For example, a new, high-yield cartridge for the popular Hewlett Packard Series 4 and 5 family of printers costs about $94 at a well-known office superstore. But, you can buy a ReChargX Premium Print refill kit containing 500 grams of our proprietary, made-on-site toner formula (specially formulated to meet or exceed the OEM specifications for the underlying "engine" ), for just $24.95. Total dollar savings: $69 or about 73%.
If you refill that cartridge three times (the average toner cartridge can be refilled 2 - 4 times, some even more, a few, a little less), your total dollar savings will be $207, compared to what you would have spent buying the brand-new, name-brand, higher-priced, Hewlett Packard laser printer toner cartridges from that same “office superstore.”
But, of course, there’s a catch: To save that $207 on three refills, you will have to buy a $12.95 toolkit that makes it possible to refill any make or model of laser, fax or photocopier toner cartridge (in fact, a significant number of cartridges don’t even require the toolkit). And thereby hangs a tale.
It’s a tale of a toner cartridge expert who one day discovered the secret that no one in the industry wants you to know. The secret is stunningly simple.
End users can refill their toner cartridges two, three, four, (on some machines, even more) times —with no sacrifice in print quality—if they can lay their hands on a bottle of toner specifically formulated to preserve the cartridge’s critical image production components (and if they can find a way to get said toner into the cartridge’s toner hopper.)
A Bit of Historical Perspective
To put things into perspective, you should know that in the fall of 1981, IBM slapped its logo on an Epson MX-80 dot matrix printer and began offering it for sale with its original IBM/PC. Almost immediately, users began to explore ways to extend the life of this printer’s ribbon cartridge. One popular technique: Pop the top and give the ink-bearing nylon ribbon a squirt or two of WD-40. Let it sit overnight, and start printing again in the morning. Later, some companies offered small, stamped aluminum tables equipped with felt rollers and an electric motor to pull the ribbon through the rollers for re-inking.
So, when Hewlett Packard introduced the first desktop laser printer in 1984, it wasn’t surprising that computer users instantly began to look for ways to cut costs by getting more life out of the printer’s toner cartridges.
The first attempts were quite crude. Some companies, for example, would take your empty laser cartridge, drill a hole in its plastic shell, dump in some toner, and seal the hole with a piece of tape.
Trouble was, that “drill and fill” approach left tiny bits of plastic debris in the toner hopper that eventually caused printing problems. Not to mention the fact that most of these companies paid no attention to the type or quality of the toner they were dumping in. They made the monumental mistaken assumption that “all toner is just black dust!” (many-of-our so-called "competitors" still make the same assumption... "Let's see... I'll buy some toner (cheaper is better), put it on a shelf in my garage or spare room, set up a store on the internet... Yippee! I'm a toner expert." - NOT!)
Drill-and-fill operations were quickly replaced by firms that specialized in remanufacturing toner cartridges. And, as people learned more about the technology, a doctrine developed regarding the “correct” way to re-manufacture a cartridge. The doctrine stated that the photo-optic drum (the very heart of the cartridge) had to be replaced. As did the silicone wiper blade and the developer roller/magnetic roller sleeve. The primary corona had to be replaced or professionally cleaned. The waste toner bin had to be vacuumed out. Appropriate toner had to be poured into the toner hopper, and the whole thing had to be sealed for shipping back to the customer.
Theoretically, it made a lot of sense. And it took a lot of time—as much as 30 minutes, or more, per cartridge for some models. But the results were indisputable. Cartridges remanufactured in this way gave customers the same quality and number of prints as “new” cartridges but at a much lower price.
A man named John Galt was very much “present at the creation” of the toner cartridge remanufacturing industry.
Indeed, for nearly 18 years he helped develop and spread its doctrine as he built a very successful cartridge remanufacturing company. No one knew more about the technology, about the relative durability of photo-optic drums or the formulations and built-in abrasiveness of laser toner powders. During those years, his company remanufactured thousands and thousands of cartridges each month.
“The Man Who Knew Too Much"
In the end, however, John Galt, became “the man who knew too much.”, One day, many, many years ago, his cartridge remanufacturing company was about to print its payroll reports when the cartridge in their HP3Si printer ran out of toner. Ironically, considering the business they were in, there wasn’t a ready, remanufactured cartridge in the house. A resourceful employee—who knew he wouldn’t get his check if he didn’t solve the problem—grabbed the empty cartridge, took it into a back room, and emerged five minutes later, cartridge in hand. He slotted it into the printer, and the payroll print job ran perfectly.
John Galt asked the fellow how he had worked this minor miracle so quickly, and the guy said, “Well, I used that special tool to pop the top and then just dumped in more toner. Just like I’ve always done when we run out of toner for our in-house machines.” The words echoed in Galt’s head. “Just like I’ve always done?” Turns out that the employee had re-filled the same cartridge at least three times over the last year. No replacement parts. No cleaning or vacuuming. Just pop the top and dump in fresh toner.
By his own admission, Galt had to quickly find a place to sit down. “Everything I knew—everything I had been espousing to others—was suddenly upended and shown to be wrong,” he says. (“Or if not ‘wrong,’ at the very least I was just shown it was not nearly as essential as everyone in the industry believed.”
Testing the Concept
Galt is an entrepreneur and self-confessed “gadget guy.” So he didn’t let this revelation die. Not at all. He began an exhaustive series of tests to see if merely adding more toner to an empty cartridge would consistently produce satisfactory results. He quickly confirmed that it is essential to use toner that has been properly formulated for the laser printer, fax or photocopier in question. But he also learned that the components of toner cartridges—all of the components—are a lot more durable than anyone ever suspected (or the after market component manufacturers had lead the remanufacturers to believe). He found that most cartridges can be refilled at least two to three times before any internal component has to be replaced. (As we’ve already seen, that can mean literally hundreds of dollars in savings per cartridge!)
