10 Best Heat Press Machines Review 2021 – Reviews & Buying

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Are you looking for the best hot press machine? You have come to the right place. Our detailed guide and heat press reviews will help you make the best choice.

Developing stunning prints was once a very expensive and challenging process. Those days are over, and now has never been easier with the wonder of modern hot press machines. What was once a niche market is now one of the fastest growing companies on the planet.

There are thousands of companies that use a heat press as the core of their market. In addition, countless families are also buying them for home use. Whether you’re a startup looking for the next big thing or a family looking for a great machine to create lasting memories, the heat press is a great option.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Heat Press Machines To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Heat Press Machines Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
RoyalPress 15" x 15" Color LED Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Transfer Machine T-Shirt Heat Press Machine, 15" x 15", Black
  • Brand New Industrial-Quality Press-casting aluminum heating plate with teflon coating,don't need coated sheet anymore;Printing Area:15" x 15" (38 x 38cm);
  • Temperature range:0-480F Fahrenheit degree(0-250 Centigrade),Time Range:0-999 second, Counter Range:0-999pcs; Voltage:110v, Power:1400W; With US-standard grounded plug;
  • Color LED Intelligent Memory Digital temperature,time and counter triple function controller, Provides extra function of calculating production;
  • Special Thickened Aluminum Heating Plate make the even and stable temperature over the heating plate; Professional in heat transfer printing on t-shirt, bags, puzzles, mouse pads etc;
  • Warm note:T-shirts are NOT included in the package.Thanks.
Bestseller No. 2
HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine - 15"x15" Smart Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts - Heat Up Fast & Distribute Heat Evenly, Intelligent Tshirt Press Machine for HTV, Sublimation, Heat Transfer Projects
  • ✨Perfect Pressure Sense & Auto Heat Press✨ Our auto heat press machine greatly reduces the guesswork of pressure. After setting the temperature and time, the heat press 15x15 inches auto-determines the thickness of the item to be pressed, up to 1 inch thick, and control the optimum pressure. Meanwhile, this smart heat press machine for t shirts will auto-release the item after pressing. You don't have to stare at the project, instead use this time to brew a cup of coffee or have fun with pets.
  • 🎯Heating Up Quickly & Evenly🎯 This heat press machine for t shirts combined with NTC thermistor technology and a dual-tube heating engine, it can heat up quickly in a short time, save your 30% waiting time. And precise control of the temperature at each position of the heating plate is the same, distributes heat evenly, there is enough heating capability for almost any projects. With our tshirt press machine both crafter or beginners can complete professional heat transfer projects!
  • 👕Big Size & Efficient Modes👕 With our auto 15X15" shirt press, you can realize the heat pressing of "freeing hands". This 15x15 heat press machine combines multiple practical modes: 4 fast modes, 2 customer-defined modes, helps you to locate the wanted parameters with one click. There is also an automatic mode, by clicking the "Auto" button, the shirt press machine will automatically heat press and release your clothes, perfect for small businesses that need to make batches.
  • ⏰Safety Use & Auto-Off Feature⏰ Our t shirt press adopts exclusive H-Cooling technology and multilayer heat insulation material for efficient dissipate heat when turned off. The placement plate is a drawer slide design, the side handle perfectly protects hands away from hot areas. Moreover, this auto heat press machines takes users' safety with full concern. Our tshirt press will auto shut up if no operation after 10 minutes. No worries about overheating.
  • 💕Use Easily & Worry-Free💕 With our detailed instructions included, users can get into the groove easily and quickly. With FCC & UL certificated, our auto press machine reaches the required safety standard in the USA. The warranty period of this t-shirt press machine is 1 year from the date of purchase. If you have any questions with HTVRONT auto 15x15 heat press, please feel free to contact us ASAP. We will try our best to solve your problems and provide you with a joyful experience.
SaleBestseller No. 3
VEVOR 12X10 Inch Heat Press Dual Digital Heat Press Machine 650W Swing Away Heat Press T-Shirt Sublimation Printer Transfer 360 Degree Rotation for DIY T-Shirts
  • Precise Control: LCD screen display with easy-to-operate buttons makes this heat press 12x10inches machine simple to set desired time and temperature as needed. An audible alarm automatically beeps when the job is done, and the element will stop heating immediately.
  • Extraordinary Quality: The Teflon-coated platen is non-stick and stable, preventing scorch and edge curling. Come with thermal insulation cotton, a 4-mm thick thermostable insulation sponge to improve the transfer effect.
  • 360° Swing Away: The swing arm of this heat press is fully rotated 360 degrees, allowing the heating element to move to the side. The t-shirt press swing-away style protects you from potential burns over the hot platen and provides a complete view of your layout.
  • Adjustable Pressure: The round-shaped design of our adjustable spring plate is beneficial to distribute pressure evenly across the entire plate. Accompanied by labor-saving handles and adjustment knob, the pressure can be applied directly and easily downwards to enhance the quality of transfer further.
  • Multiple Application: With a 12"x10" heat platen, the heat press machine for t shirts provides a large surface to transfer onto flat surfaced items. Suitable for applying letters, numbers, and patterns onto T-shirts, garments, bags, mats, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
