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Top 3 laser printers for refilling

Refilling original toner cartridges halves the carbon footprint (evidence here).

All three printers listed here arrive with toner cartridges that can be refilled with currently available, fully battle-tested refills.

Brother HL-L8260cdw | colour work horse

See HL-L8260cdw refill video Unplug and pour refilling with the HL-L8260cdw
A rare luxury in 2023

tick Refill by "unplug and pour", the simplest refill method there is

tick Starter cartridges, that arrive with the new printer, can be refilled

tick No need to waste money buying chips

tick Battle tested. Two years' production printing done by us: still going strong. 18 month's success in the market place.

The HL-L8360cdw, DCP-L8410cdw, MFC-L8690cdw and MFC-L8900cdw are the same as the HL-L8260cdw for refilling purposes.

If you need a colour multi-functional, have a rummage through the specs on the DCP or MFC models. The DCP-L8410cdw will be OK for most.

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Check out UK price for the HL-L8260cdw

Check out UK price for the DCP-L8410cdw

Check out USA price for the HL-L8260cdw

Check out USA price for the MFC-L8610cdw

See an in depth video review of the HL-L8260cdw

Brother HL-1210w | cheap basic mono

Brother HL-1210w toner refill how to Brother HL-1210w : an "unplug and pour" refill can't be sniffed at

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

tick doesn't need chips

tick "unplug and pour" refill

tick "battle tested" by real customers for over 5 years now

Multi-function option DCP-1610w : has the same engine and refills the same way

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Check out UK price for the HL-1210w

Check out UK price for the DCP-1610w

Brother HL-L3230cdw | cheaper, less-desirable cousin of the HL-L8260

tick we - and everyone else we know of in the world so far - have been able to refill OK without changing the chip

tick starter cartridges (that arrive with the new machine) can be refilled

tick waste is not collected by the toner cartridges - simplifies refilling

tick automatically print both sides (duplex)

tick cheaper and smaller than the HL-L8260cdw family

On the downside, the toner cartridges have got micro-chips on them. In theory, future firmwares could begin to use this fact to throw a spanner in the refilling works. At the time of writing, though - March 2023 - problems arising from the chips haven't been seen anywhere in the world.

Also on the downside, you'll have to "melt and pour" to get the toner in. Whereas the HL-L8260cdw has a handy plug.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Check out UK price for the HL-L3230cdw

Multi-function printer based on the same toner cartridges UK price for the DCP-L3510cdw

Check out USA price for the HL-L3230cdw

Multi-function printer based on the same toner cartridges USA price for the HL-L3290cdw

Doc Toner's last word (for now)

As the Amazon Rainforest, Australia and Southern France burned and we all left it to a 15 year-old school girl to lead the charge against climate change, how did the laser printer manufacturers of the world respond?

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

Battered between the "tiny waste compartment syndrome" of HP, the "chips with everything" approach of Lexmark and the uneven offerings of OKI, it's hard to find 3 refill-friendly laser printers to rub together.

Truth be told, the HL-L3230cdw wouldn't have made it onto a "refill-friendly" list back in the day. But this isn't back in the day and the three printers above are all solidly refillable.

All three printers are from Brother. That's significant. As a printer-buying public we should now get behind Brother. And while tentatively buying their products on the low-carbon ticket, we should encourage them not to go any further down the road of microchips on toner cartridges. They offer no significant benefits to the end user experience that can't be achieved by other means. So if you're starting to use them, Brother: why?

As the planet warms and we begin to lose bio-diversity at the rate of 200 species per day, innovation is needed across a range of human activities. Refillability has a role to play in that innovation.

Brother is currently the only laser printer manufacturer not gazing steadfastly in the wrong direction. Planet Earth calling Brother! I'm trying to send people your way. Please don't let them down.

Keep refilling in the free world

Doc Toner

Do not like me on Facebook ...

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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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