Thoroughly Reviewed: The Gecko 15×15 GK100 Heat Press Machine

Update February 2018 – It looks like the Gecko Heat Press is no longer available on Amazon. The PowerPress heat press is a very similar machine. You can read our PowerPress review here. OR take a look at our list of best beginners heat press machines.


If it’s information on the Gecko Heat Press that you’re after, we’ve got it. This page deals specifically with the 15″ x 15″ press, but you’ll be surprised by how much you learn about pressing in general.


Below, you will find the answers to all of your questions. Questions like: Will I be able to print on all sizes of t-shirt with this heat press? Or, does my heat press machine come with a warranty?


What’s more, you’ll find the answers to questions you should have been asking, but didn’t know about. Such as: How do I unpack and begin using my new heat press? And, what items should I not use with this heat press?


The Gecko Heat Press Machine


Well, you probably weren’t long into reading heat press reviews before you heard about the Gecko GK100. It is regarded as one of the best machines in its price range.


It is a manual clamshell heat press, very much like the Power Press heat press. A manual press is one that you must open and close yourself. Thankfully, however, the Gecko has a spring assist lifting mechanism which makes this a breeze.


You simply push down the top platen onto the bottom one, and then when the press is complete, lift it back up again. For interests sake, an alternative type would be a swing away heat press.


You might be tempted to think that because the price is so reasonable (one might go so far as to say cheap!) that it will not stand the test of time. You would be wrong to assume as such.


It is of industrial strength and quality, made to be used and used. It has been constructed with a tough metal frame and high grade non-stick heat platen. Durability and value should be its middle name.


Gecko’s 16 x 20 heat press and 16 x 24 heat press are not currently available. Fancierstudio sell similar models.


What Fabrics Can I Press?


This particular press is well suited for pressing t-shirts, sweaters, canvas totes, baby clothes, or other linen items such as pillowcases.


Basically any flat fabrics (two dimensional woven or knitted fabrics that have no pile loops) are compatible. Most t-shirts out there are either 100% cotton or a 50/50 blend with polyester. Either are a good match with this machine.


What Size T-Shirts Can I Press?


You will be able to press all sizes of t-shirt with this machine. From S to XXL. So long as your transfer is less than 15″ x 15″ it will fit (and you can actually just press transfers in stages if it was bigger).


Does The Gecko Press Take Attachments?


There are presses out there that will take attachments enabling you to press on mugs, caps and plates, but this is not one of them. If you would like one of these machines, I recommend you to read our article on multifunction heat press machines.


What Transfers Can I Use?


The manufacturer specifies the following transfers may be used with this machine:

✔ Standard

✔ Plastisol

✔ Rhinestone

✔ Vinyl

✔ Inkjet

✔ Sublimation

✔ Thermofilm

✔ Along with most other traditional transfers


Heating Details


The temperature range for this press is from 212°F to 435°F.


Inside the press’s heat platen there is a full range of heating coils. This ensure an even heat across the heat platen. This is important  in order to achieve the best possible adhesion of your transfer to the fabric.


The lower the quality of your press, the more prone it can be to variation in heat between the corners and the center. A 10 – 20°F variation will not be an issue, but anything more than that will be.


If your budget allows, it is a good idea to purchase a digital laser thermometer in order to test that you have an even heat across the platen before doing your job.


Other Features


  • This press has an easy to use digital temperature and time control.
  • It weighs 59 pounds. If you think it might be too heavy for you to lift on your own, get help!
  • Standard US/Canadian voltage of 110V. And for those who are interested in such things: 14 Amps. 50-60 Hertz.
  • 1500W power means it’s not a huge power suck.
  • A lower pad made of durable heat resistant silicone covered by a protective cloth.
  • Four non-slip rubber footings.
  • A loose 16”x16” non-stick teflon sheet.
  • An operating manual.


What To Expect Upon Delivery


Your press will arrive fully assembled.


In order to ship it and have it arrive to your home or business in perfect condition, the pressure is set to the highest level. This ensures it will stay clamped shut as it travels. Because of this some people have had difficulty opening it upon arrival. If you happen to encounter this, ask a friend or family member to help you out.


One of you will hold the bottom of the machine down, and the other will lift the top. Once open you are able turn the pressure down so as to easily open and close the machine. The pressure is unable to be changed while the press is closed, it must be opened first.


With a brand new press, there can be an oily residue remaining on the surface of the heat platen. It is a good idea to have a burn-off before using it for a legitimate project.


Open the windows and doors of the room you are pressing in. The burn-off will create an unpleasant smell, and perhaps even a little smoke. Good ventilation will allow you to breathe comfortably.


Next, lift the top up and leave your machine open. Set the temperature to around 400°F. Allow the press to heat up (again, with the top up) for around 20-30 minutes. This will burn off any residue and prevent your first pressed garments from smelling bad.


How To Use Your Gecko Heat Press


Once you have un-boxed and un-clamped your press, here are some general instructions:

  1. Set the temperature and time for your specific job. The supplier of your transfer will specify these details. The usual temperature is around 330°F at a time of 10-15 seconds.
  2. Allow the press to heat up. This won’t happen immediately.
  3. Have your t-shirts and transfers prepared. If you are printing many t-shirts at a time, have them all ready to go so that you can get into a flow once your press has heated up.
  4. Place your t-shirt onto the bottom platen of the heat press. Ensure it is lying flat without an wrinkles.
  5. Place your transfer into position. Make sure the backing paper is facing up!
  6. Place the Teflon sheet between your transfer and the top of the press. Always use this protective sheet. It can be a nightmare trying to get a transfer off the heating platen if things unintentionally go wrong.
  7. Pull down the top of your press and allow it to clamp down.
  8. The timer will begin to count down and will beep once completed.


You can now remove the Teflon sheet from off your t-shirt. Some transfers require a hot peel and some require a cold peel.  There are also those transfers for which either is suitable. Do as required and then enjoy your t-shirt!


If you find your transfers are not adhering right – leaving ink behind or lifting vinyl – it is likely your pressure is down too low. Turning the pressure knob on the top clockwise increases pressure, and it goes without saying, turning anti-clockwise decreases the pressure.


Does It Come With A Warranty?


The Gecko heat press comes with a 1 year limited warranty.


This guarantees your press is both ‘without manufacturing defect in material and workmanship’, and that it is shipped and arrives in perfect condition to your door.


This guarantee is only valid for the original purchaser of the product. A second hand press will not be covered.


Price Of The Gecko Heat Press


The Gecko Heat Press is no longer for sale. Please take a look at these cheap heat press machines instead.


We hope that we haven’t overwhelmed you with information, but have successfully answered all of your questions. Now you can decide whether this product is right for you. In spite of everything you can know about this product, it is the answers to these simple questions which are important:

  1. Will this heat press be suitable for the job I have in mind?
  2. Is it be worth the investment of my hard earned income?
  3. Will I have an asset that can produce a quality product?


We trust this page has allowed you to answer those questions. However, if you do have any remaining questions or would like to leave a comment, we encourage you to do so in the comments section below.


Thanks for reading our review of the Gecko 15” x 15” GK100 heat press machine!


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

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