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Author Topic: Laser Printer Cartridges?
MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2008 18:46      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey everybody, I have a few questions about my laser printer. Admittedly, printers aren't one of my geeky fields of study.

I have an HP LaserJet 6P. It's a fine printer, and the price was right (read: free). It's getting to the point where I really need to consider changing the toner. I am getting progressively diminishing returns from shaking the cartridge. It takes an HP C3903A toner cartridge.

Question #1: Are these "compatable" (read: non-OEM) cartridges any good?

Question #2: Can anyone recommend a good site from which to buy toner?

Thanks in advance! [Smile]

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"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


Posts: 2331 | From: Southwest Michigan, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 15:51      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you were on this side of the river, you could get a new C3903A cartrige at Staples for CDN$115; I'm sure there must be a similar office-supply chain in the States?

As for 3rd-party cartriges, I gather it's really a crap-shoot, as most discount cartriges are retreads, and some refillers don't even disassemble the cartrige, just drill a hole and pour in new toner of unspecified quality. OTOH, Staples sell house-brand cartriges for some lasers, with longer life, better price and a replacement warranty. YMMV.

Keep in mind that, although the price tag seems high next to inkjet carts, laser carts will print thousands of pages (vs. hundreds or dozens) and don't dry up like ink carts do. My HP 4ML is 14 (not a typo) years old, and just on its second cartrige.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 15:55      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, I know, laser printers are far far more economical. It's just a big deal to shell out $115 for a cartridge. Prices online (froogle) range from $85-120ish for the real thing and about $30 for a non-OEM cart. I think I'm going to get the real thing, though, the reman ones kind of scare me.

--------------------
"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


Posts: 2331 | From: Southwest Michigan, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 16:01      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Probably prudent. I suspect it's similar to surge protectors in that if you pay less than 75% (or so) of the OEM price, you're paying way too much.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that for the price of a laser cartrige, you can get a new inkjet printer that will last a quarter as long and produce 4 times the garbage. My father has gone through three inkjet printers since I bought my laser [Eek!]

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Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doco

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 05:24      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Check out Laser Monks. They have your cartridge for $43 + shipping. Printer supplies and religious to boot. Or not if you have something against that religion... We have gotten some ink jet cartridges from them and they were good.

You can also look up Cartridge World. Someone I know opened one locally and that is what we use for pretty much everything now.

Posts: 419 | From: Minneapolis, MN | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
Aditu
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 07:36      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My friend has had good luck with the laser monks and was in fact going to suggest them, if they hadn't already been mentioned. They started the service because of their own frustrations with availability and pricing.
Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 10:27      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello MMKK,

As you might now from chatting, I work in the ink-cartridge refilling and compatible-toner-selling business as a side job.
IMHO you should:

Stay the fucking fuck away from refilling the toner!

A toner has some internal parts that experiences wear. Those need to be replaced. Don't refill laser cartridges. 'nuff said.

Compatible toners are okay, but it hugely depends on the manufacturer. I've seen some good and some horrible compatible toners. If you have had some good experiences with a particular non-OEM brand, you can give them a shot. I think most stores offer a refund if the cartridge sucks and you're not satisfied with it. Besides, if it doesn't work you can return it under warranty.

How large is the price difference between OEM and non-OEM anyway?
Some places sell OEM toners really cheap. Compare prices online and check which store has cheapest shipping. It doesn't matter to you if store X is 4 bucks cheaper than store Y, but charges more on shipping.

My advice: If you can afford it, get the OEM.. If you don't want to afford the OEM, get a good non-OEM cartridge. They can be just as good.

Let me know what you buy.

Thomas =)

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

Posts: 374 | From: Vienna | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

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Icon 14 posted April 02, 2008 10:53      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dave:
EDIT: It just occurred to me that for the price of a laser cartrige, you can get a new inkjet printer that will last a quarter as long and produce 4 times the garbage. My father has gone through three inkjet printers since I bought my laser [Eek!]

[Big Grin] I used to buy cheap inkjets, but as I don't print often (read, I'll print a few dozen of pages within a couple of weeks, then print nothing for months), I used to find myself with dried ink when I tried to print. And buying the 4-colours cartriges would cost more than a new printer. So I bought a cheap B&W laser printer, and it always work well... Hurray for laser printers! [thumbsup]

(Just had to share with you all, even though I don't have an answer to MMKK's question.)

Edit, following Dman's post, but not worth a whole new answer: the 100$ Brother laser printer is what I bought. It has very few quirks, and a very acceptable printing quality. No compatibility problem with my Mac. I recommend it for those who just want to print web pages or personnal data for keepsake or other mostly text documents.

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Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 11:59      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not for nothing, but you can probably pick up a cheap laser printer w/cartridge for ~$100. A few of the office supply stores tend to run specials on Brother printers -- I have no experience with them, but some people have said good things about them to me. Personally, I stick with HP for lasers, Epson for inkjet. (HP has dismal drivers, mind you...but their LaserJets really aren't shabby, and they're the best printer to have when you need to find parts.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 17:26      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doco:
Check out Laser Monks.

quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
A few of the office supply stores tend to run specials on Brother printers

I tried, but they said they had Nun available.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mac D
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2008 20:11      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Doco:
Check out Laser Monks.

quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
A few of the office supply stores tend to run specials on Brother printers

I tried, but they said they had Nun available.

I heard they had them in biblical proportions.

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There's nothing wrong with me, This is how I'm supposed to be.

Posts: 1449 | From: Where I am is very relative to my location at that time. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged


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