Measuring the size of a press

The size of a press is often described by the size of the printable area it can accommodate, so a press that can print up to a five- by eight-inch page is described as a 5 by 8, or 5x8, printing press. (If the printed page desired is actually 5 by 8 inches, with words or images that will come close to that dimension, a press with a larger platen is advisable.)

Presses with larger printable areas usually have a larger footprint on the tabletop or floor.

The given size of any platen press (a category that here includes platen jobbers, lever presses, and rail presses) is the inside size of its chase, while the size of a wooden or an iron hand press is measured by its platen.