Every company requires to transfer corporate graphics or good artwork on a garment. Regardless of the size of your business, many affordable heat press machine can fit and satisfy your needs and come up with the meaningful output. A press machine can be defined as a commercial-grade used to apply heat and pressure on an item of clothing. It is a valuable tool in the T-shirt printing business, and any other types of decoration one might require to do in any case. The standard uses of a typical heat press machine for flat items include the following;
- Applying a Heat Transfer Vinyl onto a T-shirt or a jersey.
- Sealing printer inks and pretreatments into a t-shirt.
- Activating or melting glue from sequins and pressing it on an item of clothing.
- Applying print transfer into an item.
- Adding screen-printer transfer into a T-shirt.
- Working with sublimation transfers.
There are also uses for non-apparel materials which most of which require a particular heat press machine. Some of these uses include the following:
- Making custom plates.
- Custom sublimation mugs using a mug press
- Making custom caps and hats using a hat press.
- Customizing balls like football and volleyballs using a ball heat press.
What to look for in an affordable heat press machine
The most crucial this to consider while choosing any commercial heat press is reliability and versatility. Reliability will make sure that the designs do not come out after the garment has been washed off. It also ensures that the prints do not undergo wear and tear. Choosing the best heat press depends mainly on what you will produce and give to the market. If your want to achieve reliability and versatility, there are essential characteristics that apply to all heat presses regardless of where you want to use the heat press. They include the following;
Heat presses require a temperature of 320F to survive washing and repeated use. The temperature must be very accurate in the heat press and, most importantly, across the surface. To achieve consistent results, your surface can not have a temperature of 320F at the center and less at the edges; the temperature must be uniform. The non-uniform temperature at the surface might result in a scenario where the center of the design adheres well, but the outer sides peel off.
Pressure is crucial depending on the type of heat press you are using, like rhinestone and spangles. Most of the affordable heat press machine have a knob at the top to apply more or less pressure. This is fantastic for mechanical efficiency, but it becomes challenging to achieve accurate pressure. This is the reason some heat presses have a digital readout for pressure.
The making of a heat press must stand up because it is used most physically throughout the operation. You can achieve the best results when the heat press is locked when the pressure is evenly distributed. Therefore, it is possible to have a big difference between heat presses depending on the making quality. It would be best if you chose the heat pressure with good adjustable pressure controls and timers. This ensures that the pressure is evenly distributed over the entire machine.
Warranty and support
The best heat press for business should come with support and a good warranty.
The size of the heat press
Heat presses come in various sizes: 15 by 15in, 16 by 20in, 16 by 24in, and 20 by 25in. The best size depends on the size and volume of your production, the space available to utilize the heat press, and your budget. The 15 by 15in is considered medium size, although it might look small. It is the most appropriate for small shops and home-based businesses that are fixed in one place. Possessing a 16 by 24in may become your best option for a small business where space is not a problem. It provides the best versatility.
Manual vs. Automatic heat presses
Heat presses come in either manual or semi-automated forms. The manual heat press requires you to close and open it when the timer goes off. The automated heat press is easier to complete and empty because it operates once the timer goes off. It is more convenient for one to run an automatic heat press than the manual heat press, but if your shop occasionally uses a heat press, the manual heat press would be enough.
Automated heat presses use electromagnetic technology, and it is air operated; hence it will be more convenient to use where there is higher production. All you will need to do is push a few buttons, and the whole machine operates itself and does the rest of the work. The automatic press is more accurate in temperature, time, and pressure, and it does layout work excellent. Most of the mechanical heat presses have the emergency press button so that the operator’s hands do not get pressed underneath the platen. The manual heat presses do not require emergency buttons because the operator is expected to have enough sense not to lower the platen on their hands.
The best affordable heat press machine on a limited budget:
1. The HIX swingman Hobby Lite affordable heat press machine
The HIX swingman hobby lite heat press is made for small businesses, artists, schools, hobbyists, or anyone looking for a cheap heat press. The cost of this heat press goes to less than $300. The heat press gives the same high-quality features as the professional equipment. It weights to around 19 pounds and gives the pro shops mobile operations to bring their products into the market and expand their capacity.
