Three Reasons To Use A Heat Press Instead Of An Iron

Are you still using a simple household iron to press your t-shirts? It’s definitely a worthy investment to upgrade to a heat press. In this article I hope to convince you that the step you’re thinking of taking is the right one.

Whether you’re thinking of starting a new side business, or wanting a press to simply make gifts for your friends and family, I encourage you to continue investigating.



Everybody should be learning new skills; teaching and training themselves to be better at something which may or may not generate an income. Thankfully, however, pressing t-shirts is one of those things that can make you a side income – or even a full time income.


Please have a wander around the rest of our site to read product reviews and gain valuable information about specific heat presses. We trust that the information you find here will support you as you take these early and exciting steps into the world of t-shirt creation!


Why A Household Iron Won’t Do



Most of you have irons around your home. Although, when was the last time you used it? Growing up, I remember one of the chores on the to do list was the household ironing. That meant running over everything with that miniature press – even the undies! Back in the day, this was totally normal. I assumed everybody did it.


But now, as a 30 year old, I cannot imagine doing this each week. You can’t imagine it either, right? Nevertheless, most of us still have an iron in the house which we at least whip out for the shirt or dress on special occasions.


Some of us, however, are whipping that iron out a little more frequently in order to do our heat transfers. But is this best?


If you’re just doing it for a once off – your best friend is getting married and you’re in charge of the hen’s party and you want some sweet as tee’s for the occasion – then maybe the iron will do.


But if this is more than a once off, you really should grab a heat press. It isn’t going to cost you the earth, and you are going to get so much value from it that you’ll wish you had got one ten years ago.


Three Reasons You Need A Heat Press



To sum it up before I’ve barely begun, it’s all about consistency.


You want consistency of temperature and pressure over the appropriate period of time.


These three variables are extremely important:

  • Time
  • Temperature
  • Pressure


Your average household iron can get to a temperature of around 400°F, which is more than ample for most transfers. However, temperature is not the only important factor when it comes to creating the perfect t-shirt.


Like I said, it is about the consistency of temperature, and other factors, which is important.


Say, for example, your transfer requires a press temperature of 345°F – which would not be unusual. Well, can you actually set the temperature of your iron for that exact setting? Or are your only options basically on/off, cotton/polyester?


What if your transfer is larger than the surface area of your iron? Would you then be able to apply an even amount of pressure and temperature to each section of your transfer, while keeping track of the time, to ensure a long lasting impression? The average iron’s surface area is about 2 inches by 6. Or in layman’s terms, tiny!


You can’t expect to be able to apply equal pressure, temperature and time over the surface of your transfer in order to achieve the best possible adhesion and look.


Pressure is so important when it comes to applying your transfers to garments.


It really can mean the difference between a t-shirt lasting 6 months, or lasting many, many years.


When using an iron, it’s difficult to know how hard or lightly to press down upon your transfer. How can you know, and how can you keep that pressure consistent?


Every transfer is specified by the manufacturer to be applied with a certain level of pressure. It is much like cooking steaks – the level of cooking your transfer requires will make all the difference in quality and satisfaction for the consumer.


Pressure is specified by your supplier in levels of light to hard. Your transfer might require, for example, medium-light pressure. See what I mean!? Doesn’t it make you think about steaks?


And the final of those three factors, time. How can you be sure each portion of your transfer has been pressed with the iron for an equal amount of time? Unless you are doing a very small one, it is difficult to give each piece a fair share of time.


Another problem with irons is that you can’t really leave them down on your garment for any length of time. You need to be consistently moving it over the item or else you could easily scorch it. Irons were not designed to apply vinyl to t-shirts, but rather just to get the wrinkles out.


If you’re tracking with me, you will now understand why an iron is not best for doing your heat pressing. It is impossible to get the right pressure coupled with the right time, at the right temperature.


So Why Is A Heat Press Better?



Well, heat presses are actually designed and made for this job. It’s purpose in life is to get your transfers stuck to your garments.


Therefore, you are able to set the pressure, time and temperature exactly as you need.


What else?


A heat press is a much larger press than an iron – unless you’re just planning on getting a hat or mug press. A standard sized starter press is 15 inches by 15 inches, and you can therefore do quite a large transfer with that!


It is also about that feeling you get. Do you really feel that cool doing your press with an iron? There is something about using a press which will make you feel legitimate (or in Modern English, legit). You don’t come away with the same sense of style, cool and authority using an iron as you do using a heat press.


As I mentioned before, you can get a good heat press machine for T-shirts at a very small price nowadays. Even industrial quality presses are cheap, such as the Power Press heat press.


Do not be intimidated at the thought of getting this professional machine and taking this step. You won’t regret it, and your friends will thank you for the top notch tees!


We hope that you have found this article informative and helpful! Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts!


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