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9 Best Heat Press Machine For T-shirt Printing in 2021 – [Reviewed & Ultimate Guide]


Ever saw something really cool and wished you could have a t-shirt designed about that? A t-shirt expressing something that you really stand for. Heat press machines are among the best ways to get that done! Not just t-shirts, you can actually make use of these machines to print your artwork onto multiple objects, such as mousepads, mugs, bags, and plates among other things. With time, these machines have evolved quite a bit, and thanks to digital improvements, you can now get a very precise print.

In the past, heat printing used to be something that was considered a complex process and was used only by large-scale manufacturers who wanted to sell a particular design of prints. Over the years, however, heat press machines have become so common that you can find them in homes as well as offices where people prefer using a custom print for various occasions.

These heat-printed t-shirts and mugs can become quite impressive memorabilia for office farewells, special events, anniversaries, as well as household events such as baby showers, wedding parties, birthdays, etc. These are things that people often cherish years after the event! It is the sheer nostalgic value that makes a heat press machine worth the investment. These machines are even more important if you are an artwork who is selling their art, but more on that as we proceed.

Over the course of this article, we shall take into consideration a large number of questions. Primarily, how to identify and purchase the best heat press machine for your needs, followed by which are some of the best options for you out there if you are planning on buying a heat press machine, as well as some other questions – such as who needs these machines, how to maintain them, how to ensure that you are getting an accurate print, etc.

Heat press machines are simple to use, but each machine has its own set of features that are different from another. Considering that there are hundreds of options available to you, it is important for you to understand which is the one that suits all your needs the best. We shall also take a look at some of the pros and cons of using a heat press machine, as well as answer some of the most common and frequently asked questions about these machines before we conclude.

Let us first understand some basic aspects of a heat press machine: what are these machines, what are the benefits of using them, and how do they function.

What are Heat Press Machines?

If you want to give it a very technical definition, a heat press machine is basically a machine that allows you to transfer a graphic design onto a substrate material by the application of heat. A substrate is basically a fancy word for an underlying layer.

This substrate, in most cases, is generally something like a t-shirt, a mug, a mouse pad, a cap, etc. Basically, a heat press machine allows you to transfer a graphic design onto a material on which you want it printed.

You might have seen those t-shirts and mugs that people often gift guests at a party or those memorabilia items that you get during a special sporting event. These are all made using heat press machines.

To sum it up in simpler words, a heat press machine is a device that applies heat and pressure on to a graphic design and allows you to have it imprinted on another surface. A heat press machine can be used to print a design on garments, glass, wood, or even metal surfaces in some cases.

These machines come with two plates inside them, called platens. The upper platen heats up and then you can set the time, temperature, and pressure that has to be applied to get your graphic printed. In many modern-day heat pressing machines, you can actually set these factors digitally.

There are a number of other ways in which you can print a graphic design onto a t-shirt. These include screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG) methods, as well as vinyl cutting. However, heat press machines have proven to be much faster and actually quite easier to use and are very popular among those who wish to print custom designs on various objects.

9 Best Heat Press Machine For T-shirt Printing in 2021

Benefits of Heat Press Machines

People never simply buy products. They buy benefits that are associated with those products. There are a large number of benefits associated with heat press machines. Here’s a closer look at some of them:

1. Easy to Operate

One of the best things about heat press machines vs other similar means of printing on substrates is the fact that they are much simpler to operate. These machines can be operated by anyone with just some basic practice (provided they follow all the safety measures). The art of operating a heat press machine doesn’t take much and can be learned by anyone with a minimal amount of training.

In some of the better heat press machines that come these days, you can simply enter the temperature, pressure, and time variables and the rest would be done on its own. This is way easier when you compare it with some other older and traditional forms of substrate printing such as screen printing. This is one of the biggest benefits of using a heat press machine.

2. Variety of Mediums

A heat press machine can print on a large number of surfaces. This is another huge advantage that you get when you use them. While the most common application of using these machines is to print over fabric, they can also be used to print over mugs, tote bags, and even wood and metal.

You can print products such as jigsaw puzzles using these heat press machines too. Caps, mugs, and other gifting and memorabilia items can also be created using this machine. The sheer variety of mediums that you get to print on is what really impresses us the users and makes it very versatile equipment to work with.

3. Fast Printing

Another thing that must be known about heat press machines is that they are much faster to operate when you compare them against some of their older alternatives. Other methods of printing on substrates can take many more hours than using a heat press machine, which gets the job done in a matter of minutes. While you still want to give your printed objects a while to dry and cool down, the actual printing process hardly takes any time! This is a major advantage of using a heat press machine that often gets very underlooked.

4. Good Quality Prints

Talking of the benefits of a heat press machine that gets underlooked, one of the things that one must be grateful for is the good quality prints that they get when they use a heat press machine. Not all substrate printing equipment can guarantee something which is as precise and as clear as a heat press machine.

Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Heat Press Machines

Here’s a quick look at all the factors that you need to consider while choosing the best heat press machines for your needs –

1. Type of Heat Press Machine

You need to know what kind of a heat press machine you are going to buy. There are four major options – a clamshell heat press machine, a swing-away heat press, a draw heat press machine, and a sublimation heat press machine. You can go through our detailed section on what each of them has to offer (located right after the buyer’s guide) and get a better idea about which is the one that will suit your needs the best.

To get a quick idea, clamshells are easy to use and occupy little space, but not that precise. A swing-away heat press machine would occupy significantly more space than a clamshell machine while operating, but gets you a much better print and is safer to use. A draw-press is also safe to use and precise, but a little more expensive than the other two. Sublime printing is perhaps your best option to get high-quality fabric prints.

VIVOHOME 8 in 1 Combo Multifunctional Swing Away Clamshell Printing Sublimation Heat Press Transfer Machine for T-Shirt Hat Cap Mug Plate 15 x 12 Inch Blue and Black

If you’re too confused with which combinations to go for, head over to VIVOHOME's 8 in 1 Combo Multifunctional Heat Press, which is a swing-away clamshell printing sublimation heat press transfer machine and is considered among the best in the business.

2. Manual or Automatic Machine

Once you’ve decided on a type of heat press, you also need to select if you’re going to go for a manual, automatic or semi-automatic heat press. Manual ones require you to manually shut and open them, while semi-automatic ones open up automatically once the timer rings. Lastly, a fully automatic heat press machine would open on its own and would close at the press of a button, making the whole process a lot simpler and easier to operate. Generally, automatic machines make the best heat press machines, but they also cost the most.

3. Quality of Print

ePhotoInc New Digital 15' x 15' T-Shirt Heat Transfer Press Sublimation Heat Press Machine 1515GB

When getting a machine that prints things – be it on paper or fabric, the most important thing for one has to be the quality of the print. The final product that comes out of the printer needs to be of the best quality possible – this is why people often go for sublime heat press machines, which function on automatic technologies. This combo will offer you the best heat press experience. Something such as the ePhoto New Digital Heat Transfer Machine offers some of the best prints that you can get on a heat press machine! This one is totally among the top 10 heat press machines of all time.

4. Heat Range

While a large majority of heat press machines operate in temperatures between 0 to 500F, you need to consider your specific needs while purchasing them. If you are printing t-shirts you require a minimum of 350F. Different materials require different temperatures so keep an eye out for the heat range that the machine offers.

5. Size of the Platens

The size of the platens plays a big role in choosing the right heat press machine for your needs. If you know that all your prints are going to be located in a small area of the t-shirt, then you can opt for a smaller heat press machine. However, if your design is to cover the entire t-shirt, you should get a machine with larger platens that allow you to print all of it at once.

TUSY Heat Press Machine 15x15 inch Digital Industrial Sublimation Printer Press Heat Transfer Machine for T Shirts

Make sure you are checking out the size of the platens before purchasing your heat press machine – as you don’t want to end up with something smaller than what your actual requirements are. 15×15 inches is generally considered the ‘standard’ size of heat print machines, and TUSY Heat Press Machine is one of the best options in this size. This one is considered the best multifunction heat press machine that you can buy online.

6. Portability

In continuation with the previous point, while the size of the platens needs to be big enough, one also needs to consider the size of the entire machine. When closed and kept aside, the heat press machine won’t occupy too much space.

However, when you put it in use, the machine can open up and almost double itself in size, especially when you are using a swinger. Swing-away heat press machines can occupy a much larger space to operate so keep your workspace and the area available to you in mind before you buy a heat press machine.

7. Safety Measures

When using a heat press, you are working on a machine that has the potential to operate at 500F and can exert a great deal of pressure. In these conditions, you need to make sure that your personal safety is not compromised. When choosing the best heat press machine for your needs, make sure that you are getting one where all the proper safety locks and systems are in place.

Getting a swinger or a draw heat press machine is considered safer than using a clamshell because in the case of the latter you are much closer to the heated platens than you are when you use the first two. We have a detailed section on keeping yourself safe while using a t-shirt press machine coming up later in the article, do make sure to keep an eye out for that.

8. Ease of Use

Another thing that matters is your experience level and the ease of use of the machine. If you are someone who is just starting out, getting a basic heat press that functions in a one-step printing process is a really good option. Clamshells are the most basic heat press equipment and are well suited to the needs of beginners..

However, if you are an experienced user, you might want to go for more advanced machines such as automatic machines that allow you to configure the heat and the pressure beforehand. You can also opt for draw-press machines or swingers, which are considerably more complex than the basic clamshell.

9. Materials Supported

Before you buy a heat press machine, make sure to check with the manufacturer which surfaces it can print on. Not all heat presses can print on every surface. For instance, if the surface is thick or uneven, a clamshell will be of no use! Depending on what kind of a heat press you are buying, you can print on fabric, glass, wood, metal, and a large number of substances. This is something that really needs to be kept in mind and a machine that allows you to print on a large variety of substances is the best option for you.

ePhotoInc New 15' x 15' T Shirt Heat Press Machine T Shirt Transfer Machine 1515BLK

For those who want to print on a wide variety of surfaces, ranging from ceramic tiles to plates to clothes, bags, hats and more, check out this ePhotoInc Heat Press Machine.

10. Durability

A good heat press not only needs to print well and print the right kind of quality, but it also needs to last you for a long time. What good is a heat press that produces the best prints in the world but won’t even last two full years? Clamshells generally tend to have the longest lifespan of them all because they are built like a tank. Make sure you are getting a sturdy press machine with all its joints firmly in place.

11. Cost and Warranty

Last but not least, the cost and warranty aspects have a major role to play when it comes to purchasing anything and a t-shirt press machine is no exception. When one talks oi the best heat press machine, they are talking about the best such machine in one’s own budget. Hence, the definition of the very best heat press machine is unique to different people.

Also, the longer the warranty period, the better it is for the user. Lastly, we suggest getting these machines from Amazon as you can find some of the best discounts over there!

Types of Heat Press Machines

After going through our buyer’s guide we are sure one of the biggest questions looming in your mind right now would be – what are the different types of heat press machines and what is so special about them. Let us take a closer look at clamshell heat presses, swing-away heat presses, draw heat presses, and sublimation heat press machines. Post that, we shall take a closer look at the difference between the three as well.

