Universal Inkjet Refill Kit: "Does It Work?"

When you buy a printer for your computer, you're not just buying a printer, you're buying that company's ink cartridges for the life of the printer. And at 30 or 40 dollars a pop, that can get real expensive, real fast. But what if there was a cheaper way? Products like the "Universal Inkjet Refill Kit" claim to save you money by letting you refill instead of reinvesting. This week, we put it to the test in our "Does It Work?" report. "Refill any inkjet cartridge," the front of the boxes say. As low as 4.25 cents a refill for color--and the black kit suggests refills as low as 2.50 a cartridge. For 20 bucks per kit, roughly 10 to 20 dollars cheaper than a new cartridge, we'll give it a try. We started by finding a picture on the internet and printing out a copy. This will be our base-line print job we'll compare against once we do the re-filling. But first, we have to print out hundreds of copies...until the cartridges are empty. Once drained, we're ready to fill 'em back up. The instruction book looks pretty intimidating at first glance. Don't worry though, you'll only need to read one page. Just look for your printer listed on the inside cover and it will tell you the page where you'll find instructions for your cartridge. Depending on your model, you'll probably have to poke through some small caps on your cartridge. Then you just inject the ink. For color cartridges, you'll inject some yellow, cyan(blue), and magenta(red) in separate channels. The black just takes black ink. We put the cartridges back in and printed the same picture as before. Side by side you couldn't tell a difference. Does it work? You bet it does! So how much money did we save? Well I figured I could fill 3 color cartridges with the color kit and about 5 with the black ink kit. If that's true you would spend about 120 dollars for 3 color cartridges and about 150 dollars for 5 black cartridges. We got these two kits for 20 bucks a piece, so depending on your printer, you could save 100 dollars on 3 color cartridges and 150 on 5 black cartridges.