Suggestions for model of press to buy

I have used an SP-15 and enjoyed it. I would like to get my own press.

However, I’m overwhelmed by the number of types of Vandercook presses available.

I would like a self-inking model.

Which models could people suggest? My space is not really limited.

5 thoughts on “Suggestions for model of press to buy

  1. kyle van horn - May 17, 2009

    Jason –

    I’m spending part of my summer replacing similar parts for my SP20. If you can get that for a good price, they are surprisingly easy to move – – I could help you get a feedboard fabricated (Fritz has none), maybe even a temporary side guide if NA Graphics’ aren’t ready yet. Feel free to comment here or e-mail me at


  2. The Arm NYC - May 16, 2009

    It sounds like that SP20 might be a good deal. If the price is low I’d definitely go for that over the Challenge mainly because you can fix it up yourself and get to know it really well as you do.

    Daniel Morris
    The Arm Letterpress
    Brooklyn, NY

  3. Paul Moxon, Moderator - May 14, 2009

    So you do know that you have a great local resource. The Challenge 15 MP is close copy of the SP15 and some parts are interchangeable. There is always the chance that finding parts in the future may be difficult with any machine.

    Replacement parts for the SP20 are available from NA Graphics. The motor can be repaired or replaced and the feed board can be fabricated. It’s all a matter of how much time, effort and money you are willing to commit.

  4. Jason Balgopal - May 14, 2009

    Thanks Paul. The models which I’ve looked into which seem to be of interest are the SP-15, SP-20, the Uni I & III, the No. 3 & 4 and then possibly the 219.
    What are your thoughts on the Challenge? Don Black has one which he is working on. Should I be concerned about finding parts later on?

    At the same time, I think there is a SP-20 not too far away that is missing the feed board & paper guide and the roller cover….it also hasn’t been run in about 20 years so the owner isn’t certain about the motor works. Is there any real advantage in getting the SP-20 over the Challenge MP-15?

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - May 14, 2009

    It’s not that there are so many Vandercooks available today as that the company made a large number of different models. Today there are a dozen models plus variants still in use. Most that are available are fetching top dollar especially the smaller ones that you are interested in like the No.4, Universal I and SP15. Look at the Common Models Table and the Vandercook Features Comparison Table for a quick comparison.

    You may also consider studying up on other brands which may become available such as a Challenge 15 MP. As admin for this site I know that you are in the Toronto area, which has the good fortune of being home to Don Black Linecasting which sells everything you’ll need for the shop. They may even have a press for you. I was just there you’ll love it!

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