1. Clamshell Heat Press Machines

The name clamshell obviously comes from how the shell of a clam is designed. While we know that there are two plates (or platens, as they are commonly known as) involved in every heat press machine, in this kind of a heat press machine, you can open up the top platen. Post that, you place the substrate on the bottom platen and keep the design that is to be pressed over that and then you close the clamshell.

Post that, set your temperature, pressure, and time variables for the desired amount and your design will get imprinted upon the T-shirt. These are among the simplest and the easiest heat press machines to operate as they do not require any specific technical know-how and are a single-step process.

Besides that, another major benefit of using clamshell heat press machines to imprint graphic designs on substrates is that these machines are also far more portable in comparison and can be carried around as well as stored with ease. If you are a beginner who is just starting off with the process of heat printing, we recommend you to use clamshell heat presses because they are simpler to operate as well as less expensive compared to some other variants.

  • The single-step process makes it easy for everyone
  • Beginner-friendly heat press machine
  • Easy to move around and store, portable
  • Pressure can be increased manually by applying force
  • Suitable only for thin printing materials and not for thick fabrics
  • One needs to be careful while using them to avoid burn injuries
  • Sometimes the pressure can be uneven leading to a lack of precision

2. Swing-Away Heat Press Machines

The difference between a swing-away design and a clamshell design can be clearly seen by the trained eye. Clamshell machines get the job done, but the kind of precision that you get from swing-away heat press machines is quite different in comparison to the basic clamshell.

The name swing-away tells you upfront that there’s some swinging action in the machine that is going to happen. The biggest difference here is that once you have applied some heat and you lift the platens, the upper platen will swing away from the lower platen, allowing you to make adjustments in the substrate with ease without any risk or fear of getting burnt.

Furthermore, while clamshells are good only for thin fabrics such as t-shirts, a swing-away design can be of varying thicknesses and thicker objects such as mats and bags can also be printed on them. This is also quite comfortable to use because of the better safety that it offers compared to the clamshell machines.

F2C Pro Heat Press 12x15 inch Combo 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine Digital Multifunctional Sublimation Heat Transfer Machine Swing Away 360 Degree Rotation for T Shirts Mug Hat Plate Cap Pattern Printing

However, one drawback of the swing-away design is that it occupies a little more space than the clamshell machine because while a clamshell lifts directly upwards, a swing-away heat press machine swings aside and therefore needs a larger working area. Sometimes, heat press machines of a swing-away design are also referred to as ‘swingers’. If you are looking forward to buying the absolute best multifunction heat press machine, the F2C Pro Heat Press Machine is one of the best examples of a swing-away heat press.

  • Much safer to operate compared to clamshells
  • Offers a more precise print because you can move the surface around more easily
  • Can print on thicker substances than a clamshell
  • Occupies more space than a clamshell
  • More expensive than a clamshell

3. Draw Heat Press Machines

These kinds of heat press machines can be seen as a hybrid between the clamshell design and the swing-away design and are considered the best heat press machines keeping safety in mind. A draw heat press machine opens up straight-up like a clamshell press, but the lower platen comes forward so that you are away from the heat. This ensures a space-saver design, as well as a heat press machine that is very easy to use!

Much like a clamshell, it ensures that the machine does not take too much space and can be used in the smallest of places. Similar to a swing-away design, you don’t come in direct contact or near a heated platen as the lower platen comes forward towards you, away from all the hot areas.

It also gives you sufficient space to make adjustments during the heating process so that your designs are very precise. A draw heat press machine offers some of the best and the most precise prints you can get using a heat press machine. This is why it is considered the best heat press machine and is trusted by millions of users all over the world.

  • Offers a very safe heat transfer by moving the bottom platen forward
  • Very precise printing as the designs can be moved around
  • Occupies very little space as it opens up like a clamshell
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for very thick or very thin material

4. Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press Machine

Perhaps the best heat press machine out there for those looking forward to printing high-quality T-shirts, the sublimation heat press machine is among the best ways to heat transfer an image onto the underlying material. Imagine this to be like a tattoo for your t-shirt.

Here, the design is first printed onto a special transfer paper, and then heat is applied to that paper in such a way that it basically turns into a gas and gets infused onto the surface below it. Among some of the biggest benefits of using a sublimation heat press process over other forms of heat transfer is that these designs are more permanent and less prone to fading.

Sometimes, if you print using clamshells or swing-away heat press machines, with time the design will not only start to fade out, but it will also start getting a little flaky upon frequent washing and you will notice it falling apart. These ones, however, are more permanent and stay with you for much longer.

VEVOR Heat Press 12X15 Inch Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 Digital Multifunctional Sublimation Swing Away Heat Press 360 Degree Rotation Heat Press Machine for T Shirts Hat Mug Cap Plate

The sublimation heat press machine is quick as well as efficient and is among some of the most popular ways in which t-shirts are being printed today. All of this put together makes it the best t-shirt press machine for printing t-shirts. Sometimes sublimation machines can also come as a mix of sublimation + swing-away techniques, such as in VEVOR Heat Press Machine (Digital Multifunctional Sublimation Swing Away Heat Press). This is a really good heat press machine for vinyl shirts.

  • Gives you the best possible outcome which doesn’t fade or peel
  • High-quality and precise heat transfer of the image
  • Safe to use
  • Can print on a variety of surfaces

Clamshell Heat Press vs Draw Heat Press vs Swing-Away Heat Press: A Direct Comparison

Let us start with perhaps the most important ‘make-or-break’ factor when it comes to making any purchase – the price. A clamshell heat press is the cheapest of the lot, while a swinger tends to be a little more expensive, and a draw press is even more expensive. If you are tight on the monetary front, we strongly recommend you to check out clamshells.

F2C 15' x 15' Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell Transfer Sublimation Print Press Machine for T-Shirt 110V

However, while they are cheaper in comparison to the other two, don’t mistake them to be inferior. They offer a strong build and can last you for a very long time. In terms of durability, clamshells are perhaps the strongest type of heat press out there. F2C 15 x 15 Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell is a really good example of just that.

However, when it comes to many other factors, clamshells aren’t really preferred because people who are seeking precision in their prints would rather opt for something like a draw heat press or a swinger press because clamshells can’t really print that accurately since you can’t move around the t-shirt much. Another thing where clamshell loses out is when it comes to printing on a thicker surface. Clamshells can’t provide an even print on a thick surface and draw heat presses and swingers are generally considered better options.

Swingaway presses can also help you print on a variety of different surfaces including wood, glass, and ceramic while clamshells are mostly about thin fabrics. One major aspect where clamshells score better than swingers is that of the space that is needed to operate them. While in terms of storage, all three machines occupy pretty much the same space, when you are operating them, swingers need a much larger space to operate on. Clamshells need the most and draw presses are somewhere between the two.

Lastly, another major benefit comes to you in the form of safety. Clamshells are the least safe to use because you are very near to the heated platens. When compared to clamshells, the swing-away heat presses and the draw presses are much safer because the upper and heated portion of the platen is further away from you.

Manual Heat Press vs Air Press vs Automatic Heat Press Machines

By this point in the article, we hope that you are quite familiar with all the different aspects of a heat press machine – including how they function and how many different types of machines there are. While you know about the differences between a swing-away heat press machine, a clamshell press, a sublimation heat press, and a draw heat press machine, you also need to know that there’s another way in which heat presses can be differentiated.

These differences come not in the mechanism in which the machines operate, but in how you operate the machines. There are some machines that need to be manually used, while others function automatically – and then, there’s a third type too: air press machines.

Let us take a closer look at each one of them and try and understand the differences between these three machines:

5. Manual Heat Press

A manual heat press machine, as the name suggests, is a manually operated device where you have to manually apply the pressure, set the temperature yourself, and release it when you think an appropriate time has been passed. These machines usually come with a timer that tells you that the desired time has passed and you can now open the clams of the machine.

This kind of press is simple enough for beginners to understand and use and gives them a good idea about how heat printing works. Moreover, it is a great lesson in setting the right heat, pressure, and time in order to get the best possible prints. People who are just starting out can try their hands at these machines to learn the ropes.

However, a manual heat press machine does not have a pressure gauge built into it that can let you know the exact amount of pressure that is being applied. This is one drawback as you have to depend on the manual exertion of pressure. Also, this isn’t suitable for people with arthritis or other similar bone or muscle-related issues. There’s also the risk of heat exposure and burning yourself if used incorrectly.

6. Automatic Heat Press

When it comes to automatic heat press machines, the biggest difference between them and manual heat presses is that you don’t have to manually open up the clam in these machines. Once the timer goes off, the machine opens up on its own instead of you having to stand next to it and applying manual pressure, and opening it when the task is done.

This is quite an improvement over the manual press because here, you can easily multi-task and do other things such as preparing the next batch of t-shirts for printing while the current one is getting printed. You don’t even have to worry about any burn damages being caused on the t-shirt that you are printing.

There are two types of automatic heat presses: semi-automatic and fully automatic. A semi-automatic machine has to be closed by you manually but opens up on its own. A fully automatic machine can close at the press of a button, which makes your job even easier. Ease of use is the biggest benefit of this heat press machine and while it costs a little extra compared to a manual press, but it gives you the peace of mind that at least you don’t risk your t-shirts getting scorched!

7. Air Press

These can technically be considered a sub-type of a fully automatic heat press machine. These machines come with an air compressor pump which ensures the maximum amount of pressure possible. You don’t have to exert any manual pressure here and everything is done automatically, which is a huge benefit.

Besides, the higher the pressure, the more even the printing would be and the more high-quality a print are you likely to get. This, in fact, is perhaps the best heat press machine for anyone who is looking forward to getting one for bulk orders. If you have a lot of printing work to do, this should be an ideal option. This is also a great heat press for those who wish to print on thicker surfaces.

However, considering that it offers a much precise level of printing, and an automatic operation along with an air compression pump, you will also need to pay an extra amount for it, which is something that a lot of people consider a drawback. However, for better services, you need to pay a better amount.

How to Use a Heat Press Machine?

The working of a t-shirt press machine can be simply summed up in this statement: A heat press machine applies heat and pressure to a graphic design in order to get it imprinted onto a substrate. There are a large number of surfaces that are receptive to a heat-pressed imprint, such as fabric, ceramic, etc. There are automatic as well as manual heat press machines, which we have discussed above.

Let us now take a closer look and observe how exactly does a heat press machine functions:

For the purpose of this section, we are assuming that you are printing something on a t-shirt. Depending on the size of the design and the size of the t-shirt, you need to ensure that your press can cover all of it. Your press shouldn’t be smaller compared to the size of the shirt that you are printing. Also, make sure that the fabric you choose isn’t one that can melt away easily upon heat. Cotton, nylon, and polyester are the three best options that you have.

You will then need to choose your design and have it printed on transfer paper. A transfer paper is basically made out of a pigment-rich waxy substance, which is then placed over the garment that you are printing and when heat is applied to it, the design gets printed on the cloth. One thing to keep in mind while printing is that you will need to print a mirror image of what you see on your PC screen as that is going to be reversed once again when you print it on a t-shirt.

Next, we come to the actual heat press. Turn it on, and then set the temperature by adjusting the knobs of the thermostat. Some fancier ones might have buttons via which you can adjust the temperature. Once you have reached the temperature that you want, the heating light will turn on. Wait till that light is turned off. Once that light is off, your heat press has reached the temperature that you want to operate it at.

