A heat press for making rosin is quite different from a t-shirt heat press in many important ways.
Here is why you should get a dedicated rosin machine over a t-shirt heat press:
A rosin press will have two heat platens, whereas on a t shirt press, only the top platen heats up. Dual heat platens are best for extracting the oil from the plant. Some t shirt presses on Amazon describe themselves as a ‘rosin heat press’ when they only have a single heating platen – don’t be fooled!
Rosin machines have small heat platens. They tend to be from 4 x 3 inches to 6 x 8 inches. You do not need a large heat press for pressing rosin – at least you don’t if it’s just for personal home use. If you were a rosin producing company, or thinking about that, you might need a commercial rosin machine.
Many rosin presses are pneumatic. This means they contain, or are operated by gas or air. Pneumatic rosin presses will apply more pressure than a traditional t-shirt press, and give you greater yields).
Apart from these important things, t shirt & rosin presses are fairly similar. They look alike and reach similar temperatures.
Manual Or Pneumatic Rosin Press?
What are the differences between a manual and pneumatic press?
A manual press is operated by pulling down a lever on the side of the unit, while a pneumatic press works at the press of a button, but needs an air compressor to work.
An air compressor is generally bought separately – most rosin press machines don’t come with one included. We’ll link to some suitable options further below.
Manual Press Pros & Cons
Manual Press Pros:
Manual presses tend to be cheaper – you also do not have the expense of an air compressor
They are less complicated
There is less to set up
A manual rosin press takes up less space
Manual Press Cons:
Manual presses are more work – you have to clamp down the press yourself rather than pressing a button
Pnuematic Press Pros & Cons
Pneumatic Press Pros:
With the press of a button you are extracting rosin
Pneumatic Press Cons:
More expensive when you factor in the price of the compressor
Slightly more complicated to set up
More space required
When you look at these pros & cons, there may seem to be more pros to going manual, but that’s not what most users would conclude. Because with a pneumatic press you get a higher yield, many would say go with that one.
The higher yield outweighs the cons.
Here are some ideas for air compressors to accompany your rosin press. You generally want a compressor that reaches at least 150 PSI, though be sure to double check the requirements of your machine.
If you are looking for rosin presses under $1000 then all the machines listed here are perfect. We have not looked at any industrial or commercial machines.
There are a ton of helpful videos on YouTube to help you get started. As with anything, there is a bit of learning to do while you are getting used to the machine, and then testing for the best results.