Heat Machines

Looking for a heat press? What kind of machine is right for you?

Ok ... so you think there might be an opportunity to print garments using heat transfers. And you're going to investigate getting a heat machine. And since success printing garments with heat transfers starts with the machine here are a few things to consider...

First of all, there are many heat presses sitting in storage or unused at the back of various shops ... moth-balled as a result of the failure to achieve a high quality result. Chances are they are "cheap" machines ... barely good enough for hobby use. Or, like anything, there's a learning curve and sometimes we don't stick it out. Watch my video (above) ... that press does a great job and it's as simple and basic as you can get!

Here's a great page about best practices for achieving great success with heat presses at TransferPaperCanda. Click Here and take a few moments to read it.

There are a couple of different types of heat machines in wide use - the very popular "clam" (see the Hix video), and the higher production "piston-type" that presses the heat element straight down from the top ... like the Insta machines. Also, TransferPaperCanada sells the Geo. Knight lineup of heat machines. Click Here to check it out..

So ... what kind of production are you considering? If you're going to do a "few" smaller orders now and then a basic manual machine will do the trick. For example the HIX HT400 press (or equivalent) is a good choice at about $1,000. If you will be pressing larger orders on a more frequent basis than an air-assisted machine like the HIX N-880 (or equivalent) is what you'll need at about $4,000. And if you will be doing seriously big runs expect to pay $6,000 or more for something like the INSTA 828 20x25.

By the way ... I'm not recommending any of these particular machines, but these companies are solid and they've been around in this industry for decades. Use these as a reference point.

The first place to look if for a used machine. There's always a few on eBay or Kijiji. You could very well score a great deal, but make sure it's a good brand. I would go for a USA-made unit, and avoid the cheaper machines that are usually made overseas. Remember, it all starts with your machine!

Again ... If any of you experienced heat pressers out there have found your favorite press email me about it. We can share the info through the blog.

My Blogs ... some more or less useful information
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