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  • Buying a New or Used Printer? Advice needed.

  • Martyn Heath

    Member
    December 1, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Hi all. Im having a bit of a time of it at the moment as we all do from time to time.

    So yesterday i got a head heat error on my mutoh, which ive never had before and it seems its mr darkness is coming down to claim another victim. Having spent a few hours scrolling the net it didnt look like good news, motherboards or head. I phoned the engineer for his opinion and his answer was 9 out of 10 head is gone = printer is gone as its old and worthless. i suggested changing the head cable which he thought was pointless. Anyway i stripped it down and gave the cable a clean and… shes alive. Now this might just be coincidence or the cable was the issue. Either way i feel like im on borrowed time and at a crossroads.

    Now yesterday i set up an action plan all of which are a kick in the goolies.

    The mutoh suppliers offered me a used machine with recently fitted low use head, setup etc etc for 35% of a new machine.

    Then we have a new machine which is a big chunk of wedge.

    Now my thoughts on the new option like everything is theres no guarantees your trouble free, things can always happen and the deeper your into it the less choices you have.

    My printer i have now i paid just 2500k including few sets of inks and onyx. 4.5 yrs later here i am which doesnt financially feel like a huge loss.

  • Graham Scanlan

    Member
    December 1, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Hi Martyn

    I’d always suggest to my customers to go new, buying a second user machine is ideal if you want to dip your toe in the water to see if digital printing is profitable for you. I think your gone incredibly well from your investment and hopefully earned plenty of profit from it.

    Why not finance a new machine and spread the cost over a period of years and let the printer pay for itself, all you need to do is keep it printing.

    I’d also consider the future and price of solvent and eco solvent inks based on environmentally friendliness and the direction the world is going. Latex or UV maybe the way to go.

    In the case of most of my customers, wide format digital printing plays a main part of their business, therefore that’s where the investment should go.

  • Colin Crabb

    Member
    December 1, 2021 at 8:46 am

    New machines with 3years (minimum) warranty = peace of mind, no sudden repair bills.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    December 1, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Your mutoh has cost you less than 3 euros a day since you’ve had it mate, if you’ve paid the bills & yourself, you’re ahead. I agree with Graham to look at new rather than used, you are less likely to have issues & you’ll have warranty as well. Buy the best you can, spread the cost & let the business pay for it. Pretty sure you will be more productive as well, speaking from experience, the increased speed & quality will make you wish you’d bought it sooner. Now you’ve tested the water with very little investment & made it profitable, get some proper kit & you’ll be amazed at what you can do. I personally will always be looking at the latest equipment from now on, rarely will someone offload a printer unless they suspect it’s days are numbered, would you have sold the mutoh before the issues?

  • Martyn Heath

    Member
    December 1, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for the replies graham, colin and kevin. Totally agree with what your all saying and my ears are fully open. The machine has been great to me and opened the door into this new world, i think the main reason im not 100% set on going new is that this secondhand model has worked out such a good buy and profit over the years vs cost like kevin said is minimal. What worries me with a new one is that in 5 years time and say 8k lighter, i could be in the same position and no choice but to stomp up for 2.5k for a head replacement. Then when you put the two methods together secondhand has worked out far more profitable.

    Im fortunate enough to be able to buy the printer outright but i run my business purely on highest profit margins as possible with littlest investment because im such a small operation. Its got me this far but i understand i may have just been lucky this time.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      December 1, 2021 at 10:43 am

      Valid reasoning but if you build in a small percentage for equipment maintenance & replacement, you won’t feel it if & when you have a disaster. Remember, the printer is probably the second most important part of your operation, it should be the best you can get at all times.

      • Martyn Heath

        Member
        December 1, 2021 at 11:41 am

        Good point kev, few extra quid pm would cover any additional costs in this time period.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    December 1, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    I have to agree with the others, I always buy new!
    It gives you peace of mind and allows you to focus on making money from it.
    If I was to buy a used machine, it would always be from a reputable source that can back you up with their own support team.

