Toner refill secrets they'd rather you didn't know

To be honest, calling them "secrets" is a bit of a stretch in 2015. In fact 2 years after we invented "melt and pour" pretty much every man and his dog was offering a "melt and pour" refill. In some cases, the dog had more idea.

For detailed guidance about the refilling method for your specific printer, see its Starter Kit "info." link in the price list. For the big picture, read on ...

Melt and pour? Yes, we're serious

Electric melting tool for making holes in toner cartridges

If your cartridge is a "melt and pour", our melting tool's included your Starter Kit

  • Melt your hole with the tool that comes in our dedicated Starter Kit
  • Pour the toner powder in
  • Plug the hole
  • Bob's yer uncle

Applicable to the Samsung CLP-360, CLP-365, M2022w, M2070w, M2825nd, M2825dw, the Hewlett Packard CP2025dn / CP2025n and Brother HL-3150 / 3170 family:  to name just a few.

CLP-320 CLP-325 refill hole being melted

Melting a refill hole in the Samsung CLP-320 / CLP-320N / CLP-325W

Can your cartridge be refilled using "melt and pour"?

Tried and tested

We released "melt and pour" in 1996 on a world that wasn't aware it needed it.

True, the toner cartridge industry laughed at us. But now that it's been tested in the field for 19 years by tens of thousands of paying customers - not to mention copied by more internet shops than you can shake a stick at - can we tentatively award ourselves the last laugh on melt and pour?

Pouring toner into the Samsung CLP-320

Pouring toner into the Samsung CLP-320

Invented for, and still widely applicable to refilling HP cartridges, "melt and pour" was a direct response to the HP's LaserJet 5L/6L cartridge. Up until then (1996) all existing cartridges could be refilled easily by disassembly and re-assembly. Getting the single-skinned 5L/6L back together, though, was a can of worms on roller skates.

The toner refilling fight-back seemed to need a breakthrough. Or melt-through, if you will.

Contrary to what some of our former colleagues in the cartridge "re-manufacturing" industry imagined, we did stop to make sure it worked - over six continuously successful refills of the same HP 5L/6L cartridge. And without pausing to empty the waste - the other sacred cow our erstwhile industry is fond of banging on about.

HP CP1525n CP1525nw with refilling hole plugged

As with this HP CP1525n / CP1525nw, sometimes it's best to plug the hole. If space is constrained, though, a patch can be the only way.

After refilling, seal the hole with the patch or plug we give you. Where you melt the hole in any given cartridge is explained, along with any other quirks, in that cartridge's Starter Kit. Besides almost everything from Hewlett Packard, other classic applications include this year's best-selling Samsung CLP-320 / CLP-325 toner refill, the Samsung ML-1910 and the Canon E30 copier cartridge, with us since 1997. The OKI C5650 / C5750 cartridge was an "unplug and pour" when we first bought the printer in 2008 but, by 2009, Oki had changed the design and were only selling cartridges that couldn't be unplugged. We responded with immediate testing of the new style cartridge and the adaption of our C5650 / C5750 Starter Kit to include our melting tool and detailed instructions on exactly how to refill either type of cartridge.

Check in the method column of the price list to see if your printer's a "melt and pour".

Unplug and pour

unplugging the Oki C5650

Do Oki call it the "refill plug"?

Our year 2002 contribution to internet-speak, "unplug and pour" is the no-brainer of toner refills, which probably helped us. As you can see on this Oki C5650n / C5750n / C575dn cartridge, the manufacturers have thoughtfully put a toner plug right there on the outside of the cartridge. Just unplug and pour the toner powder in. Good night and God bless.

For reasons which, since you're visiting this site, you can probably think of, cartridges with a friendly plug on the outside are in the minority. But even today (July 2012) you can still refill the majority of Brother models by unplugging and pouring. Well, actually, first you have to tear off a sticker whose main function in life is to warn you not to.

Brother HL-3040CN sticker

That Brother HL-3040 sticker in full

Recent Brother models tend to need a reset procedure to get the printer to accept the cartridge again. It's akin to turning a switch back the other way in most cases: no big deal. Because of a trend towards chips with everything, the Konica Minolta Magicolor 2400 and 2500 series, amongst others, combine unplug and pour with screwing a new chip on.

All the tricks, hacks and kludges you need are irreverently devised and tested in our lab and then included in the instructions contained in every Starter Kit.

Check in the method column of the price list to see if your printer's an "unplug and pour".

Hide and seek with the refill plug

Disassembly of Samsung CLP-620ND CLP-670ND

The Samsung CLP-620ND / CLP-670ND cartridge needs partial disassembly - achieved by pulling out two pins

At over 90 each (including VAT), you can bet we know a lot of people who are keen to refill their CLP-620ND / CLP-670ND. And in a sense, it's an "unplug and pour". Only thing is, the plug's not in plain sight. At first.

Enter our test lab people who figured out that you can expose the toner plug by pulling out two pins from the end of the cartridge. Again, not exactly rocket-science.

The Samsung CLP-620ND once exposed

The Samsung CLP-620ND / CLP-670ND plug

Increasingly, you need a few extra "tricks of the trade" to get a successful refill. This is where - and we can't stress this enough - a properly researched Starter Kit comes in. And by that we mean a complete photographic explanation of how we repeatedly and successfully did this refill along with all the bits and pieces to get the job done. And right. And first time.

Made to measure toner refill methods

Reset wheel on the Brother HL-3040CN cartridge

The Brother HL-3040 is an "unplug and pour", but also needs to be "reset" by twiddling with this wheel

So a new laser printer hits the market.

Do its cartridges use chips? Optical sensing? Impedence sensing? Or no sensing?

When it says it's empty, how much residual toner is actually left in the cartridge? Or the drum kit? Is there any viable chip afterlife and what's the right time to refill to run the gauntlet between mix-over and over-filling problems?

Does the brand new machine arrive with "starter cartridges"? Can they be refilled the same way as the cartridges you buy later? Can you refill both standard capacity and high capacity cartridges with the same technique and ..... oh, almost forgot, how d'you refill this type of cartridge anyway?

Now, here's the great thing: you don't need to know the answer to any of these questions.

All you have to do is buy our Starter Kit for your printer.

It's as simple as that.

test laser printers racked up

Printers waiting to get into our test lab to make the supreme sacrifice

We buy laser printer after laser printer. More than 40 printers have been in our test lab at any one time. We print with them and refill them over tens of thousands of copies using the same technique we pass on to you in the Starter Kit for that machine.

We've taken as many as 39,000 prints on a single machine (the HP CP3525dn) while developing our Starter Kit and refill products. The vast majority of these test prints are sent out to real and prospective customers in the form of our printed catalogue and the instruction booklets that go into every Starter Kit.

In other words, not only do we test the product, we do it under the pressures of a production environment where efficacy of the refill technique and quality of the result are both paramount. So when we say we guarantee you a successful refill, there's actually more than a generic marketing policy behind it.

Don't settle for getting your money back after it didn't work and you wasted your time.

Follow in our footsteps.

Do what we did and get it right - first time. Now choose your manufacturer here ...

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