Heidelburg or Kluge

I am just wondering…….Which press would you rather have and why? 13x18 Windmill or 12x18 Kluge? Figuring all things being equal, price, moving, extras, etc. These would be used in a commercial shop for letterpress service, ie, scoring/perfing, diecutting,& numbering. No foil.


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um… both… they both register well. having not much time with the windmill, i think the windmill is faster but the kluge more power.

I am a service man for both machines. A 13 x 18 Heidelberg should cost considerably more than a standard Kluge. The EHD Kluges can be a bit pricey, especially the newer ones. The Heidelberg has a faster make ready time, especially if you are running it in “commercial” configuration (not using the lay gauges). Generally the Heidelberg is the press of choice for shops that need to get the job done right without a lot of make ready. The Kluge is a heavier duty machine in terms of available tonnage to the platen, Remember, the Heidelberg is pushed on impression from the bottom of the platen. This limits the tonnage quite a bit. Small punch outs and laminated stocks are problematic for the Heidelbergs. Straight numbering, perforating, scoring and light to medium weight die cutting are what this machine can handle without problems.
The Kluge takes longer, in general, to make ready. You have gauge pins to set, setting up the feeder is a little more complicated, the machine in general lends itself to longer runs or projects that require more pressure than a Heidelberg will give. If you get into embossing or foil stamping, then my choice would be the Kluge for that.
For a small shop with quick turn around that has to compete in the current market, I’d advise you start with the Heidelberg. Then if runs get longer or more difficult, add a Kluge to the mix. 13 x 18 Heidelbergs are excellent machines. Before you buy either press, HAVE SOMEONE CHECK IT OUT. There are many things that can be wrong with either press that aren’t obvious at first glance. If you are serious and don’t want the possibility of being disappointed in your purchase, have a serviceman check out any used piece of equipment before you buy. It is cheap insurance.