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What Should I Look for When Buying a Heat Press?

What Should I Look for When Buying a Heat Press, Buying a Heat Press, Things to Consider When Buying a Heat Press, Heat Press Features, imprint designs on t-shirts

If you’re looking to purchase a heat press machine, it would be, at the very least, ideal for you to acquaint yourself with the different kinds of heat presses available. In this way, you won’t have to worry about buying a machine that gives subpar results or getting the wrong model for a particular task.

If you didn’t already know about heat presses, a simple Google search would tell you that they make use of heat to imprint vinyl designs on t-shirts. According to The Best Vinyl Cutters, while that’s easy enough to understand, it shouldn’t be the only information you go by if you’re looking to make a worthy purchase.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Heat Press

From the options the market offers and the resources at your disposal to the different circumstances you need the heat press for, there are several factors to consider before choosing a heat press.

The two most common types of heat press machines are the swing-away and clamshell. Both these types operate straightforwardly, making either of them a great choice for those who are new to heat printing and are looking for a heat press to start their business.

Then, you have the less common and typically more expensive heat presses, such as the draw heat press and sublimation heat press. Both hold special features; the former, a movable work surface and, the latter, a unique and more effective way of transferring prints.

No list of considerations is ever going to be the same because we all have different needs. However, they should, at the very least, share a number of factors that include the following:

1. Size

You can’t purchase a heat press blindly and expect it to work perfectly for your t-shirt printing business. Unless you’re lucky, it’s rare to get away with that without a bit of research. These days, there are very few industries where the term “one-size-fits-all” applies, particularly when it comes to choosing equipment that can determine your business’ success or failure. The world of t-shirt printing is no exception.

Heat press machines for businesses should be able to print beyond the three common t-shirt sizes. When a heat press is limited to transferring prints on small, medium, and large shirts, then it’ll also be limiting your business. People come in all shapes and sizes. You need to consider that a sizable portion of your income will come from printing on shirt sizes for oversized physiques.

When it comes to heat presses, the larger the size equates to more flexibility. Having said that, if you’re simply looking for a bit of heat press fun at home, there is no need to get an industrial heat press that can accommodate a wide range of sizes.

2. Quality

We’ve already established that not all heat presses were created equal; this holds true in terms of the machine’s quality, as well. There are pricier heat presses that are more durable and provide better results than their cheaper counterparts.

Ideally, you’d want a heat press that can hold up against constant clamping and movement. This will ultimately give you the results you’re looking for. A heat press machine of excellent quality would have a frame made up of steel, fewer welds in its frame (or none, at all), and an ironclad warranty.

3. Timer

Timing is literally everything when you’re operating a heat press. A heat press that applies heat for too long could easily result in burnt shirts and fabrics.

There’s typically a higher chance of messing up when using a machine with a manual timer because you may not have your eyes peeled for the entire process and fail to remove the shirt at the right time. The larger the number of shirts you expect to work on, the more it would make sense to purchase a machine with a digital timer.

Other specifics you should consider when it comes to the timer are the alarm, temperature gauge, and pressure adjustment system. All these factors determine how successfully you’re able to operate the machine, so don’t forget them.

4. Voltage

This is an especially important consideration to make when running a business because you could easily end up purchasing a heat press that takes a sizable chunk off your profit margin because of its huge electricity cost.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t know much about heat presses yet, some research should help shed light on all the best choices. Consider what you need the machine for and then proceed to look at important factors like size, voltage, timer, and quality in order to determine if a particular model is a great option.

If you want the best money can buy, then a sublimation heat press from a trusted brand would be an excellent choice. Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the factors mentioned above because you may have specific needs that require you to look into other facts about heat presses not covered by our list.

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