Wide Format Printer vs. Plotter Printer

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/28/2023 - 15:39
ink on a wide format printer

Are you looking to handle some big print jobs but aren't sure which machine is best for your needs? Today we're putting two options--wide format printers and plotter printers--in the spotlight to help you find out which will get the job done right.

Wide Format vs. Plotter: Which Do You Need?

When it comes time to handle a large, complicated, high-speed print job, you know your regular desktop or multifunction device just isn't going to cut it. But what other machine will step up to the plate? Here are two options:

Wide Format Printers

Wide format printers can use either inkjet or laser technology, but their basic functionality is the same: They print on larger, wider materials than other machines. Their print quality depends highly on the product being created; for example, an image with a low pixel count will come out blurry and distorted, while a detailed image could be printed with incredible precision.

These machines are faster and often more cost-effective than plotters, mastering the art of high-speed, high-volume, high-quality prints. They also tend to have more functionality than most plotters.

Plotter Printers

Plotter printers used to use pens or blades to create images, but now they rely on technology similar to most other printers. This allows them to offer unparalleled precision and accuracy, especially for lines and dimensions, and pixel count won't be a problem--however, their functionality is somewhat limited beyond vector images. They also tend to be a bit slower and more expensive than wide format printers.

Choosing Your Machine

To put things simply, wide format printers are often more popular for color, creativity, and marketing, while plotters are best for details and precision. That means you might choose a wide format device if you're making signs, printing flyers, or showing off photography--but if you're making blueprints or need exact measurements, a plotter might be preferable.


While wide format and plotter printers might seem similar at first glance, they actually do different jobs. It's helpful to know what to expect from each device before choosing one for your business--so remember to look closely when buying!

Contact us today to learn more about wide format printers and other print solutions.