Toner cartridges tend to last a long time, with a standard-sized cartridge being able to print anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 pages before needing to be replaced. Since these are high-performing laser printers, replacement cartridges can be on the expensive side.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Toner cartridges can last as long as 3,500 pages before needing to be replaced, but replacement cartridges can be on the expensive side.
  • Some consumers manually refill toner cartridges or bring empty cartridges to a retail store that can handle the request.
  • Other options to lengthen the lifespan of your cartridge are to use high-yield cartridges or to simply adjust the resolution settings on your printer.

Refill a Laser Printer Cartridge

The overall expense of toner cartridges leads some consumers to seek out alternative methods of using their laser printer. One option is to simply refill the toner cartridge and place it back into the laser printer instead of buying a replacement unit.

Insider Tip

Toner cartridges tend to last a long time, with a standard-sized cartridge being able to print anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 pages before needing to be replaced.

Options to Extend Toner Cartridge Life

There are several options when it comes to extending the overall life of a toner cartridge, with the first being to simply refill the cartridge with new toner.

Refill the Cartridge

You can purchase replacement toner and related materials online or at a number of big-box retail locations. Not every store that handles ink cartridge refills will handle toner cartridge refills, though, so be sure to call ahead of time and be specific about your needs. Toner is a much more complicated substance than ink and carries some serious health risks, which scares off some retailers. If you are attempting to refill a toner cartridge at home by yourself, we strongly recommend that you watch plenty of YouTube tutorials ahead of time and that you wear protective gear. Not only can you save almost 70% of your refill cost by replacing laser cartridges on your own, but also for refills of ink cartridges.

Insider Tip

You can purchase replacement toner and related materials online or at a number of big-box retail locations.

Use a High-yield Cartridge

Toner can be purchased in a high-yield or high-capacity cartridge. These cartridges can hold up to four times the amount of toner that a standard-sized cartridge can hold. In other words, you will be able to print anywhere from 6,000 to 12,000 pages before needing to replace a high-yield toner cartridge. They are more expensive to purchase, but more than makeup for that cost in the long run. You should read your printer’s instructions carefully before buying a high-yield toner cartridge to ensure it can accept it.

Adjust Settings

You can drastically extend the life of a toner cartridge by making some simple settings adjustments on your laser printer. The actual process will differ depending on the make and model of your printer, but you are basically looking to lower the resolution of the printer for the purpose of conserving toner. Be sure to find the right balance so the prints don’t end up looking bad. Experiment until you find the lowest resolution you can live with and be aware that you can easily turn this resolution up for printing important documents. If after refilling your laser cartilage and inserting it back into your printer, you still experience it is not connecting, read this guide to understand how you can reconnect to your wireless printer easily.

Warning

Toner is a much more complicated substance than ink and carries some serious health risks.

F.A.Q.

Is it OK to refill the toner cartridge of an HP printer?

Yes, but do it carefully. A toner cartridge is a sensitive piece of electronic equipment that includes a multitude of electrical components.


Which is a better option to refill the toner cartridge or buy a compatible cartridge?

This depends on the price of the compatible cartridge versus the price of loose toner dust. You must also consider the risk inherent to replacing toner dust.


What do I do if my printer says the toner is empty, but I just replaced it?

This could indicate a number of problems. Start by turning the toner over and make sure the barcode is intact. You could also try restarting the printer.



STAT: Refilled toner cartridges have a massive failure rate of 40 percent. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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