yourself
So where does that leave us? Well, it really comes down to these three things:
- Does the print quality using a refilled ink cartridge look just as good as when you use a brand-new ink cartridge?
- Is it worth your time to drive to the store each time you want your inkjet cartridges refilled in order to save a couple dollars?
- Are you willing to accept the risk that the refilled ink may (notice I’m not saying it will) cause damage to your printer in the long run?
If the answer to each of the above three questions is yes, then by all means keep using refilled cartridges. On the other hand, if you find yourself answering no to one or more of the questions above, then skip refilling and just order new ink cartridges each time you need them.
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