Looking for printer recommendations for 11X17 paper

We want a printer that will handle 11X17 paper that’s reliable, makes good prints, doesn’t have ridiculously expensive ink, and preferably doesn’t have copier/scanner/fax functions, altho those would be tolerable.

I’ve looked around at various sites and the prices are all over the place, like from about $150 to several thousand dollars. I tend to be somewhat suspicious of on-line reviews in general, so I take them with a huge grain of salt. For some reason, tho, I consider my imaginary Doper friends to be a more reliable source of information. Go figure.

If it matters, my husband is about to start a business designing and building prototypes for local government contractors. He’ll print out his drawings on 11X17 if customers don’t want electronic files. So we need a decent printer.

Suggestions? Recommendations of brands/models to avoid?


First make sure you really need a printer that big. Because good, reliable printers that do ledger size are quite a bit more expensive than normal printers.

A whole lot of that business is now digital/electronic copies. If you still have a few customers that need paper copies, consider the possibility of having your local office products store print paper copies from a digital file. This might be rare enough that the inconvenience of outsourcing the printing is workable.

Did you mention if you needed color output? And what quantity per month are you projecting?

I think you should look at a laser printer, not an inkjet. Remember to not just look at the cost of the printer itself but the cost per page. But you might also look into getting a second-hand roll printer, capable of A2 or A1 printing.

We won’t necessarily need color output, and right now, we can’t even guess how much printing we’ll have to do.

I haven’t looked a laser printers - I assumed they’d be too expensive. More research in store…

Yes, consider something like a second-hand HP Designjet or similar. With printouts, size matters. :slight_smile: Beware second-hand laser printers unless they’ve got new fuser rollers.

I suggest an inexpensive laser printer to get started; you can get one at the local Staples or Office Depot kind of store for under $150. My $129 Brother laser printer is somewhere around 10 years old and still doing fine. Laser is much less expensive per page than inkjet.

For the big size printing, the store can print them for you as needed until you determine whether you are actually going to need an expensive large format printer.

Laser printers that can print 11x17 are a bit more expensive. After a brief Google search, the cheapest I could find was this $1500 model.

Maybe it’s just the sites I’ve seen, but HP printers don’t seem to get a lot of love. Our Epson isn’t bad, but it doesn’t handle the larger paper.

I did see an article somewhere (I’ll have to look again) that compared printers in a variety of ways, include the cost per printed sheet. Reliability is pretty close to top of our list - we’ve had some printers in the past that seemed to die all of a sudden, and we don’t want to deal with that.

Thanks for the various idea - the search continues.

1500? The Oki C813n is £399 ex VAT and the Lexmark C925 is £439 ex VAT. And that’s after the briefest of searches; I’m sure there are cheaper ones.

Yes. That is why I recommended a cheap laser printer for standard size paper and having the store or print shop do the 11x17 stuff.

Depending on the volume, can’t you just email them to Office Max? That’s what I do for larger or colored ink output although I just take mine in on a thumb drive.


That’s not so good when the customer is there with you.

Be careful with Epson inkjets,especially their “Precision Core” models with ink tanks rather than the somewhat more common ink and printhead combo cartridges. If you don’t print a full-color page every other day or so, the non-replaceable printhead will clog. I had one of their 13x19" all-in-ones that was only about two years old and scrapped it two months ago.

At least I was able to get $50 as a trade-in for it on a new Canon color laser.

The Lexmark C925DE is $1850 at Office Depot and Newegg, so I’ve got to wonder if there’s something weird about the retailer site you found. The Oki C813n doesn’t seem to be available from any retailer I’ve herad of. The Oki C831n, which is an 11x17 printer that looks very similar, is $1625 at Walmart and $1700 at Newegg.

Here’s a guide from Computer Shopper on inexpensive inkjet printers capable of printing on 11x17 paper. The most expensive is about $400.

I have a Canon i9900. I haven’t used it in years, but when I was taking a lot of pictures, I loved it. IIRC, it prints up to 13x19, photo quality pictures and it really does an amazing job. I minor issue I did have with it is that it had 8 cartridges. They were only 10 or so dollars a piece, but I was printing enough at the time, that I usually had 4 or 5 on hand at any time. Looks like they’re still about $10 on Amazon, but monoprice (very reputable, BTW) has generic ones for $1.12 each.

I have no idea what the current incarnation of that model is, I just wanted to toss in my two cents that I really like that one.

Something you didn’t mention, or I didn’t catch. Does he need to print in color or just black and white? If he doesn’t need color, you may want to avoid it. I’ve run into issues with some printers that will lock up if any cartridge is having issues. IOW, you’d hate to buy a color printer because it suits your needs, but have to be replacing never used color carts because the printer sense the jets are clogged or empty from self cleaning.