Plotters are used to print on various media, including paper, film, transparencies, fabric, foil, plastic sheets, metal foils, wood panels, glass plates, etc. The most common types include inkjet, thermal transfer, and electrophotographic printers. Inkjet printers use tiny droplets of liquid or solid inks that are sprayed onto the surface of an image receiving medium such as plain paper. Thermal transfer printers heat special donor materials, then melt and adhere to the receiver material.
Electrophotographic printers work by using toner particles to create images on the surface of a photoconductor drum. With that in mind, what is the best plotter printer to consider buying? Well, this article will help you make your decision easier. We have compiled a list of some of the top-rated plotter printers available today. You can find out more about each model below.
Our Top Pick:
The Best Plotter Printer Comparison Table
|HP Designjet T650 Wireless Plotter Printer||Printing Technology: Thermal Inkjet|
Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Direct, Gigabit Ethernet
Compatible Devices: PC, Smartphones, Windows, Laptops, Android, macOS, iOS
Printer Output: Color
|HP Designjet T530 Wireless Plotter Printer||Printing Technology: Thermal|
Connectivity Technology: USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Compatible Devices: PC
Printer Output: Color
|Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 (3659C002)||Printing Technology: Inkjet|
Connectivity Technology: Ethernet, USB
Print Media: Banner paper, Fabric, Glossy Photo Paper
Printer Output: Color
|HP Designjet T125 Compact Wireless Plotter Printer||Printing Technology: Thermal|
Connectivity Technology: Ethernet
Compatible Devices: Smartphones
Printer Output: Color
|HP DesignJet T210 Plotter Printer||Printing Technology: Thermal Inkjet|
Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Direct
Compatible Devices: Laptops, Tablets, PC, Smartphones, Android, macOS, IOS
Printer Output: Color
|HP Designjet T230 Compact Wireless Plotter Printer||Printing Technology: Thermal Inkjet|
Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0
Compatible Devices: PC, Smartphones, Laptops, macOS, Tablets,
Printer Output: Color
Leading 9 Best Plotter Printer Reviews
1. HP Designjet T650 Wireless Plotter Printer
One superb HP plotter printer is the HP DesignJet T650. This wireless plotter has been designed specifically for technical drawing purposes. It comes equipped with a high-quality 3D scanner, ideal for creating detailed CAD models.
In addition, its built-in Wi-Fi connectivity allows users to connect directly from their laptop computer without having to go through any other software installation process. Other features include automatic document feeders, dual-sided printing, duplex scanning, and a wide range of optional accessories.
The HP Designjet T650 also offers excellent performance compared to other similar products. Its speed rating is 2.4 pages per minute at 600 dpi resolution. In terms of reliability, it has no issues. If you’re looking for a reliable product that won’t break the bank, look no further than the HP DesignJet T 650.
- Media Handling
This hp plotter printer supports both single sheet and continuous roll feeding. Users can choose between manual loading or auto load mode depending on how they prefer to operate the device.
- Wireless Technology
It uses IEEE802.11b/g/n standards for data transmission over short distances. As long as a strong signal source is nearby, the unit should communicate easily.
- Printing Options
Users can select either black only or color prints. They can even adjust the number of copies printed.
- Scanning Capabilities
With the included flatbed scanner, users can scan documents into digital files. These scans can later be edited and saved as PDFs.
- Software Compatibility
HP provides free downloadable software called “Design Jet Pro” that lets users manage all aspects of the device.
- Highly portable design
- Easy setup
- Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and Mac OS X operating systems
- Warranty of up to 1 year
- Requires user training
2. HP Designjet T530 Wireless Plotter Printer
An excellent large format printer plotter is the HP DesignJet T530. It boasts an impressive array of advanced features, including fast speeds, easy operation, and convenient mobile printing. The HP Designjet T 530 is perfect for architects, engineers, contractors, designers, and anyone who needs to quickly and accurately create professional graphics.
Its compact size makes this model highly portable. You don’t have to worry about dragging around heavy equipment while traveling because this plotter weighs just 67.1 pounds. That means you’ll never miss out on important meetings due to a lack of space in your car.
You will find yourself using this plotter more often than not since it’s so versatile. Thanks to its ability to handle multiple media sizes, you can use it to produce everything from business cards to posters.
