Best tabletop press for first press

I have decided to get a press but it needs to go in my basement so I think table top is my only option. That said what is the best bang for your buck if you had about $2000 to spend and more importantly what can you find. Thanks
G do oug

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Congratulations on your decision to get a press! Before diving in though, please think about the following.

What types of things do you want to print on the press? This will determine whether you need a platen press or a cylinder press. How big are the items you want to print, and how much ink coverage will they have? In other words, are you planning on printing linoleum blocks where most of the area of the block will be printed area, or are you just going to print a few lines of type? Is this just for fun or are you planning on doing some commercial work?

You may very well be able to get a press which meets your needs for $2000, but to avoid getting the wrong press, please let us know the answers to the questions above.

Good luck and please keep us informed!

Best, Geoff

Geoff is exactly right, think about pressure available divided by the impression area on a platen, v. the pressure available divided by the area of the contact line of a cylinder press. Horses for courses as they say. I started with an Adana 6 x 4 in 1948 and never looked back!

Doug, you don’t say where you are, but my suggestion for a smallish tabletop platen press is the 6x9 Sigwalt and derivatives (in Europe they are typically called “Boston” presses because the company that introduced them was in Boston USA, Golding Co. They are strong and reliable, and have the distinct advantage over most other tabletops that they can produce work fast in quantity, and can be used to print the entire area of a sheet 4x their nominal size, by printing 1/4 of the sheet at a time with the rest hanging outside the press. Thus a 6x9 Sigwalt can print on a 9x12 sheet (always provided the coverage is not too heavy). I have printed a 38” long strip of paper to be made into
a triangular folded book of short poems, with the paper sticking out both sides of the press at times. Try that on a Pilot press. 50 years ago my Sigwalt cost $25. They are still turning up in antique and junk stores for comparable prices.