    • Martyn Heath

      Member
      December 2, 2021 at 6:17 am

      Thanks rob, yes my used machine did have service history and i talked to the enginner that had been looking after it over the years which gave me some peace of mind. I wouldnt be buying one out of someones garage with no idea of how its been used.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    December 2, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Buy new if its your only machine.

    As Kev said charge sufficiently so you have enough cash to maintain or replace it in years to come.

  • Martyn Heath

    Member
    December 2, 2021 at 10:48 am

    How long from experience do your printheads normally last (eco solvent) i know rule of thumb is around 5 years but be nice to hear realistic views from feet on the ground. Not talking head strikes just wear and tear.

    Ive seen that they can last upto 7-8 yrs if your lucky. supposedly

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      December 2, 2021 at 11:40 am

      I guess it depends on the ink you’re using mate, genuine inks are generally less damaging to the heads compared to some of the poorer quality aftermarket ones. I’ve had Nazdar ink in my Rolands for a good many years now, not killed any heads in recent memory but others on here haven’t been so lucky. If you’re adding a printer rather than replacing it, might be advisable to get some genuine ink in it from now on, aftermarket ink always gets the blame after a disaster. Sounds like you’re a bit rattled about having to replace the heads but they are just part & parcel mate. Your business will go through them just like tyres on the van & diesel in the tank. Just make sure you’re costing includes wear & tear on your kit

      • Martyn Heath

        Member
        December 2, 2021 at 1:56 pm

        Hi kev, ye ive always used oem in date inks, i knew when i got into this game that was one of the most important aspects to keep the head going as long as possible. I did look into the nazdar inks at one time as you recommended them and research showed they were very good but they are not available for mutoh. Yes your right kev this head has rattled me a bit, the cost to replace seems crazy and they seem to have unpredictable lifespans.

        I will get over it 🤑

    • Jamie Wood

      Member
      December 2, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      If you’re considering HP latex, the heads are consumables anyway. Not sure on the price of the printers, but I think they tend to be more expensive than solvent. We were told that the heads on our Epson should last the life of the printer, but that would depend on how long you kept it I suppose.

      • Martyn Heath

        Member
        December 2, 2021 at 1:57 pm

        yes your right about latex they are consumables and the printers are more.

        • Graham Scanlan

          Member
          December 2, 2021 at 5:49 pm

          The heads are a consumable on the latex printers, but don’t need changing enough to cause harm to your pocket. Changing the heads yourself ensures the printer prints the same quality from when you buy the machine to when you trade it in. Also latex inks are cheaper than oem eco solvent inks, so a nice saving there, 775ml for the price of 440ml. With latex you’ve ticked a massive eco friendly box. The latex printers are front loading and can save you space, inks don’t need to gas’s off the same as eco solvent, and latex inks are very tough and have a hi level of scratch resistance

          Just a few points to consider

          The machines can cost from around £10,000 HP315 to £30,000 HP800W and a lot of choice in between

          • Martyn Heath

            Member
            December 3, 2021 at 5:31 am

            👍 thanks graham

          • Jamie Wood

            Member
            December 3, 2021 at 8:42 am

            I take it you sell latex printers…..😉

            • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Jamie Wood.
            • Colin Crabb

              Member
              December 3, 2021 at 9:07 am

              We solely use HP latex now, great machines.

              We buy new and change them every 3 or 4 years – 3year warranty from HP, and if required and extra year cover for piece of mind.

              Paid between £14k and £22k for HP315’s to HP L700w. (white ink machine is amazing, best white i’ve send on a roll 2 roll machine – few teething issues, but all sorted now under warranty).

              Ink is good, £80 per cartridge – new L700w uses 1litre cartridges

              • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Colin Crabb.
            • Graham Scanlan

              Member
              December 3, 2021 at 1:12 pm

              I’ve sold Rolands and Mimaki and HP Latex, I personally think the advantages of the HP are well worth mentioning, and like the post below this one the HP 700 or 800W are amazing machines and that ink cost can’t be sniffed at, £80 for a litre of ink, plus the ink comes in a cardboard box and an ink pouch so no plastic cartridges.

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