You can save time by setting up the HP Designjet T 530. You need to plug it in and connect it to your computer via cable. Then download the HP Designjet T530 driver onto your PC. Afterward, install the program on your laptop or desktop computer. This process takes less than five minutes. Once installed, you are ready to start plotting!
- Media Handling
This printer has two paper trays to feed different materials at once. One tray holds standard letter-sized papers while the other one accommodates legal pads.
- Automatic Document Feeders
The HP Designjet T530 also includes a built-in duplexer that allows you to print double-sided documents without manually flipping them through the machine.
- Mobile Printing
Thanks to its integrated wireless technology, you can easily send jobs directly to the HP Designjet T 530 from any smartphone running Google Play Store or Apple App store. In addition, you can access the HP Designjet T532 from anywhere, thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Printing Speed
The HP Designjet T535 offers faster printing speeds compared to similar models available today. Its maximum output rate is 30 sec per page. However, if you choose to work with larger media such as poster board, you may increase that number slightly.
- Compact design
- It’s versatile
- High-quality for the value
- Offers faster printing
- Not compatible with mac
3. Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 (3659C002)
If you’re looking for the best canon plotter printer, then canon imagePROGRAF TA 20 should be top of mind. With this device, you get all the benefits of a high-quality inkjet printer and some additional perks like wireless capabilities and fabric support.
Interestingly, this unit comes equipped with glossy and matte photo paper options. So whether you want something simple or complex, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider buying this product.
What’s more? This model supports fabrics, making it an excellent choice for those who plan on producing banners and signs.
About features, the canon imagePROGRAFI TA 20 boasts several notable ones, including automatic duplexing, auto sheet feeding, and a variety of media types.
As far as performance goes, this particular model delivers impressive results regarding color accuracy. It prints images with vivid colors even though they are somewhat muted.
- Wireless Printing
With this unit, you won’t have to deal with cables anymore. Instead, you set up the system and let it run automatically. When finished, you can even remotely control the printer over Wi-Fi.
- Fabric Support
If you’d prefer not to use regular paper but rather canvas or cloth instead, don’t worry because this model will accommodate these items.
- Auto Duplexing
Another feature worth mentioning is automatically switching sides after each job. This way, you’ll never waste paper again.
- Easy to setup
- Simple yet high-quality printing
- Ideal for a fledgling business
- High printing speed
- Quick consumption of ink
- Visible printer lines
4. HP Designjet T125 Compact Wireless Plotter Printer
The HP Designjet T125 plotter printer has been designed specifically for engineers, architects, and contractors. Thanks to its mobile printing capability, you can now take your plotting needs wherever you go.
This device also allows users to create professional graphics in just minutes without having to wait around for hours while waiting for their projects to dry.
Furthermore, the HP Designjet t125 provides a fast printing time which means you can complete multiple plots within one day. In addition, thanks to its advanced technology, you can easily produce stunning visuals using various materials such as wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc.
Moreover, this machine offers several other useful functions such as scanning, faxing, copying, and emailing. If you are planning to purchase a new plotter printer, then the HP Designjet t125 would be a great option to look into.
- Mobile Printing Capability
Thanks to its mobile printing function, you can print from anywhere. With this tool, you can quickly send documents via e-mail, save them directly onto USB drives, or upload files to cloud storage services like Dropbox.
- Fast Print Time
You can expect to get through approximately 40 pages per minute, depending on what type of material you’re working with. Furthermore, thanks to its dual-pass printing method, you can achieve higher quality output.
- Advanced Technology
Compared to traditional plotters, this device uses an innovative thermal transfer process to work faster and more efficiently. As a result, you can spend less time creating beautiful designs and more time focusing on other vital tasks.
- Other Useful Functions
Apart from scanning, copying, faxing, and email, this device also features a built-in scanner so you can convert scanned images into PDFs. You can also connect to a network by connecting to either wired Ethernet or 802.
- Can handle both letter-size and legal sizes
- It has a duplex mode
- It’s portable
- Allows you to make copies
- Provides easy installation
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use
- Requires frequent maintenance
6. HP DesignJet T210 Plotter Printer
HP’s Designjet T210 large format compact wireless plotter printer delivers high-quality printing from any angle. Thanks to its innovative desigThishis device will fit perfectly into any home or business environment with a modern office style.
