The internet’s most popular heat press is the Power Press Heat Press.
The Power Press is Amazon’s best selling heat press (by a long shot). With well over 900 reviews and a 4.3 star rating, it has obviously got something going for it. In this review I’ll tell you everything you need to know if it’s the right one for you.
Select an option in the table of contents below, or continue to read our full product review.
Who Is The Power Press Heat Press For?
Who should get the Power Press?
- It’s good for use a hobby or craft press – for playing around with from time to time
- It would be suitable for beginners – those of you who are wanting to start up and learn
- It is good for somebody with a limited budget for a heat press – those of you needing an affordable heat press!
- For the small start-up t-shirt business – maybe you’ve started an Etsy store, or are selling some items through Facebook?
- It is fantastic for those wanting to make amazing gifts for your friends, family and community!
- It might be good for those needing to create a side income – make money with your heat press
- This is a good heat press for teenagers who want to learn about business – my daughters are too young to get near one at the moment, but they’ll be proficient as soon as possible!
I know for a fact that there are many hundreds, if not thousands, of women using this very machine in their craft rooms for both work and pleasure. You can join many of them in Facebook groups like Let’s Learn Cricut Explore or Silhouette CAMEO Project Inspiration – two huge communities learning from and helping one another in their creative exploits.
Who is the Power Press not for?
- This machine is not for a very busy business – if you have a larger volume of orders you should look at getting a higher quality US made machine – or at least consider an automatic heat press!
- This is not for a large business – again, you would be much better off with a higher quality press
- This is not for you if you want the very best heat press or if you want super high quality. At the end of the day (and also at the beginning), this is a cheap heat press. While it still costs quite a bit, it is on the lower end of the range. Some of these machines will have flaws and faults, some of them will break. Unfortunately that’s just the way it goes. However, remember that you can choose to extend the warranty as you check out on Amazon, and it is probably a good idea to do so!
About The Power Press
It is a manual clamshell heat press. Most, if not all, 15 x 15 heat press machines under $200 are clamshell style machines. These are basic units and very easy to use – you can’t really go wrong. If you’re ever unsure, there are a ton of helpful YouTube videos just waiting for you.
This particular heat press, as you might have guessed, could be described as no frills. But that being said, it still does the job well and can produce amazing results.
- A digital timer and temperature display
- An adjustable pressure knob
- A silicon base plate
- A thickened aluminum, Teflon coated heat platen (they say you therefore don’t need to use a Teflon sheet, but I’d still recommend it!)
- It is made with a heavy duty steel frame
- Replaceable fuse and safe electrical system
- The ability to press flat items approx. 3/4 inch thick
What The Power Press Doesn’t Do
- It can’t take heat press attachments like mug, plate or cap presses (so you cannot press mugs, plates or caps!). You might like to consider a multifunction heat press if you want to do these items.
- It’s neither a semi or fully automatic press – you must open and close it manually
- It does not give a pressure reading – this must be adjusted firmer or lighter as necessary
- It cannot press paninis (or bring you breakfast in bed)
Here are some of the numbers you might need to know:
- Weight – 56 pounds (pretty heavy!)
- Time range – 0 – 999 seconds
- Temperature range – 0 -500 degrees
- Voltage – standard US 110 volts
- Wattage: 1800 watts
- And all going well, it will take about 15 minutes to get to the set temperature
READ: The Best Cutting Machines For Making Your Own T-Shirts
- Number one, it is cheap! Therefore, you are not investing an excessive amount of money into it. If you are planning on creating t-shirts to sell, you should make your money back on it very quickly. Sell 10 to 15 t-shirts to your family and friends for $20 and you’ll have broken even!
- Spending less up front means you can get proof of concept without breaking the bank. You may not be sure whether your creations are going to sell or not. With this machine you can find out quickly and perhaps invest more later into a higher quality press with a few more bells and whistles.
- Even if you do have to upgrade to a heavier duty model after a year or so, you will have got plenty of value from it. This machine is simple to use, great for the beginner and pro alike.
- This beats using an iron anyday!
- Cheaper means it will not have the same performance level of an expensive press. In a high output business, your machine needs to be on 10 hours a day, for example. You will want to get a more expensive machine.
- If you’re like me, the less you spend on something means the less invested you are, and the harder it is to knuckle down and do something about it. If you have dreams of starting your own t-shirt business, give it all you’ve got whether you’ve invested $200 or $2000!
- Cheaper means fewer of those bells and whistles. For example, it is a manual press, not an automatic. You will have to press your products yourself! See our article on auto-opening heat press machines or our review of the USCutter auto-opening clamshell press if you are interested in that feature.
