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Last updated on January 22nd, 2021
What is the best heat press machine?
We own five different heat transfer machines, and have been working with them for many years now. We want to share what we’ve learned as you look for your new machine.
There is no single ‘best heat press machine for t shirts’ for everybody. It’s going to depend on your budget, the features you need, and what you’re using it for. However, we think we’ve got something in the buying guide for everybody here!
Best Heat Press Machine
For those in a rush, here are our top five picks (more options below)!
The Fancier Studio tee shirt press is also a best seller on Amazon. The two brands have always been neck and neck!
When it comes to the PowerPress Vs FancierStudio, the two are extremely similar. Both machines have essentially the same features and functions. The good thing about the PowerPress over this machine is the easy to replace fuse feature.
The Fancier Studio Press is perfect for heat pressing sublimation transfers, HTV (heat transfer vinyl), Rhinestones, transfer paper, and any other heat applied shirt decoration.
The Cricut Easy Press 2 is next – this is by far the most popular machine for home use (we have 3 of them)!
This machine is more like a cross between a heat press and an iron. It is a great way to start applying more complicated heat transfers once you have outgrown your home iron.
This machine is best for crafters, making t shirts at home, beginners, and teen crafts. It’s not so good for making items to sell, or for pressing a lot of shirts at once. Its temperature range does reach 400°F, so is suitable as a sublimation heat press.
Cricut is a highly respected brand, known for creating high-quality products that function well and last. They have good customer support, and a lot of online resources. Compare the Cricut EasyPress Vs Heat Press here.
a 15 x 15, 16 x 20, or 16 x 24 inch clamshell heat press
the MPress sublimation mug press
The main benefits of buying the MPress from Heat Press Nation is trust. Each machine goes through a quality control process before shipping, and each purchase includes tech support. Heat Press Nation stands by the quality of the presses they sell 100% so you know they’ll back you up should anything go wrong.
This machine is a slightly better t shirt heat press for beginners, and for those wanting the extra support of HPN.
F2C 5 in 1 machines are an easier and cheaper way to add versatility and do different types of heat press projects.
These units are also available with more attachments, usually including:
a t shirt press
hat/cap attachment press
mug/cup heat press
attachments for pressing plates
There are a ton of multifunctional presses for sale on Amazon, which are good for home and small business use. The higher quality machines from Heat Press Nation are suitable for medium to large business.
Keep in mind that you can only have one type of press going at a time (ex only the hat press), and the attachments on cheaper machines can be tricky & fiddly to change.
Opportunity to press on a variety of substrates
Transfer onto mugs, caps, tees, plates, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic tiles, & more
Many affordable options
Cheap versions are error prone and lack customer support
This unit has a different look from the PowerPress and Fancierstudio press, and also has some improved features.
The pressure is adjusted over the heat platen, rather than at the back of the press. This makes it easier to change and set correctly. It also has a handle on the lower platen which is great for preventing the machine from jumping when you open it!
There is an instruction manual, and some online videos to help you get started, and a ton of good reviews.
Small heat press machines like the 9 x 12 inch Transfer Crafts press are excellent for home craft and small business. There are many occasions where it’s better to have a small machine handy, rather than having to get a big machine up to heat.
As with any category of heat press, there are the lower quality imports, the mid priced range imports, and the high priced US made machines. The best press for you will depend on your budget!
The Pink Craft Press is another popular small craft press that is solid and of sound quality. It weighs only 35 pounds, has a 9 x 12 inch heat platen, and over the plate pressure adjustment.
And, as with the MPress, you know you are getting a machine that has been tested, gone through a quality control process, and comes with access to support.
One of the great things about some Black Series machines is the extra lever on the top of the platen. You are able to hold this down while opening the machine, which supports the press and stops it from jolting upwards!
Clamshell press can take substrates 1/2 inch thick
For many who are going into t shirt business, a heat press bundle or business package may be the best option. You can pick up a printer, cutting machine, heat press accessories, and heat press, and pay less than if you’d bought them separately.
Consider a heat press bundle if:
you require a full business set up
it looks like it will work out cheaper
you really require the bundle items
it’s in your business plan & budget
The press bundles from HPN are very attractive for small to medium sized business start-ups.
Heat Press Buyers Guide
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when buying a t shirt press machine:
Do they have a website?
What are their buyer reviews like?
How long is the warranty?
Does it come with bonuses?
Is it worth the price?
1. Do They Have A Website?
Buying from a seller that has a website can make it easier to make contact if anything goes wrong. If buying from Amazon, Google the name of your seller to see what comes up.
For example, Heat Press Nation has a very good website. They are very easy to contact and offer buying and ongoing technical support.
2. What Are The Reviews Like?
This is pretty straightforward – of course you’re not going to buy from a seller with a ton of negative reviews. But it becomes difficult because most sellers have somegood and somebad reviews.
A couple of my favorite negative heat press reviews include: “I’m being generous giving this press one star…”. Or, “They should have called this a de-press-ed heat machine because that’s how I feel after buying it…”.
Hilarious. But I think it’s important to keep in mind that there are always going to be faults and flaws which occur in products – and perhaps even more so in industrial electrical equipment like heat press machines.
Overall, if a heat press has a 4+ star rating, you’re onto a winner.
Compare warranty lengths between the heat presses before making your purchase.
Some are 6 months, some are 1 year, and some of the more quality machines are even longer!
Does the heat press come with any bonus products?
These might include:
Sheets of vinyl
Blank t-shirts, tote bags, or mouse pads
It can be tempting to choose a machine simply because it comes with freebies, but use the other guidelines before letting this one determine your choice.
This is often the only consideration people have in mind when it comes to purchasing a transfer press.
If after comparing sellers you see they are all selling the same (or very similar) press, and there is little else differentiating them from one another but the name, just go with the cheapest.
Best T Shirt Press
We hope this has helped you to settle on the right t shirt press for your needs.
We’d love to hear from you – what are your thoughts and questions? Leave comments below and we’ll get back to you asap.