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How to refill the cartridge?

It’s no secret that the vast majority of home printers today are inkjet printers. And no wonder: the cheapest inkjet printer costs 3 times less than the cheapest laser printer. True, there is one “but”. The cost of inkjet printing is much more. And the cartridges run out very quickly – you won’t have time to look back. But they are … In general, no money is not enough. What to do? Do you really have to buy a laser printer?

In fact, not everything is so bad: it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of maintaining the printer. To do this, you just have to learn how to refill cartridges yourself. Here is an example. The cost of a branded cartridge for my HP DeskJet 640 printer is about $ 30 (the cost of printing, therefore, 4 cents per page), the cost of a compatible third-party cartridge is slightly more than $ 20 (3 cents per page). A little expensive, isn’t it? But if you fill an empty cartridge yourself, then the cost of printing one page can be as little as 0.1 (!) Cents. Of course, there is a risk: refueling is not possible every time. But “who does not risk, he does not drink champagne.” However, if you still decide to refill your cartridge, you should know that the print quality will almost certainly be worse than if you use the “branded” one.

So what do you need to refill a cartridge? There may be several options. The first is a special gas station. This refueling method is the easiest. Insert the cartridge inside the machine, fill in the ink and press the button. Everything, nothing more is required of you. True, it is not without its drawbacks. Firstly, the price of a gas station is high (150-200 dollars). And secondly, cars can refuel only a certain type of cartridge. In general, this method is perhaps only suitable for organizations.

The second option is a special kit, which includes a device for creating a hole, a syringe with a nozzle for refueling and a cartridge holder. All this allows you to achieve good results for only $ 10. There are cheaper kits – in them you will find an awl or screw cutter, an ink syringe and a rubber or plastic stopper. By the way, when buying a kit, be sure to check if it contains instructions for refueling. If this option seems too expensive for you, then just buy ink, take an ordinary awl, tape and a medical syringe. However, for the first time it’s still better to use the kit.

Before practice it is useful to study a little theory. Let’s see what a cartridge is. In principle, the printing unit of any inkjet printer consists of three main parts. Firstly, it is a reservoir filled with ink and a capillary system leading them to the nozzles of the head. This design is implemented in different models in different ways. So, for example, in some cartridges the inkwell is filled with a special absorbent sponge (something like foam rubber). In other models, ink is held in the tank due to the difference in internal and external pressure. Well, in some cartridges this is due to a special bag filled with air.

The head is the second part of the printing unit. At the same time, for some inkjets, the head is located on the cartridge and changes with it (for example, with HP printers). For other models, it remains in the printer, and only the tank changes.

In addition, each cartridge is equipped with its own chip, which controls the ink supply. In principle, it is he who implements the printing process. If the chip fails, the cartridge cannot be restored.

All this is not very difficult, but in order to refuel successfully, you need to know such things. In addition, to get a good result, you need to choose the right ink. The fact is that there are many different inks for inkjet printers. In the vast majority of cases, dye inks are used (dyes in such inks are soluble in water). Quick-drying inks are less common (they are not washed off with water, but dissolve in an alkaline environment, for example, in saliva). Even less common is pigmented ink (the pigment does not dissolve in water or in an alkaline environment).

In addition, inks are divided into three types according to their functional properties: ordinary, high resolution and non-standard. The first type of ink uses a simple dye without any additives, so they are the cheapest. True, the print quality in this case leaves much to be desired. High resolution ink is another matter: the result is visible even on plain paper. This ink practically does not spread on it, which allows us to really talk about high resolution.

Non-standard ink is a little apart. Finding them is much more difficult, and they are mainly used by professionals. This type includes, firstly, ink for printing on photo paper (sometimes, certain ink needs a certain photo paper), and secondly, inks with non-standard colors.

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