How Long Will a Wide Format Printer Last

This is without a doubt my most asked question when meeting with clients “How long will the wide format printer last?”

In addition it’s one of the hardest question to provide an answer for. Because there are so many variables that contribute to how short or long your wide format printer will last.

Ricoh MP CW2201SP
CW 2201SP

Wide Format Monthly Volume

Toner Based

Every wide format printer has a recommended average monthly volume along with a maximum monthly volume. In most cases you will not find that information on the brochure nor on the manufacturers web site. Printing at the average volume rating can ensure that the printer will most likely out last the lease term. I like to use the average monthly volume times 72 months. With a volume of 10,000 square feet the life expectancy should be 720,000 feet. However I’ve seen many that have lasted into the millions of square feet. Learn more about New Jersey’s most popular wide format printer New Jersey’s Most Popular Wide Format Printer

Ink Based

Even ink based wide format printers have a recommended average monthly volume. The trick is to try and find where it’s published. Like toner based wide formats most brochures and web sites do not publish that information. With inkjet I would use the same scenario with the average volume per month times 36 months. I use 36 months because inkjet printers have a consumable part called a print head. In most cases print heads are not included in a maintenance agreement. Some print heads are very expensive and some aren’t that’s because expensive print heads last longer than inexpensive print heads. Learn more about gel ink vs inket Inkjet Wide Format vs GelJet Wide Format Printers

Location of Wide Format Printers

With location I’m referencing the environment that the wide format printer is placed in. Dirty environments with multi users will cut years off a wide format printers life. On the other hand clean environments with one or two users will maximize the life of your wide format printer.

Cost of Wide Format Printers

Costs can vary from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. In all cases ink based wide format printers are the least expensive but will have the shortest life span. Toner based wide format printers are more costly and will have the longest life span. I’ve seen it happen many times where a clients will opt for the inexpensive ink wide format. Within a couple of years that printer needs to be replaced because the work load was too high. I wrote this a few months ago for Selecting a Wide Format Printer in New Jersey.

Summary for Life Span of Wide Format Printers

Toner based wide formats in most cases will out last ink based wide format printers. I recommend doing your research in advance. If you can’t find the manufacturers average monthly volume you can always email me Call a local authorized wide format dealer and ask to speak with the wide format rep. If they don’t have one I might make another call.

Of course if you’re in need of something new and you’re in my neck of the woods please feel free to email me

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