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The invention of new inks in the 1960s made the printing process more accessible, and this, in turn, propelled the popularity of graphic t-shirts during this era. The first printed t-shirt was an air corps gunnery school tee which appeared on the cover of Life magazine back in 1942. Over the years, technology has led to new inventions that have seen the emergence of new machines and modes of printing.
In this review, we evaluate ten models that rank among the best t-shirt printing machines in the market. There are various types of devices involved in this trade, and the editor’s choice in this assessment is a heat press version which has numerous features promoting functionality and efficiency. The Cricut EasyPress 2 is a multipurpose model that can be used for an array of printing services. Using this model is straightforward, enabling both beginner and veteran users to achieve professional iron-on results in a minute or less. This brand features a heat plate design while the surface has a ceramic coating. It allows temperature control of up to two hundred and five degrees Celsius. Setting the required time and temperature for your infusible ink or HTV is all you must do to start printing amazing designs on your t-shirts and an assortment of other materials compatible with this model.
We focus on critical features of the ten brands we discuss herein, including but not limited to; power, voltage, temperature, heating plate size, time, and weight. This article consists of a comparison table, detailed reviews of each of the models selected, and a buying guide to help you know more about t-shirt printing machines ad their distinguishing features before the acquisition.
More features: precise temperature control; available in different sizes; ceramic coated surface; easy to use; lightweight
This Cricut EasyPress 2 measures 12 by 10 inches, and this size makes it ideal for printing large t-shirts, banners, and sweatshirts, among other things. It weighs 18.85 lbs. hence not bulky to keep around the home and lightweight to move around with. This model has a provision for precise temperature control which makes it easier to manage and achieve the desired results. The maximum temperature it allows is 400 °F, and this makes it possible for you to work with an array of fabrics. The ceramic-coated surface helps in heat control and also makes this product hard-wearing.
This brand is top-tier and among the best home t-shirt printing machines, which allow you to produce pro-level prints in the comfort of your residence. The device heats up in less than three minutes thanks to the advanced heat plate design and produces iron-on pro results in less than a minute. Cricut EasyPress 2 is easy to set up and operate. You must know how to set the time and temperature depending on the fabric of the tee you are printing and the type of ink in play, and you are set to begin making beautiful pieces for yourself, family, and friends.
More features: 360° rotation, LED display, die-cast aluminum heating plate
This Vivohome 8 in 1 heat press is the best versatile unti that money can buy. it is packed with incredible features that make it a powerful performer. For instance, it features 360 degrees rotation swing away and guide rail design. The design provides a full range press directly and evenly guaranteeing you high-quality finished transfers.
The heat press comes in a solid build with a robust base that offers stability during use. Also featured is a dual integrated digital LED display with a controller that allows you to preset the temperature and timer countdown. It displays both the temperature and time and when time is up, an alarm will sound.
The best thing about this heat press is its die-cast aluminum heating plate. It has a non-stick Teflon-coated surface that prevents scorching when doing thermal transfers. It is large enough to accommodate different project sizes, from small gifts to large commodities. Plus, its removable foaming silicone pad can withstand heat up to 250 degrees Celsius without burning.
What are its best features?
Wide range of use and practicability
Large enough and high-quality die-cast aluminum heating plate
More features: a digital LED controller; nonstick surface; comes with different attachments; possible to select between Fahrenheit and Celsius; even heating
This F2C Pro 5 in 1 Combo Heat Press Machine features a full rotation swing-away design that makes work more comfortable and helps you save on time while printing almost anything. The timer can run for a maximum of 999 seconds. To get started, place the machine on a flat work surface and ensure that you add enough pressure to the knob designed to hold this machine down to prevent the plate from shaking as you work.
The heating plate has dimensions of twelve by fifteen inches, and it has a nonstick surface, which enhances its functions as well as the aesthetic value. It also comes with a removable upgraded aluminum alloy cradle for the mugs, caps, and pads elements. The power this machine needs to dispense the various tasks it is designed for is one thousand two hundred watts and a voltage of one hundred and ten. The temperature can be displayed in Celsius or Fahrenheit on the led digital display. It ranges from 32 – 430 °F, availing multiple possibilities regarding what material to print on.
More features: electronic time and heat control; precise time set-up; Teflon coating; adjustable pressure
This model from Fancierstudio has undergone a series of improvements to make it the best t-shirt screen printing machine for home business. The changes have been made on the heating plate to include a Teflon coating, which guarantees sturdiness and efficiency when printing. Additionally, the rubber base has been glued down. One thousand eight hundred watts is required, and a 110 voltage to run this machine. The upward-opening model that this brand features help to make work easier and save on space as transfer designs on to t-shirts, bags, badges, and an assortment of other items that can be branded using this machine.
