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Top 5 laser printers for refilling
February 2018

Brother HL-3150cdw | Best entry level colour

link to HL 3140CW toner refill video Brother HL 3150cdw. Best of a bad bunch, but the bottom line is: you can bend it to your will

tick doesn’t need chips

tick use all the toner you ever pay for ... Learn how in this video

tick starter cartridges (that arrive with the new machine) can be refilled: delaying or maybe even avoiding the need to buy replacement cartridges

tick no waste-overflow issues associated with refilling

tick Lab tested. 15,291 test prints taken by us before product release

tick Battle tested. Thousands of successful refills done by our customers since 2014.

From: Dave ||
Sent: Fri 14/08/2014 16:02
Hi, Doc!
Early in July, I followed your recommendation and bought a Brother 3150CDW. I had to shop around to get the price you quoted, but it was there!
Since then, I have been very pleased. I ordered your Black Starter Kit with the reset wheels and other bits, and also the rainbow kit so that I had refills for all colours. I have now had to reset the black cartridge twice, all the others once.

Brother original prices (Source:, 2nd February 2018)
Brother HL-3150cdw printer £124-00 ex VAT
TN241BK black cartridge 2.5K yield £54-14 ex VAT
TN245C cyan high capacity 2.2K yield £74-89 ex VAT
See HL-3150cdw refill bottle prices

Any of the following printers are the same as the HL-3150cdw for refilling purposes:
HL-3140cw, HL-3170cdw, DCP-9020cdw, DCP-9020cdw, MFC-9140cdn, MFC-9330cdw, MFC-9332cdw, MFC-9340cdw

Brother HL-L8260cdw | semi-production colour work horse

See HL-L8260cdw refill video Unplug and pour refilling with the HL-L8260cdw
A rare luxury in 2018

tick Refill by "unplug and pour", the simplest method there is see why in this video

tick Starter cartridges, that arrive with the new printer, can be refilled. But currently that requires buying one original Brother TN-421BK cartridge.

tick No need to waste money buying chips

tick Refill tolerant. Tried and tested: over 10,000 pages of our own production done on this printer by February 2018.

Brother original prices (Source:, 2nd February 2018)
Brother HL-L8260cdw printer: £158.81 ex VAT
TN-423BK black cartridge 6.5K yield £87-44 ex VAT
TN-423C cyan high capacity 4K yield £108-34 ex VAT
See HL-L8260cdw refill bottle prices

On the down side - as things stand in February 2018 - if you want to refill your "inbox" toner cartridges successfully, you'll need to buy one Brother original TN-421BK cartridge. Remove its reset wheel, and that one reset wheel can be used to reset all your inbox cartridges.

The HL-L8360cdw and DCP-L8410cdw are the same as the HL-L8260cdw for refilling purposes.

Brother DCP-9020cdw | Cheap and cheerful colour multi-function

link to HL 3140CW toner refill video The Brother DCP 9020cdw. The same - for refilling purposes - as the Brother HL-3150cdw seen above

tick no wasted money on chips

tick use all the toner you ever pay for - Brother's or ours - by using our reset until fade out method ... Learn how in this video

tick delay, or even avoid buying original cartridges altogether, by refilling the starter cartridges (that arrive with the new machine)

tick no waste-overflow issues associated with refilling

tick automatically print on both sides of the paper

tick Battle tested. Over 15,000 pages of our own production done with this engine (although in the HL-3150dcw laser printer)

Brother original prices (Source:, 2nd February 2018)
Brother DCP-9020cdw printer £165-83 ex VAT
TN241BK black cartridge 2.5K yield £54-14 ex VAT
TN245C cyan high capacity 2.2K yield £74-89 ex VAT
See DCP-9020 refill bottle prices

Brother HL-L2300d | cheap and cheerful" mono

Brother HL-L2300d toner refill how to Brother HL-L2300d : forget chips, forget fiddling with reset wheels

tick delay or avoid buying new cartridges by refilling the "inbox" toner

tick doesn't need chips

tick no dis-assembly or fiddling with reset wheels

tick no waste-overflow issues associated with refilling

tick automatically print on both sides of the paper (duplex)

