New Color Laser Printer - CRAZY LUCKY DEAL Brother HL-3170

Nifty

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My kids are VERY hard to find presents for. So this year for Christmas I took my kids out on a "thrifting" (something they really like doing) shopping spree to some huge thrift-stores by my girlfriend's house.

Well, as they were shopping, I strolled around the store a bit. Within minutes, I found a dusty Brother HL-3170 sitting on a shelf. New, it's an $800 printer!

No price tag. No idea of the condition.

I asked a worker about it. He said all they do is see if the items turn on, but nothing more... and all stuff is sold as-is, no returns. He looked it over and said, "Ok, it's $14.99. If you want to plug it in, do it over here." and he left.

So, I plugged it in and it turned on with no errors. I did a Google search for "Brother HL-3170 test print" and found the menu to run the print, and got this result:

printer.jpg


Everything looked 100% perfect!!!

So, I quickly put it into my shopping cart, bought it, and brought it home :)


printer2.jpg

Going through the menu a bit more showed it hadn't been used much. All the parts (cartridges, drums, etc.) were all at about 80%-90% life remaining.

I did some test prints and they came out pretty nice. They aren't great photo-quality... but I don't think the printer was meant to do photographs and/or I wasn't printing on the correct photo paper (I don't even know if that's a thing for color laser printers).

In some ways I'm sad to think about ditching my old ink Canon printers... but I've found I don't print to them as often (now that kids are grown), and when I want to print color, they are often plugged nozzles, etc., which makes me not print in color even less often, which exacerbates the problem further.

I feel like a color laser printer would elevate the ink / clogged-nozzle issues... and for $15, why not?!?!?

My issues now are:
  1. It doesn't have a built in scanner/copier which I use a LOT on my Brother B/W laser printer
  2. Do I keep my other Brother printer and this one? Seems like a lot of duplication and space
  3. Do I keep my inkjet printer(s)?
  4. Do I clean this new one up and just sell it?
  5. Do I sell this and all my printers and get a nice all-in-one color laser printer?
  6. Something else?
 

Redbrickman

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What a score! but maybe a devil in disguise as it has now made you procrastinate about the future of printers in the Nifty house :)
 

Artur5

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6- Get another Ender..:p

Seriously, consider yourself lucky on this one.
If you have room enough for all these printers, why get rid of them?.Surely you' won't get much money selling them, except maybe for this Brother HL-3170.
Whatever you do, I would keep at least one inkjet printer ( provided it's working now flawlessly ).
Laser printers, demand OEM consumables or the output quality degrades noticeably, but even expensive color lasers with OEM toner/drum don't output photos with a quality comparable to a entry level inkjet with third party inks.
 

Nifty

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6- Get another Ender..:p

Seriously, consider yourself lucky on this one.
If you have room enough for all these printers, why get rid of them?.Surely you' won't get much money selling them, except maybe for this Brother HL-3170.
Whatever you do, I would keep at least one inkjet printer ( provided it's working now flawlessly ).
Laser printers, demand OEM consumables or the output quality degrades noticeably, but even expensive color lasers with OEM toner/drum don't output photos with a quality comparable to a entry level inkjet with third party inks.
Valid points (and suggestions)!

I hate to admit it, but I just don't print color photos enough to keep the inkjet from clogging up. So one option I'm looking at is keeping the (or a different) color laser printer, and the very rare times I actually need printed quality photos: I'll just ride my e-bike 5 minutes to local Walgreens and get the pics printed for $0.15. (this is what I just did for my passport photos when my Canon i560 plugged-up on me).
 

Nifty

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This little gem has been acting up :(

Started with some minor, then significant ghosting, and also some light wrinkles on the page.

I used ChatGPT to do some troubleshooting and turns out it suggested an issue with the fuser roller / assembly.

I opened up the back of the printer and noticed the orange roller... then remembered one of the recent prints had some similar colored specs on it. I thought it was somehow an old rubber-band. Turns out it was part of the roller!!
brother-hl-3170CDW-roller-fuser.jpg


You can see the specs of roller coming apart in the image above!

Options:
  1. Replace just the orange "pressure roller" (about $15, medium complexity - may not work long-term)
  2. Replace both the pressure and fuser rollers (about $30, very complex, might now work)
  3. Replace the whole assembly ($120, relatively easy, should work, but worth it?)
  4. Dump the printer and get a new on (makes me sad to "waste" it, but maybe the best option)

Video shows how complicated it is:

 

The Hat

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This little gem has been acting up
If you like to tinker with it, then you have nothing to lose by replacing the whole unit as one, then you’ll have a new working printer again, at a fraction of the cost of a new one.. Give her one more chance to live on..
 

Nifty

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If you like to tinker with it, then you have nothing to lose by replacing the whole unit as one, then you’ll have a new working printer again, at a fraction of the cost of a new one.. Give her one more chance to live on..
The whole kit is about 1/2 of what I'd pay for a new printer that is about equally as good, so I doubt I'd go that direction.

That said, your overall concept is solid... so I've ordered a $30 kit of both rollers and will give the repair a try. If it doesn't work, the I'll donate or scrap the printer for parts.
 

Redbrickman

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Worth a shot. I hate to admit it but I'm about to go down the laser printer route as my Maxify printer head is playing up, and the amount of printing I do now means that it can lay dormant for a week or more sometimes, which doesn't help keeping the nozzles unblocked.

It kind of makes sense to replace it with a laser but one that does copying and scanning means a sharp increase in size and price! I'm also keen to get at least a 2 yr and preferably 3 year warranty as they are not always the most reliable of machines.
 

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Worth a shot. I hate to admit it but I'm about to go down the laser printer route as my Maxify printer head is playing up, and the amount of printing I do now means that it can lay dormant for a week or more sometimes, which doesn't help keeping the nozzles unblocked.

It kind of makes sense to replace it with a laser but one that does copying and scanning means a sharp increase in size and price! I'm also keen to get at least a 2 yr and preferably 3 year warranty as they are not always the most reliable of machines.
Would you please share how your Maxify MB printhead is giving you trouble? I am new to the Maxify MB series and very happy with it considering I bought a used unit. I am considering buying more spare printheads. Walmart in US is having MB2720 for $130. The Maxify keeps it heads clean like most Canon with small mini cleaning cycle as long as you keep it plug in and on. Usage is not necessary too keep nozzle unclogged. Keep using OEM cart or refill with aftermarket cartridge that has NO vent to keep the pressurized cart design; it addresses most of my "clogged" problems during heavy printing or half ink cart! In term of sharpness, I agree with Epson that their PrecisionCore is pretty darn sharper in comparison with laser but their PrecisionCore printhead reliability is desing for a one time batch use. My Maxify MB sharpness is about the same sharpness or a bit better than my Canon laser MF-364CDW. I am using InkOwl ink for my Maxify.
 
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