Then, John Galt dug further and bolstered his empirical findings with some very sound theoretical underpinnings. His years of interaction with the myriad types of toners for thousands of different types of printers, (and the interaction with thousands of customers) revealed; people use their printers in different ways. “Some users print mainly double-spaced or single-spaced text. Some do mostly graphics. And others produce a mixture of the two. That makes it impossible for cartridge makers to predict exactly when your print usage is going to cause the photo-optic drum to fail—which is the primary item that you’re concerned about—and make it fail the minute you run out of toner. There is no way they can!”
That’s why they design their cartridges for users at the middle of the printer usage distribution curve. To avoid customer complaints, they want you to run out of toner well before the drum and other components begin to fail. Says Galt, “They are keenly aware that if your cartridge fails before it runs out of toner, they’ll owe you a replacement cartridge. That’s why they build extra life into the components to make certain everyone gets that all-important complete use from the cartridge, regardless of their printing style.”
So, there you are with an empty cartridge. You can either throw it away or you can send it to the manufacturer’s “recycling” program or to a toner cartridge remanufacturing firm. You may or may not receive about $2 for making this effort. But whichever path you choose, you’re going to have to buy a new or remanufactured toner cartridge to replace the empty one.
What John Galt has done is to give toner cartridge users an additional option. Galt invented a way for them to quickly and easily add toner to their own cartridges.
“I Love It When a Kit Comes Together”
It is possible to remove the plastic shell or “split the hopper” on most cartridges. But it can be a tedious and time-consuming process when done by hand. (Recharging firms use specialized power equipment.) “Drilling and filling” was out of the question due to the bits of plastic the process leaves in the toner bin. “But suppose…”Galt thought, “suppose you could create a properly sized hole at the correct location for a given cartridge—without any debris?” That would let the user pour in the needed toner without the plastic bits problem.
That’s when Galt hit upon the idea of using a custom designed tool (a take-off on a soldering iron) to melt a perfect hole in the shell of the cartridge. To ensure a uniform sized hole, he customized the tip of the tool by cutting a chamfered, hole-melting bit on a lathe from a solid copper cylinder. (The tool is currently “patent pending.”) He added a small screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers make it easy to remove the melted disk from the copper tip.
What is now known as the RechargX Toolkit was coming together nicely. There were just two problems. First, the toner. Nearly two decades earlier, when he was in the process of starting his recharging business, he had tried using photocopier toner to refill an HP LaserJet Series I toner cartridge. Big mistake. Because copier toner carries an opposite electrical charge, it produced nearly solid black pages with grayish-white text. Since those first dismal experiments, Galt years of experience had taught him that not even all laser printer toner in the same manufacturer’s family is the same – far from it! After testing the products of over a dozen manufacturers, he finally found a company whose toner really was as good as that found in commercially made original equipment cartridges—and with his first-hand knowledge of toner additives to extend the life of those cartridge components—he created a proprietary toner formula that didn’t require replacing image production components to work properly.
The second problem was easier to solve. Imposing on friends (whose interest in helping to test his RechargX Toolkit ranged all the way from miniscule to non-existent),he found that people tended not to wait the full three minutes required for the iron to heat up to the correct temperature. So, he added a three-minute hourglass sand timer to the kit. And, at the suggestion of his clever and beautiful wife, he topped things off with a small bag of M&Ms to give people something to munch while waiting those three “long” minutes.
The Rest is History
The resulting RechargX Toolkit can be used on any laser printer, plain-paper fax, or photocopier cartridge that doesn’t have a pre-existing fill hole (The majority don’t). Buy it once (for $12.95), and use it indefinitely. John Galt’s proprietary toner and exact gram load for a given model of cartridge is supplied in a bottle with screw-on spout, a rubber plug for the hole, and instructions on where to melt the hole on your particular cartridge. The entire process takes about five minutes the first time (since you have to melt the hole) and about one minute from then on. As John Galt says, “If you can refill a salt shaker, you can refill your own toner cartridge.”
Galt began offering his RexhargX Toolkit and ReChargX line of “refill-it-yourself” toner refill kits on the Internet on New Years Day, 2000. That day, he made his first sales. Rave reviews from publications as diverse as Investor’s Business Daily® and Computer Shopper followed—as did hundreds of unsolicited testimonials from enthusiastic users, many of which can be viewed at the TonerRefillKits.com web site.
Everyone, that is, but Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Canon, Epson, and all the others who’ve been charging premium prices for what can be an inexpensive “pump your own gas” operation.
Can you really save 65%, 75%, or even 90% on your toner cartridge costs? You bet you can! And your risk is zero. “I personally guarantee that my RechargX toolkit and specially formulated toner will work exactly as I say it will,” John Galt says, “or I will give you your money back (or a replacement), no questions asked!” ---------------------------------------
Choice Testimonials One of the unalloyed joys of offering a neat, inexpensive product that really does save users hundreds of dollars a year is reading the unsolicited testimonials they send in. Here’s a list of the current “Top Ten.” Just click on their titles to read any or all of them.
ReChargX® products are available for both toner-based and ink-based machines.
ReChargX Tool Kit, ReChargX Reset Chips, ReChargX Chip Resetters and EmptyX Cartridges
only available with toner purchase - quantities limited at our discretion.
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