If you’re like most companies, you spend between $50 and $100 per month per employee on office supplies. To make sure you’re not wasting your funds on low-quality tools, you should consider a wide format printer.
Here we’ll help you lower the costs associated with this machine by providing the best tips for choosing the right wide format printer.
Why Should You Invest in a Wide Format Printer?
Before we get to the buyer’s guide, let’s see why you should purchase a wide format printer in the first place:
- Exceptional quality – The print quality you can achieve with large format printers is typically higher than that of standard machines.
- High speeds – If you have massive workloads, a wide format printer is the perfect solution. It can help you complete projects faster, regardless of the print material.
- Sustainability – Many wide format printers have sustainable print features, such as compatibility with non-PVC materials.
Key Considerations When Buying a Wide Format Printer
When looking for your wide format printer, you shouldn’t buy just any device. The machine should meet the following criteria.
Compatible With the Materials You Want to Print
The most significant benefit of wide format printers is their ability to print in different sizes. This makes it suitable for numerous applications, though these machines generally have specific features. Therefore, you should consider what materials you’ll use the printer for:
- Standard paper
- Fine art
- Indoor signs
- Wall covers
Here are a few printers you can choose from, depending on the materials you want to produce:
- Epson P900 – This device is perfect for commercial applications, such as fine art and photographs.
- Mutoh VJ-1638WX – Creating flags, soft signs, fabric prints, and other similar graphics is seamless with this printer.
- Brother GT-381 – This machine is one of the best options for garment printing.
- Mimaki UJF-7151 – Leading the way in quality and precision for direct printing, the Mimaki UJF-7151 is ideal for printing on metal, acrylic, wood, and plastics.
The material dictates the type of ink you need in your wide format printer. If you already have a device that requires specific ink, make sure it’s compatible with the materials. You can also consult your print provider to eliminate any guesswork.
Suitable for Your Needs
Another consideration is your priorities. Your processes play a major role in determining the right wide format printer. Therefore, see which of these scenarios applies to your business:
- You’re buying your first printer – If you’ve just started your business or want to break into a new market, you don’t need a complex printer. Stick to something basic with a minimal learning curve. Otherwise, your staff may be overwhelmed, which increases delays.
- You’re upgrading your printer – Your current wide format printer might lack several advanced technologies that can increase your print quality and production volume. If that’s the case, look for a cutting-edge model with an array of features.
Once you’ve analyzed your needs, consider some of the features your printer should have:
- Copying and printing – These are the two basic functionalities of most wide-format printers. Your equipment should be able to copy and print various types of documents.
- Color scanning – Many projects may require you to scan your papers in color.
- Catch trays and media bins – You can use these components if you want to automatically sort and distribute prints. In other words, you don’t need to do the work manually or supervise the operation.
- Integrated paper cutter – Devices with an integrated paper cutter automatically separate individual prints from paper rolls.
- Integrated accounting – A wide format printer can also have integrated accounting software to streamline your billing and other processes.
- Scanning and saving – This feature lets you recall previous scanning projects whenever necessary.
The Printer Is Fast Enough
Speed is another crucial factor to consider when buying wide format printers. It’s especially significant if you need to stay on top of your large workload.
Keep in mind that faster machines are usually more expensive than others. This means you’ll need to determine whether speed or budget is more important to you. If getting a quick turnaround isn’t essential, you should be fine with a basic device that meets other requirements.
Your Office Can Accommodate It
There are but a few downsides of wide format printers, but the most significant drawback is that they take up a lot of space. These aren’t your everyday desktop-friendly gadgets. They’re large equipment specifically designed for production needs, which is why they require a ton of space.
Furthermore, some machines can generate volatile organic compounds. These substances can make sitting close to the device hazardous and uncomfortable.
Be sure your office can accommodate your wide format printer before purchasing it. If you have spacious premises, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you work from a small and crowded 10th-floor office, finding a suitable device will take some time. Make an impulsive purchase, and you’ll probably end up with an expensive model that can’t even fit into your environment.
Your Staff Has the Necessary Skill Set
Even if you buy the most basic wide format printer, there will be a learning curve. This might not be too big of an issue if only one person operates the device. Conversely, it’s a major problem if multiple team members use the model. You should get a printer that matches their skill sets to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Alternatively, buy your printer from a vendor who offers training and support. It helps you get used to the equipment and address any malfunctions.
Consult an Expert on the Right Wide Format Printer Model
You should now have a clearer picture of the ideal wide format printer for your business. But if you’re still not sure what model you should buy, get in touch with Docutrend. Our tech experts have all the knowledge and experience to recommend an optimized machine for your New York, Totowa, Pennsauken, Edison, and Ft. Washington company. Contact us today!