Bestseller No. 4
HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine for T Shirts - 15x15 Smart T Shirt Press Machine with Auto Release - Professional Heat Press for Sublimation, Vinyl, Heat Transfer Projects
  • ✅【Auto Press & Free Hands】- HTVRONT auto heat press machine aims to take away the struggles of a regular heat press. After loading your project onto the shirt press machine, all you have to do is gently push the ironing board inside and press the "R" button to start. The heatpress will automatically press down and auto-adjusts to your project's thickness up to 1", and it auto releases once the timer goes down. Super easy to use and no more burned projects when you're away awhile!
  • ⚡ 【Heat-up Fast & Evenly】- Our heat press 15x15 could reach a common-use temp of 320℉ /160℃ within 4 mins, twice faster as regular ones. And you will save nearly 130s when heating up to 410℉/210℃ compared with other auto press. Combined with NTC thermistor technology and a dual-tube heating engine, this t shirt pressing machine distributes heat evenly and holds the temperature well. HTVRONT large heat press allows you always have a clean and professional transfer.
  • 👕【Making More in Less Time】- If you're looking to level up your heat press game, scale up your production, start your own side hustle and even sell your crafts, the automatic heat press is perfect for you! This tee shirt press machine has multiple practical modes: 4 fast modes, 2 custom modes and an auto mode, which make heat transfers quicker and simpler than ever! You'll be all set to customise clothing, accessories, décor, gifts and so much more, all with a professional-quality finish.
  • 🌻【Safety Use & Auto-Off】- Safety is one of the biggest concerns with HTVRONT auto heat press. The ironing board is separated from heating plate, making it safer to use around your kids and pets. The drawer slide design ensures your hands are kept away from the hot plate. AND slide out heat press will automatically shut up if you don’t use it after 10 minutes. No worries you are going to burn the house down.
  • 💕 【Wide Application & Great Service】- Not only is HTVRONT auto heat press great for t-shirts, totes, and apparel, it's also compatible with other materials like wood signs, and ceramic coasters up to 1" in thickness. With FCC & UL certificated, our vinyl heat press reaches required safety standard in the USA. 1 YEAR Manufacturer Warranty and Lifetime Friendly Customer Service. Any problems with this heat press for sublimation,just contact us and we're always here for you with 24/7 support.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Fancierstudio Heat press Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press Rhinestone Heat Press T-Shirt Heat Press 15x15 B/BLK
  • Voltage: 110 volt Power: 1400 watts, Heat Press Style Clampshell
  • Temperature Range: 0-500
  • Electronic time and heat control
  • Silicon pad lightly glued down for easy replacement
  • Pressure adjustable
SaleBestseller No. 6
VEVOR Heat Press, 15x15 Power Heat Press Machine, Fast Heating, High Pressure Heat Press Machine for T-Shirt, Digital Industrial Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer Vinyl, Easy to Use, Black
  • 15 x 15 Heat Press: VEVOR heat press with larger heating pad in size of 15x15", enables to ransfer colorful pictures and characters onto flat items of all size. Silica-gel pad and Teflon coating are adopted to achieve quicker heating speed and better transfer effect. It can also reduce unpleasant smells during operation and reaches a service life of 20,000 hours.
  • Digital Control Board: This heat press is equipped with a digital precise control panel, helping you accurately regulate the temperature and time. Temperature Range: 0 - 482℉/0 - 250℃; Time Control: 0 - 999 seconds; Power: 1200 W; Voltage: 110 V.
  • Adjustable Pressure Knob: The tshirt printing machine features a full-range knob which You can use to adjust the pressure by turning the the knob clockwise or counterclockwise on the basis of thickness of materials you're transferring. Please try a few times to set the desired pressure. Outfitted non-slip rubber grip also brings you a comfortable user experience.
  • Easy to Use: VEVOR 15"x15" shirt press is a great choice for industrial, professional and home use. It suitable for T-shirts, pillows, bags, phone shells, etc. and can quickly transfer colorful pictures and characters onto textiles such as cotton, cloth, HTV, ceramics, glasses, fabrics, flax, nylon, etc. Soft heating liner is applied for accommodating various kinds of materials.
  • Operation Security: Silica-gel pad with flame-retardant materials and Teflon coating effctively avoid scorching and burning while using the 15x15 heat press machine. It will automatically beep or shut off when the transfer is done, reducing the possibility of overheating.
Bestseller No. 7
HTVRONT Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts, Portable Heat Press 10"X10", Iron Press for Sublimation and HTV Vinyl Shirt Press Machine for Hat, Bags, Heating Transfer Projects (Mint Green)
  • 🔥 New Pressure Display Function 🔥The 2022 brand new 10"X10" heat press with more accurate pressure display reducing HTV ironing & sublimation errors. Compared with other iron press, our digitalized pressure display is more friendly to craft lovers beginner. With our pressure display, you can finish full t-shirt designs easily and professionally.
  • 👕 Fast & Evenly Heating Up 👕 Using our heat press will save your heat and transfer time about 60s compared with other regular iron. Meanwhile, our iron press & soleplate adopts durable and high-temperature resistant materials without deform & melt, the maximum temperature can reach to 410°F/210°C. Even if the heat press machines works for a long time, the handle won't burn your hands due to overheating. Say goodbye to burn your design project with our professional heat press.
