The Best Heat Presses of 2020 [The Definitive Guide]

However, unlike heat transfers, only the ink transfers with sublimation. If you use transfer papers, a layer also transfers, too.

One is not inherently better than the other. There are different circumstances in which you would want to use one over the other. But, you need a heat transfer press to perform either application.

Do I Need a Digital Display?

The answer for this may be up for debate. But, if you are a beginner in the heatpress transfer machine world, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Digital displays make it easier to replicate heat settings once you find the sweet spot for a particular print and fabric. Especially if you print the same handful of projects all the time.

Being able to repeat the right temperature every time leads to more consistency with your transfers.

Do I Need Special Training to Use a Heat Press?

No, you don’t. As long as you get a good hold of the basics[42], you could be transferring in minutes.

Some good things to know are:

  • Handling buttons and zippers
  • Preheating the garment
  • Cover sheet purpose
  • Different types of transfers

What Happens if the Heat Is Inaccurate?

Having the wrong heat can ruin your garment. So, the temperature is very important when doing transfers.

If you don’t have enough heat applied, the adhesives in the graphic may not activate. However, if you put too much heat you may cause smearing, or an ugly outline. This happens because the adhesives get pushed beyond the graphic boundaries.

How Much Is a Heat Press Machine?

You are ready to start budgeting for your new heat transfer machine. But, how much do they cost? The answer depends on whether you want a starter, intermediate, or high-grade machine. And, it also depends on if you find any heat transfer press sales.

heat press

Heatpress transfer machines can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. Beginner, or starter, machines have your basic requirements to print t-shirts at the minimum. They are typically a clamshell design, though some swing-away designs are getting cheaper. See our list of favorite budget heat press machines[43].

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