The hobby lite heat press has a nine by 12 inches heat platen that swings away from the work area, providing a safe working environment to pace transfers on several substances. The swing-away feature of the hobby lite heat press also ensures you have the flexibility of printing items up to 1.75 inches thick. It is the best and cheap heat press for imaging materials like ceramic tiles, mousepads, shirts, coasters, and more. Its platen surface size and economical price make it the best heat press for school projects, home businesses, and small businesses.
- The swing-away design ensures that the heat from the platen is never near your hands, and the press becomes comfortable to be operated anywhere. It has a stop that ensures the head does not move too far when swung to the left.
- It has a complete range of temperature control to 400F– You do not do guesswork with the temperatures because you dial values as you do in ovens. The 400F will transfer anything currently in the market.
- It has a lightweight of 19 pounds which makes it portable– It makes it convenient for retail businesses and needs because of its mobility. The flexibility makes it more useful in areas where space is more limited.
- Heat indicating light– the heat showing light ensures that you do not require the temperature gauge. The only thing you need to do is dial in the temperatures and turn the press on; when the light goes on, it means the press is ready.
- Other features– other features of the hobby lite heat press include the complete range pressure control, the pressure lever is easy to use, it has an electrical safety fuse which is built-in, and a warranty that goes for a year.
2. The Rincon AP-C1 Deluxe Cap Hat Affordable Heat Press Machine with Mounting Clamp
If you are looking for a compact machine to decorate hats and caps, then Rincon AP-C1 deluxe is your best option. It is the cheapest option to decorate hats and caps. Rincon is one of the highest manufacturers of heat presses. Purchasing a Rincon is an assurance of longevity and ease to use. It also operates like the swing-away, giving room for greater leeway when placing your design on an item. It can also be noted that it is the best option for small businesses and retail businesses because it has a small weight making it portable. Its price goes as little as $200.
- It has a welded framework of solid steel.
- The model has springs that balance the heat platen, ensuring the pressure in the heat press is evenly distributed.
- Also it has a cap-mount clap that ensures that the placement is secure.
- It has a digital gauge that displays the temperature and time
- It also has an option for either Celsius or Fahrenheit, and once the pressing is done, the timer indicates to remove the heat platen.
- The curve of the heat platen is also coated with a non-sticking substance.
3. Ricoma ICONIX 3 Mug Heat Press HP-04M Heat Press Transfer Machine
It is another best affordable heat press machine from a trusted manufacturer for putting designs on mugs. This one is portable and can stand alone while underusing. The model has an exclusive feature that can enable you to explore your creativity and artwork. This heat press gives uniform heat distribution from the top to the bottom so that your design work will adhere to the mug regardless of the material you are using. The heat production is evenly distributed and continuous, ensuring your transfers are of high quality.
Ricoma ICONIX 3 Mug Heat Press will give you the same results regardless of the type of transfer you are using. The machine is designed in such a way that it can accommodate 11, 15, and 16oz mugs. 11, 15, and 16oz mug sizes are of standard size, ensuring you will not encounter any problem unless you are using any other mug sizes. The small size of the heat press makes it convenient for small businesses and home use. It has lightweight of 20 lbs. which makes it portable. It can cost less than $200.
4. Fancier studio Power Heat press Digital Heat Press
Fancier studio power heat press is the best choice for a small T-shirt printing business if you are looking for a heat press. The machine is cheap and has everything you need to get your business started and have happy customers. The heat platen is 15 by 15, making your machine versatile and can carry out everything you require it to do. You can use it to print designs on clothes of all sizes and shapes, tees, bags, ceramic tiles, and many other items which might not be printed using other heat presses.
The machine comprises a wide range of heat and temperatures (0-999secs and 0-699 degrees F, respectively), enabling printing designs on different materials at different heat settings. This machine also straightforward to set it out because you only need to get it out of the box, plug it in, set the recommended heat settings and start it up.
