Changing a Brother toner cartridge or drum unit for the first time can be daunting. Here, we will show you how to change both in just a few simple steps. The installation process can be different across printer models and consumables. To make it easy, we’ve included installation steps for a handful of the most popular Brother cartridges and drum units. Before we jump into specifics, let’s cover the basics of a Brother toner cartridge and drum unit.
The toner cartridge contains the toner powder that creates the text and images on a sheet of paper. The drum unit is an electrically charged cylinder that transfers that toner powder to paper, and both components are needed to operate your printer. Brother sells the toner cartridge and drum unit separately. The cartridge is designed to fit into the drum and they install together as one unit into your printer.
Brother offers most of their toner cartridges in a standard yield and high yield cartridge size. Some printers might also accept an extra high yield option too, depending on the printer model. High yield and extra high yield cartridges print more pages but generally cost a bit more than the standard version. The drum unit is available in just one size and works with any cartridge size, as long as the cartridge is compatible with your printer. The toner cartridge is always the first to go but both consumables eventually need to be replaced.
When do I change a toner cartridge?
A toner cartridge needs to be changed after reaching the quoted page yield, or the approximate number of pages you can print with a specific cartridge. Page yield information is typically available on the side of the cartridge box or on the specifications page of the printer manufacturer’s website. Printers are designed to track the page yield automatically and your machine will let you know to replace the toner with a “replace toner” message on the printer display.
When do I change a drum unit?
The drum unit lasts longer than a single toner cartridge and generally needs to be replaced after the use of 3-4 toners. Brother keeps track of the drum life by counting the number of rotations of the drum. When a drum reaches the predetermined rotation limit to the related page yield, a “drum life end soon” message will appear on your printer’s display. 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.
Now that you know the basics, we'll breakdown the installation steps for a number of popular toner and drum unit combinations, and show you how to reset the drum counter too!