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Inkjet refills kits: the cheapest way to print

Another way to save money when your ink or toner runs out is in buying refill kits and doing it yourself. For the extra thrifty shopper, this can be a bargain, especially if you are good with your hands. Instead of buying the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges, refilling the one you have makes sense. For a fraction of the price, you can refill the cartridges with compatible ink and you are back on your way. While this seems to be a great solution to your printing problems, it can also be a hassle and many sites I have been to seem to have misleading information about what inks are compatible with what printers and the directions can often be complicated and a chore.

If you have a business and are looking to cut your printing costs, refilling inkjet cartridges can be a tempting offer. In a comparison price for Dell 720 printers, replacement OEM cartridges for black ink can run as much as $28.00 for a 17 ml cartridge. This can get very expensive very quickly. At a popular compatible cartridge discount retailer, a remanufactured cartridge for the same printer costs $19.99 per cartridge. You save some, but not nearly as much as you would with a refill kit. At the same discount retailer, they sell refill kits for the Dell 720 for as low as $12.95 for 40 ml of ink.

Sounds too good to be true? It may be just that. In their ad, they claim that the 40 ml of ink for the refill kit will fill for cartridges. A simple look at the math involved tells me that at best you may get to fill 2 1/2 cartridges. Still, even at only two refills per $12.95 the refill rate works out to $6.50 a cartridge. That is less than half of what the discount retailers are selling and around a seventy percent savings when compared to the OEM cartridge.

Another problem with the refill kits is that you must sift through a lot of contradictory information. Some sites claim that ink is ink and is universal, while others say things like all Dell printers take the same ink. Others say that just like cartridges, the ink that goes in them is specially formulated for your cartridge and is very particular. I tend to agree with the latter. Another site claims that you can only refill each cartridge two to three times and then they are selling a quart of refill fluid at a time. Obviously you would have to buy cartridges sporadically and then keep using the refill fluid. I can't see a benefit in this regard for the business unless they keep a computer guy filling cartridges as part of his or her job. For home use, I have to question whether or not a person is going to go through a quart of ink in the lifetime of a printer.

The last downside is that there is work to do in refilling a cartridge. For the business, that means training, for home use, it means trying to refill a cartridge and not spill any on the floor. Part of the refill kits on the sites is a screw tool. Some cartridges have plugs, while others have to have a hole punched in them (one site recommended covering the hole with duct tape.) For those that aren't skilled with their hands, this can be a messy, adventure that ultimately ends up with stained hands, carpet, clothes, and a rushed trip to the computer to order a pre-filled cartridge.

Refill kits seem promising but for many can be more trouble than they're worth. That being said, if you don't mind the extra work and can sift through the information correctly, you may be able to find a nice way to cut your printing expenses by as much as seventy-five percent. That kind of cash savings is enough to make even the less handy of us go out and give it a try.