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I have an HP Laserjet 8100DN, which is decent workgroup printer with 20,000 page cartridges.

This is a not a color printer, but I could really use the ability to print just with a single color toner.

A quick Google search shows that nobody makes a compatible toner cartridge with anything other than black toner.

I am aware that many companies sell "toner refill kits" in which you squirt toner into an empty cartridge. I have never personally used a refill system.

So, is there any reason you know that it would NOT work to refill my toner cartridge with cyan, yellow, or magenta? Is the toner powder itself one of several varieties that may end up destroying my printer if I use the wrong kind?

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migrated from Jun 24 '10 at 17:01

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes, the toner powder itself is something that could destroy the printer. Because of how laser printers work, and the different ways of fusing colors, the temperatures required to fuse black toner in an 8100DN may not be sufficient (or worse, over-sufficient) to fuse the CP3520 toner to the paper. Failure modes here are a seriously gummed up printer in the case of insufficiently fused toner or possibly actual smoke if the color toner gets too hot.

It would be an interesting experiment, but I'd do it with a printer I could afford to lose before trying it in production.

Edit: There ARE different toner types. The color laser printer in my office produces a black text that's noticeably different than the 8150DN produces. It's shinier, for one. And the colors produced are noticeably different (better) than the colors produced on the Color LaserJet 5M in my old office. However... the toner for that ancient 5m was very similar to the 5si we had, so a refill kit for one of those is probably the safest bet for an 8100DN.

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I can't stress enough the idea that it should be done on a device you can afford to lose. Just as a side note, bear in mind that using toner that isn't explicitly supported by HP will probably void any warranty you have with them for that printer. – Psycho Bob Jun 24 '10 at 21:08

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