Make sure you do not touch the platens and are operating it using safety gloves. Some heat presses will also have a pressure setting available to them. If you are using such a press, set the pressure that you wish to work at, else you’ll need to apply that manually. You should then set a timer for the amount of time you want the heat and the pressure to be applied. Once the timer rings, open up the press if it is a manual press. If it is an automatic one, it will open up on its own and your print is ready!

Once you have printed your design upon your t-shirt, your work is still not finished. You need to ensure that the design is given at least 24 hours to get firmly attached to the fabric by letting it be undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not wash it in this period or you risk smudging the print.

When you are washing these printed clothes, make sure that you are turning the clothes inside-out so that there’s no actual friction on the design. Also, make sure to use soft detergents and try air drying the clothes instead of tumble-drying them to ensure the longevity of the print.

Three Most Important Elements of Using a Heat Press

Now that you know the whole process, it is important for you to understand the three most important elements of heat printing – time, pressure, and temperature! Getting a combination of these three right is the secret to obtaining the perfect print.

1. Time

Fancierstudio Power Heat press Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press Rhinestone Heat Press T-Shirt Heat Press 15x15 B/BLK

Most heat press machines operate at a range of 0 seconds to 999 seconds. For reference, 999 seconds would mean somewhere around 16 minutes – and it is a number that no one would usually require. Most t-shirt prints are done in somewhere between 10 to 20 seconds. However, that number also depends on the kind of cloth that you are using and the kind of transfer paper you are using. Fancierstudio Power Digital Heat Press comes with a really good digital timer and is a really good heat press machine for vinyl shirts. This heat press is considered by many as a top-ranking name among the top 10 heat press machines ever created.

Make sure to read all the instructions that come with your transfer paper carefully before you begin printing. Almost every heat press comes with a built-in timer, but in some older clamshell variants and in manual machines, you might have to keep a track of time yourself, so keep an eye out for that as well.

2. Pressure

After a time, the next most important variable is that of the pressure that you are going to apply. This could be adjusted digitally or with the help of a knob if you’re using traditional heat press machines. There are some in which neither is present and you’ll need to exert pressure manually which could be quite a pain in the neck.

The pressure that you are applying depends on the material that you are printing on. For instance, fabric would generally require lesser pressure to print on than compared to wood. Make sure you know what you are pressing on and how much pressure can they withstand. Ceramic, for instance, would require the least amount of pressure as you risk breaking it otherwise.

3. Temperature

PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine for T Shirt, 15x15 Inch, Black

Last but not least, temperature also needs to be kept in mind. A large majority of heat press machines operate at a range between 0F to 500F. If you are printing a light-colored fabric, you will need to apply about 350 °F of temperature for about 20 seconds, and in case of darker colors, you will need to apply a slightly lesser temperature, about 320 °F for 20 seconds to get the perfect print. Some machines such as the PowerPress Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine can also go as high as 750F.

Who Needs a Heat Press Machine?

Now that you know what a heat press machine is, it is important to understand who needs it.

1. Artists

If you are an artist who is into the business of commissioning their prints and selling their artwork in the form of mugs, t-shirts, caps, and other similar products, then a t-shirt press machine is just the right investment for you.

By getting a heat press machine, you won’t have to rely on a third-party vendor to print your products. You can directly take orders from customers, print them yourself, and ship them to the buyers directly. This would save you the commission that you are paying the third-party printers, as well as save you and the customer the time that it takes for the printer to get the orders rolling.

2. Offices

A heat press machine is a good investment when it comes to offices, particularly large offices with hundreds of employees working with them on the floor. If there are special occasions, such as the 20th anniversary of your firm, or a special deal brokered between your firm and another – or any other commemorative moment that you want to remember for a long time, you might want to print some t-shirts and mugs and hand them out to your employees so that they feel they are all in this together.

Besides that, regular office accessories such as coffee mugs, caps, masks, etc. can also be printed and supplied to the employees en masse. Besides that, there are many other items of official use and communication that also require heat printing. Hence, it is important for large offices to own a heat press machine of their own instead of getting a contractor to print their products.

3. People Who Throw Large Parties

If you are a wicked party animal, you might want to own your own heat press machine rather than rely on a vendor for that. People who love to throw parties and socialize often get their own t-shirts printed. We are sure you might have attended those parties where they hand out t-shirts such as “I was Present at Alex’s 1st Birthday Party” or “Joanne’s Baby Shower 2011”.

This is a very select group of people, particularly people with large families or social circles, and who love to socialize and throw a large party every few weeks. This adds prestige to any party and makes you an instant favorite with your guests, while also saving you the cost that you pay to a third-party printer every few weeks.

4. Event Management Firms

Event management firms that help organize weddings, bachelor parties, baby showers, birthday parties, and other large-scale events such as conferences and seminars might also want to purchase a heat press machine of their own instead of relying on a vendor. This is very useful to event management firms because there are times when you would need to get things printed rather quickly as vendors can often make you wait for quite a while. You can also get things like a multifunctional 5 in 1 heat press machine that would print more than just t-shirts.

5. Businesses Selling Custom Artwork

Businesses that purchase, create, and sell custom artwork, such as t-shirt stores or online stores for custom designs should totally get a heat press machine of their own. This is because the sheer volume of orders that they get is too large to rely on a third-party vendor. The volume of orders often helps you break even for the cost of the heat press machine in just a month or two.

Hence, if you are a business that sells custom t-shirts, hoodies, caps, and other similar wearables, you might just want to invest in a heat press machine of your own.

6. Third-Party Vendors

Lastly, if you are a third-party vendor who takes orders from the aforementioned businesses, you might want to invest in a high-quality heat press machine so that you can get the prints done with better precision and faster. Besides, the more the volume of orders, the more will the number of heat press machines that you need be. Hence, it is good for vendors to invest in the best heat press machines out there.

How to Stay Safe While Using a Heat Press Machine

Last but not least before we head to the FAQs, while you have now understood everything about how to buy a heat press machine for printing stuff on substrates, you also need to know how to use these machines safely. Here are some tips that you MUST keep in mind:

First of all, make sure that there are no kids or pets nearby when you are using these machines. Keep in mind that these heat transfer machines are really hot and can cause quite a burn to anyone who touches them in the wrong place. The platens tend to reach temperatures as high as 500F, and even at regular 350F temperatures, they can give you a very severe burn even if you touch them. Getting your hand trapped there is extremely dangerous and you must ensure children and pets are nowhere in the room while you are using them.

Up next comes your own safety. Always wear baking gloves while operating heat press machines so that even if you accidentally touch the platen, your hands remain protected at all times.

Lastly, avoid keeping any flammable objects near the heat press as there’s a risk that they may topple over or there’s an electrical surge and they may catch fire. For prolonged usage of heat press machines, we also suggest shutting off all other equipment in that room so that they are not damaged by a power surge.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heat Press Machines

Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about heat press machines. We have collated these questions under one section so that it is easier for you to get a three-sixty degree perspective about heat press machines.

What is the Best Heat Press Machine to Buy?

The best heat press machine actually varies depending upon your use. For some people, the definition of the best heat press machine might be one that can print the highest-quality print, while for others the best heat press comes at a pocket-friendly price point. Others might find one which offers them the highest levels of safety to be the absolute best heat press machine. We strongly recommend you to go through the buyer’s guide above to decide for yourself as to which is the best heat press for all your needs.

How Much is a Heat Press Machine?

The price of a good t-shirt press machine generally varies between $150 on the lower end and can go up to $250-$300 on the upper end for a standard 15×15 inch model. However, prices tend to fluctuate from time to time based on the demand and the discounts. Machines that offer multiple functions such as a 5 in 1 heat press can often be a little more expensive.

Where to Buy a Heat Press Machine

While heat press machines can be purchased from some specialized stores and special printing shops in your local region, you can also get them from Amazon, which offers the largest collection of heat press machines in the world. You get a lot of options, as well as quite a discount. You can find a wide range of heat presses over there, ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive of these machines.

Which Heat Press Should I Buy

There are three factors that should have the biggest influence on your choice of a heat press machine:

  • First off, the price of the machine has to be one which fits your budget
  • Next, you need to check if the heat press that you are buying has the right kind of a temperature that your fabric needs (and if the machine can print on the material that you wish to print stuff on)
  • Lastly, how safe it is to use has to be considered too. Get the safest option possible

It is based on these three factors that you choose the right heat press for your needs.


To conclude, we hope that this explainer on heat presses helped you learn quite a bit about the best heat press machines out there and helped you choose the perfect heat press for all your needs. Heat pressing is the best way to get your graphic imprinted onto a t-shirt or other similar surfaces. If you are running a business, or if you want to print event-specific memorabilia, getting these machines is a good option for you. These are not complex machines but there’s quite a bit that you need to know about them before you choose the right machine for your needs.

If there are any more questions or queries that you may have about the heat press technique of printing, feel free to let us know over the comments or write us a mail and we shall get back to you as soon as we can.


The Top 5 T-Shirt Printing Machines of 2020 [w/ Comparison Table]

Your choices for garment decoration are ever-expanding. Today’s options include traditional screen prints, embroidery, applique, transfers and the increasingly popular digital direct-to-garment (DTG) printing.

Since its inception, the number of manufacturers and models in the DTG market space has been in constant flux. Many well-marketed machines, once prevalent in discussions and trade show halls, have now nearly vanished.

However, over the last several years there have consistently been a handful of manufacturers leading the pack. Below, we’ve compared 2019’s top five DTG t-shirt printing machine models:

  • Epson F2100
  • Brother GTX
  • Col-Desi (DTG Digital) M2
  • Kornit Breeze
  • M&R M-Link-X

Epson F2100

Picture of an Epson F2100 printer

At roughly 3’ by 5’, the Epson F2100’s footprint is more rectangular than the GTX from Brother. And at just over 1.5’ high, it’s certainly smaller. This is a table or bench top design and is not free standing, so you’ll need to plan on where it will be setup. Overall, the F2100 is a very quiet operating machine with a polished, put-together profile that works as easily in a home-based business as it does in a full production environment.


  • MSRP: $17,995
  • Est. Street Price: $15,995

Brother GTX


At 4.5’ by 4.25,’ the GTX is a little boxier and immediately conveys an industrial look with its predominately metal exterior. The GTX is a table or bench top unit, but with a custom stand available. This stand is recommended, as it allows users to take advantage of the open bottom design of the printer for humidification, which is often necessary for consistent operation.


  • MSRP: $22,500
  • Est. Street Price: $22,500

Col-Desi (DTG Digital) M2


Being the only dual platen printer of this group — meaning there are two platens to load t-shirts instead of just one — the natural thought would be that it has a much larger footprint. At about 4’ x 3,’ it occupies a similar space as the Brother, but with a much larger shadow as it’s nearly a complete rectangle.

A tabletop/bench top unit as well, the M2 will require proper arrangements. Quieter than the Brother GTX but not to the level of the Epson F2100, this unit can be an option for users that need an extra-large imaging area.


  • MSRP: $19,995
  • Est. Street Price: $19,995

Kornit Breeze


As the introductory machine from Kornit, the Breeze is the smallest in their line-up but one of the largest in this group. The 4’ x 5’ framework is the most modern looking by far. As the only machine in the group with an integrated pre-treatment system, the overall footprint may be smaller. Kornit’s inks are typically cured with a gas dryer, which can serve as the base table for this printer.


