US made heat presses are the best heat press machines in the world – in my opinion at least!
I love the way each brand has its own look and features, and how they really are of the best quality and functionality. The many Chinese presses that are out there just don’t quite compare.
In this article we’ll list which companies manufacture heat presses in the USA, along with some of their most popular machines. We have linked to these products on Amazon, but you can also check them out on the manufacturers websites, which are also linked throughout.
The Stahls’ brand is well known and respected among those in the community – which is what you’d expect after being in the heat press game for almost 100 years!
Photo via Google Earth
The business was started in the garage of A.C. and Ethel Stahls’ family home in Detroit, MI in 1932, and has always had a focus on innovation and creativity in the market.
How do they describe themselves?
“STAHLS’ is the leading global manufacturer, distributor and direct supplier of garment decoration equipment, materials, technology and decorated apparel. STAHLS’ innovations allow its customers – from small businesses and entrepreneurs to pro sports leagues and leading commercial brands – to personalize virtually any apparel, accessory or sporting good. Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, STAHLS’ operates strategically positioned manufacturing and distribution centers throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia.” – Stahls’ Facebook page
They are another good looking press. I’m sorry to go on about looks, but do you not agree? There really is such a difference between the Chinese and US made presses. They have a totally different look. The US presses are all so unique looking.
Photo via Google Earth
Hix Heat Presses are manufactured deep in the heart of America, in Pittsburg, Kansas, and this company is committed to creating a very high quality heat press.
What do they say about themselves?
“HIX Corporation consists of a team of product designers, engineers, and production specialists who are focused on innovation, technology, and quality products. We are an American-based company and everything we manufacture comes from within our 110,000 square foot manufacturing facility. We perform all our own fabricating and production, including integrated aluminum foundry, CNC mill operation, welding, metal forming, wiring, fabrication, assembly, and packaging departments. By having a completely integrated facility, HIX can monitor and ensure consistent manufacturing control and delivery.” – hixcorp.com/about
Their promotional videos certainly leave a little (or a lot) to be desired, and one hopes they might be updated at some point in the near future. Don’t let their dated sound and appearance put you off if you are attracted to this brand.
If you are looking for a high quality, but reasonably priced heat press, I can’t help recommending the Hix Swingman 15 x 15. This machine is still expensive when compared to other cheap heat press machines, but the added value is beyond the added cost. Your peace of mind alone may be worth it.
Other popular and notable Hix heat presses include:
Geo Knight heat press machines are another top notch American brand in this industry. They also scooped up the coveted heatpress.com domain (though I must admit, the website is in need of a bit of an update!).
Geo Knight & co was established in 1885, making the company over 130 years old. They began by manufacturing presses for industrial use, but for the past 40-50 years have also been producing for commercial and private use.
Photo via Google Earth
They are based in beautiful Brockton, Massachusetts, where they have a large manufacturing facility.
What do they say about their machines?
“Our product line of press machinery has been fine tuned over the decades to be able to meet basically every and any heat pressing requirement. If your application needs heat and pressure, be it image transfer imprinting, heat sealing, branding, hot-fixing, laminating or other processes – our machinery will meet your needs.” – heatpress.com/about
Some of Geo Knights most popular machines include:
If you choose to go with a US made press, you will get a great machine through either of these three companies. All of them have high quality heat press machines for sale, with strong customer support and care.
You will likely need to spend a lot more money to obtain one of these machines, but if you can afford it, it will be worth it.
Buying American Made – Pros
Here are some pros to buying a US made machine:
You are getting a top-of-the-line press that will print a higher quality garment
These machines have a far superior heating platen to the majority of Chinese presses – they provide a more equal and consistent heat
They have more features – things like auto-open, digital pressure readings and threadable platens, for example
These companies provide much more and much better user information for their products – some even make user videos and articles for specific projects
You get better customer service. Stahls’ even has 24/7 technical support that you can contact!
The warranties are better and last longer (than Chinese machines) – the heat platens from these companies have lifetime warranties! (Please double check your specific machine has this before purchasing)
You will get more street cred from fellow t-shirt makers if you have a quality US made press
Buying American Made – Cons
The only real negative to buying an American machine is the price. They are generally much more expensive than their Chinese counterparts. You gotta pay for quality!
Who Should Buy American Made?
Anybody that can afford it, whether you’re using the machine commercially or not, should buy one of these machines! Just because they are better and more satisfying to use.
But beyond that, anyone who is seriously thinking of making a living through t-shirt creation and other heat pressing activities, should seriously consider a US press. You will have more peace of mind knowing it’s less likely to have problems, it’s producing a better quality product, and that you have good support on hand.
Continue researching and I’m sure you’ll come to the conclusion that yes, indeed the US machines are exquisite and cannot be beaten. But, if you cannot afford one at this stage, there is nothing wrong with going for a cheaper machine made offshore. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we will get back to you soon.
(Please note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy here.)