How to Buy Toner Cartridges for Your Brother Printer

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How to Buy Toner Cartridges for Your Brother Printer

For some people, the Brother brand remains associated with sewing machines and old daisy wheel word processors. For those people, the huge popularity of Brother printers may come as a surprise. In a single year, Brother printers won nine Number 1 ratings from PC Magazine, including the top overall ratings for five different printer types and the Readers' Choice Award. So those who own Brother printers can feel more than vindicated in their selection.

Owning a Brother printer means, sooner or later, replacing the Brother toner cartridge, or in the case of a colour printer, cartridges. This always requires a bit of a balancing act between the cost savings associated with remanufactured and "compatible" cartridges vs. the comfort associated with using genuine Brother cartridges.

A decision also has to be made whether a high yield cartridge yields sufficient savings per piece to merit the upfront expenditure. But having taken these issues into account, it is not difficult to make a cartridge selection from the many being sold on eBay. Having made a final selection, a buyer can feel as confident in the choice as in the original selection of the Brother machine.

Kinds of Toner Cartridges Available

Toner cartridges are offered in several formats, even when manufactured to fit a specific printer. Briefly, the kinds of cartridges available for purchase are listed below.

Genuine or Original

Genuine or Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM, cartridges are those made by Brother's manufacturers to its specifications. They may be purchased from the manufacturer or from manufacturer's representatives.

Remanufactured

Remanufactured toner cartridges are those that utilise cartridges returned for recycling. They are repaired if need be and then refilled with the correct toner in a controlled industrial environment.

Compatible or Non-OEM

A cartridge described as "compatible" or "non-OEM" is produced by a different vendor but represented as being compatible with the original manufacturer's equipment. These cartridges tend to cost less than OEM ones.

The Meaning of Stated Page Output Capacities

When selecting toner cartridges, a stated output capacity in numbers of pages typically is given. Users generally find that the number of pages actually printed from a cartridge varies, sometimes significantly, from this number, and may wonder why.

In the early days of the personal computer and printer, each manufacturer had its own way of calculating printer output, making a comparison virtually impossible. In 2004, the International Standards Organisation, or ISO, joined forces with the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, to create the first standard for black toner cartridges. They followed in 2006 with standards for colour inkjet and colour laser cartridges.

These standards establish testing methodologies and utilise standard test pages. As a result, when printing high density photography, the number of pages per cartridge is likely to be less than the standard yield. Some very lightly printed pages may yield more pages per cartridge. But the buyer may be sure that the relative output between cartridges can be fairly compared when using the numbers now offered.

High Capacity vs. Standard Cartridges

As a result, a high capacity toner cartridge has a relatively higher page output than a standard cartridge for the same printer. The high capacity cartridge may have exactly the same external dimensions but may be packed with a larger volume of toner to allow for covering more pages.

Finding the Right Toner Cartridge for a Printer

Like most manufacturers of digital office equipment, Brother offers a range of functions in various machines to allow office users to select the equipment that best meets their priorities. These are also distinguished by the initial characters of the equipment numbers.

Prefix

Equipment Type

Suffix begins

Colour?

MFC

All-in-one

C

Y

MFC

All-in-one

Any other letter

N

DCP

Multifunction copier with duplex printing

Any letter

N

HL

Laser printer

C

Y

HL

Laser printer

Any other letter

N

To produce equipment cost-effectively, some of the same cartridges that fit Brother printers also fit other Brother office machines, such as fax machines. However, these are not covered in this brief guide.

Cartridges for All-in-Ones that Print Black Only

Many all-in-ones are designed to scan in colour but print only in black. This chart indicates what toner cartridges they use.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

MFC-1260, MFC-1270, MFC-8300, MFC-8500, MFC-8600, MFC-8700, MFC-9600, MFC-9650, MFC-9700, MFC-9750, MFC-9800, MFC-9850, MFC-9870, MFC-P2500

Black TN-430

3,000

MFC-1260, MFC-1270, MFC-8300, MFC-8500, MFC-8600, MFC-8700, MFC-9600, MFC-9650, MFC-9700, MFC-9750, MFC-9800, MFC-9850, MFC-9870, MFC-P2500

High yield black TN-460

6,000

MFC-7220, MFC-7225N, MFC-7420, MFC-7820N

Black TN-350

2,500

MFC-7320, MFC-7340, MFC-7345N, MFC-7440N, MFC-7840W

High yield black TN-360

2,600

MFC-7360N, MFC-7460DN, MFC-7860DW

Black TN-420

1,200

MFC-7360N, MFC-7460DN, MFC-7860DW

High yield Black TN-450

2,600

MFC-7440N

Black TN-330

1,500

MFC-8120, MFC-8220, MFC-8440, MFC-8640D, MFC-8840.

