How to use a Samsung Toner Cartridge in a Lexmark E210 Printer


The Lexmark E210 printer is manufactured by Samsung. It shares its print engine with the Samsung ML 1210 printer.

The E210 sells for the same price as the ML 1210 ($280 CAN). But the E210 toner cartridges sell for more than 1.5 times the price ($80 vs. $135 CAN). Not only that, the E210 cartridges are rated at only 2000 pages vs. 2500 for the Samsung.

The Problem

Although the E210 and ML 1210 use the same print engine, the E210 has a metal tab that prevents you from inserting a Samsung toner cartridge. The Lexmark cartridge has a square cutout in its upper leading edge to accommodate the tab, so it can be inserted.

The experiment

Since the cartridges appeared identical, except for the cutout, I decided to remove the tab from the Lexmark. I reasoned that this was unlikely to destroy the printer, but even if it did I would be better off in the long run to discard the Lexmark and buy another Samsung.

So I felt I had nothing to lose, and didn't really think I would hurt the printer. I removed the tab and inserted an old Samsung cartridge (destroying a new cartridge would've been more heartbreaking than destroying the printer).

The result

It worked like a charm! I can now use Samsung cartridges in my Lexmark.

Detailed instructions.

Colin Cameron at Caltech has a version of the instructions with pretty pictures.

Enjoy your savings, and experience the pleasure of defeating a scam.

Brought to you by Gordon V. Cormack.

Postscript - Cartridge Refill

I have noticed a further difference between the Samsung and Lexmark cartridges. The Samsung appears to be easily refillable. It has a round plastic plug that is easily removable. According to the refill companies you just dump in the toner.

On the other hand, the Lexmark filler is covered by a steel plate held in place by a screw with a tighen-only head. Apparently you can do some drilling to defeat this plate, but that's a more intrusive procedure than I'm prepared to undertake (at least while I have empty Samsung cartridges to play with).

I won't likely attempt a refill in the near future, but I'd be happy to hear from anybody who has.

Post Postscript - Cartridge Refill

Tom from Vancouver WA told me that he used a toner refill kit from the Web to refill his cartridge, and it worked fine. Thanks, Tom.

I used Ebay to buy a pair of toner refill bottles. The price was US$ 11.00 for the pair, plus $8.75 shipping, handling & insurance. Total cost to me $US 19.75 ($CA 30.00). That's about 1/6 of the Samsung cartridge price and 1/10 of the Lexmark cartridge price.

I dumped one of the toner refills into the Samsung cartridge, reinstalled it in my Lexmark printer, and it worked fine. So my Ebay experience was a success.

Now I have my eye on the big toner refill bottles. Apparently there are a number of kinds of toner, and the manufacturers and rebuilders are very hush-hush about which toner goes in which machine. I believe I have inferred that the Samsung uses waste-free nonmagnetic micro-toner. Looks suspiciously the same as the toner for the photocopier at work, which comes in enormous vats ...