I still remember the first time I went to buy a heat press machine online. Of course, I wanted the best heat press machine for beginners, but boy was it hard to know which was best!
Are you in the same boat? Not sure which is the best heat press machine? Here are some of the reasons I found it so hard to know which was best when I first begun looking:
- Because there are so many!
- Because they all look the same… or at least, very similar!
- I didn’t know which were the best heat press machines for beginners…
- I didn’t know which were the best heat press brands…
Well, it’s been years since that first experience, and many hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching what are the best heat press machines for beginners, home use, and small business. So I want to share what I’ve learned with you in this article.
I’ve broken up this list of ‘the 13 best heat press machine reviews’ into two groups:
- The 7 best heat press machines for beginners and home use
- The 6 best heat press machines for small business
The 7 Best Heat Press Machines For Beginners And Home Use
With these top 7 machines for home use and beginners, I’ll list them from the cheap heat press options to the more expensive. In many ways, you get what you pay for, but even the cheapest options still make an excellent t-shirt press (yes, even iron on).
1. The Household Iron
That’s right, the best tshirt press to start with is your household iron. This is what got me addicted to heat pressing, and it’s how most of us start. I don’t want to spend too much time on this option because I think you are here looking for the next level, but if you really are as fresh as they come, check out the following articles on heat pressing with an iron:
READ: Iron On Heat Transfers: Everything You Need To Know
2. The Cricut EasyPress
The Cricut EasyPress is one of the best heat press machines for beginners and home use. That’s because:
- It’s a cheap heat press
- It’s a very small heat press – compact, easy to store, and portable
- It’s very easy to learn how to use it, even if you have had no experience
- It’s a safe press that even kids can use (with supervision)
Features of the Cricut EasyPress include:
- A 9 x 9 inch hot plate with consistent, even heat
- A digital time and temperature display
- Automatic shut off after 10 minutes
- A heat resistant safety base
Cons of the Easy Press include:
- A smaller pressing area than most industrial heat press machines
- It can’t apply as much pressure as a traditional t-shirt press – you must place it on the garment and apply pressure
- It’s not as quick as a t-shirt press
READ: The Cricut Easy Press: 35 Pros And Cons
3. The USCutter Heat Press Bundle
This USCutter heat press bundle is our favorite cheap t-shirt press.
While it is very similar in quality and features as other heat press machines below, we think USCutter are a better seller to buy from.
Why should you consider USCutter?
- They have a website with live chat. This means you can easily get in contact with them if you have any problems. You can also call or email them for real technical support.
- Their machines have great reviews and high star ratings.
- They are specialists in the field of heat presses and cutting machines.
- They have been in the industry for more than ten years. This means they’ve got the experience and expertise.
- The warranty is at least 90 days (make sure to double check each machine). Many of their machines even have up to a one year limited warranty.
- Many of their machines come with free vinyl and/or teflon sheets – the bundles are great value!
- Their machines come with far better and more in depth user manuals than most other heat presses. These can be found on their website.
This t-shirt heat press also comes with a few bonuses. Hence ‘bundle’! It comes with 5 sheets of Siser EasyWeed, 2 blank tees, and a non-stick sheet to protect your press.
They also sell heat press machines on their own website. However, more often than not, they are a lot cheaper on Amazon. Compare the 15 x 15 bundle on Amazon and on their website. There’s a big difference, and you might get free shipping with Amazon.
4. The PowerPress Heat Press
The PowerPress Heat Press is the Amazon best selling heat press and has almost 1000 reviews. It has been a reliable and popular heat press for many years now.
The PowerPress is often out of stock, or sometimes the listing disappears altogether. However, it has always come back! If you were wanting this machine but it was not available, check out the Fancierstudio Power Heat Press.
Overview of features:
- Digital time and temperature screen
- Temperature range of 0 – 500 degrees F
- Adjustable pressure knob on top
- Silicon base plate
- A thickened aluminum and coated heat platen
- A heavy duty steel frame
- Replaceable fuse and safe electrical system
- Able to press flat items up to 3/4 inch thick (approx.)
This is definitely one of the best heat press machines for t-shirts and other projects. You will be joining tens of thousands of other PowerPress owners by buying this machine.
5. Promo Heat Heat Press
The Promo Heat heat press is next on the list and also comes highly recommended. This machine performs well and has many of the same benefits as the USCutter press above.
Why should you consider Promo Heat?
- Promo Heat have a website with their contact details.
- Their machines are well reviewed (with none rating below 4 stars at the time of writing).
- They are only selling heat press machines (at least under this brand name) – good because you know that this isn’t one of many products that they are selling which may or may not mean much to them.
- Their machines come with a one year limited product warranty.
- Very competitive on price.
READ: The Complete Promo Heat Heat Press Review
6. F2C 15 x 15 Heat Press
The F2C heat press is yet another very good t-shirt press. This is a robust and sturdy machine that is easy to set up and easy to use.
We have a complete article about F2C machines if you would like to take a deeper look.
- The usual digital LCD time & temperature display
- A thickened top platen for even pressure
- Adjustable pressure for different substrates
- Solid hard-wearing steel frame
- Teflon coated heat platen
- Heats up in about 15 minutes
- Press large transfers up to 14 x 14 inches
7. The Stahls’ Craft Press
The Stahls’ Craft Press is a small heat press with a 9 x 12 inch hot plate. And, as you can see, it is very pink! So it’s probably going to be best for the ladies craft rooms.
