Review: Inside The HP 96 Black Inkjet Print Cartridge (C8767W) – Cracked Open

Inside the HP 96 ink cartridge – hint, it’s really full.

An old cartridge, but excellent value.

hp 96 retail price

A good cartridge from HP, but alas, it only works in a very few printers.  Another illustration why it is important to know the cartridge, before you get to fond of a particular printer.  The HP 96 is a winner in the cost per page war.

It is actually larger:

The size of the HP 96 is unusual, and will only work with a few HP printers.  This cartridge was never really marketed as a “high yield”, “XL”, or “value” inkjet print cartridge.  It is just big, and is optional with most of the printers it works with (HP 94, or HP 98 black carts are *usually* included with printers).

The HP 96 black ink cartridge is much bigger (physically) that most all the other black cartridges of this type.

The HP 96 black ink cartridge is much bigger (physically) that most all the other black cartridges of this type.

Removal Of Top Of Cartridge

We managed to get this top off with a screwdriver (normally, and usually it takes a dremel).  There was much prying, and it took some real force, but we managed to get it off in one piece.  It will not go back on the cartridge without glue, and that may not be enough to hold, so this cartridge is no longer usable.

HP 96 cartridge highlights:

Uses durable pigment based inks.  Hewlett Packard (HP) gets credit here for this cartridge.  Pigment inks will clog inkjet printers – a fact of life – so basically replacing the print head with every cartridge is a good application.  Pigment inks are noted for their longevity, and resistance to smearing, however they will eventually hopelessly clog the print head.  Since the print head is on the cartridge, the “heads” are replaced every time you replace the cartridge with a new one.

Remove he top of the ink cartridge HP 96 black ink - full cartridge.

The HP 96 black ink cartridge is all sponge. An economical "full" cartridge is rare to see. An oversized full cartridge is even rarer to see.

Contains hefty amount of ink:

The HP 96 black inkjet print cartridge also boasts a whopping 860 page estimate.  These estimates are almost always overly exaggerated, however this is a very high number for an ink cartridge (the HP 60XL is rated at 600 pages – remember, it is physically smaller).  This cartridge is also easily refilled with kits from $12.99, or compatibles (professionally refilled) can be purchased cheaply, around $10-$15.00.  The HP original cartridge (with pigment ink) will run around $35.00 plus.  A good cartridge, and owners of printers that can use it – should.

Sponge removed from HP 96 high capacity black ink cartridge.

The sponge in the HP 96 (870 pgs) ink cartridge is much larger than the sponge in the HP 60XL (600 pgs), or HP 95 (330 pgs) ink cartridges.


Color: Black
Part Number: (C8767W), HP 96
Ink Type: Pigment based ink
HP 97 Ink Volume: 21ml
Page Yield: 870 pages*

Ink Drop Size: 15pl

Retail price: $33.99
Street price: $33.99

* that 860 page estimate is (impressive) from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage really looks like) – needless to say, manufacturer estimates are on the “high side.”

This is probably the best “value” cartridge HP has to offer.  Current printers do not take advantage of this cartridge.

This cartridge is often paired with the HP 97 tri-color inkjet print (color) cartridge which we cracked open here.

Comparison of the HP 96 and HP 60XL black ink cartridge sponges.

Comparison of the HP 96 (870 pgs) and HP 60XL (600 pgs) black ink cartridge sponges.

For Refillers:

Refilling is easy if you know where to drill.  There are seven (7) holes in the cartridge lid.  As you can see from the other images, there is black ink around only five (5) of the holes. We suggest using the top most hole since it is closer to where the ink will exit the cartridge. Refill kits can be a hassle, but are worth it if you are on a tight budget.

refill hole locations for the HP 96 black inkjet printer cartridge from HP Hewlett Packard

There are seven (7) holes on the HP 96 black ink cartridge. We suggest using the top hole if refilling.

Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

Print head contacts on the HP 96 black ink cartridge.

If these contacts become damaged, and cease functioning the cartridge is useless. If refilling, be careful not to hurt these delicate electronics.

The Print Head:

Unlike Epson, which makes the printhead part of the printer, Hewlett Packard (HP) puts the print head technology on the cartridge (for most of their consumer printers).  This means every time you buy a new cartridge, it’s like getting a new printer.  This is why these type of HP printers (that use this cartridge style) last forever in our opinion.  As long as the mechanics of the printer keep working it will last forever since the print head can simply be replaced by installing a new cartridge into the printer.

Not all HP printers and cartridges use this style (print head on the cartridge) of build, but a large majority of the ones you will find at Wal-Mart, Target, and other discount (online) retailers use these cartridges.

Notice the 2D UPC code on the print head ribbon.

Print head printhead for the HP 96 black ink cartridge

The print head is on the cartridge, not inside the printer.

Is this an embedded expiration date?

Yet another 2D UPC code on the outside front of the cartridge.  So that is 3 total on a single cartridge.  If (HP) Hewlett Packard went to the trouble of putting them on there, you can bet they are there for a reason.  HP claims there is no built-in “self-destruct” expiration date for their cartridges.  Read more about it here…

HP cartridge has an expiration date - after this date the printer will no longer accept the cartridge.

HP cartridge has an expiration date - after this date the printer will no longer accept the cartridge.

Compatible With:

This cartridge (HP 96) will work in the following Deskjet and Photosmart Hewlett Packard (HP) inkjet printers.

Specifications for the HP 96 ink cartridge here:

Overall this is the top of the line for HP.  The “most full” cartridge of this type.  Again, if your printer will accept it, you should buy it.  This cartridge is great even for the occasional printer.  You wont get ripped off, and the thing is air tight, so evaporation should be minimal.

Compare prices here.


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