Choosing The Right Heat Press For T-Shirt Printing

If you are considering starting a t-shirt printing business you should consider buying a heat press.  However, you might be overwhelmed with the options available.  It is important that you choose the best heat press for your business and your experience with these machines.

A Starter Heat Press

Starter heat presses are the best option for people who are just starting their t-shirt printing business.  These machines are affordable and easy to use making them the best choice for people new to heat printing.  They are also smaller than the more expensive presses so you can use them in smaller areas.

These machines are not made for high volume printing and do have a number of compromises that you should consider.  These compromises will include analog controls and slow warm-up times.  These compromises make the machines ideal for small operations or hobby t-shirt producers.

An Intermediate Press

If you are starting a business with higher volumes of orders then you should consider an intermediate heat press.  These presses are ideal for people running a business, but do not have the funds to buy a professional press.  The intermediate heat press is more versatile and rugged than the starter, but will not cost you the large amounts that a professional press would.

Many people consider the intermediate press to be the workhorse of heat presses.  They are able to handle higher volumes and many models will produce professional looking t-shirts.  These machines will be larger than the starter, but the designs will be simpler than the professional models.  Most small businesses will be able to use these machines for printing high t-shirt volumes.

A Professional Heat Press

The professional heat press is a large and expensive machine.  This machine is only recommended if you have a very high volume of orders and need to process the shirts quickly.  Many of these models will have additional features not found on starter or intermediate models.

These professional machines are generally pneumatically powered with auto opening and swing clamps.  The digital programming in these machines makes them ideal for larger businesses because they can hold approximately 70 presets depending on the model.  The programs also allow you to quickly and easily change the heat setting for the press to ensure the highest possible accuracy.

If you have a very busy business these machines offer automatic raising of the press when a job is completed.  This means that you will never have to worry about the press being on the shirt for too long after a job should you be distracted.  Many of these models will also have a hover feature which allows you to cure the ink before pressure is applied.  This hover feature reduces the chances of the ink smearing when the press is closed.

There are many different models of heat presses that you can choose from.  However, it is important to consider the volume of shirts you are producing and the funds you have available.  Some presses are very expensive and should only be considered by larger businesses.