In general, there are two types of printing presses: sheetfed and web (also called roll-fed). Each has its pros and cons, depending on the print job at hand. Here are some general rules of thumb for choosing which is best for your print job.
1. Length of run. In general, Web presses are better for long press runs and sheetfed presses are better for shorter runs. A good rule of thumb is 25, 000 or more impressions go to a Web press, whereas smaller jobs can go to a sheetfed press.
2. Type of paper. In general, Web presses are better suited to thin paper stocks, such as newspaper, whereas sheetfed presses can handle thicker paper stocks, and are usually up to the demands of providing showcase-quality printing.
3. Speed/finishing required. Web presses are faster and often offer finishing features such as folding or gluing, whereas sheetfed presses are slower and usually don’t offer such features.
4. Printing flexibility required. Some sheetfed presses can turn the sheet over within the press and print both sides in one pass. However, all web presses must perfect print, or print both sides at once.