- Over the centre pressure adjustment
- Non-stick coated platen
- A lighter weight at 35 pounds
- Scratch resistant powder coated
- Digital time and temperature display
Why should you consider this press?
- Stahls’ are one of the best heat press brands that you can buy
- Likely to last longer than a Chinese made press
- Will produce a superior finish
- Great support from Stahls.com
- Great online resources
READ: The Complete Stahls’ Craft Press Review
The 6 Best Heat Press Machines For Small Business
Any of the machines listed above would be suitable for starting a small business. Most people actually begin by making their own custom t-shirts with a heat press, and then enjoy it so much they turn it into a business. If you are just starting out it would be better to get one of the cheaper machines listed above to ensure it’s something you might be interested in long term.
1. The USCutter Heat Press Bundle
A heat press such as the 15 x 15 USCutter would be one of the best heat press machines for small business (beginners). Though, you might be better off buying it in the bundle with a cutting machine (pictured left).
2. The USCutter Volcano Clamshell Heat Press
The Volcano heat press is another USCutter option. The main difference with this option is that it can take an attachment mug press.
If you didn’t read all the reasons to buy a USCutter machine above, you can read about them in our article on ‘how to choose a heat press seller’.
- 15 x 15 inch platen
- Clamshell style
- Comes with a quick-start guide and comprehensive manual
- A big bright digital display with quality electronics for setting the temperature and timer
- Heavy-duty steel frame & aluminum body
- One year limited warranty and lifetime support
3. The USCutter Auto Open Heat Press
This USCutter heat press is a very reasonably priced auto-open press.
Auto opens are so helpful if you are making custom tees in larger quantities. They do save time and effort and can be well worth the added expense at the start. This machine would be considered a semi-automatic heat press because it does not close at the touch of a button, it only opens when the set time expires.
- 15 x 15 inch heat platen
- Foam grip handle
- Digital time and temp. display
- Pressure knob to increase and decrease pressure
- This machine comes with 6 sheets of bonus glitter heat transfer vinyl!
READ: The Complete USCutter Auto-Open Heat Press Review
4. The Hix Swingman 15
Hix heat press machines are designed and manufactured in the USA. They are top quality t-shirt press machines that are going to cost you a little more. There is no doubt that along with the added cost you are getting a higher quality product though.
- The swing-away heat press gives greater work space for laying out t-shirts and transfers
- Able to do thick heat transfers up to 1 and ¾ inches thick
- The swing-away feature and high thickness limit enables such projects as tile sublimation
- A cast in heating element allows for best heat diffusion
- Sturdy, tough steel design
- Temperature range from 0° – 400° – good for all types of transfers
- Heat indicator light
- Easy to use pressure lever
- Built-in electrical safety fuse
- A special relay which protects the on and off switch
5. The Hotronix 11 x 15 Auto-Open Clamshell
This Stahls’ Hotronix Press is a slightly more compact machine at 11 x 15 inches. What sets it apart is the auto-open feature.
An auto open heat press is handy for business as you can continue doing other things and not worry about having to get back to open your machine.
- 11 x 15 heat platen
- Magnetic auto-opening
- Digital pressure control
- Digital time and temperature controls
- Twin Timer™ for setting two separate time allowances
- Automatic sleep function
- Takes substrates up to 1″ thick
- Leveraged handle for much easier closing
- Upper heat platen is Teflon coated
- Opens wide for easy access and layout
- Changeable lower platen (swap in different sizes – bought separately)
- Highly accurate platinum RTD heat probe reads hot plate temp. within 2 degrees
- Cast in heating element every 2 inches to be sure there are no cold spots
- One year parts warranty, two years electronics warranty, five years on castings and welds, and lifetime warranty on the heat platen
So you can see that while this heat press costs a bit more, you are getting so much more for your money! The cheaper Chinese presses have few of these features.
6. The Hotronix Fusion
The Hotronix Fusion is the last of our best heat press machines for small business. And this machine is probably the best heat press full stop! It’s certainly one of the most expensive!
- A 16 x 20 inch heat platen
- Swing away and/or draw style
- Touch screen controls
- Real time digital time, temperature & pressure readout
- Exclusive EZ-On heat platen means you don’t need to use pads or cushions
- Program in your preferred settings for later use
- Records number of pressing cycles done
- Takes substrates up to 5/8″ thick
- Easily install different interchangeable platens
- Threadable lower platen for easier transfers
- Energy reducing sleep mode
- EZ-On platen for quick t-shirt loading
- 3/4 of an inch thick platens for greater heat retention
- Lifetime heating element warranty; 5 year major components warranty; 2 year circuit board warranty; 1 year parts & labor warranty
You don’t get much better than this heat press for business!
The Best Heat Press – Conclusion
So there you have it, 13 best heat press machines for sale! To sum up, we recommend the USCutter Starter Bundle as the best heat press for home use and for starting a business. However, it is going to depend on your needs and your budget. The more money you have, the more heat press you can get!
We hope you’ve found these heat press reviews helpful. We’ve certainly enjoyed the evaluation process! Which do you think is the best t-shirt heat press? Which heat press did you buy?
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