Stahls’ Hotronix 9 x 12 Craft Heat Press Review

The Stahls’ Hotronix 9 x 12 heat press – a small craft machine built for the home, hobby or small business user. And in this review we’re going to help you decide if it’s right for you!



This US made heat press is very affordable – in fact, it is probably the cheapest American made heat press that you can buy! It is relatively small at 9 x 12 inches, so it will fit in your craft room and won’t be a hassle to move around or store away if you don’t have a dedicated area for it.


And some might say that it is a heat press for women, given that it is totally pink.


Lay your eyeballs on it in this video from The Rhinestone World.



American made heat press machines are superior to their cheaper Chinese made counterparts. The US machines are for those who really want the best heat press money can buy, who are using their machine for business purposes and depend on it working day in and day out. Usually they’re very expensive, however, this cheap heat press for crafts or small business makes the Hotronix brand accessible to everyone.


Let’s take a look at it.


hotronix 9 x 12 inch craft heat press machine for t-shirts Stahls'



Features Of The Hotronix 9×12 Craft Press


This is a clamshell heat press with ‘over the center’ pressure adjustment. This means you are going to get an even pressure across the entirety of the heat platen which is important in order to get a heat transfer that will survive many washes.


It is also a small heat press, excellent for storage and transport, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do large heat transfers with it. If you watch the first video in the ‘projects’ section below, you will see that you can still do transfers that are larger than the size of the press. It is simply a matter of doing them in a couple of stages! But if you think you’re going to be doing a lot of larger transfers, rather than small ones, you should think about getting at least a 15 x 15 inch heat press.


Other features:

  • A non-stick coated heat platen – though you should still use a teflon sheet when you are pressing for extra protection. The coating will help you clean the machine if you do have an accident.
  • It is a very light weight heat press at 35 pounds. It’s easy to move around the home, or even to load her up in the car for transport elsewhere if necessary. Some people use this machine for trade shows and events.
  • Pink, pink, pink! It’s hard to miss, it’s bright pink! The coating is a scratch resistant baked on powder coat, because you don’t want to ruin that look, do you?
  • Like every other press, this machine has a digital time and temperature read out (I’m not sure what the alternative would be. A ticking clock?)
  • This machine features what is called ‘over the center pressure adjustment,’ which basically means ‘you’re going to get a great even pressure.’


Technical Specifications


Here are the technical facts and figures:

  • Weight: 35 pounds – the perfect weight if you don’t like lifting heavy things!
  • Dimensions when closed: 12.75 x 17.25 x 12.5 inches – one of the more compact heat press machines
  • Volts: Standard US 120 volts / 6.5 amps
  • Temperature range: 205 – 425℉
  • Time range: 0 – 999 seconds
  • Warranty: Stahls’ machines come with a limited 1 year labor and parts warranty
  • Thickness of substrates: You can press appropriate items up to ¾ of an inch thick
  • Tech support: Free lifetime support
  • UL/ULC/CE/RoHS approved
  • NRTLCO approved


What Can You Press Onto?


There are many items (up to ¾ of an inch thick) that you can press onto with this machine. Let me name some of them for you:

  • T-shirts (obviously!)
  • Drink coozies/coolies
  • Baby onesies and children’s clothing
  • Sweaters and sweatpants
  • Bathing suits (see video below!)
  • Tote bags
  • Metal (such as dog tags or license plates)
  • Wood (like wooden plaques)


And you will be able to press all of your standard heat transfer vinyl and other ink transfers or rhinestones with this heat press. Just be sure to follow your transfer manufacturer’s instructions for the best result.


What This Heat Press Does Not Do


This machine:

  • Does not take attachment heat presses (like a mug press attachment, for example)
  • Cannot switch out or use interchangeable heat platens
  • Cannot press caps
  • Doesn’t have a digital pressure reading like some Hotronix presses – with a bit of use you will learn where to set your pressure (light, medium or heavy pressure, depending on the transfer requirements)


Who Is This Craft Press For?