  • MSRP: $65,000
  • Est. Street Price: $62,000

M&R M-Link-X


As the only free-standing unit in this group, the M-Link-X also has the distinction of being the largest at 4.5’ x 5.5.’ With a rugged steel frame and squared-off edging, the M-Link has the most industrial look and feel. Not the best option for home-based businesses, this unit is better suited for a production environment.


  • MSRP: $74,995
  • Est. Street Price: $70,995

See all pricing in the printer comparison table below

Target Audience

In comparing these models, it’s best to start with their intended target audience.

M&R and Kornit’s focus has always been toward production shops while Epson, Brother and Col-Desi have tried to broaden their audiences to include smaller garment shops and even sign and graphics shops, where t-shirts are often a complementary workflow.

In the cases of Epson and Brother, they’ve taken that a step further by targeting home-based businesses with their ease of use as well. That’s not to say that the F2100 and GTX can’t handle production, because they are both capable of running regular shifts in production shops. (Note the production volumes in the chart below.)

Unsure What Direct to Garment Printer is Right for You?

Try our Printer Finder Tool >>


best direct to garment printer

Maintenance is usually one of the first questions from potential users of t-shirt printing machines. In this regard, the Epson and Brother receive the highest marks with their low costs (~$30 a month) and minimal manual maintenance time <5 minutes – especially when compared to the outputs. Both units feature daily automated cleaning capabilities that reduces hands-on time for the operator.

Col-Desi’s M2 uses older Epson photo print heads. And even though it doesn’t purge ink in the line to the extent of the Kornit, the maintenance cost is still a factor — both in time and material. Kornit’s Breeze pre-treats (binding agent) garments inside the t-shirt printing machine, which will add to the manual cleaning times that typically run well over an hour or two per week for maintenance.

Service & Training

For t-shirt printing machines, service and training typically fall in line right after maintenance questions. We always encourage on-site installation/training by a professional service technician. This way, you will know that your machine is functioning properly and you’re operating it correctly.

In this area, Col-Desi receives a poor grade since they only offer remote training or on-site training at their corporate offices in Florida. When it comes to getting a technician on-site, Epson and Brother come out the winners, as they have national networks of service technicians. Epson also has a 48-hour on-site guarantee built right into their warranty.

Service when you need it is always important for any DTG printer, and it’s going to start with your distributor. Some are going to be much more adept than others when it comes to addressing smaller service questions and getting you back up and running quickly.

Material Costs

best direct to garment printer

There is always extensive discussion on ink costs and t-shirt costs. Far more important is the actual operation costs of any particular t-shirt printer. This is going to give you real-world costs on what producing an actual garment is, not just the cost of the ink on the shirt. Shirt cost analysis done with only the ink cost on a shirt is misleading at best and often includes numbers that get flaunted by manufacturers to one up a competitor.

Every shop is going to have different operation costs so an individual analysis should be done with your distributor to understand your overall costs. But from an equipment standpoint, Epson and Brother are the most transparent in their operation costs with easy-to-calculate shirt costs as well as expected maintenance material and time costs. Ink cost alone can be a small fraction of the overall operation, so don’t be lured in by this figure alone.

T-shirt Printer Comparison Chart

We’ve created the chart below for a side-by-side comparison of these leading printer models.

However, if you’re in the market for a DTG printer, we always recommend a consultative analysis and to demo the equipment you’re looking to bring in-house.

Trade show demonstrations can be a good step in initial review but spending some hands-on time thoroughly testing the entire workflow and production is the best way to understand all the caveats of operation.

ManufacturerDescriptionEpsonBrotherDTG DigitalKornitM&R
ModelF2100GTXM2BreezeM link X
MSRPManufacturer Suggested Retail Price.$17,995$22,500$19,995$65,000$74,995
Est. Street PriceActual retail price.$16,995$22,500$19,995$65,000$70,995
Ink ConfigurationCompatible ink colors.cmykwwClcmykwwClcmykwcmykwwcmykw
Ink DeliveryThe size of the cartridges/bottles.600ml Cart 200cc/500cc/700cc250cc150cc / 1500cc1 L Bulk
Ink CostThe price for the cartridges/bottle size listed in ink delivery.$207$103/$183/$218$42$180 / $280W – $262; Color – $241
Ink Cost Per CCThe cost of ink per cubic centimeter.$0.34$0.52/$0.37/$0.32$0.17$0.83 / $0.19$0.26 / $0.24
Ink Circulation SystemThe internal system that circulates the white ink inside the machine. 










OEKO-TEX® 100 CertifiedAn independent testing and certification system for finished textile products. 










AATCC Wash Test RatingAmerican Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). On a scale of 1-5, this test determines wash fastness and durability of the ink. 















Max Print AreaDimensions of appropriate media size. 



16″x18″ with White 16″x21″ Color Only







Production Volume on DarkHow many prints you can produce when printing with white ink. 










Production Volume on LightHow many prints you can produce when printing with color ink. 










Print HeadThe number of and type of print head included.1- Epson TFP2-brother1-Epson DXS6-Spectra2- Ricoh Gen 5
Max Print Head ResolutionMeasured in DPI (dots per inch).144001200288012001200
SoftwareImage processing software included with purchase. 

Garment Creator


Printer Driver







WarrantyType and length of warranty and coverage with purchase. 

1 Yr – Full


1Yr Full – 2nd Yr Limited


2 Yr Parts & Labor


1 Yr Full Warranty



TrainingType of product training included with purchase.On-SiteOn-SiteRemoteOn-SiteOn-Site
Daily MaintenanceIs maintenance required?AutomatedAutomatedYesYesYes
Pre-TreatmentType of pre-treatment necessary.OfflineOfflineOfflineIntegratedOffline

Pre-Treatment Machines & Heat Presses

Your t-shirt printing machine may require some additional pieces of equipment.

Pre-Treatment Machines
Printing with white ink requires preparation. Pre-treatment machines prepare your garments by applying a consistent amount of solution before you print. They can also apply anti-migrants for printing on synthetic and wicking garments.

The Kornit model has an integrated pre-treatment process but the others require offline treatment.

Heat Presses
As an integral part of the garment decorating process, a heat press is often necessary for some DTG and dye sublimation workflows — it will depend on the type of ink you’re using. Additionally, with a heat press, you can also easily transfer custom, unique designs to various substrates via transfer papers, heat applied films, digital transfers, screen printed transfers and more.

If you have any questions about the best t-shirt printing machine for your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for advice!


Mike Terlizzi

Since 2001, Mike has been involved in every aspect of ITNH — from business development and marketing to sales and equipment acquisition. As a partner, Mike uses his unparalleled knowledge and expertise to continually expand ITNH’s offerings and help customers across every industry find the printing equipment and consumables they need to be profitable.

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fishional store for sale 600W Digital Heat Press Machine Label Clothing LOGO Printing Transfer Machine up to 42% off

twitter announced today that it will be removing its implementation of stories dubbed “fleets.” the feature was either loved or hated by twitter users since its initial release last year.

this short-lived feature, which was released in november of last year, will be removed on august 3. twitter acknowledged the controversial nature of the snapchat/instagram clone with the farewell tweet. notably, there was no fleet from the main twitter account announcing the departure of the feature, only a standard tweet.

in the goodbye, the company said it is working on “new stuff.” one can hope that they add the ability to edit tweets, in addition to the new edit audience and monetization features.

in a more detailed blog post, twitter shared that it hoped fleets would make people more comfortable posting onto twitter. as fleets disappear, some of the fleet creation features, like gifs and stickers, will be implemented into the standard tweets composer.

ftc: we use income earning auto affiliate links.more.

check out 9to5mac on youtube for more apple news:

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✅Top 5 Best T-Shirt Printing Machine 2021-Buy cheap best t shirt printing machine

best heat press machine for beginners

Heat press machines can be used for many applications, both at home and for a business. If you’re a beginner to using a heat press, the process can seem very daunting, but a heat press is actually quite easy to use, once you have some practice.

Popular applications include putting logos and pictures on to t-shirts, bags, bed linen and tea towels and even printing on to mugs. Before you get started it’s important to know how heat presses work, what you need and which one is the best heat press machine for beginners.


What Is a Heat Press?

Heat press machines are a simple way to press artwork on to a number of different surfaces. Most heat press machines have two flat plates. The top one is heated and then the item you want to print on is placed on the bottom plate with the desired artwork on top. The two plates are then pressed together and the heat presses the artwork in to the fabric.

Round heat presses are used for items such as mugs, and while the process is slightly different, it still uses heat to press the artwork on to the mug.

Heat presses are easier to use and cheaper than screen printing, so they are a great choice of machine for anyone who has a budget or who does not need to print in high quantities.

Types of Heat Press

As with all machinery, heat presses come in different types and sizes, depending on your requirements.

Clamshell Heat Press or Top Opening

These types of heat press are the most popular. They have a hinge to open and close the top plate and they can also be used in the home as they are smaller machines. To operate, the top is raised, the material and artwork are placed on the bottom plate, and the top plate is then lowered and pressed.

Clamshell heat press machines are best used for thinner materials, such as t-shirts, bags and tea towels, as the hinge controls how far the plates close.

Swinger / Swing Away Heat Press

A swing away heat press requires more room than a clamshell heat press, as the top ‘swings away’ from the bottom. This type of heat press allows you more room to lay out your fabric and it can also be used on thicker objects such as mouse mats and even mugs.

Draw Heat Press

This is very similar to a swinger model, but in this case the lower plate is the one which swings away, meaning you can place your item safely away from the heated upper plate.

Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press

As the name suggests, this is used mainly for t-shirts. This machine is designed to ensure that the dye from the transfer paper will not bleed in to the t-shirt. They also have a larger surface area, making it easier to lay out your fabric. As most people start with printing on to t-shirts, this could be a good choice as one of the best heat press machines for beginners.

All machines can be either manually operated or automatic, and all can be used at home or in the workplace.

What Can a Heat Press Be Used For?

Heat presses are a great way to create personalised items for your business, or presents for family and friends.

They can be used with fabrics, plastic, mouse mats and ceramics, as long as you check first that the surface you are printing on to is compatible. The best heat press machine for beginners is one which will allow you to use a number of different materials. Uses for a heat press are many and just some of the items you can create are:

  • T-shirts, sweat shirts and sports shirts with any logo or design you choose
  • Tea towels, cushion covers and bedding to brighten up the home or to sell with your own unique design.
  • Mouse mats to promote your business.
  • Mugs for marketing or for personalising as gifts.
  • Hand bags and make up bags.
  • Carrier bags for your business.
  • Caps for your sports team

Before you start, check that the heat press you are buying can handle the items you want to create.

What Do You Need?

The first thing you need to organise is the space to site your heat press. You need to allow yourself plenty of room to open the press and be able to place your materials and transfers inside. You will need a flat, stable surface with access to a plug, and ideally allow some space for laying out all your materials and transfers while you work.

Remember that your heat press may well be heavy so it won’t be easy to move it once it’s set up. It’s also a good idea to have a window open when you use it. Don’t be put off if your heat press creates a smell the first few times you use it. This is normal and the smell will go away the more you use the press.