  • ⏰ Safe Use & Auto Off ⏰ With FCC & UL certificated, our heat press machine reaches required safety standard in the USA. Our heat press machine for t shirts is featured with auto off design for your best convenience and highest safety, it will automatically shut off after 15 minutes inactivity, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn off the heat press. The safety base can protect the heating plate from scratches and prevent people from being scalded.
  • 🔧 Dual-Function Use & Compact Design 🔧 This portable iron press has a ergonomic structure design, and have a comprehensive area or function than regular iron. The surface temperature of the heat press machine is uniform, so it can be used for both sublimation and ironing. This heat press is perfect for large and layer projects, and you can use to transfer photos or add your custom designs on T shirts, pillows, bags, etc. Endless projects possiblites are being created from now!
  • 💕 Easy Use & Great Service 💕 Detailed instructions of 10"x10" heat press machine guide you quickly use. It is our intention to offer the BEST customer service on Amazon. If there are any problems you with this heat press machine for t shirts, please contact us ASAP, we will customize the solution for you to achieve your satisfaction! 1 YEAR Manufacturer Warranty and Lifetime Friendly Customer Service.
Bestseller No. 8
VEVOR Heat Press Machine, 15 x 15 Inch, 6 in 1 Combo Swing Away T-shirt Sublimation Transfer Printer with Teflon Coated, Accessories Included, ETL/FCC Certificated (Color and model may Vary)
  • 【PRECISE DIGITAL CONTROL】- LCD screen display with easy-to-operate buttons makes it simple to set desired parameters as needed. Equip with the audible alarm, which reminds the machine of stopping heating when the set time and temperature are reached.
  • 【360°SWING AWAY FEATURE】- The swing arm is fully rotated 360 degrees, allowing the heating element to move to the side, reducing the chance of accidental contact. Making the pressure to be applied directly & evenly downwards enhances the quality of transfer further.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE SPRING PLATE】- Adjustable spring plate can be replaced with different accessories, such as mug press, cap press, easy and simple to assemble.
  • 【USER-FRIENDLY DETAILS】-The upgraded handles are more labor-saving & stable. Come with 2 layers of thermal insulation cotton, a 4-mm aluminum silicate paper insulation, and a 10-mm thick thermostable sponge to improve the transfer effect.
  • 【6-IN-1 VERSATILE KIT】- With a 15" x 15" (38 x 38 cm) large heat platen, the shirt press machine uses Teflon-coated platen. Suitable for applying letters, numbers, and patterns onto caps, T-shirts, cups, plates, etc.
Bestseller No. 9
Seeutek Heat Press 12" X 10" Professional Heat Transfer Digital Sublimation Machine 360 Degree Swing Away for T Shirts with Bonus 2 Teflon Sheet
  • ✅ Heat Press Machine for T Shirts 12"x10", using the latest Teflon coating heating plate, protect your vinyl, clothes while working and harmless to them. The Teflon cover is heat resistance, easy to clean, and can make printing more steady. Also, the surface is not sticky, which can prevent burning. Non-slip rubber handle, comfortable to handle.
  • ✅ Heat Transfer machine, intelligent design. Include LCD intelligent memory digital controller, which can control temperature and time. Set the required temperature according to the demand (Fahrenheit and Celsius), it stops heating when the preset temperature is reached, and sound alarm will be issued when the time is completed.
  • ✅ Sublimation press machine adopted double-tube heating design, the heating is more uniform and the pattern is clear. Package included: 1 x Fully-assembled machine with platen press, 2 x Teflon Sheet, 1 x User Manual. Please Note: T-shirts, cups and hats/caps are NOT included.
  • ✅ The heat press machine can be used for t-shirts, garments, bags, mouse mats, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic tiles, plates and other flat surfaced items. Perfect for ransferring photos, words on cotton, fiber, metal, ceramic, glass and so on, suitable for producing gift, advertisement and so on.
  • ✅ 12x10 inch heat press machine can rotate 360 degrees, which helps direct pressure downward and apply pressure evenly. Voltage: 110V, Power: 900W, Temperature range: 0-482℉ (0-250℃), Time range: 0-999 seconds. This heat press comes with a 2-year warranty. If have any issues, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Pro 5 in 1 TUSY Heat Press, Swing Away Heat Press Machine, Digital Industrial Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs, Plates (1215)
  • 👍PREMIUM QUALITY -TUSY heat press platen is covered by teflon thus helping to prevent you from burning and and protecting your vinyl. No need for a separate silicone/teflon sheet. Thickened silicone pad and sponge pad ensure more flat and even pressing because of their good elasticity.o prevent you from burning and and protecting your vinyl. No need for a separate silicone/teflon sheet. Thickened silicone pad and sponge pad ensure more flat and even pressing because of their good elasticity.
  • 👍Heat Press Slide Out -Extra slide out rail is added at the bottom, thus you can pull out the tray and transfer perfect colors easily. Slide out heat press with 5 in 1 design, greatly increases your operation room by 35%, which makes transfer safer and more flexible!
  • 👍BETTER CONTROL BOARD -LCD displays show time and temperature (in Fahrenheit or Celsius alternatively) to provide you with precisely control of time and temperature. Time Control: 0-999 seconds, Temperature Range: 32-482 degrees F, Power: 1100 W
  • 👍HEATER PLATE -Heat press machine provides a large surface transfer onto flat surfaced items. It can transfer colorful pictures and characters of sublimating and dissolved printing ink onto ceramics, glasses and textiles such as cotton, flax, chemical fiber, nylon, etc. If you have ANY problem, PLEASE feel free to contact us. We’ll reply within 24H.
  • 👍5 IN 1 HEAT PRESS -Mug press sublimation 3"-3.5" (11 oz), Hat press 6"x3" ; Plate press #1: Diameter (max) 5 & Plate Press #2: Diameter (max) 6", ideal for pressing t shirts, mugs, hats, plates, caps, bags, mouse pads and other flat items

