The home printer is a nifty device that will allow you to print your documents easily. There are, however, plenty of limitations on the usual printer, such as size. Most printers can only accommodate paper sizes that are equal to or smaller than legal and letter size. If you need to print posters, banners, or other large items, you will need a wide format printer. Wide format printers are devices that can create prints on media that is larger than seventeen inches. Next to the wide format printers are the grand printers, which can handle media that is larger than one hundred inches in size. Here’s how you can find the best wide format printer.
- Check reviews. Admittedly, most people are novices when it comes to wide format printers. After all, for most people and offices, the usual printer will suffice. If you happen to need a wide format printer, however, the best source of information is from those who have already had actual experience with the printers. Check reviews first. There are plenty of sources for reviews, such as CNET, ZDNET, and Consumer Report. These sites provide reviews on a wide variety of items, including wide format printers. You can also use your search engine to search for related reviews.
- Ask for recommendations. Even better than reviews, however, are actual recommendations from friends and experts who have made use of wide format printers before. If you are thinking of purchasing one for your own, you can visit the local printing shop in your area and ask for tips on purchasing a good brand for wide format printers. You can also check out the local computer and electronics shop for good deals on wide format printers.
- Test it yourself. Once you have narrowed down your search results through reviews and recommendations, the next step is to check the printer yourself. The best test for whether the machine will work for you is by test driving it first. A number of shops will allow you to test drive the product first, especially since a wide format printer is a greater investment than the typical desktop printer. At the very least, you should ask for samples that were actually printed using the product that you are considering buying, so that you will have an idea of how well the prints are made. Keep in mind, however, that the printers do not necessarily have to be as sharp as photograph or desktop printers, since these are made to create larger images.
- Type. Finally, consider choosing your wide format printers according to the ink types that it uses. The ink used will largely determine the quality and characteristics of the print. The most common are the aqueous inks, which are pigments mixed in water or other solvents. These prints are relatively cheaper, but will fade through time. Solvent inks can be used for PVC and foam sheets, and are water proof. UV inks, on the other hand, can be used on almost any material, and will create embossed and water resistant prints. You can also use dye sublimation inks to create high quality prints, or pens and plotters for CAD drawings.
To make the most out of your wide format printer, make sure that you check the reviews, ask for recommendations, test, and assess the type of printer you are purchasing. After all, these are not inexpensive, and are investments that you need to plan ahead for.