Also it has electronic time and heat controls which are 100% accurate for all the materials you print, resulting in better-quality printing results. Current model is an improvement from its previous model, and it comes with new features like a sheet and coating on the platen to ensure nothing sticks on the heat press. Fancier studio power affordable heat press machine also has a silicon rubber base to ensure your heat press is glued down, resulting in increased stability.
05. Cricut Easy Press 2 Affordable Heat Press Machine
This heat press will be best for you if you are looking for a portable heat press you can carry along with you, maybe on vacations, because it comes in a lightweight and mobile design that makes it easy to carry around. It also comes in light bags for easy storage and transportation. It is very cheap; hence anyone doing crafts for a hobby can afford it.
The heat press has comprehensive and adjustable pressure ranges going up to 400 degrees F, allowing printing your designs on multiple items with different heat and pressure requirements. It comes with tested time and temperature for several projects, avoiding guesswork while using the machine and obtaining incredible results. All you are required to do is apply the ideal settings for your current project, apply the necessary pressure, and wait for the beam sound.
The machine gives you an insulated resting base and an auto shut off making it convenient and ensuring your safety. It also allows printing a variety of items in size and shapes.
6. Power Press Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press
The manufacturer of the power press heat press is a trusted company that has produces heat presses that are durable and perform very well. Its features are also user-friendly. It has a large heat platen of 15 by 15 inches, enabling you to satisfy the clients’ desires regardless of the item’s size. The model has a simple design and is simple to use, making it convenient for users who are using heat presses for the first time.
The machine is composed of the LCD control board where you only set the time and temperature digitally to print on different materials. This feature gives you complete control of your machine and removes guesswork while using your device, producing excellent results for your clients. The time and temperature range are extensive ( 0 to 999 seconds and 32 to 455 degrees F), which allows you to set the required temperature freely to print designs on any material your client chooses.
The base is made of silicone-gel baseboard, which enhances stability. The heating platen is covered with Teflon to prevent the sticking of materials and designs on the platen.
7. Super Deal PRO 12″ X 10″ Digital Swing Away Heat Press
Super Deal pro is very affordable with the most exclusive features and excellent performance, making you almost question its price tags. This machine is best for garment and T-shirt printing, whether for family or clients. The model is designed to last longer, and it will give you a high income in business. The base is made of a steel welded framework which provides enough stability and rests nicely on its level.
It has a swing-away design that saves spaces and ensures your body does not contact the heating machine ensuring safety and calmness. You need to set the correct temperatures and times to ensure you obtain precise results. This machine is designed with excellent time and temperature control that allows entering the required temperature and pressure to achieve the desired output.
The machine also includes an audible alarm that alerts you when the transfer is ready, ensuring you do not over-expose your design hence good results and excellent quality. The machine is also easy to operate, and the heating platen is coated with Teflon saving you from the awkward scenario of materials sticking on the platen.
8. F2C 5 in 1 Professional Digital Transfer Heat Press Machine
F2C is the best multifunctional heat press that is recommended for business owners. The model features industrial-grade strength and durability, hence a terrific investment choice at a low price. The machine comes with five elements: the T-shirt plate, mug plate, hat/cap plate, plate press 1, and plate press 2. This enables you to transfer designs and colorful images of dissolved inks into a variety of items. The T-shirt printing, for example, has a 12 by 15-inch platen, which gives you enough space to print your garments.
It comes with the ideal LED controller, which allows you to set the required temperature and time for different materials to ensure you achieve the desired results. It has a swing-away design making it user-friendly, and it is easy to switch between presses. The platen is also covered with Teflon to ensure you do experience the sticking of your transfers.
9. ePhoto New Digital 15″ x 15″ T-Shirt Heat Transfer Press
It is the best shirt heat press for professional, industrial, and home use. You can use it to transfer designs and art crafts to a variety of items like garments, ceramic tiles, bags and many more. ePhoto New Digital has a large heat platen of 15 by 15-inches which allows one to print materials comfortably regardless of their sizes.
