1.   How does an inkjet printer work?

The printing is done by a small jet of ink pushed through tiny nozzles of the printhead whose typical resolution is 1200 dpi (dots per inch). The diameter of the nozzles or tiny holes is about .001 inch. On the Canon, HP and Lexmark printers, the "pushing" is done by heat. Each nozzle has small resistors which heat up the ink thus forming an ink bubble, therefore the name of "bubble jet". In the Epson printer, the "pushing" is done by the "flexing" or physical deformation of the metal in the nozzle. This flexing is triggered by electrical pulses. This deformation process is known as the piezoelectric effect.

2.   What is the cartridge? Printhead?

The cartridge is simply a container of ink attached to the printhead. The printhead is a piece of metal, usually made of copper or aluminum, in which there are few dozens nozzles. These nozzles are connected to a few rows of gold plated electrical contacts which are also part of the printhead. These contacts allow the electrical signals from the printer to reach the printhead and "tell" which nozzle to fire so that the printing can occur. The printhead is an integral part of most HP and LEXMARK Cartridges. Most CANON and EPSON printers have the printheads separated from the cartridges.

3.   How is the ink contained in the cartridge?

In some cartridges, the ink is retained in a highly absorbent foam. In these cartridges, capacity is reduced because of the volume of the foam. However, such cartridges are less prone to leakage and less expensive to manufacture. There are some older cartridges that do not use foam. Instead, they have mechanical devices such as pressure blades that keep ink from escaping the cartridge. These are more expensive to make and more prone to leakage but contain more ink.

All ink cartridges have a vent hole or a ventilation maze to let air inside the cartridge during printing, it is important that these openings are not blocked or damaged during refilling. Our instructions will guide you.

4.   Does refilling really work?

Yes, it should as a matter of simple logic: if there is no more ink in the cartridge and you resupply the ink, it should work and it does. If ink refilling did not work, we would not be in business. However, sometimes, ink refilling doesn't work.

There are several possible causes of failure:

#1. The cartridges were completely empty for some time, therefore the ink dried out, and the nozzles became clogged.

#2. The resistors may have burned out because of excess heat (this happens when printing with no ink, since ink is a good cooling medium). Also some resistors may age with use and their characteristics may change, therefore some nozzle may not "fire" or may "fire" badly. In this case, the printer goes to a diagnostic check and may reject the cartridge.

#3. Some of the electrical contacts are dirty or damaged, the results are the same as problem #2.

#4. The foam was too dry, and the ink may take some time after refilling to reach the nozzles.

If these problems seem troubling, be assured that only 5-10% of the cartridges cannot be refilled. Ink refilling would not be a multi-billion dollar industry today if cartridges were failing left and right. 

The best advice for perfect refills every time: REFILL IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CARTRIDGE IS "EMPTY"

5.   How difficult is the refilling, how many refills can I do ?

Detailed, easy-to-follow, graphical instructions accompany every kit. If you follow the instructions, you should have no trouble refilling your inkjet cartridge.

Refilling is not difficult, but you have to do some work. You must understand that the manufacturers do not want you to refill, since the sale of ink cartridges is their major source of revenue. The price of a few new cartridges is almost the same as that of a new printer.

For most foam-based cartridges, you need to drill one hole for each color for a total of four holes (black, yellow, cyan and magenta). If you do not own or are not comfortable with an electric drill, you can purchase our Inkjet Hole Making Tool. Drill the holes as per our instructions, fill up with ink and cover the holes with electrical tape or equivalent. That’s it! The whole operation shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Note that you only have to drill for the first refill because you use the same holes for later refills!

Note: The drilling does not damage the cartridges, any plastic debris caused by the drilling is retained by the foam and the micropore filter inside.

In principle, you can refill as many times as you wish. However, eventually, the foam may become too old to continue absorbing ink, or the printhead may wear out. However, by this time you'll easily have saved plenty of money!

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Brother®, Canon®, Dell®, Epson®, HP®, Lexmark®, Samsung® and other manufacturer brand names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective owners who have no association with or make any endorsement of the products or services provided by inkowl.com. Any use of a brand name or model designation for a non-OEM cartridge or product is made solely for purposes of demonstrating compatibility.