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is A Heat Press Machine?

A heat press machine uses heat and pressure to permanently imprint graphics, letterings, and numbers on surfaces like t-shirts, mugs, etc. Such a machine can be used either on a flat surface or a curved surface. Machines that come with a curved attachment makes it easier to transfer designs on curved surfaces.

Much like an iron, a heat transfer machine has a flat part called platen that is made of aluminum or a metal that’s a good conductor of heat. This part is heated using an electronic medium and can work easily on caps, bags, and t-shirts.

If you’re wondering about the right temperature and pressure for different materials, you’ll usually find the answers in the user manual that comes with the device. But you’ll also go through some trials and tests before you find out what works best for selected materials.

A heat press device comes in different sizes, according to the scale of prints it will churn out. A small machine can fit anywhere without taking up much space while the larger ones are meant for industrial use and will obviously need a much larger space for it to operate.

For beginners and those who want to have their own business, a small heat press device can be an answer to their small and medium-size requirements. There will be no compromise on the quality of the output even with a small machine.

The Benefits Of Using Heat Transfer Machine

So, what are the benefits of using a heat transfer machine, you may ask. For starters, it’s better than the traditional screen printing solutions. Along with that, here goes a list of benefits-

Quality Assurance

The smaller machines normally have an LCD screen where you can get the printing settings right and change these to suit your preferences. With a beeper that comes with most models, you’ll know exactly when the heat transfer has been completed. So, goodbye to any worries about damages!

You have to keep in mind that to have excellent outputs, you have to set the time and temperature right to get equally excellent prints. Fortunately, most machines mark the temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, so that’s one less worry for you.

These features make sure that the quality of your prints is top-notch and permanent, making long-lasting impressions, so to speak.

Affordability

With so many different models and brands of heat press machines available nowadays, the market for such products is a highly competitive one. To attract customers, these have been made affordable. Therefore, you can easily buy one either to improve your hobby or expand it to have your own business.

User-Friendly And Time-Saving 

With so much development in the area of heat transfer machines, these are getting easier to operate. There’s no assembling required, and you can start using the device as soon as you take it out from the box. So, there’s virtually zero set-up time and time is something we all want to save.

As these devices come with well-explained user manuals, there’s very little chance of anything going awry.

Neater Option

A heat-press is a much neater option than a screen-printing machine. The use of ink and solvent involved in a screen-printing machine keeps you on your toes all the time, being cautious about spilling and creating a mess.

On the other hand, when you use a heat transfer machine, you don’t come into direct contact with inks and dyes, saving you from the headache of a messy workstation.

Versatility

Heat press machines come in different sizes and forms, so you have a plethora of brands to choose from. You can either go for a manual or an automatic one, the latter doing most of the work for you.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to outputs using a heat-press. With curved or cylindrical attachments, there’s no shape or surface that you cannot have your graphics or logo or letters on. Heat press for vinyl lets you craft beautiful designs in apparels and many other surfaces.