Machine is simple to use and comes with incredible features ready for use. The model composes the newest digital LED temperature and time controller allowing you to achieve the most quality results. AS well as this, it has an audible alarm that alerts you once the transfer is complete; thus, you will not overexpose your design to heat and pressure. The pressure knob placed at the top enables you to adjust the pressure required depending on the thickness of the printing material.
10. VEVOR Heat Press 12 X 15 Inch Affordable Heat Press Machine
It is another multifunction heat press that comes in five in one at a meager price. The machine increases your ability to transfer your designs to various items such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, and many more. The heat platen is large (12 by 15 inches), which helps you produce quality products even on large-sized items. It delivers uniform heat from top to bottom hence increasing the quality of your products. The heating platen is made of heating coils that are consistent over the whole surface. It has a pressure adjustment knob to allow you to apply the correct pressure for each item. It has a swing-away design lowering the chances of the heating surface encountering you hence safety.
11. Transfer Crafts T-Shirt Heat Press & Digital Sublimation Machine
Transfer crafts heat press is the best choice for home t-shirt printing projects. The machine platen is nine by 12 inches allowing enough space for home printing or small businesses. This one arrives while it is fully assembled, and it is very simple for beginners to use. The machine heats up very fast once plugged in, but it holds the heat well. Furthermore, it also has digital temperature and time control to increase the quality of your products.
The audible alarm alerts you once your transfer is offered; hence, your prints will not be overexposed, compromising your designs’ quality. The machine does not scorch your designs because the platen is covered with a Teflon. It is insulated with a silicone pad that can withstand about 500 degrees providing a comfortable working environment.
12. ZENY 5 in 1 Swing Away Heat Press Machine
Zeny heat press is a heavy-duty heat press for big business. It is a multipurpose machine that prints numerous items like garments, mugs, huts, plats, caps, ceramic tiles, and many more. The device is easy to set and use, and in case you get stuck, you can also consult the user manual. The heat press heats up very quickly and maintains the high temperatures enabling you to transfer your designs.
It features a digital LED controller allowing you to enter the desired temperatures and time to produce the best designs regardless of the item’s sizing. It also has a pressure adjustment knob that gives room to adjust the pressure for different materials. The machine features an adjustable multi-spring balancer and a swing-away design of 360 degrees, ensuring the heating platen is far from your body.
13. Mophorn Heat Press 15×15 Inch 5pcs Heat Press Machine
You can also consider this machine if you are looking for a cheap multifunctional t-shirt printer. It is a five-in-one unit with five-element and exclusive features like any other multipurpose heat press discussed above.
It is made of a steel frame, ensuring its stability and durability, increasing its strength to withstand heavy commercial use. The swing-away mechanism provides a safe working environment. You can set the desired temperate and time because it has a digital time and temperature control.
14. TUSY 15″ x 15″ Industrial Quality Affordable Heat Press Machine
The machine comes ready for use, and you only need to plug it in and start printing your items. The inner and outer side of the device is made of quality material, serving for a long time. It has a digital control board to control the time and temperature depending on the material being printed. You will also need to adjust the adjustable pressure knob according to the thickness of the printing material. TUSY offers a more oversized heating platen of 15 inches by 15 inches to ensure you can print even oversized sized T-shirts.
TUSY 15×15 composes of an anti-overheating feature to prevent overheating the machine and fire accidents. In addition, it also has an auto-shutoff that works with the anti-overheating quality to ensure a safe working environment.
15. Bosstop Portable 9″ X 9″ Sublimation Heat Press Machine
It is a cheap, light and portable heat press machine suitable for anyone looking for a heat press they can carry around. The size of the heating platen can handle your home projects well, producing satisfactory results compared to a regular iron. Bosstop has a digital LED time and temperature controller, enabling you to set the required conditions for any material.
The model has an auto shutoff feature that shuts the machine off automatically after being up for ten minutes while still inactive. Overall, it is one of the best safety features of any heat press machine.