Net Xpress: You can save some dough by buying ink cartridge refill kits

February 16, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

It never fails that when you have an important task you need completed, you find a key part to get the job done missing. For instance, have you ever needed to print out some important document on your printer, only to find that all the ink has run out on your ink cartridge? So what do you do?

First, you should stop and think before you run out and buy a brand new ink cartridge especially if you have a printer that requires expensive cartridges. If a single ink cartridge costs more than the latest version of the printer itself, one option is to skip the cartridge purchase and buy a new printer.

However, a better option would be to purchase one of those ink cartridge refill kits. Be careful with your selection of refill kits, as some only are a single refill while others offer up to five or more. You will find that it is rather easy to do your own ink refill and quite a bit cheaper as well. And depending on which refill kit you select, you are saving loads of money.


Now, with all this said, I know there are those of you out there that fear taking on a task such as refilling your own ink cartridge. But fear not - the kits come with very detailed instructions and are simple and easy to use. My personal favorite kits are those "As Seen On TV" Universal Inkjet Refill Kits from Ontel.

The condition of your ink cartridge will determine the success or failure of your refilling experience. If your cartridge has been dried out for quite a while, forego the refill and get a new cartridge or new printer, whichever is cheapest in your case. If your cartridge just ran out of ink quite recently, you should have better results. The pads in the cartridge will still be moist and eager to accept the refill.

Even with the most careful hand, some problems may occur and your printer usually is the one to suffer from it. The worst possible scenario is that you overfill your cartridge and cause it to leak inside your printer. Not only is it a royal mess to clean up, but it could seriously damage your printer if it isn't detected immediately.

I've been pretty fortunate in only having two refilling mishaps. I had one cartridge that was too dried up for a refill and another one that leaked. A smeared printout tipped me off about the latter and I was able to get it cleaned up before any real damage was done to the printer.

Before you embark on an important printing task, remember to first check those ink cartridge levels. If they're low, save yourself some cash and try your hand at refilling them yourself.

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