This best eco-solvent printer plotter features a sleek black body with silver accents along the edges. Its compact dimensions make it perfect for use in tight spaces like conference rooms and offices. You can print directly onto most surfaces, including glass, metal, wood, cardboard, etc.
The built-in automatic document feeder makes loading jobs easy, while the auto duplex feature allows you to print both sides of a piece of paper without manually flipping them. This model is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, and other operating systems. It comes equipped with a USB cable so you can connect it to your computer.
- Modern Office Style
Designed specifically for technical drawing, rendering, poster, map, and sign-making applications, this device has been engineered to deliver professional results. The modern office style includes a streamlined front panel with intuitive controls and a clean backlit display screen.
- Automatic Document Feeder
Load multiple pages quickly by using the included ADF tray. Place all your sheets inside the tray and press start. Your job will automatically begin printing when the last sheet is fed through the system.
- Auto Duplex Printing
This unit supports double-sided printing, which means you don’t have to worry about flipping over printed materials after they’ve finished printing. All you need do is load the next set of papers into the machine and hit “start” again.
- Built-In Automatic Paper Tray
You’ll never run out of space because there’s no manual feeding required. Just drop your paper right into the tray and let the machine take care of everything else.
- Eco-Solvent Free Prints
- Easy Setup & Operation
- Consistent Quality Output
- High-Resolution Images
- Fast Printing Speed
- It doesn’t come with a guide
9. HP Designjet T230 Compact Wireless Plotter Printer
HP Designjet T230 is perceived to be the best printer plotter for stickers. It comes with a modern office design that makes it look more professional than other similar models available. Its large format paper capacity allows users to create larger size prints.
Its media handling feature helps users to load different types of papers easily. It also supports various file formats such as PDF, JPG, PNG, etc. Moreover, it provides high-resolution printing at 2400 x 600 dpi. Users can save images directly into the internal hard drive by connecting the USB cable.
What’s more? Its Wi-Fi capability enables users to share documents wirelessly over LAN networks. Also, it comes with an automatic duplexing function which automatically switches sides after every two sheets.
- Modern Office Design
This plotter printer boasts a modern office design, giving it a sleek appearance. The black color scheme and silver accents give it a classy touch.
- Media Handling Feature
Users will find it convenient to change their medium while working on the project. They can remove the old ones and replace them with new ones.
- Gigabit Ethernet Port
Connectivity options include an ethernet port so that users can transfer files through wired connections.
Best Plotter Printer Buying Guide
When buying a plotter printer, consider these factors before making any purchase decision.
1. Plotter Size
It would be best to decide whether you would like to buy a small portable model or a significant desktop. Smaller printers have better mobility, but bigger versions offer greater flexibility. You may opt for an all-in-one device that combines multiple functions, including copying, faxing, scanning, and printing.
2. Print Quality
Choose between photo quality and text quality depending upon what kind of work you plan to do. Photo quality plots require less ink and produce sharper results. Text quality has smoother lines and colors. If you are planning to draw graphics, then choose photo quality.
3. Ink Cartridge Type
Choose between single cartridge and multi-cartridge based on how much ink you intend to use during a year. Single cartridges last longer compared to multi-carts because there is no waste involved. However, if you frequently run out of ink, go for multi-cartridges.
4. Media Thickness
The thicker your media, the higher the print speed! Thicker media takes time to dry and therefore reduces productivity. Choose from standard paper sizes ranging from 8 12″x11″ up to 11″x17″.
5. Scanner Type
Scanning devices come in handy, especially if you often send scanned copies via email. Some scanners even allow you to scan both sides of the document simultaneously. Check this option carefully since some models only support mono scans.
6. Connectivity Option
Look for wireless connectivity options if you wish to connect your plotter printer to other computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs. Most manufacturers provide Wi-Fi capabilities allowing you to access data remotely without being physically present near the machine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Most Common Sort of Document Printed with a Plotter?
Plotters are printer types that do several things. Nevertheless, in technical domains, high-resolution imaging is important. Therefore, they are mostly used in these fields.
Several examples of these industries include mapping, building, and engineering. Unlike the standard printers, plotters are highly preferred for producing architectural drawings, advertising board prints, and CAD drawings due to the need for detailed graphics and great format printing.