Once you have your space organised, you need to know what you will be printing on and how you will be applying your artwork.

can you heat press on polyester

Heat presses are by their very nature, very hot, so some fabrics will not work well with them. Synthetic materials, for example, should be avoided, while thicker fabrics such as cotton, nylon and polyester provide a better result.

Before printing on any fabric, wash it and iron it so there you have a clean, flat surface to work with. If you intend to print on mugs or mouse mats, wipe down the surface to remove any dirt or grease and check that the heat press you have will handle them.

Your artwork will be applied using special transfer paper. You create your design on a pc using any design software and print this out using the transfer paper. The paper will then sit on top of your chosen fabric in the heat press.

Operating a Heat Press

While all heat presses are simple to use, you must follow the right steps to get the best result. Most presses use a similar method of operation, but always follow the instructions included with your press.

Heat presses are simply plugged in to the mains using a normal plug and switched on to heat up prior to use.

The best heat press machine for beginners should have a thermostat to help you choose the desired temperature. Heating times vary but you should allow between 10 -20 minutes. If you are unsure what temperature to use, refer to your manual. While it heats up, the press will have a light on and this will go off when the desired temperature has been reached. Don’t worry if the light keeps coming back on. The press will slowly lose heat and the thermostat will just help to keep it at a steady temperature.

Depending on your chosen type of press, either lift the handle or swing the plate to open it. Carefully lay out your chosen fabric then place the transfer paper where you want your design to be. Remember to lay the paper face down.

Close the press until it locks in place and set the timer. The instruction manual in your press should tell you how long to allow for each type of fabric. When the timer clicks off, open the press and carefully peel the transfer paper off. The design will stay in place on your fabric.

Leave your items for up to 24 hours before washing or pressing to make sure the design has taken properly.
Your first few attempts may not be perfect, but if you persevere you’ll soon be experimenting with more complex designs. You may want to use an old t-shirt or old mug to practice on. This will give you the chance to check your print is lined up right and that the colours are all printing as you want them.

Choosing The Best Heat Press Machine For Beginners

While heat presses all work in a similar fashion, there are some which we feel are best suited to beginners. Here are a few suggestions which we think offer you the best all round machine for use at home or at work, we’re sure our heat press reviews will help you choose!

PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press Machine, 15″x15″ – Best Heat Press

The Power Press Heat Press is a lovely easy to use heat press which makes it easy to get started and is ready to use straight from the box. It is a clam model, so the top opens upwards, allowing you to place your materials inside. It takes up minimal space in the home or office as the printing area is just 15” by 15” in size.

The top plate is Teflon coated, so you don’t need to invest in coated sheets. This plate is also hard wearing, easy to clean and will not damage your materials.

For beginners to heat pressing, the temperature can be an issue but this press uses an LCD control board which allows you to choose the exact temperature and time you want, with a temperature range from 0 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating time is between 10 to 15 minutes giving you time to check your transfer and material before you get to work. An indicator light shows you when it’s ready to use and it also beeps to tell you when your transfer is ready.

This press is a good press for:

  • Excellent heat press machine for t shirts, sweatshirts, aprons
  • bags, tea towels, cushion covers
  • mouse mats
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • ID badges
  • ceramic tiles

Fancierstudio Power Heat press Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press – Awesome Heat Transfer Machine

A top opening, or clam model, which will have you up and running in no time as it requires minimal set up, making it a good choice as one of the best heat press machines for beginners. The silicon rubber base is fixed and the press comes with a Teflon coated sheet for the upper plate. The print area is 15” by 15” so it does not take up too much space, and it is also a sublimation heat press, which gives better finishes to t-shirts.

The temperature range is from 0 to 699 degrees Fahrenheit with a time range of up to 999 seconds, or 16.5 minutes. This helps you to lay everything out ready before you start work. It has a timer and heat control and a pull down handle which locks the plates together. Controlling the pressure is done using a simple knob on the top of the press.

It will notify you when it has reached the desired temperature and will turn itself off at the end of the chosen time.

This press is a good press for:

  • Perfect heat press machine for t shirts, sweatshirts, aprons
  • baby clothes
  • bags, tea towels, cushion covers
  • mouse mats
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • ID badges
  • ceramic tiles

Check out the latest price of it here (amazon link)

ePhotoInc 15 x 15″ T-Shirt Heat Transfer Press Sublimation Heat Press Machine

This ePhotoInc press is a nice, easy to use press which gives good results and which can be used straight out of the box.

The compact plate size of the heat press 15×15 makes it a good choice for use at home or at work, and is a good choice of machine for beginners. It comes with a Teflon sheet for the top plate, which helps to protect your fabric and is easy to keep clean.

The model is a top opening one, or clam type, and includes a handle which pulls down and locks the plates together. There is a pressure control knob on the top which can be turned to increase or decrease the pressure.

It features an LED control panel which allows you to set the time and temperature to exactly how you want them. Temperature ranges from room temperature up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer runs up to 999 seconds or 16.5 minutes.

This press is a good press for:

  • Great t shirts press machine, sweatshirts, aprons
  • baby clothes
  • bags, tea towels, cushion covers
  • mouse mats
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • ID badges
  • ceramic tiles and plates

See more user reviews at amazon.


Hopefully now you have an idea of what you need to know to get you started and what to look for when purchasing the best heat press machine for beginners.

Getting the most out of your heat press takes practice, so if you have a few failures at the beginning, use your mistakes to find out what you need to do and more importantly, the things you should not do.

Just remember to check your manual for guidelines about fabrics and times and stick to these. As you grow in confidence you can start creating more complex designs and begin to vary the materials you work with.



Press sale for clothing machine

Are you trying to find the best heat press machine 2021 has to offer?

With countless options of heat press machines on the market in 2021, it can be overwhelming to find a top rated heat press that will fulfill all your heat transfer design needs.

A hot press machine is a necessary investment if you wish to produce professional quality graphic designed products.

Whether you wish to have a machine for hobby use or if you want a best heat press machine for small business; you need a machine that will allow you complete your projects in minimal time.

Find below the top 10 best heat press reviews or simply grab the best option by clicking on the links below. 

Comparison Chart of the Top 10 Heat Press Machines in 2021

Below is a comparison chart of the top 10 heat press machines, which are mentioned in this article.

You can then read my reviews below featuring the best heat presses 2021 has to offer.

Best Heat Press Machine for Beginners

According to our community, the best starter heat press and the best heat press machine for home use is most definitely the very popular Fancierstudio Power Heat Press

It is our best selling machine.

This machine has been designed as a hobby machine and is super easy to use. 

The clamshell design simplifies the pressing process and the electronic time and heat control which allows for precise time set-up.

The machine is a brilliant machine and comes at a great budget price! From our experience, it is the best t-shirt heat press for home use and the best home heat press for vinyl!

If you are a beginner, you will love this one. It is our pick as the best vinyl heat press for beginners!


Heat Press Buying Guide

Find below some helpful information that will help you decide which of the machines listed below would be best suited for your needs.

1. Type of Machine

Different types of heat press machines serve different purposes.

Clam-Shell Designs:  

  • If you are a beginner and you wish to work with flat transfers such as T Shirt Transfers, then we recommend the clam shell models. 
  • It is time efficient and the garment layout does not require as much attention to detail. 
  • These machines are also typically cheaper than the swing-away or multipurpose models.

Swing-Away Designs:

  • If you wish to step up the game and work with t-shirts with rhinestones, numbers and letters or sublimation printing; then I highly recommend the Swing-Away models. 
  • These types of jobs require precision and you need a complete view of the layout area.

2. Size, Shape and Purpose of the Machine

It is important to have a think about what your purpose is with the machine! What size do you require?

  • The flat surface of a heat press is perfect for flat presses such as T shirt transfers, whilst you will require a curved press if you wish to work with mugs or caps. 
  • You can also find smaller heat presses for cheaper if you don't require a larger size. 
  • If you are after a T shirt heat press machine our recommendation is to choose between either the 14 x 16" or the 16" x 20" models.
  • Large format presses range from 16 x 24" presses, 20 x 25" and upwards.

If you can work out your purpose and the size you require, it will be much easier when it comes to selecting the right heat press for your needs.

3. Manual vs Automatic

For most of us, a manual operated heat press is all that is needed for our pressing needs.

  • These machines are perfect for those who create sporadically or on a small batch basis. 
  • They are cheaper than automatic heat press machines 
  • A smarter investment if you are not planning on operating a large scale heat press business

If you will be pressing for more than 4 hours a day, then we recommend an automatic operated machine.

4. Single or Multi-Purpose Ability

16x24 Heat Press

If you are sticking to only one heat press product, then we highly recommend you invest in a single application model.

All the models below are brilliant for shirts or flat materials, but you can also purchase mug and cap presses on our blog posts found below:

If you know that you will be working a wide variety of products and materials you will need to purchase a multi-function model.

They have interchangeable heat platens and bottom tables.

5. Other Things to Take into Consideration

  • Get the best quality heat press that you can afford.
  • Look into what type of support is available with the machine
  • Investigate the feedback about the heat platen. Does it distribute heat evenly?
  • Ensure that the model has a digital timer.
  • If you are purchasing a clam shell press, ensure that there is an adjustable force and pressure knob.
  • You will need to invest in a cutter as well. You can see the best vinyl cutting machine for your heat press here. 

Find our top 10 heat presses and their reviews below.

The Top 10 Heat Press Machine Reviews

Below you will find the best heat press machines. We will have a close look at the top 10 presses and outline which one we believe to be the best heat press of 2021.

I will outline the top features, the pros and cons of each, as well as give you an indication of the average heat press machine price.

We suggest you purchase the best rated heat press machine that you can afford to buy.

1. Fancierstudio Heat Press Review (Best 15x15 Heat Press)

15x15 Heat Press | Clamshell | Sublimation

Our Pick: Best Heat Press for Beginners

The FancierStudio Heat Press is one of the most in-demand heat presses for those who are specifically after an easy-to-use shirt press machine.  

This top selling 15 x 15 heat press is a digital heat press machine that operates as a clam shell types machine. It is compact and relatively lightweight.  

We love that the Power Press Industrial Heat Press has a handy Electronic time and Heat control which allows for precise time set-up. It is also our choice as the best t shirt press.

The 1800-watt element, of the Power Heat Press 15 x 15" Machine, can heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and distribute the heat quickly and evenly.  

We have found that the silicone gel baseboard is perfect to generate the desired pressure for transfers, whilst the pressure adjustable system allows you to tweak the pressure needed for materials of various thicknesses.

The Power Press machine might just possibly be the best starter heat press, and it is also brilliant for those operating a small heat press business. It is versatile in its ability to transfer images on t-shirts, ceramic tiles, jigsaw puzzles, garments and bags.

It is a standalone machine and the best heat press for t shirts and vinyl; so if you wish to work with items such as mugs, caps and thicker materials, we do suggest you have a look at our multipurpose machines instead.

You can read our full review of this heat press here.


  • Clamshell Heat Press 15x15" in size
  • Budget friendly and easy to use
  • Spacious platform
  • Heavy duty steel frame
  • Heats fast and evenly
  • Heat and warp resistant
  • Compact and space-saving
  • Non-stick surface and heat platen
  • Electronic temperature (0-500F) and timer (0-999sec)


  • Product availability is pretty sporadic
  • Not available for shipping in some countries
  • Customer service could be better


The Fancierstudio Industrial Quality Digital 15 by 15" machine offers top notch quality for incredible value.

