NEW SawGrass Sublimation Printer Guide [UPDATED 2022]

Welcome to this SawGrass Sublimation Printer Buyer’s Guide!


There are now 5 SawGrass Sublimation Printers on offer, however as of 2020, with the release of the NEW SG500 and SG1000, 2 of the previous models are no longer highly recommended.


By the end of this reference guide, you will know the difference between the available models and which SawGrass printer is best for you. Get ready to create permanent, non-cracking, non-fading sub transfers for hard and soft applications!

SawGrass Sublimation Printers


sawgrass sg500 review


The SawGrass SG500 and the SawGrass SG1000 are the newest sublimation printers. If you are wanting a new SawGrass printer in 2020, it is best to go with these updated models. Here is the full range.


SawGrass SG500

  • The NEW entry level SawGrass Printer
  • Updated components, interface, software, and more
  • New ink for use with new models
View Latest Price

SawGrass SG1000

  • The LATEST larger format SawGrass
  • Backlit screen, less paper jams, new software modes
  • Richer, more vibrant color on both hard and soft substrates
View Latest Price

Sawgrass SG400

  • Old SawGrass entry level model
  • The SG500 is the updated version of the SG400
  • Still a great quality printer for sublimation
Heat Press NationSwing Design

Sawgrass SG800

  • Old SawGrass model
  • The SG1000 is the updated version of the SG800
  • Also, still a good option if discounted
Heat Press NationSwing Design

Sawgrass Virtuoso VJ 628

  • Large format sublimation printer
  • High volume production
  • Max Media width: 24.8"
View Latest Price

SawGrass Printers are the only desktop printers specifically designed for sublimation. They were created by SawGrass & Ricoh especially for use with sublimation paper and inks.


Sublimation ink and transfer paper is very different from other inks and toners, and each component of the SawGrass printer and system is designed for dye sublimation – unlike any other!


These SawGrass printers are “fully integrated”, which means the printer, software, and ink are all designed for each other. That’s why it’s the most popular sublimation printer for those who are serious about sublimation printing.


Many start off with a lower cost machine, like an Epson Workforce inkjet converted to sublimation, or one of the other machines in this list of sublimation printers. However, while the SawGrass SG500 can be considered expensive, the price is actually not too bad in my opinion because of how effective the printer is (more on that next).


If you are going to use it – know that with complete peace of mind it’s worth it!


SawGrass SG500 And SG1000


The main difference between the SawGrass SG500 and SG1000 is simply the size. Otherwise they have the same updated features, interface, components, and use the same new ink.


SawGrass has upgraded the ink set for use with these new machines, now using the all new SubliJet UHD Ink. You will now be able to print more vibrant and colorful sublimation heat transfers.


Get a good first look at the new SawGrass Printers in this video from Heat Press Nation.



The new and improved features which these machines share include:

  1. Now with wifi connectivity – no more cords!
  2. Ultra fine photo mode for highest print resolution and vibrant colors
  3. New LED backlit display and more intuitive button placement
  4. Single roller bar to minimize jams
  5. Retains the self-maintenance mode so it’ll always be ready for the job
  6. Optimized ink output to reduce wasted ink


These machines have been built to be compatible with the bypass trays from the SG400 and SG800, so you won’t need to repurchase if you already own one.


The SG500 and SG1000 come with an incredible 2 year warranty, along with lifetime tech support from both SawGrass and Heat Press Nation so we definitely recommend purchasing through HPN.


The SawGrass SG500


sawgrass sg500 review


Features and specs:

  • Max heat transfer paper size of 8.5 x 14 inches (8.5 x 51″ with optional bypass tray)
  • Max print size 7.5 x 13 inches
  • Print up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Includes SawGrass Print Manager (formerly SawGrass Virtuoso)
  • Best for printing transfers for mugs, phone cases, tags, small t shirt design, badges, etc.
  • For home use, crafts, entry into sublimation business (Etsy, etc.)


The SawGrass SG1000

sg1000 review


Features and specs:

  • Max media size of 11 x 17 inches (13 x 19″ with optional bypass tray)
  • Max print size 10 x 16 inches
  • 4800 x 1200 DPI print quality
  • Includes Access to SawGrass Print Manager
  • Best for t shirts & other garments, bags, socks, & larger substrates
  • For small business creating sublimation t shirts for sale
  • Compatible with SubliJet UHD extended ink cartridge


How To Use SawGrass Printers


Online retailers, such as Heat Press Nation, create invaluable set-up and how to guides for SawGrass Printers. HPN produces high quality tutorials that will get you up and running with your new SawGrass printer: Check out the following SawGrass Printer tutorials for the SG500 and SG1000.


