Top 16 Best T-shirt Printers: Review 2020 (Recommended!)

Not everyone loves to wear the generic T-shirts manufactured in thousands by the popular brands all over the world. For some people, their T-shirts need to make a statement, and help to express their personalities to the world.

If that’s the idea, there’s no better way than to design and print your own T-shirts that tell everyone else who you are, what you believe in and what you are thinking.

The best way to create your own T-shirt will of course require the use of a printer. Of all the printers that you can find in the market, the ones needed for your t-shirts are quite different.

So whether you want to design and make T-shirts for yourself or start a business, it is extremely important that you know all about the best T-shirt Printers, including their types, their features, their use and their characteristics.

Need a recommendation? Here are the top three!

Top 16 Best T-Shirt Printers: Reviews 2020 

Here are 16 of the best T-shirt Printers you can find on the market at the moment, along with their features and types.

1. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Heat Press Machine

This is not exactly a regular office printer, but actually a sublimation heat press machine that can work wonders for printing on your T-shirts. This is the machine you use after you’ve printed your design on a piece of paper.

Although this is not technically a printer that we use to print our designs, texts, words and logos, this is a machine that will print anything on our T-shirts.

The heating plate that comes with this heat press machine from Powerpress is 15” x 15” in size, which is big enough for the most oversized T-shirts.

The surface of the heating plate is Teflon coated which eliminates the need for placing a separate coated sheet, cloth or paper. Your T-shirts will be completely safe on the heating cloth, no matter how much heat you are applying.

The handle - the one that you use to bring down the top portion - is an anti-slip one. There will be no chance of your hands slipping and the upper part accidentally crashing down on your hands or on your T-shirt.

The machine has a one-button operation, but also comes equipped with a fully digital control board. Both the temperature and the time can be controlled on this machine; the range of the temperature runs from 32 to 455 Fahrenheit and the time can be chosen between 0 to 999 seconds.

The silicon gel-based board is pressure adjusted; the fuse is replaceable and there is no chance of the machine becoming overheating or an electric short circuit. In fact, this is an extremely safe and easy heat press machine to work with.

Features:

  • 15” x 15” heating plate
  • Big enough for oversized T-shirts
  • Silicon gel-based board
  • Pressure adjustable
  • Replaceable fuse stops machine from overheating
  • No chance of overheating
  • Fully digital LCD control board
  • Controllable temperature and time
  • Temperature range: 32 to 455 Fahrenheit
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Teflon coated heating plate is safe for your clothes
  • Convenient to clean
  • Attractive black design

2. F2C 5-in-1 Professional Digital Transfer Machine 

If this is something you are thinking of doing professionally, this is the machine for you! The F2C Professional Digital Transfer Machine is a rather large machine that can be used to transfer your designs - big or small - to a number of different surfaces.

The surface is a non-stick one, covered in teflon, so that anything you place on the surface of the machine is completely safe. There’s no need to place any extra silicone or teflon sheet on your surface to keep your fabric safe from burning.

The heating plate is quite large, about 12” x 15” in size. The machine also comes with separate attachments for printing on mugs and cups, and another one for ceramic plates.

The central heating plate can be used to transfer your designs to T-shirts of any shape and size, as well as other clothes and fabric accessories, even on mousepads, hats and caps. You can transfer your colorful and vibrant designs, text, photos or logos to any kind of surface including cotton, chemical fiber, flax, nylon, and other surfaces.

With the same machine, you get different attachments including a 6” x 3” hat/cap press, a 3” - 3.5” diameter mug press, a 5” diameter plate press and a 6” diameter plate press.

This is truly a multifunctional machine, a 5-in-1 one that you can use to print on a whole range of items, not just T-shirts. The machine has a full-range adjustment knob that allows you to adjust the pressure you put on your material, depending on the type and thickness of the material you are using.

The time and the temperature range of the machine can be adjusted, as well; both the time and the temperature can be adjusted based on the material or surface you are using.

Most importantly, the machine has a 360-degree rotation, and the top part can be swung away from the bottom part of the machine. This helps in keeping your materials and your hands safe from the heat coming from the top part of the machine.

Features:

  • 12” x 15” heating plate
  • 360-degree swing away top part for safety
  • Can be used on T-shirts, caps, hats, mouse pads, cups and mugs
  • 5-in-1 operation with single machine
  • Adjustable time and temperature ranges
  • Heating plate comes with a silicon/teflon cover
  • Can be used on cotton, chemical fiber, nylon, flax, glass and ceramic
  • Adjustable pressure knob for wide pressure range
  • Comes with multiple attachments for printing on different surfaces

3. FancierStudio Power Heat Press 

This is another sublimation heat press machine exclusively for T-shirts and other clothes and fabric accessories; with a large 15” x 15” heating plate, you can print your designs, logos, images or texts on any kind of clothing.

