Heat press machines transfer your preferred artwork, for example, numbers, images, and letters, to different materials, such as wood, ceramics, and garments like T-shirts. Nevertheless, they vary in size, special features, and even in design. They are available in different sizes, from small, medium to large sizes that are used for industrial and commercial purposes.
Heat press machine or t-shirt printer machine sizes often determine the volume of work they can handle over a specific period. Buyers often look into sizes of heat presses as a factor, mainly because of the reasons for their use. Some people use heat press machines as a hobby, in crafting and designing their artistic T-shirts, while they are used in large businesses to create printed shirts, branded wear, mugs, and materials like wood and ceramics.
What to look for
When going to buy a heat press machine, you should consider the type of work you are going to do and your space limitations. These factors will influence the size of the heat press that will suit your needs.
Practically, very small heat presses, sometimes called, “label presses,” are only used on small items like baby clothes and tote bags. This press cannot work on large materials and high volumes of work. Small heat presses are suitable for smaller volumes of work and for hobby purposes. They also take lesser space, something you can easily fit in the laundry area.
Medium-sized heat presses can handle more work and take a little more space. They may be suitable for people with medium-sized businesses.
The large presses are often for commercial and industrial use. With the ability to work efficiently all the time, they create a lot of prints and of high quality. This type is normally used by world apparel brands and big companies. As a result of their nature, they take more space and require a large work area.
Heat press machines are of different sizes, but there are common features that are available for all of them despite their target market.
There are three types of heat press, clamshell, swing-away and draw press designs. The clamshell-designed presses also vary in their size ranging from small clamshell-design to the largest.
This also applies to swing-away heat presses. Available on the market are small, medium and large presses that have swing-away technique to allow the operator to access the work area without coming into contact with the heated upper platen. This implies that the size of the heat press does not affect in any way the type and design of the press.
Different Sizes of Heat Press
Despite their sizes, heat presses have features like a digital controller consisting of a time control and temperature gauge, which enables preset record time during the heat transfer process. All presses nowadays boast of interchangeable platens that enable printing of odd items, for example, mugs, helmets and other hard surfaces.
The heat presses are manual, semi-automatic or automatic. Though, their sizes may affect the size and type of items they can press, for example, small presses can only work on small T-shirts and fabrics while large presses can work on odd items, such as mugs and helmets.
Now to break it down for you, there are different available sizes of heat presses on the market.
Very small presses
The very small heat presses, that are normally referred to as “label presses,” range from presses measuring 4” x 6”, 6” x 6” and 6” by 8”. These presses are suitable for small items, such as baby clothes and tote bags.
These presses can also be used to work on large items that only small area is needed to be heated. These heat presses take little space due to its compactness. Thus, they are suitable for hobby purposes and people who use them for small work like printing their favorite T-shirts. The very small presses cost less. It only works on small items and accommodates less volume.
The small presses vary from 9” x 12” to 12” x 14”. They are portable, thanks to their relatively small size, and are inexpensive compared to the larger ones. They are able to press on items, for example, small T-shirts. This size also takes less space and is convenient for people with space constraints. They are also suitable for people with less work or those who print shirts as a hobby. An example of a small size heat press is the Geo Knight JetPress 14 which has a small battery-powered timer. This heat press size is sometimes referred to as a “hobby machine.”
The medium heat presses on average measure about 15” x 15”. They are large enough for people with medium businesses and have more power, hence suitable for people who do repetitive work. They are much cheaper and can press medium-sized items. This machine is ideal for a medium-sized businessman. An example of this size is the Hix Swingman which adjusts for items up to 14”.
Large presses come in measurements of 16” x 20” and more. They are able to work on very large shirts and transfer large numbers and images on garments with ease. They are used in industries and in big companies. Ability to produce a high volume of work 24/7 is their major feature. An example of a large heat press is the MAXX Press Digital that can open up to 50° wide.
Very large presses
Very large presses may measure up to 40” x 64”. These monsters are only used in leading world brands where there is a high turnover of artistic items such as ceramic tiles, mugs, and printed T-shirts. These presses are effective and function all the time without glitches. An example is the Hotronix Air Swinger which is specifically designed for commercial purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a heat press a good investment?
If you’re a decorator, a designer, or someone who likes to print out numerous t-shirts, then yes, a heat press will help you out immensely in the long run. And if you’re a small business owner, a heat press can greatly stimulate your sales by reducing your work time.
Do all heat presses do sublimation?
Most heat presses are labeled as suitable for pressing heat transfer vinyl (HTV) or sublimation ink. The difference is that sublimation requires a higher heat to transfer to fabric or ceramic than vinyl. So, no, not every heat press can do sublimation, but a regular user probably won’t care about the difference.
Can you heat press on sweatshirts?
Yes, you can, but you’ll need to respect the proper instructions on the clothing. For example, many hoodies come with a pillow inserted in the garment, so you will need to turn your pressure down when heat pressing this type of clothing.
Overall, heat press machines are a great deal for graphic imprinting, from hobby activities to large businesses. They produce high-quality products, hence the widely popular artistic market and T-shirt brands around the world. Heat press machine size is just one of the many factors to be considered when shopping for such a machine.