This particular model is highly reliable and will offer you the industrial build that you can trust will last you for many years to come.

If you can find this top rated heat press machine in stock, we suggest you snap it up ASAP. 


2. PowerPress HPM Heat Press Review

15x15 Heat Press | Clamshell 

Our Pick: Best Heat Press for T-Shirt use

The Power Press Heat Press is one of our most popular 15x15" heat presses. It is a digital heat press that operates as a clamshell type machine. It has an LCD screen where you can set your temperature and timing digitally.

It is a truly versatile, reliable and amazingly affordable machine. The PowerPress is a fabulous machine for those who have an interest in working with t-shirts, sweatpants, canvas bags, to puzzles and so much more!


Of course it has a Teflon coated heating plate which is fabulous for those of us who work with vinyl. Heat is dispersed evenly.

The PowerPress a fabulous temperature range of 0 - 450 F and timer settings from 0 - 999 sec. We love the individual safety control chip, one of the very few heat press machines that we see with this feature.

One small negative is that the machine is manual operated (all machines at this price-point are). But if you are doing a few jobs the manual labor can get a bit tiring.


  • Clamshell Heat Press 15x15" in size
  • Budget friendly and easy to use
  • LCD control board: fully digital temperature and time control
  • Individual safety control chip
  • Heats fast and evenly
  • Teflon coated heat plate
  • Electronic temperature (0-450F) and timer (0-999sec)
  • Teflon sheet included


  • Manual machine (automatic presses are a lot more expensive)
  • Instructions of use are pretty useless
  • Customer service could be better


Our community has titled the PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch as the best heat press for T-Shirt designs.

Whilst we highly recommend this press for home-users, we know of a few small business owners that use the PowerPress and who are very happy with its performance.

The machine offers you versatility, and reliability, all for an incredibly affordable price.


3. Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine Review

Swing Away Design| 12 x 15" Heat Press

Our Pick: Best 5 in 1 Heat Press 

The Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine is a great machine for those who want to purchase a 12x 15" machine at the mid-way point between a hobby and professional machine.

The Slendor 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press allows you to print your attractive designs on different surfaces.

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10 Best Heat Press Machine Reviews Of 2019(Updated)

The lightweight, low-profile BrightPad makes crafting easier while reducing eye strain.
best heat press machine

Heat transfer printing or heat press machine is the modern technique of printing your artwork onto your t-shirts, mouse mats, mugs, hats, bags, plates, etc.

It lets you customize almost everything!

Best Heat Press Machines

When it comes to quality printing and longevity, the best heat press machines always prove superior to other printing methods.

In addition to this, t-shirt entrepreneurs find it a great investment due to its ease of use, affordability, ability to print high-quality prints without spending a lot of cash, among other benefits.

​After having practical experience from our industry experts and using them for different type of design printing on different types of clothes, that will earn you hundreds of clients in no time and a buying guide to help you pick the right machine for your needs​.

Need a quick decision? Here's our top 4 best heat press machine picks:

Things To Consider Before Buying A Heat Press Machine:

Let’s start our guide below:

​Here are the important things you need to keep in mind when purchasing the best affordable t-shirt printing machine for your t-shirt printing needs:


The first thing you want to do when buying your heat press machine for t-shirts is the quality. As much as you want to invest your money in a durable, long-term machine, you’ll need to make sure it comes with the ultimate quality.

The easiest way to detect a durable machine when comparing different models is looking at the weight. Of course, a durable, high-quality machine will be heavier given the materials used to construct it.

Your machine needs to withstand consistent clamping and movements involved. And if you invest in a bad quality, light machine, it will not be able to handle that.

What's Your Budget?

This is especially useful for beginners who are planning to buy their first ever machine.

My simple advice is: spend according to your limits while making sure the machine you buy will meet your basic printing needs.

The Heat Platen

This is one of the most crucial parts of a heat press machine when it comes to transferring your image onto a t-shirt.

Before you buy any machine, be sure to check how the heating element uniformly distributes heat. You’ll be able to do this if you’re doing a demo of the new machine. Just turn it on and move your hands over the platen to feel the heat distribution.

Manufacturer Support

Like any other machinery, you might need to contact the manufacturer’s technical team at times to help you solve a problem that might pop up during the operation of the system.

If the company has a reliable customer support, things will be much easier for you. This is especially true if they’re able to respond quickly to you and help resolve your issues.

Digital Timer and Temperature Control

Almost all the modern cheap heat press machines are integrated with digital time and temperature controls. These help you set the correct time and temperature values depending on the materials you’re working on.

If you don’t wish to risk burning your customer’s t-shirts or tote bags due to overexposure, you’ll need to consider this feature.

Temperature and Time Range

While still on temperature and time aspects of a heat transfer machine, you should take a chance to learn their range.

​For a standard heat press, about 350 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and approx. 10 seconds is adequate to meet your t-shirt printing needs. The range will vary if you’re working on thicker garments- like hoodies or sweatshirts.


The choice of the heat transfer you buy should primarily be fueled by the space available as well as the size of the garments you’re working on.

I'd suggest that you consider the bigger models- measuring 16 x 20 inch as they offer you a larger working space.

Models smaller than this are great if you’re on a budget- though they might not offer you a comfortable working space when printing on larger garments such as XL tees and hoodies.

If you’re working on kids t-shirts, models as small as 9 x 12 inch will serve you well.

If you’ve limited space at your office or home, consider investing in compact models that are space-efficient.

Adjustable Pressure and Force Knobs

If you plan to buy the clamshell style machine, ensure the pressure knob is easily adjustable and can help you control how much pressure you apply on your shirt.

Some machines come with poorly situated knobs, and if you keep on using too much force, it could give you backaches.

Use way too little force and the image won’t be adequately transferred to your garment.

​The Intended User of the Machine

Lastly, you need to keep on mind who will be using the machine you are buying. As you know, these machines come with different styles and models, and ease of use differs from one model to the next.

Even when the machine comes with a user manual, it will still be complicated to people with no knowledge of operating these machines.

To be on the safer side, consider buying from sellers who offer product training; and ensure the person who’ll be using this machine attends the full training.

Our Top 10 Best Heat Press Machine Picks:

1. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press Review:

Our Review

Opening our list of the best heat press machine reviews is thePowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press. This machine is incredibly easy to use, and you can always count on it to offer you great results.

​The maximum temperature this machine can hit runs up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, qualifying it to handle semi-professional as well as professional projects- right from t-shirts to other fabrics and materials.

The heat press comes with adjustable pressure which enables you to apply the correct pressure value for the different items you’re printing on. This ensures that you don’t burn your item or even produce undesired results. The working surface exact dimensions are 15 inches x 15 inches.

This is more than enough working surface where you can successfully transfer your artworks to an extensive range of flat surfaces. To avoid overexposure of the items being printed, the machine comes with a stopwatch.

This alerts you when the time is up with a series of beeps ensuring you get the desired results!

At the bottom part of this machine, you’ll find the silicone gel base board. This is put in place to boost the machine’s stability and give you an easy time when using it.

Like all the other heat press machines, this particular model is highly reliable and will stand the test of time. It’s simply a buy-once-use-forever machinery!

Highlighted Features:

  • Temperature range: 0-500F and Time range: 0-999s
  • Silicone gel base board for improved stability
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Voltage 110V Power: 1800W
  • Coated sheet included

2. Mophorn Heat Press 5 in 1 Multifunction Sublimation Heat Press Machine Review:

Our Review

Mophorn 4 in 1 Hat Press Gas Spring Hat Heat Press Machine Digital...
Mophorn 4 in 1 Hat Press Gas Spring Hat Heat Press Machine Digital...
  • 🎃[EXCELLENT DESIGN] - This 4 in 1 hat heat press machine is exquisite in appearance and fine in workmanship. With a...
  • 🎃[4 IN 1 HAT HEAT PRESS] - The hat heat press owns 4 printing sizes to suit different hats and caps: 2.8" X 5.9" /...
  • 🎃[ACCURATE DIGITAL CONTROL] - Equipped with accurate digital timer and temperature control, you can set the machine...

The Mophorn Heat Press 5 in 1 Multifunction Sublimation Heat Press is an all in one machine that makes it easy for you to print your unique, eye-catching designs on different surfaces- like t-shirts, mouse pads, coasters, mugs, ceramic plates, puzzles, tiles, and so on.

What’s more, it comes with a well-built, sturdy construction which makes it serve you for a lifetime. The robust steel framework is entirely welded, and scratch resistant.

The working platform- measuring 12” x 15”- is sufficient for holding a good number of materials to be printed. Being a 5-in-1 model, the machine comes with additional attachments that enable you to print on any surface that might not be possible with the standard heat transfer machines.

These accessories include a mug press, a hat press, and two plate presses! So, if you’re thinking of opening a printing business for various items, you need to order this machine ASAP and get ready to reap big in your startup.

Another amazing thing worth nothing about this machine is that it features the swing-away design. This not only ensures operation of the machine but also keeps your safety in check.

Intelligent temperature and time control are other key factors that define this machine. This ensures you use the right temperature for a given a material- giving you a high-quality transfer!

The machine comes fully assembled so that you’ll start running it right out of the box. Removable silicon and cotton pads are also packed together with the heat press printer machine.

Highlighted Features:

  • 12 x 15-inch heat press machine
  • 6 x 3-inch hat cap press (curved)
  • Time control: 0-999 seconds
  • Temperature control: 0-400F
  • Swing-away design
  • Commercial-grade, highly durable system with a sturdy steel frame
  • Adjustable multi-spring balancer
  • Can print on almost any item
  • Removable silicon and cotton pads included

3. ShareProfit Heat Presses For Multi Functional Transfer Sublimation Machine:

Our Review

F2C 15' x 15' Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell Transfer...
F2C 15" x 15" Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell Transfer...
  • Professional Heat Transfer Machine-Voltage:110V Power:1200W, simple to use and no assembly needed, easier and practical...
  • Printing Area:15"x15"(38* 38cm), large and simple operation. Rigid steel frame industrial strength and durability allows...
  • Temperature Range:0-200C(0-400F);Time Range:0~ 9999 seconds. A successful print requires right time, temperature and...

Despite being a recent release, the ShareProfit Heat Presses Hat Press Heat Press Machine has quickly risen above the ranks to feature among the popular heat press machines for most businesses.

The 5-in-1 heat transfer machine allows you to transfer colorful artworks onto almost any material you wish quickly- from mugs, hats, coasters, ceramic tiles, ceramic plates, jigsaw puzzles, lettering, caps, fabrics- and so much more!

This is a 5-in-1 heat press machine. And that will drive you crazy as this machine will let perform you many tasks without buying any extra add-ons or attachments!

So, what’s special about the 5-in-1 logic?

Well, other than the standard heat press itself, the package also comprises a mug press, hat press, and two plate presses!Believe you me; you’ll have a tough time finding a machine that offers you all these privileges!

The heating board on this machine measures 12” x 15”. This qualifies it as the great heat press machine for small business or home use. While the temperature on this heat press does not offer the range of rival machines, it will truly meet your printing needs.

What’s even more amazing about this machine is that comes fully assembled and ready to run, righto out of the box. It’s incredibly easy to use comes with operation manual. It also bears a replaceable cotton and silicone pad.