The heating plate is also covered in a protective silicone pad, so there’s no chance of your fabric getting burned or scorched. The silicone pad is slightly glued down and can be taken off for replacement, in case there is any kind of wear and tear on it.

Not just fabric, you can use this heat press machine to print designs on mouse pads, garment bags, jigsaw puzzles, etc.

This is a very important piece of equipment if you want to design your own T-shirts, and especially if you want to start a business. It’s a durable piece of machinery that can be set up and used anywhere, in a commercial space or your own home office.

The machine is also quite easy to use, and the prints made with the FancierStudio Power heat press machine lasts a very long time. The machine is an upward-opening model, so you don’t need a lot of space around the machine.

You can even place multiple heat press machines of the same model beside each other, and operate them all together. The handle works like a clamp, which makes applying pressure on the heating plate easier without too much force.

The machine comes with a small LCD display where you can adjust the time and the temperature. The time range allowed in this machine is 0 to 999 seconds and the temperature range allowed is 0 to 699 degrees Fahrenheit. You can choose any of time and temperature options based on the type and thickness of the fabric you are using.

Features:

  • 15” x 15” heating plate
  • Perfect for amatuer and professional printing
  • Durable machine and results
  • Can be used on fabric, mouse pads, garment bags, jigsaw puzzles, and more
  • Upward-opening machine
  • Doesn’t require much space around the machine
  • Strong clamp-type handle that doesn’t require much force
  • Small LCD display
  • Time and temperature can be adjusted
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 0 to 699℉

4. Cricut Easy Press Mini Heat Press Machine

From the large to the miniature - this is a compact, pocket-sized heat press machine that is perfect for smaller designs, unusual shapes and small spaces.

If you have a hat. A cap, a kid’s T-shirt, a stuffed toy or even shoes you want to print on, this is the perfect machine for you. The machine is so small and compact, you can simply take it in your hands and use it anywhere, even on hanging curtains and upholstery.

The perfect heat press machine for working on small and unusual surfaces, this machine has a ceramic coated heat plate that is completely safe for all kinds of fabrics and surfaces.

There are 3 heat settings for you to choose from, for use with different inks on different surfaces. The machine automatically shuts off after a few minutes of inactivity, thanks to the “Auto shut-off” Feature, which is the safe method for a machine.

The Cricut Easy Press Machine may be a small device, but it gives you perfectly crisp, bright and edge-to-edge prints on almost all kinds of surfaces. All you need is to swipe the machine over the surface you want to print on, and the design will appear instantly.

With the small machine, you can even place your designs in difficult spaces such as between buttons and along the edges, over the seams and even collars. The machine comes with a safety base that you can place the device on when the base is heated, so that you don’t scorch your furniture.

The handle gives you a comfortable, anti-slip grip to prevent any kind of accidents. The base gives edge-to-edge even heat, so that any kind of design is perfectly placed on the surface of your choice.

Features:

  • Compact, mini-sized heat press machine
  • Perfect for small and unusual spaces
  • Can be used for printing on small surfaces, i.e. soft toys, hats, shoes
  • Can be used to heat transfer design to multiple surfaces
  • Ceramic coated plate
  • Gives dry and even, edge-to-edge prints
  • 3 heating settings for use with different inks and surfaces
  • Maximum input: 120v
  • Insulated safety base for safekeeping the device
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Can be used on hanging curtains and upholstery
  • Comfortable anti-slip grip handle
  • Precision tip for perfect printing every time
  • Can be used to print between buttons and seams

5. VEVOR Heat Press Machine

If your business requires printing on more than just T-shirts and flat surfaces, this is definitely the machine for you. The main heating plate - perfect for T-shirts, mouse pads and jigsaw puzzles - is 12” x 15” in size.

It’s big enough for large sized T-shirts, shawls and pillow covers. The machine also comes with a 3” to 3.5” mug press, a 6” x 3” curved hat/cap press, a 5” diameter plate press and a 6” diameter plate press.

The heating plate has a silicone covering so that any fabric that you place on the plate doesn’t get scorched or burned.

There is a small LCD monitor on the machine that allows you to choose between the different time and temperature ranges; the time range allowed in this heat press machine is 0 to 999 seconds and the temperature range allowed is 32 to 480℉ (0 to 250℃). 

The top portion of the machine has a swing-away mechanism that you can easily move away from the heating plate, allowing you more space to work with over the heating plate. This also helps reduce the numbers of accidents you might have gotten on your hands and arms if the top portion would have hovered over your working space.

The clamp-type handle helps to lower the top portion without having to use too much force. Any kind of design you have chosen is evenly duplicated on the surface of your choice, whether it is a T-shirt, a jigsaw puzzle, ceramic plates, cups and coffee mugs, paper, coasters, caps or hats. For printing on fabric, too, you can choose any media including chemical fiber, cotton, nylon and flax.

