Heat Press Machine Buying Guide


The transfer business is heating up 😉 Businesses around the country are popping up in market stalls, festivals, you name it! So it’s not surprising that we’re getting inundated with questions on the best methods for clothing heated transfer when the normal ironing on method is time consuming.

Of course, you could simply use the classic iron on method, where you simply print your design onto the special transfer paper and then with your own iron on a solid surface you apply the transfer. This is all well and good and will certainly save you a few penny’s, but it won’t save you time, and if you have a lot of transferring to do it can quickly turn an exciting new business venture into a rather dull and vacuous one!

Enter the Heat Press!

When your creative business realises that the iron can no longer cut it, the time will come to invest in a heating press. Investment in a heating press, like many large and essential tools, needs some clever thoughts as they’re a few variables to consider because this machine will no doubt get used a lot!

It is a common misconception that the more money you spend, the better quality machine you’re going to get. This is certainly the case with a lot of other industrial type machines, but if you happen to be working on a budget Don’t Worry, there are plenty of options out there that won’t break the bank.

Bigger is Better When You Have Space!

Essentially within the exciting world of heat presses and much like life, bigger is always better! This is because by having a larger press, you’re more open to working with a lot more products, also in some cases you may need to print larger transfers; such as football player numbers onto the back of jerseys in A4 and even A3 sizes. Having a larger press also means that you’ll be able to print on far smaller objects such as mouse mats all at once, saving you time and effort.

A 15×15 press is the minimal size recommended, these also have an added advantage, as although they won’t be able to cover more size or workload, they’re light and thus can be transported from one location to another without too much hassle and by one person.

The Clam vs. The Swing!

The clamshell and swinger press are the two most popular designs, however don’t just go on looks alone as these presses are big and take up a lot of space. You need to consider where you intend to put the machine. With the Clamshell; the top simply lifts vertically and takes up roughly the exact room of its base dimensions. The Swinger however, due to its open mechanism; opens up and swings to the right or left of the base and working area.

The decision really comes down to how much room you have available. Further to this, the clamshell is cheaper and only takes a few seconds to operate, the swinger will be able to produce far more items at any one time and provides more even-pressure across the entire heating element. In most cases, either of the two will suffice and your decision is often based on finding a suitable deal on either clamshell or swinger heat press.

Which Brand to Buy?

There is a universal rule when it comes to machinery: “the better the brand, the better the product, the better the product the better the warranty!

This is true for pretty much any brown or white good on the market and certainly for any type of industrial machinery. The top brands include:

•    XPress
•    LoveCut
•    PixMax
•    Phoenix Phire
•    Power Pro
•    Adkins
•    Hix
•    Europa

The best reason to go with a brand named heat press is that they are rigorously tested and have been around for years. Which also means that they’ll last you a great many years as well, delivering for you, the perfect service that you paid for.

Before placing an order consider the following:

  • Machine warranty and availability of spare parts
  • Return policy if the machine does not deliver suitable results
  • Check that it meets European and UK standards especially on fire codes
  • Complexity of operating the machine and required learning curve
  • Its energy rating
  • Ensure you have sufficient space (clamshell are often more compact)

Top Tip: it’s also a great idea to visit an industry trade show, that way you get to see them for yourself and if you happen to have any burning (get it?) questions, you’ll be in the best environment to have them answered.

Leave your comment below if you have any questions.

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