May 04

Re-charging your ink

There are people out there who have smoked 40 cigarettes a day and died at the age of 99 because the plane they were flying in crashed into a house. And yet its still true to say that smoking is bad for you.

There are people out there that drink like a fish (yes, please no letters about fish not actually drinking) until they die peacefully in their sleep when a plane lands on their house, yet drinking is still a health risk.

So while it is true that there are people out there that have recharged their own printer ink or bought cheaper third party versions, it is still something that I cannot recommend.

Recharge kits having gotten better over the years but the principal is still the same; inject the ink into the tank, reseal and hope for the best. Third party cartridges have gotten cheaper and seem to last longer but it is still a bit like wiring up your own electricity at home; it might be fine for years but eventually its going to spark and burn your house down.

Its true – printers are cheap and ink isn’t so it seems like a fair bet to sacrifice the printer in order to get a few cheap prints out before disaster. But the printer seldom (if ever if my experience is anything to go by) puts up its hand and says “I say, I am sorry but I am about to spew my ink throughout your printer, desk and carpet and there is nothing you can do so go out and buy a new printer. Bye!” Often its not clear how bad things are until you have spent money getting a technician to look into it, only to be told your printer is beyond repair.

My advice has always been four fold:

1. If you are going to print once in a blue moon and you don’t want colour – get an inkjet or cheap laser and buy genuine cartridges.

2. If you need something that scans, faxes and copies and you need colour but don’t want to spend a lot of money – get an inkjet and buy genuine cartridges.

3. If you are going to print a forrest load, all day, everyday – get a laser and buy genuine drums.

4. If you are going to print a forrest load, all day, everyday and need colour and copy and fax – get a better laser and buy genuine drums.

In the end it is better to buy the right kind of printer – depending on your requirements – and making sure its fed properly.

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