What Are My Options for Getting Low-cost Plotter Ink?
You can get low-cost plotter ink using different ways. One of them is buying remanufactured or compatible cartridges. Typically, these cartridges are made by third-party manufacturers. Besides, they are designed to work with your certain plotter model. These cartridges cost less than the originals. However, they might not offer a similar quality level in print reliability and quality.
Buying bulk ink is an added way of getting low-cost plotter ink. Generally, this is ink sold in large quantities: five-gallon containers. Although it is more costly upfront, it can save you plenty of cash. This is because you will not keep on buying new cartridges.
Which Plotter Cartridge will Work Best for My Needs?
When selecting the best plotter cartridge for your needs, there are several things you will be needed to pay attention to. They include the paper type you will be using, your project size, and your personal preferences.
If you are using a standard copy paper, you can use any cartridge. Nevertheless, if you are looking forward to printing on photo paper or other specialty media, choose a cartridge compatible with the paper type.
Another important factor you need to pay attention to is the size of your project. You don’t want a large cartridge if you only print small documents. But, you need a large cartridge if you are printing large-format projects or posters.
Also, consider your personal preferences when choosing a plotter cartridge. Some people prefer disposable cartridges, while others prefer refillable cartridges. Usually, the perfect one to buy should meet your specific needs and preferences.
Printer Ink Vs. Plotter Ink: What’s the Difference?
Printer ink is usually made of dye, water, and pigment. On the other hand, plotter ink is made of a resin-based material. Thus, plotter ink is more durable than printer ink. In addition, plotter ink is better suited for use on non-porous surfaces like polyester or vinyl.
How Long Does it Take to Assemble a Plotter Printer?
It takes around 2 hours to assemble a plotter printer. Nonetheless, the time taken might differ based on the particular model of your experience. Ensure you follow all the instructions carefully to avoid any issues. When you have everything set up, you should start printing immediately.
How Can I Maintain My Plotter Printer?
Like other machines, your plotter printer requires some maintenance to keep it running correctly. Some of the professional tips for maintaining your plotter printer are as follows.
- Keep the printer clean.
Keeping your printer clean is the first important thing you need to consider to help maintain it. The best way to keep it clean is by regularly dusting off the interior and exterior of the machine. In addition, you need to wipe down the printhead and other machine parts using a soft cloth.
- Use the right ink
When using your printer, make sure you use the right printer. In the market, there are different types of inks. Typically, each of them is meant for a particular printer type. Besides, ensure you use the correct ink for your machine to avoid damage.
- Use the correct paper type.
Using the right paper type for your printer is another important way to maintain it. You will find different papers meant for specific printer types like ink. You have to use the right type of paper to avoid damage.
- Perform regular maintenance checks
Performing regular maintenance checks on your machine is important. This means you should check the machine parts regularly to ensure they work perfectly. Also, it would be best if you cleaned it regularly to prevent any damage type.
- Store the printer properly
It is advisable to store the machine properly whenever you are not using it. The best place you can keep it is in a cool, dry place. Furthermore, you should cover it whenever you are not using it to protect it from dust and other elements.
What are the Benefits of Using a Plotter Printer?
A plotter printer is a computer printer used for printing vector graphics. Generally, vector graphics are made up of lines and curves. This printer type is not as common as other printer types. However, they come with their benefits. Following is a discussion concerning them.
- Highest quality prints
Typically, plotter printers are more costly than other printer types. But, if you are looking forward to having the highest quality prints, this is the right printer you need to invest in.
- Faster than other printer types
Besides producing quality prints, these printers are much faster than other printers. Therefore, it is the best to buy if you want one that will print quickly.
- Print at a higher resolution
Another benefit of using a plotter printer is printing at a much higher resolution than other printer types. Thus, you can print detailed images and text without encountering challenges with the machine.
What is the Difference Between a Plotter Printer and a Large Format Printer?
Plotter printers and large format printers produce high-resolution image replication. However, the reproduction processes used by the two printer types happen to differ greatly because of the subject matter and file materials. Large format printers use raster files that are images made of pixels on a grid, while plotter printers use vector files made up of lines.
A plotter printer offers many benefits, such as high-resolution prints, fast speeds, and easy handling. It also comes at affordable prices. With this best plotter printer buying guide, it should be easy to pick the right product for your needs.