Features:

  • Multipurpose machine
  • Comes with several attachments
  • Perfect for printing on T-shirts and other surfaces
  • Can work on jigsaw puzzle, ceramic plates, coffee mugs, paper, coasters, caps or hats
  • Works on chemical fiber, cotton, nylon and flax
  • Heating plate is 12” x 15” in size
  • Mug press is 3” to 3.5”in circumference
  • Hat/cap press is6” x 3” curved
  • Dinner plates are 5” and 6” diameter in size
  • Swing away top portion
  • Clamp style Handle
  • Silicone pad on the heating plate is replaceable
  • Time Range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 32 to 480℉ (0 to 250℃)

6. Mophorn 5-in-1 Heat Press Machine

The heating plate that comes with the Mophorn 5-in-1 heat press machine is 12” x 15” in size, which is the standard size for any T-shirts and similar pieces of clothing. The top portion of the machine has a swing-away mechanism, so that you can completely move it away from your working space.

This gives you more space to work on without the chance of your hands getting accidentally burned or scorned. The handle is a long one - almost 2⅘” in length - and comes with a comfortable, anti-slip rubber grip for convenience.

The heating pad also comes with a silicon and a cotton pad that can be removed when dirty or needs replacing. The feet of the machine can also be adjusted if you are using the machine on uneven surfaces.

You can adjust the temperature and the time with this machine, by using the small LCD monitor at the right-hand side of the Mophorn 5-in-1 heat press machine.

The time range allowed in this machine is 0 to 999 seconds and the temperature range allowed is 32 to 430℉. Depending on the thickness and the type of the fabric you are using, you can choose any combination of time and temperature.

Besides T-shirts, this machine can be used to print your designs, logos, texts or images on ceramic tiles, coasters, ceramic plates, mugs and cups, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles and other similar items.

The Mophorn 5-in-1 machine comes with separate attachments for using on different shapes and materials: a 3” to 3.5” diameter mug press, a 6” x 3” curved press for hats or caps, the 12” x 15” heating plate and two plate presses, 5” and 6” in diameter. Together, all these separate attachments make this a multi-functional machine.

Features:

  • 5-in-1 machine with multiple attachments
  • 12” x 15” heating plate
  • 6” x 3” curved press for hats and caps
  • 3” to 3.5” diameter mug/cup press
  • Two 5” and 6” diameter plate presses
  • Removable silicone and cotton pad for replacing and cleaning
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 32 to 430℉
  • Small LCD display for choosing time and temperature
  • Can work on fabric, ceramic, glass, paper, etc. materials
  • 2¾” long rubber-padded handle
  • 360-degree swing-away top part
  • Adjustable feet for uneven surfaces

7. Nurxiovo 8-in-1 Digital Heat Press Machine

If your hobby or business doesn’t only print on T-shirts but every other kind of surface possible, this is the machine for you.

This heat press machine from SUNCOO is actually a 8-in-1 multifunctional machine that you can use to print on baseball caps, novelty hats, T-shirts of all color, size and shape, mugs and coffee cups, plates and bags. With the 8 different attachments, you can print on more surfaces than with any other machines.

An extremely sturdily built machine with heavy duty materials, you can use this machine both at your home office or at your workshop. The 12” x 15” heating plate is a large one, perfect not just for T-shirts but also for printing on pillowcases, shawls and tote bags.

You also get a 6” x 3” cap/hat press, two 5” and 6” plate presses and two 4.71” x 7.48” and 4.72” x 9.05” water bottle heating elements. The attachments are all very easy to interchange and use.

The machine comes with an LCD control panel for you to control the time and the temperature levels. The time range allowed on the Nurxiovo digital heat press machine is 0 to 999 seconds and the temperature range on the machine is 33 to 482℉.

The top portion of the machine has a 360-degree swing-away mechanism, giving you enough working space over the surface.

Features:

  • 8-in-1 multifunctional machine
  • Comes with 8 different attachments
  • Comes with a 12” x 15” heating plate
  • Comes with a 6” x 3” cap/hat press,
  • Comes with two 5” and 6” plate presses
  • Comes with two 4.71” x 7.48” and 4.72” x 9.05” water bottle presses
  • Built with heavy duty materials
  • Can work on baseball caps, novelty hats, T-shirts, mugs and cups, plates and bags
  • LCD control panel
  • Easily interchangeable attachments
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 33 to 482℉
  • 360-degree swing-away mechanism

8. Dulytek DM1005 Manual Heat Press Machine 

With a relatively smaller 5” x 3” heating plate, this isn’t really a heat press machine for T-shirts. However, if you are using smaller designs, logos or a single text in your design, this machine can be used as a Tshirt printer.

Although a small machine, you can apply pressure up to 1550 lbs or 750 kg with the two heating plates. The machine comes with a small touch screen control for you to choose the time and the temperature.

The machine itself is quite lightweight and easy to use. The top part closes on the bottom part by pulling at a lever, making it easy to apply pressure. With this machine, you also get certain bonus accessories, i.e. one 7” x 4.7” silicone mat, two 4.5” and 5” stainless steel tools, a 3ml lidded storage jar, 10 sheets of 10” x 7” parchment paper and 4 magnets.

