Why You Need to Spend More Than $300 for a Heat Press

I have been with Transfer Express for 29 years, and I still get excited when I’ve been able to help someone get started in this T-shirt business. It is fun to see how creative they can be, and how they can make money typically starting as a side business. It is true that all it takes to get started is a heat press, which is why I’m always surprised when once the decision has been made to start a business, the least expensive heat press that can be found is purchased. If you had decided to be a chef, would you go out and buy the cheapest set of pots and pans you could find? If you decided to build houses, would you run to the dollar store and buy a hammer? Why, when it is decided to start a T-shirt business, would you buy the lowest cost heat press?

Maxx Clam Style Heat Press

Maxx heat press – great for start-ups and small businesses.

Auto Clam Heat Press

Hotronix® Auto Clam with magnetic assist lock down feature.

Draw and Swinger Heat Press design

Hotronix® Fusion™ heat press operates as a draw press or a swinger.


The low cost imports have a place, but they are not in a business. If you are using an ink jet printer and making shirts to give as gifts, a $200 press will work. If you are buying your supplies at Michael’s, JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby, and doing crafts as a hobby then a $200 press will work. But if you are truly interested in starting a business, this is not the place to start. One ruined order will damage your credibility as well as more than cost the difference between a hobby press and a press for your business. You need to be able to rely on even pressure and temperature with no cold spots. You need to know that every time you turn your press on, it will work the same way. And if there is a problem, you need to be able to find a technician who can help you get it fixed so you can still deliver on time. That is why you need to buy a quality heat press.

We are in the industry. It would be easy for us to carry and sell an inexpensive heat press. And we would probably sell a lot of them. But it is our mission “to help you grow your T-shirt business” and we know this is not the way to do that.

So when shopping for a heat press, do your homework, shop around, but make the right investment for the only investment you need to get started.

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Josh Thompson

I live in cda Idaho. Can you please tell me where i can get a good heat press and vinyl printer. I am wanting to start a t-shirt business. Can y’all please help me out on what all i need to get started. Thank you.

Dealer Services

Hi Josh,
We can definitely help you out! We have a variety of heat presses that are great for t-shirt businesses. You can browse them here: https://transferexpress.com/heat-presses
As for the vinyl printers and cutters, Stahls’ has options for both: https://www.stahls.com/vinyl-cutters-print-cut
In the meantime, this is a good post on how to start a t-shirt business: https://blog.transferexpress.com/how-to-start-a-t-shirt-business/
You can always contact us if you have any questions about the process.


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