Offering the latest heating technology at extremely low prices, this machine has quickly become a new sensation in the heat press industry!

Highlighted Features:

  • Adjustable multi-spring balancer
  • 5-in-1 heat press machine
  • 1400W wattage
  • Swing-away design allows full 360 degrees rotation
  • Can transfer on nearly any item

4. Promo Heat 15 in. X 15 in. Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine Review:

Our Review

F2C 5 in 1 Pro Heat Press Machine 12x15 Digital Heat Transfer...
F2C 5 in 1 Pro Heat Press Machine 12x15 Digital Heat Transfer...
  • Non-stick surface preventing scorching of transfers, and does not require a separate silicone/teflon sheet. Detached...
  • Large 12" x 15" Heating Press, provides a big surface to create your own custom T-shirt etc; It can transfer colorful...
  • Full 360-degree rotation and professional swing-away design. Digital control ensures the high precision and sensitivity,...

The Promo Heat 15 in. X 15 in. Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine is a highly flexible and extremely easy-to-use machine! It enables you to create your own mouse pads, customer t-shirts, license plates, tote bags, and so much more.

The fact that this machine is shipped fully assembled and ready to use is a huge plus for you.

Safety is given priority in this Promo Heat machine. It comes with a Digital LCD timer and pressure which enables you to preset the correct temperature and time for different materials.

An audible alarm will alert you when the set time is reached, ensuring you don’t overexpose the product you’re working to on to heat. This goes a long way in giving you a final great-looking product.

Everything about this machine is real easy to use, making it a great addition to any business or homes which wish to make fun, great-looking designs on various materials.

For maximum operator comfort, the machine features a parallel arm handle with an ergonomic foam grip. This helps reduce handle flex when you’re opening/closing your machine- a feature not present in most of the machine out there.

One thing that makes this machine stand from the rest is the Teflon coating it comes with. As you know, this is a non-stick surface that plays a crucial role in preventing scorching of your transfers. So you won’t have to invest in a separate Teflon/silicone sheet.

Highlighted Features:

  • Large heating element- 15” x 15” for versatile operation
  • Extensive temperature range of up to 750F
  • Digital LCD timer and temperature control
  • Easy to access, top mounted control
  • Clamshell style machine
  • Teflon coating included

5. Fancierstudio Heat Transfer Press Machine Review:

Our Review

If you are looking for the best t-shirt printer machine for t-shirts production, this is your perfect match! This machine has been specially designed to make it easy for you to transfer those eye-grabbing, unique designs on your t-shirt.

Being a commercial-grade model, you can use it to work on large t-shirt printing projects for your customers. And you can be sure to get repeat clients due to the excellent quality output by the machine.

Being a swing-away style machine, it allows you to apply pressure straight down the item you’re working on- for a more uniform application. The lower platen (made from aluminum metal and integrated with hi-temp silicone pad) is elevated such that you can easily insert/remove t-shirts from your machine.

The heating element features a Teflon coating to make it non-stick surface- this prevents scorching cases of your transfers and saves you the hassle of looking for a separate silicone/Teflon sheet.

With the pressure adjustment knob that comes with this machine, you can adjust the machine temperature to match the thickness of the material you’re working on.

What’s more, the digital temperature control makes it easy for you to preset the accurate temperature for a given fabric. A digital timer with audible alarm helps prevent overexposure.

Again, the Promo Heat Swing-away Sublimation Heat Transfer Press is a commercial-grade machine rated at 550 W. It offers you an extensive temperature range of up to 750F. The machine arrives fully assembled and ready for use. Operating instructions are also provided.

Highlighted Features:

  • Commercial-grade heat press
  • Heavy duty machine; built to last
  • Swing-away design
  • Adjustable pressure setting
  • Digital timer and temperature control
  • Temperature range of up to 750F
  • Highly versatile machine that allows you to transfer to a wide variety of items

6. ePhotoInc Heat Press Machine Review:

Our Review

ePhotoInc New 15' x 15' T Shirt Heat Press Machine T Shirt Transfer...
ePhotoInc New 15" x 15" T Shirt Heat Press Machine T Shirt Transfer...
  • Brand New T shirt Transfer Heat Press Machine by ePhotoInc. Voltage:110V Power: 1400W Heat Press size: 15" x 15" ****...
  • Heat Press Machine is fully equipped with latest digital Temperature and Time Display Controller, LCD displays show the...
  • This ePhotoInc T Shirt Heat Press machine arrives fully assembled and ready to use out of the box. Electronic time and...

The BestEquip Heat Press Machines Swing Away Heat Press Machine is arguably the best value for your cash machine on our list of the best t-shirt printing machines for small business. The model has received great reviews from users across the globe since its release.

Now, this machine is a little bit compact compared to the other models out there. Its exact dimensions are 12 inches x 9 inches. However, this does not stop the machine from effectively printing onto a wide range of flat surfaces- like garments ceramic tiles, mouse mats, bags, T-shirts, and so much more.

The machine comes with a temperature range that goes up to 480 Fahrenheit as well as a time control that you can adjust up to 999 seconds. Remember that these are digital time and temperature settings, meaning that your machine will be operating at the most accurate settings for the particular material you’re working on.

You can easily view these readings on the LCD screen that comes with the machine. What’s more, the unit comes with an audible alarm that alerts you when time is over, to avoid overexposure which might affect the printing quality of your final product.

Because this machine is a swing-away style, it will provide you with more precision given the fact that you’ll be seeing the entire work surface.

Besides, this model ensures you don’t work directly under the heating element which might hurt your hands due to the high temperatures involved. Heat is uniformly distributed throughout the entire working surface.

Highlighted Features:

  • Digital LCD temperature control
  • Digital LCD pressure control
  • Pre-installed Teflon coated sheet
  • Operating instructions included in the package
  • Comes fully assembled and ready for use
  • Ability to imprint on a broad range of items
  • Swing-away design for increased precision

7. Powerpress Heat Press Swing Away Heat Press 9"x12":

Our Review

The Powerpress Heat Press Swing Away Heat Press is a compact and quite affordable heat press machine that offers you the features associated with the top-dollar machines on the market today.

And similar to the other top-rated machines, this particular model also allows you to transfer your designs nicely on t-shirts, license plates, mouse pads, wood, glass, ceramic, metal- almost everything!

First things first: the machine presents you with a unique swing-away feature that lets you rotate the upper platen through 360 degrees. This is crucial in that it enables you to move the heating element (the upper platen) aside.

This minimizes the possibility of your body coming into contact with the heat distribution area. Additionally, it enables you to work more freely with your transfers and garments on the working platform- the base platen.

With extreme durability and industrial strength, this machine will serve you for years and years to come.

A Teflon coating is added on the heat platen to make it a non-stick surface. A silicone pad is also glued at the base of the machine for enhanced stability when running the machine.

This heat transfer machine comes with incredibly lightweight and compact design, making it an ideal option for homes or working places with limited space. It’s perfect for applying numbers, letters, and images on your t-shirts, garments, jigsaw puzzles, mouse mats ceramic tiles, among other items.

Highlighted Features:

  • Swing-away design for easier and safer operation
  • Commercial-grade, heavy-duty design, built to last
  • Temperature ranges up to 750F
  • Adjustable pressure setting
  • Digital temperature and time settings for precise, quality transfers
  • Transfers to almost any item

8. TUSY Heat Transfer Press Machine:

Our Review

TUSY Heat Press Machine 15x15 inch Digital Industrial Sublimation...
TUSY Heat Press Machine 15x15 inch Digital Industrial Sublimation...
  • ★ Easy to Use: The digital heat press can be used for Tee shirts, pillow, bags, mouse mat, etc. The heatpress can...
  • ★ LCD Control Board: LCD displays show the temperature (in Fahrenheit) and time, and you can also set the precise time...
  • ★ 15x15 Heat Press: The Larger size heat press 15x15 is helpful to make shirts for all family members or friends: from...

The Gecko T-shirt Sublimation GK100 Heat Transfer Press is unique and affordable among the best gecko heat press machines for multiple reasons. Firstly, it’s a product of one of longest running heat transfer manufacturers- Gecko. Besides, it’s more compact than most machines as it only encapsulates the essential parts- with no fancy (yet unnecessary) features.

The straightforward design makes this machine incredibly easy to use- like REAL easy to use- making it the perfect machine for starters or young kids.

The machine comes with a working platform that measures 15” x 15”- capable of transferring onto garments measuring up to 5/8.” The fact that this is a NON-stick means it does not damage your transfers.

And with the heating element featuring a full range of highly efficient heating coils, it’s capable of evenly distributing heat on the garments you’re working on.

The digital time and temperature controls team up to give you the ultimate accuracy when working on your projects. The highest temperature attainable in this machine is 435F- perfect for most projects or materials. You can adjust the time from 0 to 999s.

While the closing mechanism used here looks similar to that of other machines, it was designed with simplicity in mind. The handle, in particular, offers you an excellent grip for easy opening or closing of the lid.

Again, this is simply the best t-shirt printer within an affordable budget.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable metal frame construction
  • Top-grade, non-stick coated heat platen
  • Full-range adjustable pressure knob
  • Digital temperature and time control
  • Compatible with all standard transfer equipment
  • Built for high performance

9. F2C 15" x 15" Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press Transfer:

Our Review

F2C 15' x 15' Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell Transfer...
F2C 15" x 15" Black Heat Press Machine Digital Clamshell Transfer...
  • Professional Heat Transfer Machine-Voltage:110V Power:1200W, simple to use and no assembly needed, easier and practical...
  • Printing Area:15"x15"(38* 38cm), large and simple operation. Rigid steel frame industrial strength and durability allows...
  • Temperature Range:0-200C(0-400F);Time Range:0~ 9999 seconds. A successful print requires right time, temperature and...

The F2C 15" x 15" Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press Transfer boasts of favorable ratings from its users worldwide for multiple reasons. It features a heavy duty design that will make it serve you for a lengthy period of time.

All the nuts, bolts, welding, etc. are correctly put in place. Operating the machine is also pretty easy for everyone- even the absolute starters. A user manual will guide you on how to effectively use this machine.

And, of course, you can trust this machine to transfer your artworks on a broad range of items in high-quality prints.

Durability seems to take the center part of this machine. Owing to its sturdy steel welded framework which is scratch resistant, you’ll use this machine for years and possibly pass it to your future generations.

Now the machine features intelligent temperature and time controls with memory function. These lets you preset the correct temperature and time for various items you’re working on.

Making the result good-looking! An automatic countdown and alarm are also parts of this machine that caters for the precise transfer process.

The fact that the heating platen comes with specific thickening guarantees stable and even heat transfer.

The heating platen bears the Teflon coating to prevent any potential damages to your transfer for a convenient and attractive end product. The machine is incredibly easy to use and supports transfers on a broad range of products including t-shirts, puzzles, mouse pads, coasters, bags and so on.

Highlighted Features:

  • Digital LCD temperature and time control
  • signal indicator when the transfer process is over
  • Aluminum heat plate for uniform heat distribution
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Integrated electric control system for easy adjusting and maintenance
  • Dual electrical protection ensures maximum safety during operation
  • Easy parameter setting

10. Mophorn Digital Swing Away Rigid Steel Heat Press Machine:

Our Review

No products found.

