Some helpful Brother Laser Printer basics

by Andy Ng on August 20, 2021 Categories: Tech Tips

As Brother Printers seem to slowly be taking over households and businesses I thought this week it would be a good idea to cover a few basics for the humble Brother laser printer.

Understanding your error messages:

Most Brother Printers come with a really handy LCD / LED screen that points you quite accurately at what and where your faults lie. In some cases though you may only have a few small LED lights that light up in red when something goes wrong. Here is a basic explanation of what these are indicating:

Drum Light: Usually pops up when your Drum unit (the carriage that your toner cartridge fits into) is coming to the end of its life.

Resolution: Purchase a new drum unit and install in your machine (Note: Brother Drum units do not have an electronic chip on them so you need to reset this manually. Check your user manual that came with the machine for instructions on how to do this).

Toner Light: Usually pops up and starts flashing when your toner cartridge is coming to the end of its life.

Resolution: Wait until the machine stops printing completely so you are not changing your toner cartridge too early, usually this light will indicate that it is running low and still have a few 100 pages of printing remaining in the cartridge, when the machine runs totally out of toner the light will come up a solid red rather than flash.

Error / Paper Light: Usually pops up when you have a sneaky piece of paper crawled up and jammed in your machine.

Resolution: Time to open up every panel you can find and get on the hunt for a piece of paper that has caught itself up. I usually approach this by:

  1. Power off the printer
  2. Disconnect all connecting cables
  3. Remove the paper tray and checking that the alignment tabs have a snug fit, take this opportunity to give your paper a good fan out as it has likely been sitting there absorbing any moisture in the air.
  4. Open the toner access door and remove the drum and toner, sometimes a piece of paper can get jammed here and make it VERY difficult to remove the drum and toner, try not to force these units out as this can cause damage, instead try turning the printer around and opening the rear access door and seeing if you can see any edges of the paper that you can get a grip on and slowly pull.
  5. Rear access door will usually have a few more panels inside that can be opened to reveal the fuser unit rollers, be aware that this are can be quite hot so give the machine a minute or 2 to cool down if you have to access this area. If any paper is visible pull this towards you rather than from the front of the machine so the paper follows its natural path out.