What is the best multifunction heat press machine? Or, before we go too far, what on earth is a multifunction heat press machine!?
Well, multifunction heat press machines are presses that can not only press t-shirts and other flat items, but which also take attachment presses for pressing hats, caps, and more. This is why they are also known as 5 in 1, 6 in 1, or 8 in 1 heat press machines.
In this article we will:
give an overview of what these machines are
how they work
whether or not they might be for you
and most importantly, which is best!
The Best Multifunction Heat Press
The HPN Sig. Series 8 in 1 Multifunction Heat Press
To reiterate: multifunction heat press machines are those which have a standard flat heat platen for pressing t-shirts and other flat substrates, butalso take attachment presses or platens in order to press on other non-flat surfaces.
They generally have an outlet on the control panel, usually below the digital time and temperature display, which you plug the different heat platens into. However, cap press platens are usually installed by replacing the flat platens on the main heat press structure.
The attachments that generally come with these machines are:
hat/cap press platens
attachment mug press machine
attachment plate press platens
And, of course, they also have a t-shirt heat press platen which is usually 12 x 15 or 15 x 15 inches.
There are also multifunction machines, like this one from Heat Press Nation, that are 12 in 1! This press also contains a shoe heat press, a flask attachment, and more.
Multifunction machines have more or less attachments because they come with different sizes of mug or plate attachments.
The Best Multifunction Heat Press Summary
Down below are some of the best multifunction heat press machines.
The first 2 machines listed below come from Heat Press Nation. HPN machines cost more, but they are better. If you’re buying for business or your machine is for frequent use, I would choose from their options.
One important thing I would keep in mind when considering these machines is ‘what size t-shirt press do I need?’ The multifunction presses come with either 12 x 10, 12 x 15, or a 15 x 15 inch flat t shirt platens.
HPN™ Black Series™ 8-in-1 15″ x 15″ Multifunction Heat Press Transfer Machine
The 3+ attachment presses connect electronically through the main outlet on the control box of the t-shirt press. However, there are generally differences in how they attach to the main body of the machine.
The mug press is usually a separate device that plugs into the main control of the heat press. It works alongside the heat press, unlike the other attachments that screw onto the press in the place of existing platens.
The typical sizes of mug press attachments are:
2 – 2.75 inch diameter (6OZ)
3 – 3.5 inch diameter (11OZ)
12oz latte mug (Cone)
17oz latte mug (Cone)
These sizes are true for the Mophorn 8 in 1, but whichever press you go with you will need to check they have the size that you’re after.
When you’ve chosen the size and have set everything up, it can be a good idea to test that the pressure is set right before plugging it in. You may need to make slight adjustments to ensure a tight (but not too tight) clamp, and it is better to do this before it’s heated.
You will need to apply the transfer to your mug with heat tape in preparation for pressing. This will ensure your transfer stays in place.
The mug press will heat up once you have plugged it into the main machine. You will also set the time and temperature on the main control as you usually would.
Once the attachment is plugged in and the appropriate time and temperature have been set and reached, you can slip your mug into the machine and wait for it to finish. Mug transfers tend to take much longer than a t-shirt press – generally needing over a minute.
Hat & Cap Press
The hat/cap press is perhaps the most difficult attachment to use on these machines because it generally requires you to unscrew and remove both the top and lower platens. The hat/cap platens are then screwed into their place and the top platen is connected to the control panel.
The hat/cap press is often a one size fits all kind of deal. You will only receive one attachment with any given multifunction heat press. You can usually press on either the bill or the main body of the cap – or both if you like!
The top platen of the cap press will heat up for you to do the press. Heat tape can also be very helpful when doing cap transfers because of the awkwardness of the curves.
The plate press is usually easier to attach than the cap press. With this one you only need to remove the top heat platen and screw in the plate press.
Again, as with the mug presses, different models and different brand machines will come with different sized plate press attachments.
You are likely to get one or more of the following sizes:
A 5 inch maximum diameter
A 6 inch maximum diameter
Again, it’s always a good idea to set the right pressure before everything else is ready to go. You will likely need to turn the pressure knob all the way down for plates.