If you’re wanting a smooth and reliable heat press that gives the most professional results, you’re onto the right track with Hix Heat Press Machines.
US designed and manufacturer, you can just tell by looking at them that there’s something special. Let’s find out what that is…
Hix Heat Press Machines
As you know, whenever you’re buying something, it’s not always a good idea to go with the cheapest product on offer. This is especially so if you have a t-shirt business and will be depending upon your heat press.
Your heat press will be one of the most important pieces of equipment in a t-shirt business. It is like a builder’s drop saw or a gardener’s lawn mower – a pivotal item! You need to be sure it will do what it needs to do, day in and day out.
The Hix SwingMan heat press machines come in two sizes: the standard sized 15 x 15 inch SwingMan 15, and the larger 16 x 20 inch SwingMan 20E. Apart from the difference in size, they are the same heat press.
The Hix SwingMan 15
15 x 15 inch heat press machines are the perfect size for most people. You can do the major majority of garments and transfers in one go with this size. The SwingMan 15 comfortably does most adult t-shirts, kids and babies clothing.
Larger heat press machines are good for those doing big heat transfers, or for those expecting to do a lot of large t-shirts. You are actually able to do large t-shirts and transfers with smaller machines, but you have to do it in stages which can get awkward. If you are in business, you want to keep things moving, and so the SwingMan 20E would be your best bet.
Hix SwingMan 15 & 20E Features
Features of the SwingMan series include:
Swing-away style heat press machines allowing for a great work space to lay out t-shirts and transfers
The ability to do thick heat transfers up to 1 and ¾ inches thick. Cheaper machines are unable to retain the pressure able to press this thickness.
The swing-away feature and ability to complete thick transfer projects allow you to complete projects such as tile sublimation. Cheap clamshell style presses can struggle with this task as the top platen does not come down directly upon the lower platen.
A cast in heating element allowing for the best thermal diffusion
Sturdy steel design, made for long life
Temperature range from 0° to 400°; sufficient for all types of transfer
Heat indicator light; it’s good to know if it’s hot or not
The Hix Clamshell Heat Press Review – HT400 & HT600
The Hix clamshell machines also come in two sizes. There is the standard sized 15 x 15 HT400, and the larger 16 x 20 HT600 – and yes, they need to come up with better names for them!
The Hix Clamshell HT400
This is the 15 x 15 HT400, the smaller of the Hix clamshells. This is another quality commercial heat press machine that is excellent for the t-shirt business. If you prefer a clamshell style press to a swing-away style press, this Hix should be on your list for serious consideration.
The Hix HT600P Clamshell
As with the SwingMan presses, these clams are also identical apart from the size. The 16 x 20 HT600 is best for those larger t-shirt heat transfer projects. Make sure you’ve got space in your shop because it takes up a bit of space! Or if this is a heat press for home use you will need some dedicated room as you’re not going to want to be moving it around!
Hix HT400 & HT600 Features
Features of these Hix presses include:
Manual clamshell presses – they are not auto or semi-auto heat press machines
1 inch thick pressing capability
Tilting (or floating) heat platen – more on this below
They are HEAVY! The HT600 weighs in at 83 pounds, while the HT400 weighs 72 pounds
Touch screen controller for setting time and temperature – which makes it easy to control
Open up to 70° – should be plenty of room for you to work in without burning yourself!
A thermometer – to tell you the heat platen temperature
A top pressure plate – this is a smaller pressure plate that connects the handle to the top platen allowing for a more even pressure right across the platen
Temperature goes up to 450°F – as it is heating it will always tell you the current temperature
ETL certified – proof your product is independently checked and meets the advertised standards
Handles have a spring assist to make opening and closing easy, and also feature a slightly unusual design which adds 20% more pressure over straight handle designs
Setting The Pressure
The pressure is easily changed and set: turn the black pressure dial to the right for more pressure, or to the left for less. It also has a full range of pressure settings from 0 – 9. Cheaper presses often do not have this feature – they have a pressure adjuster where you know when it’s set to lightest and heaviest, but you have to guess at anything in between that.
This machine’s settings are:
0-3 as the range for light pressure
4-6 as the range for medium pressure
7-9 as the range for high pressure
Tilting Floating Heat Platen
These models are a bit special compared to cheaper clamshell presses in that they have a tilting, or floating lower platen. When you bring the top platen down to press on other machines, the back will meet the bottom first. This can negatively affect the pressure if the bottom is not floating. The lower platens on these machines will tilt to meet the top and allow the pressure to equalize.
“This heat press is for professionals who are serious about maximum production, high-quality impressions, safety, and minimal effort on the operator.” – Hix
Able to press with 1200 pounds of pressure
Digital time and temperature touch screen display
Digital touch screen pressure read out from 0-9
Progressive linkage making closing and opening the press much easier
Press items up to 1¾ inches thick
One year warranty on the press
Lifetime warranty on the heating element
About The Hix 16×20 Digital SwingMan 20
The Digital SwingMan 20 is an impressive machine. This is another swing-away machine. It has a different look to it, and there is a reason for that. The design allows you to apply 1200 pounds of pressure with the greatest ease. Because of excellent Hix engineering, you are able to open and close this press with a couple of fingers – even when it is at maximum pressure!
The technology is called ‘progressive linkage’. This is basically a system with a series of stages to openings – The first stage is opened, then when a certain opening point is reached, the next stage will open, and so on. I’m no astronaut so I cannot articulate how this works, but trust me, it does.
It makes churning out many t-shirts much much easier. If you don’t know what it’s like to work with a clunky machine, pressing down and pulling back up with tons of force, then you won’t appreciate this as much. But I suggest you don’t even find out. Just go for this press!
It is able to press on items up to 1¾ inches thick, like the SwingMan 20E and SwingMan 15 above. As I mentioned with these other models above, this is because with a swing-away press all the pressure is exerted downwards. The top plate is brought above the bottom, swinging from the right. There is a stop built into the machine so that it will settle perfectly above the bottom. Being able to bring the top down perpendicularly allows for maximum pressure.
Watch this video to see the Hix 16 x 20 digital SwingMan 20 in action:
Hix SwingMan 20 Specs
Shipping weight: 125 pounds
Heat press weight: 99 pounds
Electrical: 120 Volt, 14.5 Amps, 1750 Watts
Nema 5-15P Standard Plug
ETL listed – this press is safe in your business or home, meeting (and often exceeding) all the required component, wiring, connection, and construction standards
All Hix Heat Presses come with a one year warranty on the individual parts, or components. They come with a lifetime warranty on the heating element (the top platen of the machine).
They are ETL Certified which is “proof that your product has been independently tested and meets the applicable published standard.” Especially good if you’re planning to use this for business, as your state may require this standard for products used in this way.
Hix presses are extremely high quality machines. If they are in your budget, they are some of the best heat press (if not THE best) machines you can buy. If they are not in your budget, keep saving! US made machine are a lot better than the cheaper Chinese made counterparts, you won’t be worrying about things going wrong and having to sort out heat press repairs. Treat yourself and your business to a new Hix Heat Press and worry less!