These tools will help you in creating a number of crafts and personal belongings, and well as print on your T-shirts.

Features:

  • Small 5” x 3” heating plate
  • Dual heating plates over and under your material
  • Can be used to apply pressure up to 1550 lbs or 750 kg
  • Comes with a small touch screen
  • Adjustable time and temperature control
  • Lightweight and portable machine
  • Comes with a 7” x 4.7” silicone mat, two 4.5” and 5” stainless steel tools, a 3ml lidded storage jar, 10 sheets of 10” x 7” parchment paper and 4 magnets

9. MyPress Gen 2 Portable Heat Press Machine 

This is another portable and lightweight heat press machine from MyPress SolventLess, with a heating plate that is only 3” x 3” in size. Not exactly for T-shirts or fabrics, you can nevertheless use this machine to print logos and single-worded texts on your T-shirts.

The dual heating plates are made from stainless steel, and are both sturdy and durable. Besides, the heat is evenly distributed all over the plates, giving you perfect prints every single time.

This is a very small machine, smaller than the regular coffee machines we see in homes. You can keep the machine hidden away inside a cabinet or even carry it around with you with ease.

A small LCD touch screen can be found at the front, allowing you to control the time and the temperature for every print. The temperature range allowed in this machine is 100℉ to 250℉, and the machine can take up to 6 lbs of pressure.

Features:

  • Portable and lightweight heat press machine
  • Smaller than the regular household coffee machine
  • Comes with dual 3” x 3” heating plates
  • Evenly heats all over the plates
  • Can withstand up to 7 lbs of pressure
  • Temperature range: 100℉ to 250℉
  • Comes with a small LCD monitor at the front
  • Digital time control
  • Self-targeting top plate
  • Stainless steel heating plates

10. ShareProfit 5-in-1 Digital Heat Press

This is another heat press machine from ShareProfit, one that comes with 5 different attachments, making it a 5-in-1 machine. Beside a 12” x 15” heading plate, you also get a cup/mug press, a hat/cap press and two separate plate presses of different sizes.

The attachments can be easily interchanged for different purposes, and also used separately, placing them beside the main machine and connecting them together.

The top portion of the machine has a 360-degree swing away mechanism, giving you ample space to work on. This kind of design also reduces the chance of burning your hands or your materials when you are placing them on the work surface.

The ShareProfit 5-in-1 comes with a LCD monitor where you can choose any time and temperature for your heat pressing, depending on the thickness and the type of material you are using.

Features:

  • 5-in-1 multifunctional machine
  • Can be used on fabric, ceramic, paper and other materials
  • Comes with a 12” x 15” heating plate
  • Comes with a mug/cup press, two plate presses and one cap/hat press
  • Easy to change between attachments
  • Can be used to print designs on T-shirt, caps and hats, jigsaw puzzles, mouse pads, coffee mugs, cups and tote bags
  • 360-degree swing away top portion
  • Ample space for working area
  • Small LCD monitor
  • Controllable time and temperature range

11. Seeutek 8-in-1 Power Heat Machine 

From the portable to the multi-functional. This heat press machine from Seeutek is rather a large one, with a 15” x 15” heating plate. Beside the massive heating plate for printing on T-shirts, you also get 7 other attachments with this machine that you can use for different printing purposes.

The package includes one fully assembled heat press machine, one 15” x 15” heating plate, one 17 ounce diameter latte mug press, one 5” diameter plate press, one 6” diameter plate press, one 5.5” x 3” hat press, one 2” to 2.75” mug press, and one 3” to 3.5” diameter mug press. With all these attachments, you can print on more than just T-shirts, even if that is your main purpose.

You can use this commercial-grade machine not just for printing on fabric, but also on paper, ceramic tiles and mugs, coasters, puzzles, mouse pads, caps and hats. You can run an entire business based on this one machine.

The heating plate is covered with a Teflon pad, so there’s no chance of your fabric or any other material getting damaged by the heated plates. The teflon pad can be removed for cleaning and replacing.

The Seeutek 8-in-1 power heat press machine comes with a 360-degree swing-away top portion that moves the heated part away from your working space.

The non-slip rubber-coated handle is also comfortable and safe to use, and the small LCD display monitor lets you control the time and the temperature of the machine, based on the material you are using. The temperature range allowed in this machine is 0℉ to 428℉, and the time range allowed is 0 to 999 seconds.

