If you have never replaced the toner cartridge or drum unit of your Brother printer before, you may find the process a little intimidating. The installation steps may vary slightly depending on the printer and consumable you are replacing, but the process is quite simple once you have a good understanding of toner and drum operation. Let's start by reviewing the details of each consumable so that you know exactly what you are putting into your printer.

A quick introduction to Brother toner cartridges and drums:

The toner cartridge and the drum unit work together to produce an impression. The toner cartridge is the cartridge that contains the toner powder and the drum unit is an electrically charged cylinder that transfers this toner powder to the paper to create text and images. Brother sells the toner cartridge and the drum unit as two separate consumables. The cartridge is designed to fit into the drum and both are installed together as a single unit in your printer.

The toner may be provided in a standard yield, high yield, and very high efficiency cartridge. High yield and high yield cartridges usually cost a bit more but print more pages for better overall value. Not all Brother printers offer a very high-yielding option, so be sure to check your printer's manual to see what is acceptable for your machine. The drum unit is sold in one size and is compatible with all cartridge sizes mentioned above. Both the toner and the drum must be replaced, but the toner cartridge is always the first to leave.

When should I replace a toner cartridge?

A toner cartridge must be replaced once it has reached the indicated yield or the approximate number of pages you can print with a specific cartridge. You can find the performance of the cartridge page on the side of the cartridge box or on the specifications page of the printer manufacturer's website. Your printer will tell you that it is time to replace the toner with a "low toner" or "replace toner" message on the printer screen.

When should I replace a drum?

The drum is designed to last longer and should generally be replaced after using 3-4 toners. Brother keeps track of the life of the drum by counting the number of drum revolutions. When a drum reaches the predetermined rotation limit to the corresponding page yield, a message "Drum life end soon" appears on your printer screen. If you are installing a new drum unit for the first time, you will need to reset the drum counter to restart the rotation count on your printer.


Categories: Printer, Laser cartridge

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