7 Things to Factor In before Purchasing a Heat Press Machine

by Jeremy Wall

From making ironing quicker and easier to running a cloth print business right from your home, there are several reasons why you might want to get a heat press machine. If you’ve never owned one, you might wonder how to find the right one for you. This article highlights all you should consider factor in before getting one of these machines.

Types Of Heat Press Machines

Depending on the design and mode of operation, there are four types of heat press machines;

1. The Clamshell Machine:

As its name denotes, this semi-automatic thermal press consists of two platens placed opposite each other horizontally called the clamshells. With these two adjacent platens attached by hinges, you can perform heat press functions while occupying less space and spending more. However, it burns easily with reckless use and does not come in large sizes.

2. Pull-out Drawer Machine:

Similar to a drawer, this semi-automatic thermal press has its bottom platen mobile in the drawing direction. In other words, you can pull the lower platen out to get the pressed item. Its heat-free surface provides extra safety allowance. However, it does not handle large items well, and items can be thrown out of place when the lower plate is moved.

3. Swing Away Machines:

This semi-automatic thermal press has two platens of which the upper platen can be moved once pressing is complete. Using this machine, you can get a better view of the garment being pressed. And considering how it has less exposure to air than the Clamshell machine, heat dissipating is lesser here. However, they are not cheap.

4. Portable Machines:

These machines are portable and affordable, while equally sufficient for small-scale operators. However, they lack a pressure application feature.

Things to Look out for before Purchasing a Heat Press Machine

1. Size

Using a thermal press with wide coverage would efficiently reduce the time it would take to press an item. Plate/canvas size varies from small (11”×15”) to medium (15”×15” and 16”×16”) to larger sizes of 16”×20” and more. With a 20 x 16 heat press, you can do more in less time.

2. Temperature Range 

For efficient custom pressing, the temperature range of the press machine should accommodate temperatures over 350F. This way, you can work on materials thicker than tees and thicker materials. More importantly, it should distribute heat evenly to ensure efficient cloth customization.

3. Pressure 

To avoid ending up with a custom item that has certain parts looking like they were worked on by a printer with uneven toner, the platens of the machine must carry equal pressure all around.

4. Floor space 

Before purchasing a thermal press, ensure that there is adequate floor space. First, measure the space provided for the press machine and check the dimensions of the machine under its details.

5. Work Flow

Not all heat presses have the same work output. So, depending on the number of orders you will be working on, order a machine whose supply ability would suit your operation needs.

6. Voltage 

Another factor to consider would be the rated voltage of the press machine in question. To avoid damaging the machine, check to see that with the voltage supply at your warehouse, you will not be giving the machine too much or too little current compared to the voltage rating of the press.

7. Budget 

 In choosing a store to purchase from, you might want to consider the purchase plan or cost. Certain stores have both wholesale and retail plans. In other words, buying five or more sets would cost less than buying a single machine.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to start a business that requires a heat press, regardless of your business size, ensure it checks all the boxes of your criteria. So, what would make the right heat press? Without a doubt, it should fit your budget, the space reserved for it, and the requirements of your business. For example, if your business receives a lot of orders, you would work at ease using a semi-automatic machine with a large canvas.

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