Laser-Tek Brother TN-450 Black Toner Refill Kit: Refill your Brother cartridge for next to nothing
Written: Jul 3, 2012
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Very inexpensive, relatively simple, high quality results, extra pages
Cons:Can be very messy, so take your time
The Bottom Line: Looking to save $$$? If you have the stomach for potentially messy work, this is a 5-star product if only a 4-star experience. I recommend it.
When I first bought my Brother HL-2270DW Monochrome Laser Printer, I was giddy with the idea of having escaped the need to constantly feed my HP PSC-2210 a new HP56 inkjet cartridge roughly every 500 pages. With a writer, teacher and a high school student in the house, at roughly $20 a pop this gets expensive fast.
The Brother printer shipped with a 700 page capacity starter cartridge, so knowing I was going to have to purchase a replacement at some point I uncharacteristically ordered a Brother Toner Cartridge (TN-450) as soon as I got my first toner low warning. My usual modus operandi is to ignore such warnings and then freak out when I find I can’t print any more. But I’m sure you’ve never one that. A new toner cartridge cost me about $40+ online and I was good for another 2,600 pages. Not bad.
But when it came time to prepare to replace the toner cartridge I had ordered, I figured if $40+ was good, then $10 - $12 was even better. I decided to refill the toner cartridge rather than replacing it. After all, I’m a DIY kind of guy. I ordered the Laser-Tek Brother TN-450 Black Toner Refill Kit.
Laser-Tek Brother TN-450 Black Toner Refill Kit
The kit includes: 1 Bottle of toner powder (90 – 100gm), a funnel cap, instructions, latex gloves (you need them) and toner wipes (cloths chemically treated to attract toner dust). I found the kit well thought out and packaged
Preparing to refill
This is usually where I tell people to take out the instructions and read them at least a couple of times. But here I advise you to go to YouTube and search for Refill Brother TN-450 Toner Cartridge. The one I found most helpful was only 1:53 long. It’s time well spent. Watch it 2 or 3 times.
Preparing a place to do this is probably the most important decision you’ll make. Don’t do it in the kitchen! Toner powder is incredibly fine and finds a way to get to all the places you just don’t want it. I use a bridge table set up in my garage. Cover the table with newspaper or better yet one of those disposable thin plastic picnic tablecloths you find in the dollar store. You’ll still want some newspaper around.
Remove the drum and toner cartridge assembly from your printer. Release the toner cartridge from the drum and take it to the garage (or wherever).
Refilling the Cartridge
Before you do anything else, put on the latex gloves. If you watched the video you know you have to open the fill cap on the cartridge. Where is it? Under the tape that warns you not to remove it or you’ll void your warranty. Man up! Remove it. It’s almost empty, remember? OK, after cutting the tape pry the cap off carefully so as not to puncture it. A small screwdriver or a paint lid opener works well. Once the cap is off, carefully shake the cartridge to get all the remaining powder out of it. This is where the newspaper comes in. You’re going to be stunned when you see how much powder comes out of even a “bone dry” cartridge. Fold the newspaper and throw it away. Spread fresh newspaper.
The bottle of toner has a seal under the cap; remove it. Screw the funnel cap on the bottle and cut the tip with a scissor. I recommend a really large opening so don’t be shy with the scissor. Insert the funnel tip into the cartridge and squeeze the bottle to fill it. The bottle that comes with the kit is sufficient to fully charge an empty cartridge. If you know you’ll be using the entire bottle you’ll find it empties fastest if you make a small puncture at the bottom of the bottle. Even if you don’t use the whole bottle, a piece of duct tape will re-seal the hole.
Once you’ve emptied the bottle, replace the cap and you’re almost good to go. You still have to reset the flag gear that tells your printer it has a fresh cartridge. This is a good time to watch that video again.
The flag gear is protected by a plastic assembly held on the cartridge by 2 screws. Carefully remove them without disturbing the gears or spring. (It’s really not hard). Look at the position of the flag gear. Remove it, rotate it 180 degrees and put it back. Put the plastic assembly back on and replace the screws. You’re done!
Turn your printer off, reinstall the toner cartridge in the drum and place the drum back into the printer. Listen for the click to know it installed properly. Close the cover, turn the printer back on and in a few moments you’re in business.
Now Clean Up
There’s always a part of every job that sucks. You’ve just arrived there. Even when you’re really careful, toner powder has a way of coating things in the immediate area. The toner wipes that come with the kit are very handy for cleaning up the surrounding area. But predictably some powder will remain somewhere. I use a hand-vac to get at the rest. But listen up! If you’re going to use a hand-vac, don’t use the same hand-vac you use for everyday use. You’ll never get all the toner powder out of it. Even the most benevolent Family Court Judge will grant your spouse a divorce for this offense. No, I use a Black & Decker Hand-Vac that came with a cordless drill for this chore. It never leaves my workshop.
Finally, gather up everything that’s disposable and put it in a drawstring plastic bag. Before pulling the drawstring, take off the gloves and get rid of them. Now you can pull the string.
Now, just one more thing to do before you fill that wineglass. Go to bathroom and scrub up in front of the mirror. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never completed this job without looking like I just returned from an Ash Wednesday Service.
The Brother TN-450 Toner Cartridge is set to produce approximately 2,600 pages with 5% coverage. My experience with the Laser-Tek Brother TN-450 Black Toner Refill Kit is that I generally get just a shade under 3,000 pages. The quality of the print seems indistinguishable from the OEM cartridge. That’s a pretty good deal for 10 – 12 bucks.
If you have the stomach for potentially messy work, the Laser-Tek Brother TN-450 Black Toner Refill Kit will save you big bucks for little more than 15 minutes of work. This is clearly a 5-star product, but realistically a 4-star experience. I still highly recommend it.
Brother HL-2270DW Monochrome Laser Printer
Brother Toner Cartridge (TN-450)
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