Since there are so many brands, it’s naturally a highly competitive market, offering you a wide variety of prices to suit your purpose and budget.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING 

You have made the wise choice of investing in the best heat press machine for a small business – or for your hobby – and now you have no idea what to look out for as there are tons of them online. Well, with the numerous brands on the market, one could easily get confused, but we will demystify them to help you make the best choice.

BUDGET

How much are you willing to spend? If you want the right heat press for home use, there is a high possibility you will not want to spend too much on a machine that comes with a ton of attachments that you may never need. Luckily, the market is well-stocked with a variety of machines ranging from cheap to quite expensive, depending on the make and size.

QUALITY OF THE MACHINE

Parts are everything. Naturally, you want a machine that can stand the constant heat and last longer, which basically boils down to the platen. Aluminum is the most popular material and it gets even better when it is Teflon-coated, as it transfers heat evenly and heats up quite fast. The quality of machine will determine the outcome of your art and even dictate the kind of material you can use.

DURABILITY

Closely tied to the quality of material is machine’s durability. Remember that heat transfer means the machine is exposed to heat all the time and so it should be able to stand it to last long. Commercial grade material is the only kind that will stand hours of heat and last long while still giving great results. Naturally, the more expensive the machine, the better the quality of material it is made of and the longer it is likely to last.

SIZE OF THE MACHINE

How much space do you have for the machine? Some are quite large while others are the size of a regular coffee maker. The smaller it is in size, the easier it is to transport and store. If you are working from home and using your kitchen island as your working space, then smaller machines will do. You do not want to judge a press machine by its size… you would be surprised at the power those small beasts pack!

The purpose for the machine will also determine the size you choose. If you want best t-shirt printing machine for a large project or tender, you want a machine with a high output rate, which will have to be quite large. If you just need one for beginners, then starting small would not hurt.

CONTROLS AND PRESSURE KNOBS

Functionality is everything when it comes to a heat transfer machine. You want one with digital controls that will allow you to set time and temperature requirements so that you don’t burn your projects. A typical machine will allow for temperature ranges between 0 and 350 degrees F, though more expensive models that are ideal for professional workings will have higher temperature ranges. Time range is usually between 0 and 999 seconds, with a beeper for when heat transfer is complete. Pressure knobs allow you to change heat settings to accommodate any kind of garment and material.

MANUFACTURER’S SUPPORT

There is always something reassuring about purchases that come with warranties. They make you think and believe that the manufacturer has faith in their product. Most manufacturers offer limited warranties but they still count for something. You certainly want one that has at least a 6-month grace period and also, one whose spare parts are easily accessible. You don’t want to struggle with a broken down machine whose parts you can’t find.

A THOROUGH USER MANUAL

Even though most of the heat transfer machines on the market are quite easy to use, it still helps to have a user manual to help you use it properly. The first time of using a t shirt press machine are quite intimidating if you have no idea where to start, and so a manual comes in handy. It also contains all the information you need on how to care for your newly acquired baby, so ensure that the manual is in a language you can understand.

Does the brand really matter? Well, with the current upheaval where we have new good brands popping up regularly, the name is not all that important. As long as the above points check, then you are safe purchasing any brand on the market. Safe to say, though, that the longer a brand has been out there the more trustworthy it is.

HOW TO CLEAN A HEAT TRANSFER MACHINE

Whether you mistakenly didn’t use Teflon sheet on your platens or pressed at too high temperatures that caused a mess, you can get the heat press machine looking as good as new with a few cleaning hacks.

If you simply want to show your machine a little TLC after using it for a while, just get a piece of cloth – preferably cotton – and dab in a little cleaning agent. EZ-Off Hot Iron Cleaner is quite good at working the surface of your platen to get rid of build-up that could reduce its efficiency.

REMOVING VINYL FROM PLATEN

You do not want to scrape vinyl off your delicate platen as it will likely leave marks that could ruin the platen altogether. You want to warm the platen up and then use some delicate cleanser and piece of cloth or Teflon scraper if cloth would be too soft.

THESE TIPS WILL BE HELPFUL;

Be hasty: as soon as you realize ink is messing the platen, turn off the machine and clean off the platen. The longer you let it “cook” in the heat, the stickier the mess becomes and the harder it is to remove.

Heat: Lower the heat so you can clean a messy platen. It is practically impossible to clean a platen at 350° to 400° Fahrenheit without burning your hand. You want to turn it off and then start the cleaning process when the adhesive is still warm.

Gently Clean: Never use a scraper as that will only make things worse. Soft cloth or Teflon and plastic scrapers are ideal.

Use release paper: It is better to be safe than sorry. To prevent any chances of a mess, you want to use a release paper that will prevent any ink spillages on the platen. A release paper will not affect the way your machine works.

TOP RATED HEAT PRESS MACHINE BRANDS ON THE MARKET

The best brand differs from one person to another, but a few factors lead to the following brands being referred to as some of the best on the market.