There’s probably no better way to explain the terms “Outstanding heat transfer machine for the money” than to take you through what the Mophorn Digital Swing Away Rigid Steel Heat Press entails. This is truly the machine you’ll spend less on and get the best quality out of it.

It’s a well-built machine that comes with a heavy fabricated steel mechanism, excellently welded by an expert and incredibly easy to use! This is not the model that gives you an abs workout when printing on many t-shirts.

Because of the smaller working surface- measuring 12” x 10”- this is the best heat press for home use. The heat platen is packed with a full range of efficient heating coils to facilitate consistency throughout the entire surface.

Furthermore, the element is coated with Teflon sheet for the obvious reasons- to make it non-stick- and shield your transfer paper from potential damages. Since this is a swing-away style heat press, it lets you rotate the upper platen 360 degrees around.

This allows you to move the heating element aside and reduce the possibility of getting your hands contacting the heat distribution region. Thus, you can work more safely and freely on the bottom platen.

This machine is unlike the traditional clamshell heat transfer machines- it applies direct top-to-bottom pressure facilitating an even contact with the below surface. The machine has a temperature range of up to 446F and time control adjustable from 0 to 999s.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fully assembled, ready to use machine
  • Operating manual included in the package
  • Pre-installed Teflon-coated element
  • Power 550W
  • Voltage 110V
  • Large transfer element- 12” x 10” enables the machine to transfer to many flat surfaces
  • Swing away design for safer, easier operation

How To Use Your Heat Press Machine Properly?

​​To successfully transfer your beautifully designed images to your tees or other personal accessories, you’ll need to learn how to utilize this machine the right way.

​Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to correctly use your heat transfer:

1. Select the image or artwork you wish to imprint on your shirt

There are many ways you can generate ideas for the artwork to transfer on your garment. For example, you can use a slogan, use an abstract personal artistic design or use a personal digital photograph.

You might also need to use the computer graphic design software to help you edit your tee design as necessary.

​After all is done, remember to horizontally flip your final image (before you print it) so as to reverse/mirror it.

2. Print the mirrored image onto your heat transfer paper

When you’re done editing your image, you can now print it on your transfer paper.

However, it’s always recommended that you run a test print before you print on the best heat transfer vinyl. This involves printing your image on a standard paper to see if the image will be printed according to your expectations.

When you’re satisfied by the printed image, it’s time to output it on your transfer paper!

The transfer sheet you buy should bear a clear or opaque film on one of its sides depending on the type of garment you’re printing.

Transfer sheets with the clear film are perfect for printing on light gray and white clothes. Opaque sheets, on the other hand, works great for other clothing colors.Ensure you place the paper correctly on your printer- the image ought to be printed on the paper’s film side.

3. Cut off any sections of the transfer sheet that you don't wish to press on your garment

Since your design’s ink requires the paper film to be positioned on the film, leaving any unwanted paper means that its film will as well be transferred to your final product.

4. Get your machine ready for the transfer process

When your image is ready for transfer, turn it on by just flipping the on/off switch. Tune the thermostat knob to the right until the red heating light appears.

When the thermometer reading indicates the correct pressing temperature for the garment you’re working on, turn the knob to the left till the heating light goes off.

Note that the heating light is programmed to go on and off to regulated the needed temperature.If your machine comes with a digital timer, start it, and when you hear the alarm, hit the stop button to preset it.

Eventually lift up your machine’s handle to open it…

5. Place the transfer paper such that the film faces down over your garment

Start by laying out your t-shirt on the machine’s working table (i.e. the base platen), making sure it’s well spread out for successful transfer of your design. Then place the transfer sheet with the film facing down over your t-shirt.

6. Time to bring down the heating platen

Grip the upper platen- which is the heating element- so that it lock your garments together with your transfer paper firmly in place.

Set your machine timer according to the directions outlined on your transfer sheet. When the alarm starts ringing, it means the process is over. So, you ought to lift the heating platen to avoid overexposing your garment to the heat (and possibly burning it).

Finally peel the best heat transfer paper from the t-shirt and enjoy your “new” great-looking t-shirt!


  • Allow your t-shirt around 24 hours to “lock” the artwork before you wash it.
  • Not all garments can be printed on using this machine. Materials that melt when exposed to high temperatures should not be used. The ideal types of fabric for heat transfer include cotton, nylon, polyester, Lycra, and Spandex.
  • Consider using the inkjet printers when printing on your transfer paper as they produce clearer, high-quality prints
  • Make sure you pick the right transfer paper based on the color of your shirt, the type of printer, etc.

How to Take Care of Your Heat Press Machine?

If you take proper care of your business, it will definitely return the favor- take care of you and your business too. The last thing you’d want to experience is a non-performing machinewhen you have a couple of urgent orders to work on.

By simply following the maintenance tips we have discussed below, you’ll always put your machine at its best at all times…

1. Ensures the heating element/upper platen is always clean

Having a clean, smooth heating element is a key factor in achieving a successful transfer process.

Therefore, I’d recommend you to clean your machine platen to eliminate any ink buildups as well as other elements that might affect even heat and pressure distribution and even make your garments dirty.

To clean the upper platen, switch off your machine and allow it to cool down. Then apply some mineral spirits on a soft piece of cloth and use it to gently wipe the platen. This will help remove any residue available and keep your machine at its best.

2. Be sure to protect the rubber pad (silicone pad) at the base of your machine

Yes, protecting the rubber pad at the base platen of your heat press also helps keep it in good shape. The bad plays a crucial role in ensuring that your unit distributed pressure evenly.

The edges of this pad tend to wear with time due to the act of loading and unloading your t-shirt now and then. This can significantly affect the pressure on the press outer edges.

Besides, the pad might get punctured by hard/sharp objects like zipper and button, which will also affect even pressure distribution. However, you can avoid such unfortunate incidents by applying a Teflon cover on your bottom platen.

This helps protect the pad by making your garments slide over it easily and making it harder to reach out to the rubber and puncture it.

3. Frequent Lubrication

You’ll also need to lubricate your machine regularly to prevent the undesired stress on the machine’s pivot points. Take time to locate all your unit's pivot parts and make a point of greasing them at least once every month.

And if your machine is always under heavy use, consider greasing it at least twice or thrice every month. Failure to grease your machine regularly will give you the worst experience ever.

The pivot points will dry out and result in friction and wear on the parts involved. With time, your machine will prove difficult to operate as the pivot points become harder and more resistant to movements.

Just make sure you grease your machine accordingly!

4. Keep the air system clean for the automatic style machines

As you know, the auto heat press machines operate using air compressors. These compressors will pump air from the surrounding environment into the unit's air system.

As such, failure to maintain the air system properly might cause the dirt and particles in the pumped in air to adversely affect its performance, clog the system and even cause it to leak.

To avoid this, you’ll need to monitor the air system frequently, and replace it whenever it gets dirty.

Additionally, you’ll need to keep this system totally dry. Moisture build can as well clog the system and cause air leakages. Luckily, you can use a desiccant air dryer on your air pressure control to help to help extend the longevity of your machine’s air system.

It does this by removing all the moisture in the absorbed air before it finds its way into the air system.

Follow these precautionary measures when using to keep your machine at its best- at all times!

​Why Should You Use a Heat Press Machine For T-shi​rt Printing?

There’s no doubt that the heat press machines are transforming the garments industry for the better. Today, it’s possible to print your design or artwork on a t-shirt using a high-quality heat press machine.

With this machine, you’re sure to print your images on any fabric in high-quality (and these prints won’t fade easily).

However, most people haven’t yet figured out if the heat transfer press machine is the rightmachinery to use for their t-shirt printing business.

On the contrary, many people who have set up t-shirt printing business using these heat transfers are reaping big from their business and getting repeat customers due to the excellent quality of the end products by these machines.

With this machine, your client can simply pick the size and color they wish to be printed on their fabrics, and you can transfer it on demand. This translates to selling t-shirts at high profits while eliminating overstocks of printed tees.

Below, we will discuss with you some top reasons why you should consider a commercial-grade, top-quality heat transfer machine for your t-shirt printing business:

1. Heat Press Machines Are Extremely Easy to Use

One of the top benefits of using heat press machines in your printing business is that they’re incredibly easy to use.

Even if you don’t have an experience of running these machines, you can learn quickly and start processing your customer orders in no time. So, don’t let the technology involved intimidate you.

2. You'll Spend Less Money

This is probably one of the biggest advantages of heat press machine/ professional t-shirt printing machine compared to other t-shirt printing methods.

As far as your business costs are concerned, you’ll spend a little amount to get a high-performance heat press machine- probably below $200 for the starters. Also, if you’re looking for the top-end models, they rarely go beyond $3,000.

You won’t need to buy any dyes or inks for successfully artwork transfer. Your products won’t get damaged by cases of ink spills like it’s the case with screen printing.

3. Get High-quality Products That Will Make Your Customers Happy

Yes, a heat press machine is capable of printing your client orders quickly and economically without sacrificing the quality. As a matter of fact, the quality output by these machines is way more superior to that of other t-shirt printing techniques.

The image resolution produced by these machines is also above average- especially if you’re transferring a computer image.

The unit enables you to apply a broad range of special effects to your garments.The high heat produced by these devices- some run up to 750F- ensures they print high-quality images on your tees that don’t fade easily.

4. Fast Production

The faster the production, the more orders you can handle. And the more profits you’ll cash in. Unluckily, most of the t-shirt printing technology out there are too slow that it will take you years to complete a given order.

Luckily, you can solve this problem by investing in the right heat press machines. They feature a control panel that programs the application process, after which your unit implements it faster, efficiently, and with less user input.

Although the screen-printing method can also handle your productions quickly, the heat press remains the best option for smaller orders.

5. Versatility At Its Best

Businesses that get printing order for different materials (t-shirts included) will appreciate the versatility offered by these machines. They’re capable of printing on various fabrics like satin, cotton, on hard surfaces like ceramics, and on synthetic items such as spandex.

A top-quality heat press machine can transfer your image on almost any material! Furthermore, it allows you to on various parts of a shirt, enabling them to achieve the wraparound and over-the-shoulder prints.

6. What About The Integrated Techniques

It’s possible to use your heat press machine alongside other printing techniques- to make your end products look great! Heat transfer works pretty well with ink injection method you apply different colors by directly injecting them into your garment and permanently fixing them there using the heat provided by the heat press.

The same machine is alsocompatible withsublimation, where you fix some protective gloss to a hard surface- e.g. ceramic tile.

7. Space Efficient

Lastly, the entire heat press machine occupies smaller space in your home. The market is also packed with compact models that you can install in your home and start at home printing business if you’re starting out and have limited resources.

​Final Suggestions!

If you invest in the best heat press machines for home use today, you’ll never have to take your ideas to the professional printers. You can easily print your unique artworks onto your clothes easily, cheaply and more efficiently.

These machines have also created profitable small and large printing business for many individuals across the world.

If you’re also thinking of venturing into this profitable business or want to upscale production, you should consider our heat press machine reviews above. Here, you’ll get a suitable unit that you can use as an upgrade to your current machine, to start a small printing business or at home printing needs.

But have a clear picture in mind of the type of machine you’d like to use for your printing needs. Our heat press buying guide above will give you some helpful tips on how to pick the right machine.

Last update on 2021-10-19 at 15:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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