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Printer help please


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I am in need of some help. 


   I had a Dell printer (go figure) and after a bit of fighting with Dell, I got 

refillable cartridges and happily refilled my own ink for literally years. I print 

tons of stuff for my business, all manner of subject matter pictures, my own tri-

fold brochures, shipping labels...so I need a reliable, refillable printer. It 

doesn't have to look professional but the better the quality is a plus. 

   I bought an HP after the Dell and took it back because of problems. Then I 

tried another one (different model, because I have a ton of ink) and the cartridge was 

"expired" HAHA... YES they program dates into them now, and after that  date they 

will not print. So I got a brand new cartridge and all was well till it ran out of 

yellow. No problem I thought. HA! Will not print. I have lots of experience 

filling my own cartridges. Plus I got pointers about HP from the local shop. 

  Can anyone recommend a nice refillable printer? I have a laptop with Windows 7.

Thank you---

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Since you do quite a bit of printing I'd recommend switching to a Multi-Function Laser printer. Myself,

I am fed up with inkjet printers using more ink to clean themselves than they use for printing. Did you know the price of ink is $6,300 per gallon?!


Regarding HP products, I will never buy any of their merchandise again. My last HP computer had some problems with the included Windows 7 software and when I called tech support I was transferred to India where instead of them trying to correct the problem, they tried to sell me a maintenance program. The computer was well within the warranty period.


My last two inkjet printers were Canon modules which were ok but very thirsty. I can't recommend any inkjet printer because they all have the same mechanisms which require much head cleaning that uses ink. 




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I own a HP color laser printer and like you I resent the high price of the inks, a total rip offs. It costs more than $400. for the set. I have been buying compatible cartidges for less than half price at Amazon but also had some issues with these as well.

The laser cartridges can be refilled also, very messy (fine powder) and chips have to be purchased (cheap) to reprogram the cartridges.


I print different accessories for my dollhouse and roomboxes, works especially well for decals as laser prints are not water soluble, they remain sharp when sprayed with a clear lacquer. I used to print photos with my ink jet but found that they faded with time and it may be as cheap to have them printed elsewhere.

Yes, when one color run out, will not print, you would think that we could at least print in black.

I also own a Canon inkjet that I use to print fabric but the inks will dry up if not use in a while.

I wish there were a perfect solution but so far....

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   Thank you Guy and Gisele. I agree with your comments and it is a lot to think about. I got around the issue of the outrageous price of ink with the Dell (never thought it would be the pick of the litter)  by filling my own hundreds of times for just pennies. (my Canon was not refillable) I was happy. I rarely if ever had to run cleanings on the Dell, yeah that sucks down the ink for sure.

   I hear that the laser printers are now also programming the cartridges with dates to die on this date and force you to buy new...... pure unbridled greed....I'm this close to throwing in the WHOLE towel.......

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Actually, I do not think the catridges have expiration date, but the chips tell you when the toner is low, time to order and of course when the toner is supposedly empty, when you can no longer print anything in any color. When I ordered a refill kit to refill my HP cartridges, it came with the necessary color designated chips. It was extremely messy, think of Rit dye in large quantity.

I now purchase the remanufactured cartriges, I have not found the perfect replacements yet. I often have problems with the magenta streaking when getting low.

Probably a black and white Laser would the best deal of all but I need colors.

If there are any expert in this matter out there, please share your secrets with us.

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Perhaps you can replace the exact same Dell Printer, by searching for one on eBay, Craigslist, Goodwill, etc, etc... eBay is likely to be faster - but if you really liked it, why not replace the Printer if you know you can refill the catridges?  I had an Epson color multi-function laser, that I adored, color copies were vibrant, and it had some of the best true color reproduction that I had tested and found... at a moderate price for my office; wish I would have purchased 4 of them when I purchased it new, but live an learn.  When you find something that works, and in the market, buy multiples if you can afford it!  HP Color lasers are not the best true color reproduction.


If you do decide to purchase new... take a magazine photo, of something with great colors... I took an add for rugs from a magazine like Architectural Digest with me, and asked to color copy the same picture on different printers that I was interested in; this allows me to see how the machine sees color. 


If possible buy an inkjet with with 4 cartridges of ink.... I'm not a refill them myself kinda girl, but HP's chip technology is pretty frustrating, but their are definite work arounds and you can read about them online.


I sent my first Nikon Coolpix digital camera back to the mfg to be refurbished... it needs it again, as a wave from the Pacific ocean attacked me one morning while I was innocently starting my day by walking on the beach.... lesson learned for me, don't take your cameras with you when you are walking on a beach while on vacation.


it is an idea, at least to send it to someone to be fixed...



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Gisele there is a date, an actual expiration date. I know this for sure. First generation, second generation. I had a new printer and the cartridge was incompatible because it reached the date and was considered first generation and so I did research and that's where I found out about dates. I returned that printer because I didn't realize there were just those little rip off starter cartridges and I could not refill them, and the little local shop which I tried SO hard to patronize took it back. So I went back there and bought it back, yeah I know duh, but I had them order the new cartridges and when they come in, they will be sure they work and make sure I can refill them. (They refill for just $10.00 but I live 60 miles round trip so that's not happening!) They understand this. Maybe I am just throwing good money after bad but I have a ton of HP ink never anticipating all the problems...


Tamra I thought about looking for the Dell but mine is probably good and I need new cartridges for it. But do I take the chance because once opened you cannot return cartridges and that is really throwing good money after bad. So I figured it was time for a whole new printer and that is where this mess began. I had new back-up cartridges for the Dell and they wouldn't work so I was out a ton of $ right there. I think they just got old, I never expected to refill my original Dell cartridges SOOO many times! I thought I was doing the right thing but I wasn't.....


Thanks for the responses---

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I like Epson printers and I am running three rather old models... two C88 and an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 which makes gorgeous prints. I buy my ink from a place called Atlex. It costs about 25-30% less than buying it at Staples. I love the prints you can get with inkjet printers, they are clear and beautiful. With Epson printers you get the best results with Epson papers, which I also buy through Atlex.com. I use a black only laser for documents.

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Thanks Teresa. It is very important that I can fill my own cartridges. I print a lot and need to keep going. For years with the dell I'd squirt more in and keep right on going. Not only is the ink  CHEAP and filling simple, but I don't live close to anything and I tend to get snowed in a lot because of my driveway.

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I think my Espon Stylus is the single worst purchase I have ever made in my life. I would not wish it on anyone. It absolutely sucks ink, wont print at all if one cartridge is low(even if you are printing black only, when I try  the "art" parers, it jambs or gives some kind of error, the wireless is wonky and wont connect unless you shut down and restart and now it wont work at all, it tells me "cartridges not recognized"


I have had it for about 2 years and I think I have made maybe 100 prints with it.


I'm not sure what to do with it at this point, what I want to do is take it outside, put it on a tree stump and smash it with a sledgehammer.


As Teresa says, however, when it works it does make a nice print.


Just one users experience....

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HAHA Paul how many times I've said this exact thing, I even told the guy at the store I have a sledgehammer waiting at home! Who ever thought the Dell would be the pick of the litter? I refilled the two (one tri-color and one black) cartridges literally hundreds of times, no waiting, just kept right on printing. I am hearing I should/have to wait at least 20 minutes for the ink to really soak into the sponges. Never did this...Seems the Dell spoiled me and I expect the same of all printers. So if there is new things to learn, I hope I can get this all sorted out and get on with printing. I need tri-folds real soon.

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