Black TN-540

3,500

MFC-8120, MFC-8220, MFC-8440, MFC-8640D, MFC-8840

High yield black TN-570

6,700

MFC-8370, MFC-8480DN, MFC-8680DN, MFC-8690DW, MFC-8880DN, MFC-8890DW

Black TN-620

3,000

MFC-8370, MFC-8480DN, MFC-8680DN, MFC-8690DW, MFC-8880DN, MFC-8890DW.

High yield black TN-650

8,000

MFC-8460N, MFC-8660DN, MFC-8670DN, MFC-8860DN, MFC-8870DW

Black TN-550

3,500

MFC-8460N, MFC-8660DN, MFC-8670DN, MFC-8860DN, MFC-8870DW

High yield black TN-580

7,000.

MFC-4800, MFC-6800, MFC-9050, MFC-9060, MFC-9550.

Black TN-250

2,200

MFC-8950DW

Black TN-780

12,000

An all-in-one that prints in black only manages the business basics of scanning, faxing, copying, and printing essential documents. It is a fundamental piece of equipment that keeps a business operation moving.

Cartridges for All-In-Ones Printing Four Colours

Fewer Brother All-in-Ones are designed to print in four colours. These are the toner cartridges they are designed to use.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

MFC-9010CN, MFC-9120CN, MFC-9125CN, MFC-9320CW, MFC-9325CW.

Black TN-210BK, yellow TN-210Y, magenta TN-210M, cyan TN-210C

2,200

MFC-9460CDN; MFC-9560CDW, MFC-9970CDW

Black TN-310BK, Yellow TN-310Y, magenta TN-310M, cyan TN-310C

2,500 black only, 1,500 colour

MFC-9460CDN, MFC-9560CDW, MFC-9970CDW

High yield black TN-315BK, Yellow TN-315Y, magenta TN-315M, cyan TN-315C

High yield: 6,000 black only, 3,500 colour

MFC-9440CN, MFC-9450CDN, MFC-9840CDW

Black TN-110BK, cyan TN-110C yellow TN-110Y, magenta: TN-110M

1,500

The all-in-one provides many functions essential to the small business office. Their usefulness cannot be underestimated.

Cartridges for Multifunction Copiers with Black Duplex Printing

When selecting cartridges for multifunction copiers, a major consideration is the relative stated yield among the cartridges. High yield cartridges often provide economies overall, in spite of the higher initial cost.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

DCP-1000

Black TN-250

2,200

DCP-1200, DCP-1400

Black TN-430

3,000

DCP-1200, DCP-1400

Black TN-460

6,000

 DCP-7010, DCP-7020, DCP-7025

Black TN-350

2,500

DCP-7030, DCP-7040

Black TN-330

1,500

DCP-7030, DCP-7040, DCP-7045

High yield black TN-360

2,600

DCP-7060D, DCP-7065DN

High yield black TN-450

2,600

DCP-7060D, DCP-7065DN

Black TN-420

1,200

DCP-8040, DCP-8045D

Black TN-540

3,500

DCP-8040, DCP-8045D

High yield black TN-570

6,700

DCP-8050DN, DCP-8080DN, DCP-8085DN

Black TN-620

3,000

DCP-8050DN, DCP-8080DN, DCP-8085DN

High yield black TN-650

8,000

DCP-8060, DCP-8065DN

Black TN-550

3,500

DCP-8060, DCP-8065DN

High yield black TN-580

7,000

Even among high yield cartridges, the differences in pages produced can be significant. For these multifunction machines, the stated yield for high yield cartridges ranges from 2,600 pages to 8,000, making
"high yield" a truly relative term.

Cartridges for Multifunction Copiers with Colour Duplex Printing

With relatively few colour multifunction printers available the selection of the correct cartridge is relatively simple. The table below notes which cartridges are associated with which equipment.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

DCP-9010

Black TN-210BK, yellow TN-210Y, magenta TN-210M, cyan TN-210C

2,200

DCP-9040CN, DCP-9045

Black TN-115BK, yellow TN-115Y, magenta TN-115M, cyan TN-115C

4,000

Unfortunately, no higher yield cartridges are offered as options for specific machines in this class. Those who own equipment that uses high yield cartridges obtain higher yields.