FANCIERSTUDIO

The Fancierstudio heat press is loved by many for among other things, its price. The brand, belonging to a California-based company has some high quality yet leniently priced heat presses that cater to beginners and those in small printing businesses.

This brand not only offers great prices – that are a result of direct importation – but it also has great customer support and after-sale services. The machines come in a Teflon-coated platen already, which is value added to the customer.

EPHOTOINC

This brand that has its eye on those interested in photography and video items makes elegant designs for this particular market. The company knows that most of the beginners in the industry have little in terms of capita, and so these amazing heat presses are quite cheap. They come with all the bells and whistles too including a LCD display, beepers, and other features. If you are in the US, shipping is quote fast and you have until a month to decide whether to keep it or return it.

VEVOR

Vevor, founded in 2007 and with offices in the US, Sydney, and Hong Kong, is a leader in the printing business in every aspect. Heat presses are only part of what the company does, and so it makes some really good ones. They are a little pricier than others on the market, but they are worth each penny.

VEVOR heat presses are not only superior in performance to others on the market, but they are also have great features. It is easy to see why the brand is a leader.

ZENY

California-based ZENY was founded in 2009 and it boasts some great features on its heat presses. It only focuses on the swing away-design that most have come to favor for its safety feature. The machines are digital with LCD displays, timers, and pressure knobs.

SHAREPROFIT

Though this brand is still relatively new, it has quickly made a name for itself on the market. With its ability to make colorful graphic designs, this press machine comes with attachments that can print on caps, mugs and various shapes other than flat surfaces. It is also fully assembled and ready to use fresh out of the box. Great for beginners too.

GECKO

Heats up on less than 20 minutes and comes with all the features you want in a digital press machine. Its non-stick 16 x 20-inch heat platen and ability to reach 435 degrees Fahrenheit makes this brand an easy favorite on the market. It comes at a good price too.  

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEAT PRESSES

There are mainly three types of heat transfer machines one the market, basically based on how they open. While they may function differently by small variations, these machines produce the same results and in most cases, they have similar specs.

The main ones are;

  • 1The swing model
  • 2The clamshell model.
  • 3 The draw model. 

1. THE SWING MODEL

As the name suggests, this model is a swinger, and hence its other name, swinger design heat press. When the platen is open, it swings on the side instead of opening to the front. One of the main advantages of this design is the protection it gives you against burns. When it swings to the side, it will be out of your way and so no burns will be experienced.

When the top platen opens, it gives you access to the platen on the bottom so you can easily arrange your substrate. This design is safe to use too and it offers more precision when printing than any other model.

Pros and Cons of this Design

PROS

  • Easy to arrange your substrate on the bottom platen with the top platen out of your way.
  • More precision since you arrange the items just the way you want, and so the results are ideal.
  • Safer than other models.
  • Can handle thick fabrics such as mats.
  • Ensures even heat distribution.

CONS

  • Can be a tad complex especially for beginners.
  • Time consuming as you need to arrange the substrate ideally before use.
  • Needs more space for when the platen swings sideways.
  • The Clamshell Model

2. THE CLAMSHELL MODEL

Just as the name suggests, it closes like a clam and it is designed as such. You simply open the top platen, place your substrate as well as design on the bottom platen, the close it for the heat transfer process to begin. You certainly have to set the temperature and timer first before the process begins.

This design is well-loved for its simplicity. There are no real learning curves with this straightforward model as the printing process is one-step. Being a simple machine that opens at the top, this design does not need too much space, and therefore it is attractive to beginners of those with little storage space. It is quite small too, and so quite portable.

Being quite easy to operate, you only need to set the design, substrate, timer, and temperature, and then wait for the beep that lets you know the process is complete. With an elaborate manual, you are good to go. Being great for thin material, this is the right heat press for vinyl.

Pros and Cons of this Design

PROS

  • Single-step operation that makes it easy to start and use.
  • Great for beginners as the steps are easy to follow.
  • Needs little space.
  • Portable for when you have demos.

CONS

  • Not as precise as the swing design.
  • Not suitable for thick mats and other material.
  • Heat distributes unevenly when you use thicker material than it can handle.

3. THE DRAW DESIGN

If you cannot seem to make up your mind on whether to get either the swing or clamshell design, then the draw design is the best compromise. The top platen opens the same way it does on the clamshell design while the inner bottom platen can be pulled out the same way you do a drawer. This way, you are able to lay your substrate properly on the lower platen as well as check on the printing.

As is in the swing model, the platen is out of the way to keep you safe from all those potential burns. In this regard, it is as safe as the swing model and similarly precise. While it might not do great with bulky material, the draw model is the best for bulky printing. It is also a great shirt heat press.

Pros and Cons of this Design

PROS

  • Quite safe as the platen is far removed.
  • Even heat distribution for precise printing.
  • Doesn’t require too much space.
  • Portable and it is a multifunction.

