Cheap TN-450 Toner Alternative for Brother 2270DW Printer
BROTHER LASER PRINTERS: I grew up an "HP Laser Printer person". Our family had an HP laser printer when I was a kid, and when I bought my own first laser printer, I got an HP 6L laser printer. I knew HP laser printers cost a premium (typically about $400 if my memory serves me well), but I also knew they were known for their quality. When my HP 6L printer finally gave up the ghost, I replaced it with an HP 1100 printer (which was still in my garage as a "back up printer" until this year when I finally got rid of it). I always winced at the price of the replacement HP toner cartridges (about $85 these days), but I thought expensive toner refills were worth it to have an HP laser printer. However, a few years ago, my HP 1100 started double feeding paper and jamming regularly. I lived with the problem for a while, but eventually decided it was time to replace the printer. This time I thought about the high cost of the replacement HP toner cartridges, and decided to buy a Brother laser printer instead because I had always noticed that Brother replacement toners cost less than HP replacement toners. I was a bit skeptical of the quality of the Bother printer, especially because of the low initial price (I think $150 on sale), but because the Brother replacement toner cartridges were significantly less than the HP toner cartridges, I bit the bullet and bought a Brother HL-2270DW laser printer. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up liking the 2270DW printer! The print quality is just as good as my previous HP laser printers. The speed is significantly faster (though I think this is just because almost all new laser printers are faster than the older one). And the Brother 2270DW printer has wireless printing, which was easy to set up, and now allows us to print not only from our desktop printer, but also via wireless from our laptop. In addition, the 2270DW has duplex printing. My son seems to find any excuse he can to print a document using duplex, so he can watch the paper come part way out of the printer, hesitate, get sucked back in to print the other side, and then split out. The things a ten year old boy finds interesting! Anyway, if you need a new laser printer, I would recommend the Brother 2270DW printer, except that I would actually recommend the newer version, the Brother HL-L2340DW laser printer, which has the same specifications as the 2270DW, but is even less expensive, and which you can get the Brother 2340DW printer on Amazon for about $90. The newer HL-L2340DW is currently the #1 ranked laser printer on Amazon and has great reviews, and for which Amazon usually has the best price. If you're like I was and think that laser printers must cost at least $300 or more to be any good, don't be worried about the much lower prices on the Brother printer. I don't know how they do it, but they do. Brother makes great laser printers like the 2270DW that work, and work well. I am now a Brother laser printer convert, and highly recommend their laser printers.
BROTHER REPLACEMENT TONER: As for the toner cartridge for my Brother 2270DW laser printer, the starter cartridge (which has less toner than a regular cartridge) ran out and I needed to get a new toner cartridge. Have tried generic toner cartridges for my HP laser printers and having been disappointed by the generics (Staples-brand and Office-Max brands I think), for my first Brother replacement cartridge I went the safe route and purchased an original Brother TN-450 toner cartridge on Amazon for about $50. I decided to go with the high-yield TN450 instead of the standard yield TN420, since it seemed like a better deal. I also purchased it Amazon since they seem to consistently have the best price. The Brother TN450 replacement cartridge worked just fine, but I was quite surprised that it ended up running out of toner sooner than I expected, especially because it was supposed to be a "high yield" toner cartridge. I did use the "reset technique" I found on the internet to try to extend the life of the toner cartridge, but it still ran out early, though it could have just been a rare short fill or something else. In any event, I was a little disappointed with the full-price "genuine" Brother toner cartridge, so when I went to order another replacement toner cartridge, I decided to look as some of the Brother "generic" toner alternatives to see if I could save a bit of money. I found an EPS "450 compatible" toner cartridge on Amazon for about $18, and ordered it instead of the Brother TN450 toner which was closer to $55. I was rather skeptical because the EPS toner was under $20, but I figured at that price it was worth checking out even if it turned out bad, as the most I would be out was less than 20 bucks.
EPS TONER REVIEW: My review of the EPS toner cartridge for the Brother 2270DW laser printer in two words. It works. The print quality is the same as the original Brother TN450 cartridge. I'm now on my second EPS toner cartridge and it also works just fine. The first EPS cartridge seemed to actually last longer than the name-brand Brother TN450 cartridge. Because the toner is so much cheaper, I've turned off the "Toner Saver" function on the printer, so now my shipping labels are a bit darker and easier to read. Swapping out toner cartridges is just as easy as with Brother cartridges. I highly recommend the EPS toner cartridge. I see no reason to spend more money on a genuine Brother TN450 toner cartridge. To my mind, that's just wasting your money. Buy the EPS toner cartridge.
September 18, 2015 update - I continue to be a fan of EPS toner cartridges, but in the interest of full disclosure, I discovered they aren't perfect. I recently noticed that the sides (right and left) of my printed pages were starting to look faded. There seemed to be about a half inch wide portion along either side where there wasn't enough toner and the print was faded. I ran a printer check to verify the toner cartridge level and determined it still had about 80% toner. I wondered if it was the drum, but the drum check indicated it also had a lot of life left. I pulled out the drum/toner carriage, and then removed the toner cartridge from the drum unit, and gave the toner cartridge a few good whacks and shook it back and forth, and then more gently rocked it back and forth to spread the toner. I put the toner and drum back in the printer, and now the printer is printing again like it had a brand new toner in it. I guess the toner wasn't feeding to the edges. I live along the coast and it's been very humid lately, so maybe that caused the toner to cake a bit and not spread? I'm not sure, but it was an easy fix, and now that I know what to look for, I don't mind if it happens again a few times because of how much money I'm saving. So if you start to see faded print along the sides of you paper, take out the toner cartridge and give it a good shake then rock it back and forth to re-spread the toner. I also ran the wire element on the drum (little green lever) back and forth a few times for good measure.
June 15, 2016 update - I updated my review to change my rating from "5 out of 5 stars" to "3 out of 5 stars". While the EPS toner is still much cheaper than the Brother toner, the second EPS cartridge I was using started to print too light. I found I could take it out and shake it, but the problem would eventually come back again, and I got tired of taking the cartridge out to shake it. A few months ago, I had a $30 off Staples coupon, so I bought a $55 Brother cartridge for $25, and put it in my laser printer. It works great, and so far is trouble-free, as I would expect from Brother. So while the EPS toner is a great value, I'm not sure about the quality, and don't want to deal with it if I can get a Brother cartridge on sale. I wouldn't want to pay full-price for the Brother toner, and I applaud EPS for offering a cheap alternative, but again, I'm not sure of the consistency of the product. However, I just checked the customer reviews on Amazon, and the EPS toner continues to get good reviews (4.3 stars out of 5 stars, as of 6/15/2016), so it's worth trying out, but in the interest of full disclosure, I went back to Brother when I was able to get a Brother cartridge for half-off at Staples. I'll probably give EPS another try when this Brother cartridge runs out, unless I have another Staples coupon available...
Comments / Questions / Feedback:
Comment by Raymond Heinzen on Monday, November 02, 2015
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Do you have a comment or question on my review of the
EPS TN450-equivalent Brother laser printer toner cartridge?