8x12 or 10x15 CP press?

Hi there - I’m looking into getting a C&P press sent over here from the states. I have been speaking to a vendor who has both the 8x12 and 10x15 size presses available for a similar price. He has advised me that the larger size press is a little less valuable but the new rollers are more expensive.
I’m not sure what this means? I was thinking that it would be better to have the option of printing bigger items, and therefore go for the 10x15 (even though shipping will cost a lot more due to weight!)
But I’ve been reading that the 8x12 is more popular? Is this because it is smaller and easier to move/clean?
Does anybody have any helpful advice or suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Odette,
If I were you, I would go with the 8x12. I work on one regularly, and it is big enough to print most things. If you want to print larger forms, I would not recommend a C & P. Even though the print area is larger, it is still a platen press, which means, the larger the print area, the worse the print quality (in most cases). In my experience, you end up printing the same sizes on a 10x15 as you would on an 8x12, just because of the nature of the machine.

Hope this is helpful!

I have a 8x12 OS and love it, but I’d recommend the 10x15. The weight differences aren’t that great (1250 vs 1650 lbs, I think) and I doubt the cost differences for rollers will be significant after shipping.

8x12 = 96 sq. in, 10x15 = 150 sq. in. Quite a difference in printing area. Not all of it is useful at one time but it illustrates the main difference.

If you’re treadling, the 10x15 takes one more revolution of the flywheel per impression.

Either press will do good work. As good as you’re capable of.

I have been using the same 1906 8 X 12 Old Series since 1975. If I want to print something large, I use a proof press. A word of advice — make sure it will go through your doorway before you buy. I would never want to take one apart and reassemble it. Removing only the main shaft and the flywheel was enough for me.

Thanks so much for your comments!
I guess my main question is in relation to ebgoodale’s post - would getting the larger press mean that I have a lessened print quality? I’m not so concerned about the size factor
(I have a spot ready for it in the garage…)
Has anybody printed with a 10x12 press?
Thanks again for your help,

I’ve printed with both an 8x12 (at home) and a 10x15 (at the university where I help teach an introductory course in book arts) No difference in print quality; the printer (that is the person operating the press) makes more of a difference than the press. Both size presses are designed to work at the size they are. The 10x15 is consequently beefier than the 8x12. If anything, that is in the 10x15’s favor.

I chose the 8x12 for my home shop because it came available before a 10x15 did. It was slightly easier to get into my basement, too, but it was a moot issue as I’d bought the 8x12 and stopped looking. .

Get the 10” x 15”, you will find it nicer to have a bit larger press, and the extra space to operate on the platen is helpful as well. The difference in floorspace for the two presses is small, the difference in printing size is noticable.


Sounds like I’m going to try for the 10x15 C&P press! Thanks all for your helpful suggestions!