Understanding A4 Versus A3

In terms of Copiers, Printers, MFPs, the expressions A3 and A4 refer to the paper sizes the office equipment handles. Even though this is the main difference, it isn’t the only difference. Paper size is important depending on what type of material a company is printing and the scope of work. Barlop Carries multi function equipment that is classified as A4 and A3 models as well as Plotter/Wide Format products that do up to 36”.

Most businesses use Letter (8.5×11) and Legal (8.5×14), however Ledger (11×17) can be used in many cases including Menus, Engineering documents, spreadsheets, booklet making (church, schools, organizations).

Listed below are the main differences between A3 and A4 office equipment, and why you should research to see which one is best for your business.

A4 Key Points

  • Paper sizes up to 8.5×14

  • Machine Smaller Frame/ Compact

  • Light Duty cycles

  • Less options available, less paper in trays, less sorting options

  • Cost of Equipment is Less than A3, Cost of Supplies is more

  • TCO Total cost of ownership is high

  • Cost of Supplies and Service is high

  • Best for small work groups with low printing volumes

A3 Key Points

  • Paper up to 11×17 (sometimes up to 12×18 depending the model)

  • Handles 3 Hole punch, large capacity trays, 50 or more stapling, larger document feeder, folding.

  • Cost of Equipment is more; Cost of Supplies is Less (TCO, total cost of ownership is less than A4)

  • Toner Yield is More, Cost is Less (Cost per copy is less than A4)

  • High Duty Cycles

A4 Paper is the most common, also known as 8.5x 11 and bond. 20lb is recommended for daily use. This paper is commonly found in offices for printing letters, documents, federal forms, magazine pages, faxes, letterheads and other daily material.

Consulting with an industry professional can help you choose which type of equipment is best for you, since so many factors are involved as in your print volume, your needs, what workflow solutions you need, what paper size you use most, and what your budget is. Barlop’s knowledgeable solution specialists will help you get the best equipment for your office and save you money and time.

For more information on which type of product is right for you,


do not hesitate to contact us!