How to set up your new SawGrass Printer:



Siser EasySubli & SawGrass Virtuoso:



SawGrass Creative Studio Tutorial:



As well as what’s on YouTube, there are great Facebook Communities that are super helpful and supportive. One of our favorites is the Heat Press Nation Creators Group!


SawGrass Creative Studio


sawgrass creative studio tutorial


SawGrass Creative Studio is the in built design software for use with the printers. It does not cost extra, but is included with each machine. It’s part of the system, whether you choose to use it or not.


The great thing about Creative Studio is that it comes with many thousands of each of the following:

  • stock images
  • product templates
  • graphics
  • design elements
  • and more


Siser EasySubli


Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 Complete Siser EasySubli Printer Kit



The SawGrass SG500 and SawGrass SG1000 can be used with Siser EasySubli Inks and HTV. If you plan to print designs on cotton and dark colors this is a solid option. It’s good to know that the EasySubli inks can still be used on traditional sublimation transfers like the SubliJet HD inks.


EasySubli is different from traditional dye sublimation, as you are printing onto heat transfer vinyl, which is then pressed onto your garment.


In one sense it can be considered ‘sublimation on cotton & dark colors’ (which is not possible with regular sublimation). But in another sense, it’s more like printable vinyl transfers.


It is a fantastic product, and if you want to know more, check out this Siser EasySubli review. Keep in mind that you cannot switch between EasySubli Ink and regular sublimation ink. Your SawGrass will need to be EasySubli dedicated.


Other Materials to Add to your Sublimation Wish List:

-transfer paper
-replacement ink cartridges (eventually, the printers come with full cartridges)
-heat press machine or mug press
-vinyl cutter if sublimating on HTV



Previous Model: The SawGrass SG400


sawgrass sg400



The SawGrass Virtuoso SG400 used to be the best entry level sublimation printer before the SG500 came out. In the off chance you can get one cheap it could still be worthwhile and here’s everything you need to know.


Features include:

  • auto maintenance
  • optimized head jetting-pressures (better ink dot formation)
  • advanced algorithms to deliver a higher quality image
  • delivers a wide range of colors (650,000+ colors)
  • less wear on print heads than previous models
  • less ink consumption
  • can print over 150 prints per hour on high speed setting (72 when on high quality)


Previous Model: The SawGrass SG800


sawgrass sg800



The SawGrass SG800 is based on the Ricoh 7100 (not longer available). It has been optimized and improved especially for sublimation printing. Just like the SG400 we wouldn’t recommend it unless you can get some cheap pricing.


This unit has all of the improvements and features of the SG400, but is a larger model. It also has more efficient ink yield, and has a much cheaper cost per print cost (35 cents, compared with SG400 65 cents).


The SawGrass VJ628


sawgrass vj628



And lastly, the SawGrass Virtuoso VJ 628. An industrial wide format sub printer capable of printing transfers for full, large all-over designs.


Here are some feature highlights of the VJ628:

  • Max print width of 24 inches
  • Mutoh printing technology minimizes impact of misfiring nozzles
  • Brightest images while using less ink
  • Proven Mutoh print head
  • High 1440 x 1440 DPI print quality
  • Take up reel and stand (may not be included and need to be purchased separately)
  • High performance inks coming in 220 ml cartridges
  • Over 548,000 print colors


SawGrass for Small Business

Not only does SawGrass make amazing printers for sublimation they also really support the small business owners who use their products. Every SawGrass owner has access to an amazing kit of business resources through SawGrass. Check out the video below about how to launch your customization or t shirt business with SawGrass:


SawGrass Sublimation Printer Review

sawgrass sublimation printer

That’s the SawGrass Printer range. You can understand why screen printing has some serious competition from dye sublimation printers!


If you need more advice before making a decision, why not have a chat with the folks at Heat Press Nation? There is a chat box on the site, or give them a call before making your purchase.


We recommend HPN for their great support, prices, and range of products (check out their sublimation blanks as well).


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(Please note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy here.)

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