- It may not last as long as a higher quality machine. You shouldn’t expect to get tons and tons of use over a long period of time from this product. However, many people have been fortunate to get a long life of use out if it.
The temperature range for this press is 0 – 500° F. Most transfers you will be using need a temperature between 300 – 400° F. Check with your transfer provider for the exact temperature setting for each type.
Your average household iron can reach temperatures of 400° F (depending upon the wattage), but applying heat transfers is about more than simply temperature. It is also about a uniformity of temperature and pressure. It is about time and type of fabric. This is part of the reason why a heat press is so much better than an iron – you have far greater control over the process.
Because it is a manual press, it will take a bit of trial and error to work out the pressure settings. It’s easy to know when it is in the lightest pressing position, and when it is in the heaviest. But finding the medium or medium/light position, for example, will take a little bit of experience.
What Items Can I Press?
✔ Cotton and polyester garments
✔ Canvas bags
✔ Mouse mats
✔ Ceramic tiles
✔ Jigsaw puzzles
✔ Throw pillow covers (check out my Peter Rabbit HTV project!)
And of course, many more items. I’ve seen them used especially for children’s clothing and baby onesies – the results are so pretty and cute!
CHECK OUT: Adobe Illustrator & The Best Free T-Shirt Design Software
What Size Transfers Can I Use?
This particular press is 15×15 inches. Therefore, the largest transfer I suggest you try and use would be around 14×14 inches.
If you are planning on pressing XL t-shirts more than any other then you will want to consider a larger machine. This can definitely take that size, but it would be easier with a larger machine if that is your target market.
What Transfers Can I Use?
The Power Press will take all of your standard transfers.
✔Heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
If you’re ever unsure, ask the advice of your transfer provider, or do a tester press and find out.
Tips For Using Your Power Press
Set up your press in a position where you can access it from three sides. It is easiest to position everything when you can shift from the left side, to the front, to the right. There is nothing more frustrating than being hindered when you’re in the middle of pressing a garment.
It is reasonably heavy, at 56 pounds, so you will not want to be shifting it from place to place within your home or business. Prepare a home for it where you can access it easily for use but where it will not be in the way from day to day.
Make sure you set up your press on a sturdy surface, rather than a flimsy table, for example. When you are clamping your press down for a job it does require a bit of force for it to click in.
Using Your Power Press For The First Time
Before you use your machine for the first time you might need to have a burn-off. We have an extensive article about this process here but will summarize the process now. Basically you want to get rid of all the chemicals left on the heat platen from the manufacturing process. Completing this task will stop your press from producing bad smells over a longer period of time, and from passing this bad smell onto your early garments.
Set up your press in a good position where you will be able to work well. Set the temperature to 400 ° F. Open up all the doors and windows in the room and switch it on while the heat press is OPEN. This is very important: heat press machines should not be turned on and kept closed. They should only be closed during a press.
Once you turn it on with the lid open, this will burn away all the unnecessary chemicals. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Do not leave the room during this time and make sure you keep an eye on it. It will smell and possibly even smoke a bit – make sure you are doing this in a well ventilated area.
Once you have completed this task you will be able to begin pressing! I suggest having a practice run first before doing anything too serious. This is to get rid of any final residue from the burn off, and also to familiarize yourself with how to use your heat press.
Before you press vinyl onto any garment, pull your press down onto the bare item first. This will make sure that your t-shirt is flat and without wrinkles, and it will also take out any moisture in the garment. These are both important in order to get the best adhesion and perfect look.
Some people have had concerns about the base pad not being totally attached. There was a reason for this. The manufacturer was asked not to completely secure it so that in the event of the pad needing replaced, it would be easier to do. Over time the base pad can become worn or get damaged and might need replaced.
However, because of customer concerns over it not being completely glued down, further presses will have the pad completely secured. If yours happens to be loose on arrival, or becomes loose over time, you can glue it back down.
Price Of The Power Press
The Power Press is very affordable, and certainly one of the best cheap heat press machines that you can buy. It is definately good value for money and should be thought of as an investment. Used well, a heat press can not only generate you an income through selling products, it can also save you money when you use it to make gifts you would have otherwise purchased!
Click here to view the Power Press 15 x 15 heat press on Amazon.
This is a fantastic machine that will be a great asset to the hobbyist or small start-up. With this machine you can poke your neck out into the market and get a real feel for all that’s involved in making t-shirts. It is a low risk purchase which could quickly pay you high dividends. At the very least, friends and family will be impressed with your creations!
Even if you are not a professional, you will feel like one with the Power Press Heat Press – the is the cool thing about these machines! This heat press has been tried, tested and approved by so many like-minded craft lovers in the community, so what are you waiting for?
Thanks for reading our review of the power press heat press machine! Please leave us a comment if there is anything else you would like to know.
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