A heat press machine(or simply “heat press”) is used to apply a printed transfer, heat transfer vinyl, screen printed transfers, rhinestones and more onto substrates like T-shirts, mouse pads, flags, tote bags, mugs, caps, etc, via the heat transfer process.

To do this, the machine heats up the top platen, which is used to press the graphic/design material and substrate together, to a recommended temperature (the temp will depend on the type of transfer).

The platens then hold the materials together for a set period of time under a set pressure; be sure to always follow the specific instructions for each type of transfer you apply.

For example, sublimation on fabric will require a higher temp and “dwell time” while digital transfers from an inkjet or color laser printer will have a lower temp and a different dwell time.

Today’s presses come with all sorts of options and features. Basic elements include press type (clamshell or swing-away), pressure adjustment (manual pressure knob or digital pressure readout), and manual or digital temperature controls.

Basic presses come with a simple dial thermostat and timer, while more robust presses have digital controls with memory functions for time, temp and pressure (to name just a few).

On top of the basic features options any press will have, some presses offer custom platens that may work better for your specific applications.

Another factor to consider is whether to get an air-automatic or auto-open press to save time and labor.

As you can see, there are lots of decisions to make when choosing your heat press and we aim to answer all these questions in this detailed Buyers Guide!

So what should you look for when buying your first press?

If you are interested in fully automatic heat transfer printing machine, welcome to contact us!