Features:

  • 8-in-1 machine with multiple attachments
  • 15” x 15” heating plate
  • 5.5” x 3” curved press for hats and caps
  • 2” to 2.7” diameter mug/cup press
  • Two 5” and 6” diameter plate presses
  • Removable silicone and cotton pad for replacing and cleaning
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 0 to 428℉
  • Small LCD display for choosing time and temperature
  • Can work on fabric, ceramic, glass, paper, etc. materials
  • Anti-slip rubber-padded handle
  • 360-degree swing-away top part

12. Cricut Easy Press 2 Heat Press Machine

This is another heat press machine from Cricut, but one that is slightly larger in size. The Cricut Easy Press 2 comes with a 12” x 10” heating plate that works perfectly with T-shirts, as well as tote bags, pillow cases, cushion covers, sweatshirts, birthday banners, blankets and scarves, jigsaw puzzles and mouse pads.

It is a lightweight machine that anyone can simply pick up with their hands and use, making the whole process easy and space saving. Instead of a massive machine, you are getting a compact and affordable heat press machine just for designing your very own T-shirts and other similar personal products.

It takes around 60 seconds or less for the print to be permanently visible on your T-shirt or fabric of choice. The ceramic coated heating plate heats up in a very short time, and the temperature can be adjusted to up to 4oo℉.

You have the option to enter the desired time and temperature settings to the machine, depending on your choice of fabric and material, and also the design. The entire process is very easy and convenient, just like using a household iron for your clothes.

The Cricut Easy Press 2 heats up in less than 3 minutes and gives a professional looking result in under a minute. The ceramic coated heating plate can get extremely hot very fast and comes with a safety base for safekeeping.

Features:

  • Comes with a 12” x 10” heating plate
  • Compact and convenient to use
  • Lightweight product can be used by anyone
  • Space saving design
  • Takes only 3 minutes to heat up
  • Professional grade printing in less than 1 minute
  • Temperature range: 0 to 4oo℉
  • Can be used on T-shirts and other fabric-based possessions
  • Comes with a safety base
  • Ceramic coated heating plate

13. ZENY Heat Press Pro 6-in-1 Combo

Manufactured specifically for commercial purposes, this is a heat press machine from ZENY that comes with 6 separate attachments. This is a machine you can use to print any kind of designs or images, texts or logo on T-shirts, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, caps, hats, mugs and caps, and many other similar products.

The machine warms up very quickly and takes only a few minutes to be ready for work. The lower board is 4.5” thick, allowing for even heating and application.

The machine needs to be placed on an even surface, but the feet can be adjusted for uneven surfaces. When you lower the upper portion, the heat is evenly distributed over the entire surface, giving you perfect printing everywhere.

This machine from ZENY comes with an adjustable multi-spring balancer, and allows you to adjust the temperature and the time according to the need of your material. The upgraded alloy metal body makes this heat press machine a very durable one, something you will be able to use for years.

The controls are fully digital, and the machine comes with: 1 fully assembled machine with the platen press, 1 hat press, 2 mug press of different sizes, 2 plate presses, 1 cotton pad and 1 silicone pad.

All the attachments are easily interchangeable and makes this machine a multi-functional one. The top portion has a 360-degree swing away mechanism, allowing you a larger working space.

Features:

  • 6-in-1 multifunctional machine
  • Comes with one 12” x 15” heating plate, 1 hat press, 2 mug press and 2 plate presses
  • Comes with replaceable cotton pad and silicone pad
  • 4.5” thick heating board for even heating and printing
  • Sturdy alloy body
  • Quick warm up
  • Lightweight and compact size
  • Adjustable multi-spring balancer
  • Selectable Fahrenheit and Celcius scale
  • Fully digital control panel

14. DTG Direct to Garment Personal Printer

Now, this is a completely different and extremely convenient piece of equipment for anyone who wants to print on their T-shirts. Although this personal printer has been designed exclusively for printing your preferred designs, images, logos and texts on T-shirts, you can also use this machine to print on similar fabric-based possessions, i.e. hoodies, sweatshirts, onesies, pillow cases, cushion covers and tote bags.

This machine looks just like an elaborate office printer, but can directly print on your T-shirt, like a heat press machine.

It works with a software titled “Inkscape” which you can use to directly feed your preferred design into the printer, and it will appear on your T-shirt. The printer also comes with an instructional DVD that explains the whole process in detail.

Features:

  • Direct printing on T-shirts and other fabrics
  • Can work on a number of fabrics
  • Works just like a regular office printer
  • Works in collaboration with the software “Inkscape”
  • Designs can be directly fed into the printer
  • Comes with an instructional DVD explaining the whole process
  • Needs special ink to print

15. VIVOHOME 8-in-1 Combo Heat Press Machine

This is another rather large multifunctional heat press machine that comes with a total of 8 attachments, including a 15” x 15” heating plate.

The other attachments you get with this heat press machine includes one 4.7” to 7.7” and one 4.7” to 9.25” diameter mug presses, one 5” diameter plate press, one 6” diameter plate press, one 12 ounce and one 17 ounce cone latte mug presses, and one 5.5” x 3” hat press. With all these attachments combined, one machine is perfectly capable of running a complete business, if that’s what you want to do.

