Start Your T-Shirt Business With the Best Heat Press

Did you ever wonder why there is such a difference in heat press prices? Prices can range from about $200 to over $7K for the Dual Air Fusion. With the air heat press machines, the reason for the price difference is obvious. They are automated. But for those without automation the difference is not so obvious.

So which is the best heat press for your custom apparel business?

Here’s what to look for and what to avoid.


Imported Clam Style Presses

The imported heat presses in the $200-$300 range look like any other manual heat press. They have a read out for time and temperature. Most don’t have a pressure read out, but the pressure is adjustable. So why you should pay more? It is all about the heat! Imports cut the cost by keeping the heat element a simple ring. The entire platen surface does not maintain the temperature on the read out. Can you use them with custom screen-printed transfers? The answer is yes, but…. you will need to figure out how much the cold spots are off and adjust the temperature to compensate. The areas near the heat element are over applied but at least the center areas, where there is no heat coil, will apply correctly.


The Cricut Heat Press

The Cricut heat press is different than most heat presses as the pressure is your strength. The press will achieve an accurate temperature but with no idea what pressure you are at, we don’t recommend this press for screen printed transfers. It is just a very nice iron.


The Hotronix Difference

With Hotronix, there are heating coils throughout the platen so that the same heat is maintained throughout the platen. This way you get even heat. The Hotronix presses also have a pressure read out, so you know exactly what pressure you are at. In addition, Hotronix has a heavier upper platen so the temperature is maintained throughout your run, has 24/7 Blue Ribbon service and a warranty that stands behind the product.


What to Buy

Since this is really the only investment you need for your t-shirt business, we recommend starting right and getting a Hotronix press. In many cases, this press will last the life of your business. We don’t think this is the area you should short change. One underapplied order that needs to be refunded not only would have you losing the difference in cost, but also ruin the reputation of your new business.


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