Best 11x17 Printers


I'm looking for a good print/scan printer for an at-home setup. I'd like it to be able to print and scan up to 11x17, hold 11x17 in the paper tray, and refill individual CMYK ink cartridges. Is anyone really happy with their printer (is that even possible) that fits this bill? I'm looking at the $300-400 range if possible but I could maybe be convinced to go up to ~$600. Thanks for your recommendations! 

Jul 3, 22 7:26 pm

Over the past 10 years, I've run several top of the line Epson Workforce series printers with a brief detour into HP.  While an Epson might be ok for infrequent use at your home office, I really can't recommend either. 

Epson machines have many fragile plastic parts inside that will break over time and lead to lots of paper jams.  The user interface has become a massive pain in the ass to use with too many functions controlled only on the printer's touch screen and not your computer desktop. You have to get up 2-3 times and walk over to the printer just to do simple print jobs.  For supplies, while you can still use non-Epson refilled cartridges, but the interface will fight you on it every step of the way.  On the plus side, Epson printers are pretty dirt cheap to buy, I have never had to pay more than $199 (on sale at Epson website) for their 11x17 printer, copier, and scanner combo.  The 11x17 document feeder is especially useful for us.  We are currently running a +/-3 year-old Workforce 7720 that is now pretty much worn out internally.  There's a 7800 series out now, but I'm really skeptical that they are any better in terms of build quality and interface.

The HP Officejet Pro 7740 had a short life in our office once we discovered that it absolutely (and illegally) forbade us from using non-HP cartridges.  After two months of being forced to by HP refills, we had spent more than the cost of the printer.

Beware that there are lots of supply chain problems with printers right now.  Many models are hard to find.  We are in dire need to retire our Epson but the Brother machine we want to get is sold out everywhere.

Jul 4, 22 11:02 am  · 
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We have had several Epson printer/scanners.  They have been great and decent value.  They tend to last 5 + years but really don't owe us anything as they have become the real work horse in the office.  We just got a new HP design jet plotter but the old one lasted about 23 years.

Love when equipment lasts that long and pays for itself multiple times over

Jul 4, 22 4:46 pm  · 
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Any particular model(s) you have that you especially like that falls within the parameters I outlined? Trying to do some price checks. Thank you!

Jul 4, 22 7:03 pm  · 

I think there are only a couple and they change model numbers very regularly but we use a model that scans, prints 8.5"x11" / 11"x17"

Jul 4, 22 8:11 pm  · 
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Honestly, at 11 x 17 or below, I could just be hand drawing/drafting the designs. Now, of course, with larger prints, a good plotter. Now, the issues with plotters using cartridges that won't allow third-party cartridges and the overtly inflated cartridge costs... and we know damn well that even at the lower price end of 24" wide plotters, they cost more than the BOM on those to manufacture by a factor of 4 in the good days. HP and all mass-volume manufacturers, the BOM is 25% or less. When there is shortages or limited supply, the BOM is maybe 50% because all of them can and will make enough volume where the BOM does not exceed 50% of the sale price. MSRP is always 4 to 10 times the BOM. 

This is so they can manufacture the product and have it on sale at a discount making you feel like you are making a deal by paying 2x to 3x BOM while normal non-sale price being 4-8x BOM being typical. So they'll subsidize the sales prices so by tacking the loss in revenue for sales to their normal price and distribute that cost across the cartridges and generally make up their loss and usually also still get more than the loss in revenue but the fact is they were never making losses anyway and non-sales prices would result in lower volume of sale. 

It's a game to siphon your money and keep distributing the wealth to the ultra-rich. That's the game of big corporate business. It's all a wealth distribution scheme. Then everyone that owns a business and operates one is in the business to make money off everyone else. That's the rule of capitalism. 

In that regard, HP strives to make people keep from having third-party cartridge manufacturers so they make more money from the customers of their printers. Third-party cuts into the volume of sales and total income they are trying to make to become bigger and ever bigger. It's no surprise for a business to be the sole source for everything. 

The natural rule of any business is to be the one and only business of everything... to be a monopoly is the natural progression of any successful business because the unsuccessful business goes the way of the dodo.

Jul 4, 22 5:33 pm  · 
Wood Guy

I'm on my third Epson WF 7720 in 8 years and due to a misorder I have another one waiting for when this one breaks, which it will, but when it works it's pretty good, and very affordable. I originally bought it mainly because it has multiple trays and can do 12x18, for true half-size drawings (since I use 24x36 sheets). But I've found that the tray automation isn't great and I rarely if ever actually need to print 12x18. 

Jul 5, 22 9:04 am  · 
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This seems like a great option! I hadn't considered 12x18 but that would be pretty nice to have. Thank you!

Jul 5, 22 12:39 pm  · 

Brother MFC 5890-CN

Prints up to 12" x 18", scan, copy, fax, cheap ink, indestructible - mine is 15 years old and still going strong.

Jul 5, 22 4:03 pm  · 
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For anyone interested, I purchased the Epson Workforce WF-7840 and it should arrive in the mail today. I will have to do a full report on it later but the reasons for purchasing was it was within my budget at $375, and it prints 12x18 for true half size printing of our 24x36 sets. Since changing jobs to a remote work setup I never knew how important a printed design and trace paper was integral to my design process so it will be nice to have the ability to print/scan again!

Jul 8, 22 11:28 am  · 

is there a b/w laser version of that that isn't over $1k?

Jul 8, 22 12:11 pm  · 

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