Just like most heat press machines, the VIVOHOME 8-in-1 combo machine also has a 360-degree swing away top portion, so that you can easily avoid any kind of accidents and burns. It also gives you more overhead working space to effectively place your materials on the heating plate.

The small LCD monitor on the machine lets you adjust and view the time and the temperature you have chosen for your fabric and other materials; the time range allowed in this machine is 0 to 999 seconds and the temperature range allowed is 32 to 430℉. An alarm will let you know when your printing is complete so that your material isn’t forgotten on the machine.

With this heat press machine, you can work on a number of material types, including cotton and any other fabric, ceramic plates and tiles, mugs and cups, caps and hats, jigsaw puzzles, coasters, tote bags, shawls, blankets and mouse pads.

Features:

  • 8-in-1 multifunctional machine
  • Comes with a 15” x 15” heating plate
  • Comes with two 4.7” to 7.7” and 4.7” to 9.25” diameter mug presses
  • Comes with a 5” diameter plate press
  • Comes with a 6” diameter plate press
  • Comes with two 12-ounce and 17-ounce cone latte mug presses
  • Comes with a 5.5” x 3” hat press
  • 360-degree swing away top portion
  • Non-stick teflon coating
  • Solid and sturdy built
  • Time range: 0 to 999 seconds
  • Temperature range: 32 to 430℉
  • Alarm when printing is complete
  • Aluminum-made heating plate
  • Silicone pad can withstand direct heat up to 250℉

16. Craft CP912-120 Heat Press

This heat press machine from the Craft Store is a great tool if you don’t run a T-shirt printing business, but love to make your own T-shirts and other personal items as a hobby.

It is a lightweight and compact machine that is great for crafters, hobbyists and new entrepreneurs. It only weighs 35 lbs but comes with a 9” x 12” heating plate. The machine heats up evenly within a few minutes and gives a perfect print every time.

With the Craft CP912-120 heat press, you can adjust the time and the temperature of the machine to match the needs of your material.

Features:

  • Compact and lightweight machine
  • Perfect for new entrepreneurs and businesses, hobbyists and crafter
  • Comes with a 9” x 12” heating plate
  • Perfect print every time
  • Even edge-to-edge printing
  • Heats up quickly
  • Adjustable time and temperature

The heat press machines and T-shirt printers listed and discussed in this article are some of the most popular machines available in the market at the moment.

Although they differ slightly in terms of features and characteristics, they are nevertheless all perfect for new businesses, professionals and amateurs.

What to look for while buying a T-shirt Printer? 

A T-shirt printer roughly refers to a machine that you can use to print any design, logo, text or image you want on your T-shirts.

As you can see from the list above, this machine can look like a printer, a regular household iron or a heat press machine. Whatever they look like, the features of these T-shirts are more or less the same.

Therefore, there are certain features or characteristics that you need to look for in a T-shirt printer.

  • Multifunctionality 

If you want a simple tool to just print designs on your T-shirt, you don’t need a very complicated or large machine. Any of the smaller, more compact tools available in the market can do, such as the Cricut Easy Press Mini Heat Press Machine, which is a miniature heat press machine that resembles a household iron.

The PowerPress Industrial-Quality Heat Press Machine is also a simple machine, although a large one. It comes with a 15” x 15” heating plate that is perfect even for the largest T-shirt sizes.

You can use these machines to print on not just T-shirts, but also tote bags, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, pillow cases and cushion covers, but they are primarily used as T-shirt printers.

However, if you run a business or if you are thinking of running a business, you might need something more than a T-shirt printer. The same heat press machines can be used to print on different materials if they come with separate attachments.

Usually, heat press machines can be used to print on a huge variety of possessions, such as hats and caps, mugs, plates, keychains, buttons, etc.

For printing on these materials, you need a heat press machine that comes with several attachments, such as the VIVOHOME 8-in-1 Combo Heat Press Machine and the Nurxiovo 8-in-1 Digital Heat Press Machine.

Both these heat press machines come with attachments that are easily interchangeable, and can be used to print your preferred logos, images, designs and texts on coffee mugs, cups, water bottles, caps, hats and decorative plates.

However, most of the multifunctional heat press machines are quite large and usually used in business and commercial spaces.

  • Size 

If this is a hobby or a new business that you are thinking of carrying out from your own home office or garage, it is better if the machine you choose is a small and compact one. Most heat press machines are heavy and large, made of sturdy metal that are more suited to a workshop or an industrial building.

For amateurs, hobbyists and occasional users, heat press machines that are more compact can be a better option.

The Cricut Easy Press Mini Heat Press Machine, of course, is a compact machine, as is the Cricut Easy Press 2 Heat Press Machine.

These are both heat press machines that you can pick up with your hands to use, and keep inside a cabinet when you don’t need it. The MyPress Gen 2 Portable Heat Press Machine is also a compact machine, although a standing one.

On the other hand, if space is not a problem, most heat press machines - especially the ones that come with multiple attachments - are large in size.

