Colorado Springs Notary - Leon Austin


Refilling Toner Cartridges

 If you can refill your car's gas tank, you can refill the toner cartridges for your laser printer yourself.

Notary signing agents do an enormous amount of printing. Thousands of pages of loan documents a week. We buy paper by the cases (plural). I could build a small house from all of the paper that I have gone through. And we go through a lot of toner. Several cartridges in a week. Needless to say, printing is one of our biggest expenses.

One of the main reasons for refilling your cartridges yourself is that you will save a lot of money. I save literally thousands of dollars a year. Refilling just a few times will save you enough money to buy a brand new printer. One cartridge for my printer is approximately $70. A bottle of toner is approximately $6. One refill saves me more than $60. That's hundreds of dollars from just one cartridge, since it can be refilled more than once. Refilling is also good for the environment, since you will be disposing of fewer cartridges.

The printer that I use is the Hewlett Packard HP 1320t, dual tray.

There is no drum to replace. Just the toner cartridge. The process should be the same for just about any toner cartridge. The only difference will be where you burn the hole in the cartridge.  The HP 1320 can use 2 different sizes of cartridges: a regular cartridge, and a high yield cartridge.

Refilling is relatively simple, and is not a messy job, as many people think. The main thing is to have all of the things you will need before starting the job.

 Some of the things you will need before starting are: tool for burning the hole, aluminum tape (or hole plugs), paper towel or handy wipe for wiping off the area around the hole before sealing it, and any other areas that may have toner on them. I also have a can of compressed air. It comes in handy for cleaning any debris on the cartridge or around your work area when you are done.  You will have to buy a burning tool that is specially made for burning the hole in the cartridge. But once you have it, it can be used indefinitely.



You will of course need a bottle of toner.  I order all of my toner from They have the lowest prices that I have found, and they carry toner for just about every make and model of printer cartridge. 

Before starting, allow enough time to get the tool very hot. The hotter it is, the easier it will be to burn a good clean hole through the cartridge.  This is where most of the time is spent. Once the tool is hot enough, it's a simple matter of burning the hole, then pouring in the toner. Work in a well ventilated area while doing this. You don't want to breathe in the fumes that are emitted.



 Here are the locations for burning the hole. You should get a set of instructions when you buy a toner kit for your particular model of printer, along with enough tape or plugs for sealing the cartridge.







If I'm burning a hole for the high-yield cartridge, it would go here:

The locations can vary by a few millimeters. There isn't a precise spot.  You will receive instructions showing where to burn the hole for your type of cartridge.



When pouring the toner into the cartridge, don't squeeze the bottle. I hold the spout to the hole and gently tap on the bottle while gently shaking the cartridge back and forth to level the toner.



After you have poured the toner into the cartridge, use the aluminum tape to seal it. Cut off a piece that is large enough to cover the hole and around the rim of the hole. Once it is sealed, you are ready to print.


How many times can you refill?  That depends. I have gotten as many as four refills from a cartridge. Eventually the parts will wear down and you'll have to discard it.

Another thing that I do to save money is use remanufactured cartridges.  The ones I use have given excellent results. And they can be refilled.

There are two primary sources that I use for ordering toner cartridge supplies. I use to order bottles of toner, and for remanufactured cartridges. Ink4ever has products for many types of printers.  I like to keep things simple and go with companies that I have worked with for a long time. No reason to change. Whenever I buy new cartridges, I go to Sam's Club. Other sources for cartridges are Office Depot and Office Max.  There are many more companies. Too numerous to mention in this article. The main thing is to find a company that provides you good service and reliable products.

I use 2 laser printers. They are different models, but both are made by Hewlett Packard. I wanted to make ordering refill supplies simpler, so I asked the people at if I could use the same toner for both models.  They recommended that you use the toner that is specified for the particular make and model of printer. They are the experts, so I'll take their word for it and not experiment.

I usually prepare several cartridges for refilling at the same time. I also keep at least two brand new cartridges in the box, unopened. It gives you peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared. And especially at the end of the month, you don't want to find yourself in a position where you have run out of toner and can't get the job done. 

Always be ready to close a loan. Good luck.

Comment balloon 9 commentsLeon Austin • May 27 2007 01:06PM
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