Brother original prices (Source:, 2nd February 2018)
Brother HL-L2300d printer £79-00 ex VAT
TN-2320 2.6K yield cartridge £54-30 ex VAT

See HL-L2300d refill products and prices

Samsung M3320nd | churn out the black and white docs

M3320nd link to how to refill video The Samsung M3320nd's almost an "unplug and pour"

tick we refilled OK without changing the chip

tick starter cartridge (arrives with new machine) can be refilled

tick huge waste compartment is not an issue until you get into a fourth refill of an individual cartridge

tick automatically print both sides (duplex)

On the down side, you do have to roll up your sleeves and drill out 3 plastic rivets. But if you can take that on board, the extra intricacy is more than compensated for: once the rivets have been drilled, that cartridge is an "unplug and pour" for the rest of its life.

Samsung original prices (Source:, 2nd February 2018)
Samsung M3320nd printer £97-98 ex VAT
MLT-D203L cartridge 5K yield £96-99 ex VAT

Samsung M3320nd refill products and prices

17,337 trouble free test prints can't be wrong. The M3320nd has kept us going when other printers literally bit the dust. A no-brainer if you're "whackin' the black" in semi-production quantities.

Didn't make the cut

  • Samsung CLP-415 : quality was iffy from the word "go" printing with original cartridges. We might have just been unlucky with our machine, but this is a page of recommendations based on our experience. And on our experience, we can't recommend it.
  • Samsung CLP-680nd : much more of a faff to refill than any of the Brothers and doesn't offer you anything that the Brothers don't
  • Samsung C1810 : in our opinion, a pile of pooh. Don't waste your money.
  • HP M452 family : much more complicated refilling scenario the the Brother HL-L8260cdw.
  • HP M102 family : actually has some merit as a refilling candidate, but not compelling compared with the Brother HL-L2300d.
  • Brother HL-1110: too light-weight for serious users. You're better off with the Brother HL-L2300d
  • Samsung M2825nd: has some merit as far as refilling goes. Strong runner-up to the M3320nd.
  • Lexmark CS410 Series : as a printer, actually pretty robust. As something to refill yourself, forget about it.
  • Lexmark CS317dn, CS417dn : no refill products available from us and that could continue for a long time

Doc Toner's last word (for now)

As we meander through the foothills of 2018, it occurs to me that I ought to rename this page "5 laser printers that aren't as bad for refilling as all the others we've tried".

The combined effect of "chips with everything" and "tiny waste compartment syndrome" really thins out the runners and riders. None of my top five picks necessitated the use of micro chips for successful refilling when we used the printers in our lab. The Brothers don't expose you to waste overflow issues because the waste collection isn't part of the toner cartridge. The waste compartment on the M3320 cartridge won't need to be emptied this side of 3 refills.

test printersAll recommendations are based on our experience of refilling the printer in the lab and while printing our own stuff for business

I've named and shamed the worst offenders plenty of times in the last 25 years. I've offered to publish responses from manufacturers and withdraw my comments where appropriate. But alas, I've never had a return message. Although the blizzard of generic specs and meaningless alphabet-soup model names never abates.

So please bear with me. Hope springs eternal that consumer choice will bring the executives down from their ivory towers and force them to produce a printer built on the principle of "easy to refill". But for now ...

Keep refilling in the free world

Doc Toner

Do not like me on Facebook ...

facebook indifferent

My goldfish has indigestion. And I think my parrot just said, "Ricoh". Or it could have been "peanuts". He loves those. But sadly, there's still no "indifferent" button on Facebook, soooooo .... you'll have to "like" me.

Yes. I'm extorting a Facebook "like" out of you in return for my posts about the best laser printers, which you'll then get.

Yes, I'm ashamed. But I was recently described by David Meerman Scott as having "less social networking buzz than a bee in vacuum". And that hurt more than shame. Even though I made it up. (The quote, that is. David Meerman Scott exists. Or buying his book was a big mistake).


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