  • Heating Plate Size 

With most heat press machines, there is a main heating plate that is used for printing on T-shirts. This heating plate can be of various sizes, from small to large.

With the Dulytek DM1005 Manual Heat Press Machine, for example, you get a small 5” x 3” heating plate, which you can use to print smaller designs and logos at the middle of your T-shirt.

The Seeutek 8-in-1 Power Heat Machine, on the other hand, has a much larger 15” x 15” heating plate. You can use this heat press machine to not just print on T-shirts, but blankets, shawls and other larger clothes and accessories.

  • Swing Style 

With heat press machines or T-shirt printers, you can find two very different types of opening, i.e. how the top and the bottom portion of the open. You get the option to choose between a swing-away and upward-opening heat press machine.

While most such machines have a 360-degree swing-away opening, some also open upwards, such as the Dulytek DM1005 Manual Heat Press Machine

The upper part of this heat press machine opens upwards. The advantages of upward-opening machines is that it is a very space-saving model; this particular machine doesn’t need any space around to fully open.

On the other hand, heat press machines that swing open are more common; these types of machines actually need more space on the sides to operate. The advantage of these machines is that you get more working space above the heating plate.

Since the top portion can be swung aside, you can easily place your materials on the heating plate without having to worry about accidentally hurting yourself with the heated top plate.

  • Other Features 

You can find similar features in most heat press machines available in the market, as they all moretheless serve the same purposes. However, the model and brand that you end up with should have some very important features, such as:

  • Adjustable time and temperature control
  • Small LCD monitor for adjusting and viewing your settings
  • Anti-slip, rubber or silicone-covered handle
  • Silicone or cotton pad on the heating plate
  • Easy to change attachments
  • Wider time and temperature range
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight machine
  • Shorter time needed to heat up
  • Shorter time needed for printing
  • Edge-to-edge heating and printing, etc.

These are the important features to look for in a heat press machine, although they may not seem very important at first.

How to Use a T-shirt Printer to print on T-shirts? 

T-shirt printers, or heat press machines - as they are more commonly known as - are used to print your designs, images, logos or texts on T-shirts or other materials. This is quite a simple process that anyone can do, both professionally and as a hobby.

These machines are simple-forward tools. They are mostly mechanical devices that run on electricity and pressure. For transferring your designs to a T-shirt, you are going to need a few devices and tools, i.e.

  • A single-color (preferably white or black) T-shirt
  • Transfer paper
  • Inkjet or laser printer
  • Scissors/Trimmers
  • Heat Press Machine/T-shirt Printer

Step-by-Step Instruction

Here is the step-by-step instruction on using a heat press machine for printing on your T-shirts:

  • First of all, you need to settle on the design you want to print on your T-shirt. This could be a design you’ve created yourself, your own photo, a word you want on your T-shirt, or a celebration. Whatever it is, it needs to be created in your computer, using a software that is compatible with the printer you’re going to use.
  • You can use any design or image on your T-shirt but the ones that work the best are the one with contrast colors. That is, if your T-shirt is white or light-colored, the designs should ideally be dark, and vice versa.
  • Next, comes printing your design for the transfer. For this step, both the printer and the paper you use is going to be important. For white- and light-colored T-shirts, inkjet printers work the best; this requires special transfer paper as well. Any design you want on your white or light-colored T-shirt needs to be printed on special transfer paper using an inkjet paper. These papers are easily available everywhere.
  • On the other hand, if you own a laser printer, it can be used for this kind of printing, as well. However, for use with laser printers, you need a special toner instead of ink for printing. It is very important for heat transferring your designs that you have both the right kind of printer and the right ink for the job. Otherwise, the ink making up the design on the transfer paper won’t be properly transferred to your T-shirt.
  • Another way to print designs or words on your T-shirts is to do it through die cut vinyl lettering. This technique requires you to use a vinyl cutter to cut out different shapes or letters, and the heat press machine can paste them to your T-shirt. This is the type of design that is usually seen on sports apparels.
  • If needed, you can trim the designs. It is okay to leave a little border along the edges of the design, but it is important to trim off the excess part. It is not necessary to trim the holes inside “O”s and “D”s, but the outside edges of the designs are better trimmed off.
  • Set up the heat press machine, the portable heat press machine or the T-shirt printer - whichever machine you are using. This usually requires turning on the machine and waiting for it to get hot.
  • Adjust the time and temperature. This would be available with the set of transfer paper you are using, or you can get the required measurements from the Internet. In most cases, the optimum temperature needed is somewhere between 350 to 375℉.
  • In most machines (i.e. in the heat press machines), the pressure can also be adjusted. The pressure needs to be between medium to high for most cases.
  • Next, you’ll need to adjust the time taken to transfer the design from the paper to the T-shirt, which depends on the paper you are using. For example, for laser copier paper or printer transfer paper, you need 18 to 25 second; for sublimation transfer paper, you need 25 to 30 minutes. For embroidered applique paper, you need 120 to 30 second; for inkjet transfer paper or printer transfer paper, you need 14 to 18 seconds.
  • Now, place the T-shirt on the lower heating plate. The part where you want your design to be needs to be placed upwards, exactly on the location the upper part of the heat press machine is going to come down.
  • Place the transfer paper with the design on it over the T-shirt, face down. The side of the paper with the design needs to be facing the T-shirt, not the upper heating plate. In case of embroidered applique, it needs to be placed embroidered side upwards. Most machines come with a silicone pad-covered heating plate, which means that you don’t need to place a protective covering or pad over your T-shirt.
  • Pull down the handle and close the two parts of the heat press machine, applying as much time as the machine needs.
  • Press the button for the machine to start working. Keep the machine running for as long as it needs to properly transfer the design from the paper to the T-shirt. Some machines come with an alarm that lets you know when your transfer is done.
  • Open the heating plates to remove the T-shirt. The transfer should be perfectly completed by this time. Keep it apart for the T-shirt to dry, which doesn’t take very long.