Cartridges for Colour Laser Printers

Colour laser printers are popular because of the speed with which they produce business documents. Laser printing provides crisp lines with good definition and rapid turnaround for business presentations.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

HL-3040CN, HL-3045CN, HL-3070CW, HL-3075CW

Black TN-210BK, yellow TN-210Y, magenta TN-210M, cyan TN-210C

2,200

HL-4040CN, HL-4050, HL-4070CDW

Black TN-110BK, cyan TN-110C yellow TN-110Y, magenta: TN-110M

1,500

HL-4070CDW

High yield black TN-115BK, yellow TN-115Y, magenta TN-115M, cyan TN-115C

4,000

HL-4150CDN, HL-4570CDW, HL-4570CDWT and MFC-9460CDN

Standard black TN-310BK, yellow TN-310Y, magenta TN-310M, cyan TN-310C

Standard: 2,500 black only, 1,500 colour

HL-4150CDN, HL-4570CDW, HL-4570CDWT and MFC-9460CDN

High yield black TN-315BK, yellow TN-315Y, magenta TN-315M, cyan TN-315C

High yield: 6,000 black only, 3,500 colour

Colour laser printers often make portrait shots a bit ruddy. The user may wish to make the appropriate compensation in a graphics software before printing.

Cartridges for Laser Printers that Print Black Only

Black-only laser printers are the workhorses of the business printing world. They offer the fastest and cleanest printing an office can obtain.

Equipment Number

Cartridges

Stated Yield (pages)

HL-1030, HL-1230, HL-1240, HL-1250, HL-1270, HL-1435, HL-1440, HL-1450, HL-1470, HL-P2500

Black TN-430

3,000

HL-1030, HL-1230, HL-1240, HL-1250, HL-1270, HL-1435, HL-1440, HL-1450, HL-1470, HL-P2500

High yield black TN-460

6,000

HL-2030, HL-2040, HL-2070N,

Black TN-350

2,500

HL-2130, HL-2132, HL-2220, HL-2230, HL-2240, HL-2242, HL-2250DN, HL-2270DW, HL-2280DW

Black TN-420

1,200

HL-2130, HL-2132, HL-2220, HL-2230, HL-2240, HL-2242, HL-2250DN, HL-2270DW, HL-2280DW

High yield Black TN-450

2,600

HL-2170W

Black TN-330

1,500

HL-2140, HL-2150, HL-2170W

High yield Black TN-360

2,600

HL-5100, HL-5130, HL-5140, HL-5150, HL-5170

Black TN-540

3,500

HL-5100, HL-5130, HL-5140, HL-5150, HL-5170

High yield black TN-570

6,700

HL-5200, HL-5240, HL-5250, HL-5250DN, HL-5270, HL-5280DW

Black TN-550

3,500

HL-5200, HL-5240, HL-5250, HL-5250DN, HL-5270, HL-5280DW

High yield black TN-580

7,000

HL-5340D, HL-5350, HL-5370, HL-5370DW, HL-5380

Black TN-620

3,000

HL-5340D, HL-5350, HL-5370, HL-5370DW, HL-5380

High yield black TN-650

8,000

HL-6180DW

Black TN-780

12,000

Given the usefulness of the black-only printer, it is not surprising how many models remain in the market. As long as it keeps printing, people keep it running.

To Refill or Not to Refill

Many people consider refilling their toner cartridges to save money. Here are a few considerations. Refilling a toner cartridge is part of what is done in the process of remanufacturing the cartridge. Toner particles are about 5 microns in diameter, which is to say they are bigger than a molecule and smaller than the tiniest pencil dot.

Therefore, it is nearly impossible to cleanly pour toner outside of an industrial setting designed for this work. There is also some evidence linking atmospheric exposure to toner with bad health. Therefore, refilling toner cartridges is best left to the pros. Purchasing a remanufactured toner cartridge is the savings equivalent.

Buying Brother Toner Cartridges on eBay

Given the immense popularity of the Brother printer line, it is no surprise that Brother toner cartridges are readily available wherever computer equipment is sold, including eBay. Locating the desired cartridge requires little more than keying into the search window "Brother toner cartridge" and the required cartridge number: "Brother toner cartridge TN-300". Some sellers include the number of the machines the cartridge fits in their product descriptions, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

Comparing Products and Sellers

To obtain an "apples to apples" comparison, the buyer may wish to sort selections in some order that sets similar items together. Using the Sort By menu to organise the selections to show Condition: New First may be helpful. Another Sort By listing that is often useful is the Postage Plus P+P option. This allows for consideration of the full purchase price, including shipping. Finally, every seller who has previously sold on eBay has customer feedback on the products page, allowing the buyer to confirm that the vendor has a sound track record.

Conclusion

The Brother printer's popularity and quality make its owners a priority for those offering toner cartridges. Cartridges for virtually any model of Brother printer or office machine may be found on eBay, including original, remanufactured, and compatible models. For some printers, high capacity cartridges are offered and these can offer a desirable way to reduce the cost per page of printing.

Brother offers its printers in three basic styles: all-in-ones; multifunction copiers with duplex printing; and laser printers. Each is available in four-colour models as well as models that print in black only. The company has engineered its printers so that any print cartridge is compatible with more than one model. Also of benefit to those with colour printers, each of the three colour print cartridges is separate, so no money is wasted buying new tricolour cartridges when only one colour has run out.

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