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Secrets to Refilling Lexmark Dell and HP ink cartridges

People regularly ask us which is the easiest inkjet cartridge to refill and the answers have been the same for years.

Rather than tell you now I'm going to work from the bottom of the pile upwards. There has been quite an evolution in recent years and some makers like Lexmark have made a refillers life much more tricky - if not impossible in a few cases.

But there are still quite a number of cartridges out there that are relatively easy to do if you have the correct / matching inks and a few necessary tools and some accessories

Each cartridge is its own case and although there are ranges of cartridge which use identical bodies and so the refill method for these is the same throughout - there still can be some pitfalls so we usually suggest that beginners start with a matching refill kit


Lexmark 100A Refill Kit

Lexmark colour refill

With many recent Lexmark (and Dell) cartridges - The manufacturer began by adding into the cartridge circuitry what we believe is a sort of fuse - when the cartridge reaches the "low" indication - it blows this "fuse" after the cartridge says it is empty. So when you refill the empty or if you purchase a recycled cartridge - The ink indication does not work again with that cartridge, However, in many of these types of cases it does not prevent people refilling and continuing printing. We sell lots of these kits for the HP Models so many people are content to make the savings albeit the ink indicator does not work. Really - with these we are back to the way it was before they tried to give the impression that the ink levels actually showed what was inside a cartridge, I mean we have not always had any indicators.

Much more sinister nowadays are 'Return Program' Cartridges - Lexmark has taken things that one step further by making the cartridge fail permanently. If you have a Return Program Cartridge after a single use it cannot be recycled / refilled. Lexmark offer 'A' versions which can be refilled - but because they are more expensive few dealers stock them. This plays into Lexmark's hands as they do not want people buying these and getting a second use of a cartridge by refilling it. I have even heard of a customer who said she went to purchase a refillable version of her cartridge on Lexmark's own website. She said that when she placed this Order - she could not believe it when she received a phone call from someone re her Order who said "why are you buying the 'A' version of this cartridge as you can buy the Return Program one cheaper!

The refillable A versions costs a few pounds more than the non-refillable and as a result is very difficult to buy from normal retail outlets

Here is a statement from a Lexmark shop site:- "Use Lexmark Genuine ink and paper for best results! A variable amount of ink remains when this cartridge must be replaced.

This is a non-refillable cartridge licensed for single use only. Return empty cartridge only to Lexmark for remanufacturing, refilling or recycling. Replacement cartridges (36XLA) sold without those terms are available.

2x more pages!*** The #36XL black cartridge reflects a discount** compared to alternative cartridges in exchange for agreeing to return the used cartridges only to Lexmark for remanufacturing or recycling." Ever seen a recycled cartridge being sold by Lexmark?

So in a nutshell you can refill the 'A' versions of the cartridges only

Before these changes to their cartridges which make refilling more expensive - Lexmark cartridges  followed the same basic designs as HP. You can see a remarkable resemblance in the Lexmark No 82 / 83 / 16 / 17 / 26 / 27 / 32 / 33 / 34 cartridges to HP's cartridges. All of these cartridges are straight forward  to refill but can be done with great success if you use the matching InkTec refill kit which comes with a Priming Tool. This tool removes any air bubbles which may be lingering down at the Printhead.

Once you know this secret, then refilling is more streamlined.

Lexmark's 10N0016, 10N0026, 18L0032 and 18L0042 are remarkably similar to HP's C6656, C6657, C8727 and C8728. Not surprisingly they refill the same way and the results are equal to original - but this is very dependent on people refilling a working cartridge - I mean one that has been working normally in the printer and simply runs low. Occasionally I'll receive an email from somebody having problems refilling these cartridges this is usually is because they are refilling a cartridge that has been empty for some time or worse - they did not realise that it had run out of ink and continued to try to print with the the cartridge when it had no ink left - this damages the nozzles by overheating them or they might have tried to refill too fast or something like that.

You can find additional technical resources for this article in the technology section at:

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We are a UK based and operated company who offer top quality compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges, inkjet and toner refill kits, remanufactured and compatible toner cartridges, for a wide range of brands including: Epson, HP Hewlett Packard, Konica Minolta, Canon, Dell, Lexmark, NEC, Panasonic, Sharp and Samsung printers.

Our products are also suitable for facsimile machines, multifunction machines and laser printers. We also sell other type of consumables such as fax ink printer rolls. Our company goals are: * Low prices * Top quality products * Great customer service * Fast shipping

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