These steps should work with most heat press machines or T-shirt printers, but there could be some differences in the techniques, depending on the model you have.

What Machine do I need to make T-shirts? 

Ready-made T-shirts in single colors are available almost everywhere, both in physical stores and online.

Businesses that work with designing T-shirts usually order these blank, single-colored T-shirts in dozens for their work. White and black T-shirts are the most popular options, and they are available for both genders, in all shapes, cuts and sizes.

You will need some other machineries and equipment for T-shirt businesses. These equipments are discussed below:

1. A Computer. Of course, a computer is the first equipment that you are going to need, for creating or editing your designs.

Most of the softwares that is compatible with printers are best used in a computer. Some printers can also work by direct command from a smartphone or a tablet, but the best work is done in a computer.

2. A Printer. The most common two types of printer for making T-shirts happen to be inkjet printers and laser printers. There are also sublimation printers and solvent printers which are also compatible with these kinds of projects.

Solvent printers are the best for complicated and detailed graphics, but they are extremely expensive. Inkjet printers and laser printers happen to be the most common options because they are effective and can also be used on other kinds of projects.

3. A Cutter Machine. If your design also involves intricate cutting, i.e. for embroidered applique or vinyl cutting, you’re also going to need a cutter machine.

4. A Heat Press Machine. Of course, the most important machine is the heat press machine, which is going to do most of the job of the process.

Is a T-shirt Business Profitable? 

These days, T-shirt businesses are one of the most profitable and creative businesses for anyone who wants to do something different and unique.

Whether a T-shirt business will become profitable depends not on the quality of the T-shirts, the machines used in the business or even the skill of the transfer of the design to the T-shirt.

The popularity and the profitability of a business depends on the unique designs of that business. Of course, the type of machines that you are using helps to portray your designs to the best, it is something more abstract that decides the profitability of the business.

Why would someone buy your T-shirts and not someone else’s? Because they love your designs, your ideas, your execution and your materials. T-shirt businesses can be profitable only when you can excel at these aspects of your business.

Your ideas and your designs have to be interesting, unique and creative; your products have to be comfortable and attractive. Only then, would people be interested in your T-shirts and make your business a profitable one.

People don't just buy special T-shirts they like the designs of; they also order T-shirts for special occasions and personal milestones. For birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate events, picnics, family dinners, excursions, carnivals and anything else - people order special T-shirts for all occasions these days.

Everyone prefers their own personal designs on T-shirts to celebrate different milestones and occasions, which means there is a lot of potential for T-shirt businesses to be profitable if everything is done right.

If there is no dearth of creativity and your material and execution is right, a T-shirt printing business can definitely prove to be profitable.

How Much does a T-shirt Printer Cost? 

The cost of T-shirt printers or heat press machines vary a lot. There are heat press machines that cost around $200 to the same kind of machines that cost over $3,000, depending on the brand, the size and the function.

The T-shirt printing machines that come with the most number of attachments for printing on more than just T-shirts costs more than regular machines for printing on only T-shirts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q. How do I know the right temperature and time needed for a heat pressing?

A. The right temperature required for a particular pressing will be available in the packet of the transfer paper you are using for the project and the right time depends on the particular type of paper you are using.

Q. How can I use the different attachments that come with heat press machines?

A. Changing between the different attachments in the machine is quite easy. The instructions would be given in the manual that comes with the machine.

Q. How long do the silicone pads on the heating plates last?

A. Even with regular use, these silicone pads are known to last 2 to 3 years before they need to be replaced.

Q. Can I get interchangeable heating platens for my heat press machine?

A. Most of the time, each heat press machine comes with a single heating plate, but it is possible to get more heating platens of different sizes and shapes.

Conclusion

Heat press machines come in all types, sizes and characteristics. The right heat press machine or T-shirt printing machine is just what you need to make sure that your T-shirts and other materials come out perfectly as you envisioned it to be.

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