CONS

  • Not great with thick material and fabric.
  • A little more expensive that the two other models.

HOW TO USE?

If you haven’t used a heat transfer machine in the past, the first time can be intimidating. You would need to have a few things figured out, but the manual that comes with it is quite easy to follow and so you should be okay from the get-go.

This step-by-step guide takes you through a simple process that if followed to the letter, will yield great results.

COME UP WITH THE DESIGN

Already have a design in mind? Could be a logo or abstract that you have already come up with before. You could use computer applications such as Photoshop to edit as they do a great job, and will help you reverse the image so that it comes out in its mirror form.

PRINT THE IMAGE ON PAPER

Once you have the image or numbers, you want to transfer then to the transfer paper, but it would be ideal to first test it on regular paper. If the image is what you want it to look like, then you can go ahead and print it on the transfer paper and see the final result.

You want your transfer paper to be clear or opaque on one side depending on the material you are printing on. An opaque film is great for when you are printing on clothes of various darker shades while a clear one will work well for white or gray shades.

WEEDING AND PREPPING

We call cutting off the unwanted parts of the printed transfer paper weeding and this is one of the last processes before you start working with the heat transfer machine. The parts that you trim off are the blank ones that are not being laid on the garment.

SET UP THE MACHINE

Your substrate is ready to get into the machine now. What you want to do is fiddle with the settings to get the right temperature, pressure, and the timing fir printing. Turn on the machine using the on/off switch then turn the thermostat knob to the right until you reach the desired temperature for the material you are using, which will also cause the light in the machine to go on. Once you have reached your ideal temperature, turn the knob to the left until the light goes off.

Now, the light in the machine is an indication that you have reached desired temperatures, and so you can use it to regulate temperature – in manually operated press machines. Digital operations have a timer that only goes off when the process is complete, upon when they beep to let you know it is time to check on your project.

Once the machine is properly heated, open the handle to lay your substrate.

LAY SUBSTRATE ON PLATEN

Open the top platen then place your apparel on the bottom platen. Ensure to spread it well and flat for good results. Then, lay the printed transfer paper on the apparel nicely with the film side down so there are no folds.

CLOSE THE MACHINE FOR PROCESS TO BEGIN

With everything ready, close the top platen and allow the process to start. This top platen is the heat transfer agent and so when closed, it heats up and allows this heat to penetrate to the bottom of the machine.

You will already have set the timer and so when the time’s up, a beeper will go off to alert you. You will then lift the platen up and peel the transfer paper off the garment to see how the print looks like.

Points to Note

After the transfer, give the pattern 24 hours to lock in before washing it as doing so before this time could result in run-off and damage. You don’t want that after all the effort you have put into it.

You may already know this, but we will say it anyway. Not all material is ideal for a heat press machine. Plastic, in its regular form will melt when exposed to high temperatures and even cause some damage. Most fabric, on the other hand, is quite flexible and can handle heat perfectly. Spandex, nylon, cotton, and polyester are good candidates for heat transfer.

Lastly, ensure to use the right transfer paper color for the right garment –clear film for whites and light-grays and Opaque for darker shades.

So, what should you do before printing on garments?

Before printing on a garment and making mistakes, you may want to print a trial image – and this is especially so when you have an order that you don’t want to mess up. You want to ensure that the image is in its mirror-image form so that it doesn’t come out all reversed and wrong. You may already know transfer paper costs a pretty penny, so waste it not by printing straight into it at first; that’s why we have regular paper.

Just before you print, you want to ensure that the machine is heated right and that the settings are ideal. Most transfer papers come with pressure and heat approximations for various types of material, and most manuals have guidelines too. They will come in handy.

Loading the bottom platen is a sensitive process because wrongly done, you will end up with some nasty folds that could potentially ness the garment – unless you can turn it into art. So, you want to be keen when loading your substrate.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEAT PRESS MACHINE

For the machine to serve you well for long, then you will have to treat it right. Even the best t shirt press can become faulty and fail to yield desired results if not taken care of properly. So, how do you ensure your stays in mint condition for long?

ALWAYS CLEAN THE HEATING PLATEN

After working with the machine, you want to clean the main working surface as it determines how heat transfers and whether the machine stays great. Cleaning the top platen removes build-up that could affect the way heat and pressure distribute.

Clean the platen by wiping it gently with a soft cotton cloth dipped in mineral spirit, but only after turning it off.

PROTECT THE SILICON PAD

On the bottom platen is the silicon pad that ensures proper distribution of pressure during the heat transfer process. You want to care for it as it ensures the machine works efficiently at all times. Due to the regular removal of apparel from the bottom platen, the pad is easily damaged. You can protect it by coating it with Teflon that will prevent zippers or any other sharp objects from touching and damaging it.

