Customized shirts are in and there is no stopping you from wearing a shirt that you’ve always wanted. Thanks to technology and heat press machines, you can now make your own design using a t-shirt printer.
Print your design or convince your loved one to wear a couple’s shirt. Make your souvenir on family reunions or events. You can even buy an inexpensive t-shirt and print whatever you want in it using a heat transfer printer. All this right in the comfort of your own space.
Whether you are thinking of putting up an RTW shop or you just want to own a personal t-shirt printer, we are here to help you choose the best t-shirt printing machine.
Best Printers for Heat Transfer on T-shirts
|Best Overall||Transfer Crafts T-Shirt Heat Press & Digital Sublimation Machine|
|Cheapest||PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine|
|Best Value for Money||Mophorn Multifunctional Sublimation Dual LED Display Heat Press Machine|
|Highly Recommended||ePhotoInc Heat Press Machine ZP9BU|
|Runner Up||ZENY Digital Heat Press Transfer|
How much does a t-shirt printing machine cost?
Based on our list the best printers for heat transfer on a t-shirt (2019), the t-shirt printing machine could cost roughly about $170-300 (excluding shipping). But we found a cheap heat transfer printer that you can use if you’re starting your t-shirt printing business. This won’t break your bank but could deliver an outstanding end-result.
How does a t-shirt printing machine works?
A heat press machine transfers a graphic design on another canvas. It is a more convenient alternative than the conventional screen printing which requires larger materials and chemicals. It uses heat and pressure to imprint design to another material.
Heat transfer printer uses manual pressure to transfer a design to a t-shirt. The design is printed on a vinyl transfer paper and is pressed through the secondary canvas.
What is the difference between heat transfer printer on shirt and screen printing?
While both the t-shirt printing process is good, screen printing is mostly used if you have a large project to work on. This method could be quite expensive if you are working on a smaller number of t-shirts because it needs a lot of materials like scrubbers, printers, screens, films, plastisol ink, etc. Heat transfer printing, on the other hand, provides high-quality results and is great for small businesses.
Best Printers for Heat Transfer on T-shirts
The Morphone Heat Press is a compact and multifunctional 8-in-1 heat press machine that can be used for ceramics, fabrics, metal, glass, etc. This printer is good for side gig printing as you don’t need a lot of space to work on. The whole heat press machine is about 15 by 15 inches which is enough to transfer designs on to your shirt.
It has a Teflon-coated plated press element, 2 5-inch arm handles and 5-inch thick heating board for easy pressing. It also has a 360-swing design that lets you rotate the upper platen, so you won’t have the risk of getting burned by the machine.
It also has a timer control of up to 999 seconds and a digital LED controller to set the desired temperature for whatever base you’re printing on.
PowerPress Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine is a cheaper alternative to the Morphon Heat Press. It also measures about 15 by 15 inches with a Teflon-coated heating plate and a silicone gel baseboard, an LCD control board, with a timer control of up to 999 seconds.
PowerPress is easy to use with an adjustable pressure knob and its silicon pad can withstand a maximum of 350-degree heat. Plus, this machine comes with a replaceable fuse that saves your machine from overheating and short-circuit problems.
Like the first 2 t-shirt printers mentioned above, the ZENY Digital Heat Press Transfer machine can be used to print on fabric, glass, and ceramic. It has a 2-in-1 digital controller that lets you choose between Fahrenheit or Celsius and has a swing-away feature that rotates your plate for safety reasons.
This t-shirt printing machine, however, has a smaller plate which is at 12 by 15 inches. This doesn’t intervene with transferring prints on your garment though since the perimeter of the plate is still enough to print on portions of the shirt.
The Zeny Digital Heat Press machine has a removable silicon and cotton pad which you can replace and a comfortable rubber grip on its 4/5-inch arm. It has a non-stick surface, a detachable lower platform and is made from both metal and plastic materials.
Transfer Crafts is an ideal heat transfer printer for small jobs such as t-shirt printing. It weighs about 50 pounds and has a 15 by 15 inches printing plate which arrives fully-assembled if you order it via Amazon.
It is designed to be handy for commercial or personal use with a Teflon-coated aluminum plate and non-stick surface to prevent scorching during transfers. Additionally, this heat transfer does not require a separate silicone or Teflon sheet. The silicon pad can withstand up to 500 degrees of heat without getting damaged.
ePhotoInc T-Shirt Heat Press Machine Transfer has the capabilities of the previous t-shirt printers but it’s cheaper for a reason. Its plate is smaller. It has a 9 x 12-inch transfer plate and weighs 30 pounds. We find this t-shirt printer the handiest and most compact of all.
ePhotoInc is powered with 110 V, 1200W power, best for both personal and commercial use if you don’t have a lot of garments to do. It also comes fully-assembled, has a digital LED temperature and time display, and top-mounted pressure knob.
The heating plate is also a non-stick Teflon-coated material that can withstand 500-degree heat without any distortions. This is by far the cheapest and most reliable heat press machine that you can use for a small business or personal t-shirt printing.
Make Your Own Statement Shirt
If you’re thinking of printing words, phrases or one-colored design, you can purchase these HTV Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle which includes 16 vibrant colors which are suitable for cotton, polyester, and cotton blend fabrics.
Alternatively, if you’re printing pictures/photos, you can use the Avery Printable T-Shirt Transfers for a dark-colored shirt, or the Koala Light T-shirt Transfer Paper for Light Color Fabric.
Have you ever thought of putting up a start-up t-shirt printing business? Do you own any of the heat press machines mentioned above? Do you want to recommend something else? Share it with us in the comments section below!