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Customer Review

24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Landfill Nightmare! Early Demise of Toner Cartridges!, January 9, 2011
This review is from: Brother HL4150CDN Color Laser Printer with Duplex and Networking (Office Product)
Paid $299 for this printer just under a year ago and now, with light home use, the low-toner warning is coming on. The original Black toner cartridge is supposed to be good for 2500 pages, the color: 1500.

I print an average of 15 pages per week, (maybe 750 so far) and rarely use color. There is no way that I am anywhere near 2500 pages! And now what? Do I pay $189 for new toner cartridges, $326 for high-yield replacements that may or may not be another, brand-new unit for $249, Or trash the Printer before getting sucked in to Brother's Profit Whirlpool?

TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE of the part of BROTHER for pricing the replacement cartridges so high... putting perfectly good printers in the LANDFILL !
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 9, 2011 3:52:46 PM PST
RL -

A VERY good question indeed - and from my experience (admittedly dated, but likely still true) is that you will be even more dismayed were this a Hewlett-Packard laser printer as they really shaft you on supplies.

I went with Brother in spite of the fact that HP is the "industry Standard" for laser printers - but I have two good reasons:

HP's competing product for this printer is more expensive and has received terrible reviews for being flimsy and poorly-supported.

Brother ink jet cartridges are MUCH cheaper and MUCH easier to refill. My favorite printer ink company "Printer Ink Warehouse" sells kits and bulk ink and I've run 2 different Brother color ink jet all-in-one units for years for pennies. They don't yet have replacements for this printer's cartridges - but say they will and that Brother Laser cartridges are the easiest to refill.

I love OEM stuff, but since I'm my own system administrator and tech guy, I can be "cheap" and still do well.

So - rather than buy a 2nd (3rd, etc) printer and cannibalize it for the cartridges - buy aftermarket, re manufactured ones, or refill your own. Easy and cheap!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 4:46:14 PM PST
R. L. Carr says:
Thanks for the input and advice. I will certainly explore the "refill" possibilities in the Raleigh area. And BTW...I ordered this unit from OfficeDepot for $299, plus a $10 off coupon...making it $289.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2011 5:44:52 PM PST
Hi R.L.

Thanks for the reply. I haven't bought a replacement cartridge in YEARS nor do I plan to anytime soon. In fact, as a repeat customer, I just received a 15% discount "coupon" from Printer Ink Warehouse - so I'll restock when the time is right.

I paid Amazon's $299 - no tax, no shipping. But... had I ordered a few days earlier, the price was lower - I thing $50 lower. DAMN! I HATE when I take too long to decide!

Posted on Jan 19, 2011 12:51:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2011 12:52:51 AM PST
Sharpshooter says:
I've been buying non-OEM replacement cartridges from (they ARE ISO-9001 certified) for my other printers and are excellent, as good as the OEM versions but much less $$$.

They don't have non-OEM toner for the newer Brother printers yet, as it takes about a year for them to come into the supply channel.

If anyone thinks Brother Toner cartridges are expensive, buy an HP replacement - more $$$ and not nearly as long lasting (IMNSHO) based on my experience with four previous HP printers. If you really want to get "raped", buy a Canon printer. :-(

Posted on Mar 18, 2011 8:13:16 PM PDT
Today a complete set of TN310 cartridges (the ones that come with it) from Amazon is only $$168.23, a more than $100 less than the price of the printer. The $338 price is for the TM-315's high yield cartridges.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2011 4:18:22 AM PDT
Doc says:
How do you know how to refill your cartridges, and what ink to buy? I went to the PIW website and could not find ink for this model printer. If I could refill my own (without ending up looking like a tie-dyed smurf), I would go that route.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 8:31:40 AM PDT
Hi Dr.

Though Printer Ink Warehouse still doesn't show the cartridges or toner on their site yet - I have another e-mail into them asking "When?" and hope it's soon. hey originally said "awhile" - and "Sharpshooter" (above) says about a year. I got my printer in December, so about 6 months ago - not sure when PIW will have them, but will let you know when they give me a date.

As to the "How?" PIW puts together a "kit" of toner, tools, and instructions to refill the ink cartridges - and I imagine they do the same with the laser cartridges. I haven't done a laser cartridge *yet* - but from what I've seen - it's probably as "simple" as drilling a hole in the RIGHT spot on the cartridge, pouring in the new toner, and putting a plug in the hole. As they say that Brother is the easiest, it may not even require drilling a hole - but that's where my money is.

As for the Smurf factor - yeah - with the ink jets it's prolly almost universal. The good news is that if you're REALLY careful and take your time, by the time you do your third or so cartridge, you can probably* do it without even getting ink on your hands at all. I imagine that the toner power will present a different type of mess. My advice would be to do it outside if at all possible - and even then - over newspapers.

It REALLY is worth the money you can save. And with PIW - they typically offer "bulk" ink that will save you the most money. I've even made a point of buying additional Brother printers (Ink Jet) when I needed them to stay with the same "family" of ink. For that matter, the Brother ink jet cartridges are basically just "tanks" - unlike HP which is the print head too. I find those to be more difficult to refill and VERY difficult to get to work properly after you do it.

RE: Jeffrey's and RL's comments about the printer vs cartridge price. if you LIKE this printer, I would suggest that you buy another one. (seriously) and use the cartridges until the aftermarket/refills become available. That way you will have a 2nd set of cartridges to refill and swap in/out, and you'll have a "spare" printer if (when - it's a mechanical device) it finally wears out. For only $100 - that's not bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2011 9:20:07 AM PDT
Doc says:
Valiant, this is so very helpful, a mere "thank you" is inadequate. Nevertheless, THANK YOU! "Valiant" is the perfect name for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2011 5:08:18 AM PDT
R. L. Carr says:
I just checked your resource (, they do NOT Have non-OEM toner for the HL-4150, and their prices for OEM is almost double that of Amazon's!
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