my only experience to date was in a small, poorly outfitted community darkroom. now that i'm building my own, i nead a good easel. i was planning on getting a two blade 11 x 14 to cover most of my work. i've never used a four-blade and can't seem to convince myself that they are better by looking at the pictures of them, but that could be because i don't know how they work. could someone who's used both types give me some opinions? thanks.
Biggest problem with two bladed easels IMO is the max size of the borders you can utilise. I have a 11x14 LPL and the border is adjustable between not much and a max of about 20mm (3/4"). I'd like to be able to have a bit bigger borders for handling the print eg holding, signing (lol!), matting. Also consider your max enlargement size. They make a 14x17 version too I think, which would handle 12x16 paper (needed for a 11x14 print with a decent border). If your going to be doing a lot of 8x10 or smaller prints, then an appropiate sized easel is much easier to use (position on the baseboard for cropping, etc). I regularly use a thing called a masking easel (I think that's the generic term) where the borders aren't adjustable at all. It can also be flipped over to print 2 5x7s (or 5x8) on one piece of paper, or 4 4x5's by flipping little windows open and shut.