LUBRICATE THE JOINTS

Naturally, the press has pivot points that are subject to regular stress whenever you use the machine. These parts needs greasing to prevent them from drying up and becoming less efficient. Once a month when the press machine is turned off, grease these parts to keep them in excellent condition. More than once a month is okay too – even better.

CLEAN THE AIR SYSTEM

If you are using a manually operated machine, then this step is unnecessary. Those using digital machines already know that they work through air compressors that pump air from the atmosphere into the machine.

Particles are collected from the atmosphere, naturally and they could clog the system if not checked. The clog-up will reduce the machine’s efficiency and of not checked in a long time, it could cause a leak in the machine’s air system. You really don’t want this happening as the repairs could be quite costly.

Once a month, check the air system to see whether the filters need replacing. Moisture is a great enemy of your press machine too and so you want to store it in a dry place. If your region is quite humid, use a desiccant air dryer to suck up the moisture and regain the mint condition of your press machine.

DIFFERENT USES OF A HEAT PRESS MACHINE

What do you use a heat press for? Uumm, isn’t that obvious, you ask? Isn’t it for printing images and numbers on various types of material – whether wood, metal, or cloth? While that is true, some of the little-known uses for this little machine will surprise you. Could even prompt you to make better use of yours.

CUSTOMIZING THINGS AT HOME

Want to add a little flair to your kitchen apron with a cheeky message such as “kiss the chef” or “My soup my way?” This you can do easily using a heat press machine when you follow the instructions we gave above. Make it interesting enough and you may just get an order from your friend and then her friend!

MAKING CUTE BABY CLOTHES

Babies are only young once and so they shouldn’t have to wear boring clothes. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to get items that match your enthusiasm for dressing your kid but other times, they will be too bland for your taste.

Want to add some life to them by adding cute little designs that bring out your kid’s bright character? Some words as “I started life in my best friend’s tummy!” or “I am my parents’ wildest dream.” Not too cheesy, right?

RE-CURING DESIGNS

So you started off lazy and since doing the right thing was too much work, you decided to screen-print t-shirt designs. Now the once bright letters are blurry and you want a do-over. I believe you will not do the same job using screen prints but this time, putting in the work using a heat transfer machine. Soldier on because you are in for a treat!

INTERIOR DESIGNS

Let us take a moment to appreciate beautiful spaces that look like someone really did put in some effort. But then again, let us acknowledge that interior design is an expensive affair. You will have tons of things you need to buy to turn your space into a lovable dome fit for your kingship, but then again it all depends on how you look at it.

If you are keen on transforming your space without breaking the bank, you need only buy fabric and then start printing unique designs on it that will make your guests think you spent all the money in your account.

Who knows, maybe this could finally kick start a serious side-gig that you have been too afraid to approach.

CUSTOMIZING MUGS AND VASES

While we are at decoration, we need to acknowledge those machines that come with curved presses for printing designs on cylindrical objects.

Can’t find the right design for your mugs? Print your own using a heat press machine that allows for this kind of work.

Heard of oil extraction using a heat press machine? Some people do it, being as the heat transmitted to the bottom platen is enough to extract oil from plants, such as lemon grass. Imagine the aroma that will be floating in your home hours after this oil extraction!

COMMON HEAT PRESS MACHINE TROUBLESHOOTING

You recently bought your first heat transfer machine and are super excited to start getting some work done.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work the same way you had envisioned and now you are in panic mode. Was it a waste of your money and what are you going to do about all the business you got through pitching?

Well, fret not as it turns out, some of the problems you are experiencing are quite common.

THE TRANSFER INK IS GOING THROUGH THE GARMENT TO THE BACK, CAUSING A MESS. WHAT IS WRONG?

Main thing: pressure. You over-enthusiastically applied too much of it and now the ink went right through the garment to the back. You can change this by reducing pressure and also placing a Teflon sheet in the garment for even more effective measures.

THE HEAT PRESS RUINED MY T-SHIRT. IT GOT SCORCHED EVEN THOUGH THE BEEPER DID GO OFF.

Well, fabrics are not the same and so you will to set the timer and heat requirements for each individual material.

The best heat press machine for t shirts will allow you to set different times for other material too including wooden and ceramic items.

Otherwise, you may end up burning every garment if you keep using the same heat, time, and pressure settings. Look at the transfer paper for more instructions and information.

Here are some basics.

You want to ensure that the fabric you use can at least handle heat of up to 180c, as this is ideal for getting the right design print.

Ensure that the material you use matches the right ink. Cotton t-shirts, for example, work well with pigmentation ink while other shirts made from other material will be ideal with sublimation ink. This is quite vital and the results will prove so.

Conclusion

And that, ladies and gentlemen is a wrap! As you have seen from this deep analysis, we have keenly identified the best heat press machines on the market and also given you tips on how to care for yours.

Whether you are just getting started in the industry or you are only planning to buy a press machine for your hobby, you will find the ideal one on this list. Here is to the success of your journey!

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