This is a heat press for women (merely because it is pink), and especially for women who are actively into their crafts. This might include pressing vinyl or ink transfers onto clothing, or onto any of the other substrates listed above.


This machine would make for the perfect beginner heat press or entry-level heat press. It is very simple to learn how to use it – simpler than learning how to use cutting machines anyway! If you are thinking of starting a t-shirt or kids clothing business, the low price and high quality are a win-win.


Small heat press machines are good for putting labels, branding or sizing onto your garments as well. These features on a t-shirt are usually very small, so it is easier to have a little machine to do them with.


Why Should You Buy The Hotronix 9 x 12 Craft Press?


The reasons for buying a Stahls’ heat press are almost too many to list, but let me have a go:

  • Stahls’ are all about heat press machines – this is their wheelhouse. They do research and development in order to bring you the best heat press they can, and are always working on ways to innovate and better their products.
  • Therefore they manufacture a very high quality heat press. They are designed and built in the USA in order to be the best heat press machines. Even with this craft and hobby press which is a lot cheaper than all their other machines, the quality is not lacking.
  • Stahls’ machines tend to last longer and work harder than cheaper foreign designed and built machines.
  • The adhesion of the transfer pressed with this machine will be superior to those pressed with inferior machines. Hotronix machines tend to give a more even temperature and pressure across the whole heat platen. This gives a better transfer. They call it ‘edge-to-edge heat and pressure.’
  • Stahls’ have what is known as their ‘craft corner’ on Stahls’ TV. On it you will find instructions on how to use this heat press, along with heaps of project ideas. These videos are very well presented and are so helpful – they are a fantastic added resource. Yes, you can still watch them if you are buying a cheap heat press, but it’s nice to watch videos with the heat press you have, isn’t it?
  • Their heat press machines come with a solid one year full warranty.
  • Their products also come with readable and understandable instruction manuals written by native English speakers – something you cannot always take for granted!
  • Stahls’ have their free ‘Blue Ribbon Support’. There are live technicians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, ready to support you if you have any problems. Amazing!
  • You should buy it for the prestige factor! It is way cooler to have a Hotronix press than it is to have a budget press!


These reasons are just the tip of the iceberg as to why you should buy Stahls’, to give you an idea of the added benefits. We could delve further into all of these points and find more advantages and reasons to buying your heat press from this company, but I think that will be enough.


Projects With The Hotronix 9 x 12 Craft Press


In this video from Stahls’, you will see how you can still do a large heat transfer onto a t-shirt with this small heat press – just do it in two presses!



Another video from Stahls’, this time pressing a heat transfer onto a tote bag with glitter HTV – so cool!



Decorating a bathing suit with the Hotronix 9 x 12 craft press! It’s little but it can do it all. 



And a baby onesie with glitter HTV:





Man, after reading all this amazing information about this machine, how can you resist buying?! I want to buy three it’s that great! I’m totally sold on this machine, I think it is definitely one of the best (if not THE best) small heat press machine in its price range. When you buy Stahls’ Hotronix you are getting top quality machines. And with the price this press is, you are getting amazing value.


If you believe the size is right for you, and you don’t mind the pinkness of the machine, don’t hesitate. The sooner you order, the sooner it will arrive, and the sooner you can start on all those great projects!


Where To Buy


All of the major heat press manufacturers sell this heat press at around the same price. If you buy this machine on Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link here, we will receive a small commission at ZERO extra cost to you. You will pay exactly the same amount as if you had not bought through our link. However, buying through our link will help support our continued work here. 


Here are some other retailers who sell the Hotronix 9 x 12, but we are not affiliated with these companies. We will not receive any benefit if you choose to purchase through these links (but we want you to know all the options!): Heat Press Nation, USCutter, ProWorld and Best Blanks – check them out.


We hope this extensive review of the Stahls’ Hotronix 9 x 12 craft press has answered any questions. If there is anything else you would like to know then please ask away in the comments section below. So long for now!


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


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