FLAAR now has a site-visit case study of a sign shop with two Mutoh Toucan solvent ink printers. Print

It is not easy to decide among all the traditional solvent ink printers such as Mutoh Toucan, Mimaki JV3, when faced with all the new solvent printers from DGI, Lyson Tiara, Eastech, or Infiniti. Even ColorSpan has a mid-size solvent ink printer now (ColorSpan 72S, Gator). Prices are tough to weigh, because it is never clear how to value what is offered in the specs.

The solvent ink printers from mainland China are still a bit premature. Many are not of the same engineering quality or build quality as those made in Japan or the USA. Certain brands from Korea, such as D.G.I, now have sturdy products, but they are primarily used in Latin America and areas where the lowest purchase price is what counts.

Mutoh factory visit in Belgium 2007.

Mutoh Toucan solvent inkjet printer at Photokina 2002.

FLAAR recognizes the lack of adequate evaluation elsewhere, so we have been working the last several years to build up information on solvent ink printers as best we can. The result is our series of reports since 2004 which cover solvent ink, eco-solvent, lite-solvent, mild-solvent, and even oil-based printers.

Professor Hellmuth found a sign shop that owned a Mutoh Toucan; indeed it is the outside company that often prints for our university in Guatemala. Thus we know the owners and trust their experience. The result is a penetrating review of what it is like to have a Mutoh Toucan in a commercial print shop.

Then we inspected another printshop in Guatemala that had two Mutoh printers. By irony of fate this shop had bought one from the printshop where we had tested the identical printer the year before. So now we have documentation on how the same printer functioned in two totally different environments.

No matter what brand of printer you are considering, you are about to spend thousands of dollars. The cost of a FLAAR Report is less than a set of ink... and may be a good investment too.

If you order the Solvent ink FLAAR Report Series from FLAAR now, you get four years of Nicholas Hellmuth's experience in checking out solvent ink printers all bundled in one convenient batch of PDF downloads. These reports are all in full-color and provide independent assessment of the pros and cons of DGI, Infiniti, Oce Arizona, Mutoh Toucan, Mimaki JV3, Lyson Tiara, and other inkjet printer brands.

Mutoh Toucan LT printer evaluations
This is the Mutoh Toucan LT printer at ISA trade show 2006.

Today, in 2008, the solvent printer landscape is much changed

In the year after this page was posted, Tiara went bankrupt; Lyson was bought by Nazdar and the Toucan has long ago been replaced by the significantly improved models Mutoh Spitfire Extreme and Mutoh Rockhopper Extreme.

Plus solvent ink per-se is evolving into new chemistries, the most exciting of which is HP latex ink.

FLAAR Reports on mild & lite-solvent printers
Already available




Most recently updated May 5, 2008.
First posted March 10, 2004. Updated May 18, 2005.