German "Durchstich" refill method for the PGI-520/CLI-521 cartridges

pharmacist

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Towards the following picture I forgot to tell: if you experience any resistance when inserting the needle, do not force the needle with brute force into it. It is advisable to make drilling/rotating movements to overcome the resistance and to pierce through the sponge material. With sharp needles the chances of unexpected resistance is considerably lower. Forcing the needle with force -when you do experience resistance- can cause the sponge be pressed together, which will make your cartridge useless.









The refilling for the smaller CLI-221/521/821 cartridges are similar to the PGI-220/520/820 cartridge, but the dye ink will be easier to see if the ink compartment is full. Take care not to refill too fast or you may force the ink resident inside the sponge to migrate towards the breathing hole, causing ink to drip out from the top of the cartridge.









An alternative way to saturate the sponge after the first load of ink into the cartridge, is -after removing the syringe/needle- turning the cartridge and let it rest with the front facing down:



The picture below shows all cartridges refilled and resting with the ink outlet facing down and ink should not drip out from the cartridge as shown below:



This refill method can be performed on any Canon single colour cartridge from the older BCI-3/BCI-6 and the chipped CLI-8/PGI-5 and the latest CLI-221/521/821 and the PGI-220/520/820 cartridges and also on the latest HP 364 XL cartridges which looks very similar to Canon's proven design.

Note: the low capacity standard HP 364 can NOT be refilled using this method, because there is NO physical hole connecting the sponge area and the ink compartment (so drilling a hole above the ink compartment and refilling it will not work, since the ink cannot enter the ink compartment). The only way is using the dripping method (dripping ink droplet by droplet into the ink exit hole and wait until the ink has been absorbed into the sponge), which is so cumbersome and slow that refilling them is a waste of time. So again: only the HP 364 XL cartridges can be refilled using this method !
 

stratman

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Superb job pharmacist!

Saved in Favorites for future reference.

Thank you.
 

ghwellsjr

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Yes, great job. I'm seriously thinking about giving up on vacuum refilling--it is SO messy and I have to commit to refilling a very large number of cartridges at a time. This looks SO easy and clean. Thanks for the great directions.
 

headphonesman

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Terrific post..........Pictures and bubble text at their very best!.........It was a pleasure to read it , even though I dont have these sort of carts!

(makes me feel like getting one of these difficult printers, just to try it !).........This is the standard I think we all should aspire to.......well done!
 

pharmacist

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Headphonesman,

In fact you should have similar cartridges since you possess the 4000/5200/MP510 and other Canon printers and the BCI-6/CLI-8 cartridges can be refilled exactly the same way. Same procedure but the advantage of more ink per cartridges than these tiny ones.
 

dencar

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Of great assistance as I'm about to attempt my first refill. Many thanks, pharmacist.
Edit: Refilled 5 carts today ( Mon) and it all went smoothly following the guide. Thanks again.:)
 

equity44

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I've been following your other posts in many threads with great interest, Pharmacist. Always helpful, but this one really hit the spot because I am about to attempt my first Durchstich and my first 220/221 refill. (BTW, I agree with one of your earlier posts about the mini-size of these new cartridges. The MP980 is a wonderful machine, but it just sucks the cartridges dry in no time! I was printing mostly B&W but all the color gets used up just the same because of Canon's engineering these things to use the color in B&W printing to clean the heads!!!!)

Anyway, I remember somewhere in this forum there was a discussion about where to obtain sharps that are 2 inches or more. It's not that easy in the U.S. where blunts are the norm for non-medical purposes. I have my ink already but cannot start a Durchstich without proper needles, IMO. Do you or other posters have suggested sources? I've been without my printer for about a month now waiting to get this started right. :(
 

pharmacist

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Hi Equity44,

Welcome to this forum and I appreciate your interest in my posts. Actually you can use the Durchstich refill method with blunt needles, but one should use a thin and long sewing needle to prepare the sponge to make it easier for the blunt needle to enter the ink compartment. Some even rapported that using a blunt but thin needle is as good as a sharp needle. Take care the needle do not exceed 18 gauge of thickness or you will risk your sponge being pressed together.

You already did experience the disadvantages of refilling from the top: messy and ugly glue globs, not properly sealed refill holes causing the ink to leak out immediately or worse inside the printer, horrible inky fingers/hands or a complete mess on your table cloth or worse..... The first time I did refill these cartridges was the standard drilling from the top as told by the ink seller, but I was not told the ink is dripping about the same pace I did inject the ink into the cartridge, making a huge stain on my table cloth. Later on I discovered I had to close the ink outlet opening, but I already throwed it away. Later I tried this classical method again with a orange closing cap (this time I did keep it), still the ink was oozing from the cartridge during the refilling process.... And then I did not have a glue gun to close the refill hole. My goodness: it was actually a hell to keep the cartridge well sealed during refilling and on the other hand the syringe filled with ink and something to seal the refill hole....... And still ink dripping from the cartridge, because the drilled hole was stained with ink causing the glue not adhere well onto the plastic and making the cartridge leak again after a while..... Ohh, most people forget to milk the cartridge, because the top method is causing the sponge being saturated beyond the optimal saturation degree and this can cause serious banding.

Do you now understand why this method is the best method for me: esthetically the most beautiful (no drilled hole on top, only a very tiny one not visible when installed), very easy, no ink leaking from the ink outlet hole, no glue gun needed, automatic pressure balance to ensure the best ink distribution in the cartridge and very neat and clean.
 

momay

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thank you very much for this method. i have now refilled my original carts for the first time and even no mess for that. i used 21G/3.5inch spinal needle attached to 20cc syringe. have used only 5cc for each color carts since the sponge are still saturated with original inks.i only used cork board push pin to make the needle entrance hole.
 
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