Cheap Wide Format Printers – Compare Costs and Options

Wide format printers allow you to print marketing materials, signs, banners, and more that are larger in size than what can be handled by a standard format printer.

The most affordable wide-format printers cost as little as $1,400, while commercial print-houses can cost up to $35,000.

The factors that affect the pricing of large format printers start with the basic technology used in the printer, with inkjet options being more economical when compared to toner-based printers. Wide-format printers start at being able to handle 24” print jobs, and an inkjet-based printer at that size can easily be found in the $1,200 – $2,000 range. From there, the prices of the units will climb as they move into larger-sized formats. To purchase an inkjet unit at the largest end of the range, typically around 44”, you can expect to pay as much as $8,000 or even more for the latest units. Popular Wide format printer manufacturers are:

  • Epson
  • HP
  • Canon
  • Xerox

Toner printers are much more expensive than their inkjet equivalents. An affordable wide-format toner printer will start at around the $10,000 mark, but the largest and newest units of this kind can easily get up well above $60,000.

When buying any type of printer, wide format or not, it is important to calculate the overall cost of ownership as well as the initial cost of purchase. This is the amount of money that you’re going to spend on ink, toner, and other replaceable parts over the years that the printer is in service. Sellers should be able to provide you with information about what the most affordable options are when taking into account these lifetime costs.


What are Wide Format Printers – Large Format Printers?

Wide Format PrinterWide format printers are able to print all kinds of material on paper that is wider than the stock handled by typical desktop printers. These are specialty units purchased by people working in specific industries, including marketing, graphic design and advertising. Wide-format units are also widely employed in engineering disciplines because the ability to print out computer-generated plans or blueprints on large-scale sheets of paper is essential in many of these fields.


  • All-In-One
  • Inkjet
  • Laser

As already mentioned, the two main categories of wide-format printers are inkjet and toner. Both work on similar principles to their equivalents in standard-sized printers. The primary difference between the two is the state of the material before it is transferred to paper. Inkjet printers rely on liquid ink, while toner-based printers use dry toner which is then transferred to paper using heat.

There are also wide-format printers that are specialized for the type of application they are going to be used for. In the commercial printing and advertising industries, printers are specialized to print on specialty material with vibrant color, or to be able to produce high-volumes of documents at a high speed. In the engineering field, printers are instead specialized at interfacing with industry specific software to product pinpoint accurate blueprints and drawings in the industry-accepted formats.


What to Look for in Low-Cost Wide Format Printers?

Large Format PrinterThe first decision you need to make when shopping for a low-priced wide format printer is what size of paper you need to be printing on. This is often determined by industry. In engineering or construction, the maximum required size is typically 36”, but for commercial print-houses or graphics design firms there may be a need to have a much larger unit. Ideally, try not to buy anything larger than you need, because wider print capabilities will cause the price to shoot upwards.

Connectivity Options:

  • Parallel
  • USB
  • Wi-Fi

The speed at which the printer operates may also be a very important factor for you to consider. If you work in a high-volume environment you may need to sacrifice inexpensive pricing for a unit that can reproduce images at a slightly higher speed. Speed is discussed differently between toner and inkjet units, so make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when evaluating the speed of respective units. In general, however, if you need to print a lot of documents at a high speed, toner is going to be the more effective, if not the most low-cost, option.

Finally, the end result of the print job should always be considered when purchasing a wide-format printer. Here, the statistics and specifications of a unit should be disregarded in favor of a visceral experience. Always ask to see sample print jobs from a printer and evaluate the real thing. This is the only way to be sure that the printer that you’re buying is going to produce an end product that you’re satisfied with.


Bargain Wide Format Printers Companies with Discounted Prices?

Wide-format printers are largely dominated by a few major manufacturers. The following are two examples of proven entries in the market, but other firms such as Canon, HP, and Ricoh are also major players with products that are well worth considering.

Epson LogoEpson SureColor T5270: This printer is part of what can be considered the more economical end of the wide-format printer line. Starting at $3995, the high-resolution inkjet printer offers exceptionally high print speeds and the ability to print documents up to 36” in width.

Roland LogoRoland VersaUV LEC 540: This is a printer that specializes in varied materials, with the capability to print on many types of material beyond the typical paper rolls used in many wide-format printers. This makes it ideal for label making, graphics work, and other applications that require an adaptable but always high-quality printer. To obtain this print quality, it is a much slower machine than some alternatives, and it comes at a higher cost: the Roland unit is not cheap, and starts at over $67,000.

An important option to remember is that it is often possible to lease a wide-format printer. This can provide an affordable way to access a high-quality wide format printer at a discounted rate, and is often the way that smaller businesses can afford to access the latest and greatest in wide-format printer technology.

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