The temperature ranges are between 0-699 °F while the timer can run for 999 seconds. The temperature and time control is electronic, making this design professional and easy to use. The heating plate is 15 by 15 inches in measurement and has a silicone-gel base and a Teflon coating top. This model weighs 15 lbs., and it has a precise time set-up and adjustable pressure system, which allows for different usage of this quality t-shirt printing machine.
Cricut is among leading manufacturers in this industry that have made a name for providing top-grade products and some of the best starter t-shirt printing machines for all budget ranges. This easy press mini design operates with minimal power since it requires only one hundred and fifty watts to function and one hundred and twenty volts. It weighs 1.5 lbs. making it a lightweight design that you can operate smoothly and even move around with.
The manufacturer has not explicitly indicated the heating plate size, but from the imagery, you can tell that it is meant for small scale designs. Two unique heating elements and the ceramic coated surface make it possible for you to achieve pro-level transfers with minimal hassle. The precise temperature control goes as high as 400 °F. Enter the proposed time for your HTV and infusible ink project and transfer your designs onto the t-shirt. The insulated base protects your work surface from damage. The auto-shutoff feature turns off after ten minutes of inactivity, ensuring you remain safe within your workspace.
More features: different sizes of heating plates available; arrives fully assembled; electronic time and heat control; LCD display; aluminum heat plate
Transfer Crafts T-Shirt Heat Press relies on heavy pressure and excessive heat to copy the designs from the template onto the t-shirt. This model is the best t-shirt screen printing machine for home use, and it can also be used to perform light commercial duties. For instance, you can customize a t-shirt for your book club or jigsaw puzzles for any social groupings that you are a part of.
T-shirts are not the only item that this model can transfer designs onto. Mouse mats, bags, ceramic tiles, puzzles, and other things that can lie flat on the heating plate can be branded using this machine. It arrives fully assembled and ready for use. Precise programming is possible with this model since it has the electronic time and heat control feature. The knob on top of this model controls the pressure, and it is easy to adjust. This model’s heating plate measures 9 by 12 inches, and it also has the provision for different sizes of this part. The plate is made of aluminum coated with Teflon, and this facilitates even heat distribution and warrants the robustness of the t-shirt printing machine.
More features: has a built-in fuse; Teflon coated heating plate
PlanetFlame Factory is a leading manufacturer of heat press, thermal transfer material, and other transferal bits and pieces, and this model from them has gained recognition in the market since it was released. The heating plate size is 15 by 15 inches allowing you to work on an array of projects stress-free. The plate is covered with Teflon, which is safe for the cloth, easy to tidy up, and elevates the beauty of this design by a wide margin. The base material used for the plate is aluminum, and this, coupled with the coating, allows for uniform heat delivery.
This machine can be used for a variety of printing jobs, including t-shirts, bags, and jigsaw puzzles, among other things. The temperature ranges from 0-440 ℉ while the time is anywhere from 0 to 999 seconds. The power required is 1300 W, while the voltage of the source ought to be at 110V. The inbuilt fuse guarantees your safety while you use this machine. No assembly is required since the manufacturers deliver while it is already set up.
More features: LED screen; easy to use; multifunction heating elements
If you are looking for the best t-shirt screen printing machine, five colors, then this model may be what you are after. This 8 in 1 heat press machine can transfer colorful images and characters onto five different items. This machine has five templates that allow you to print on t-shirts, baseball caps, hats, mugs, plates, and bags. The pressure regulating handle enhances performance, and it is labor-saving, and this means that you can use this machine for commercial purposes.
Reviews indicate that this model is among the best digital t-shirt printing machine that is well-made and able to handle consistent workflow. The in-built LED screen allows you to set the time and temperature you require and monitor the same making this design easy to use. The temperature range is anywhere from 33-482 ℉, while the timer allows time to be set from 0 to 999 seconds. These ranges allow for various customization of the different products being printed. The heating plate measures 15 by 15 inches while the power required is 1200 W. The seller has not listed the voltage for this model, which weighs 49 lbs.
More features: silicone gel baseboard; adjustable pressure; replaceable fuse; Teflon coated heating plate.
This power press creation is designed with safety measures that ensure you are protected, and so is your workspace. The replaceable fuse incorporated in the design to protect the machine from overheating and any other electrical faults that may arise while it is in use. It has an LCD control board that allows for full digital optimization of the temperature and time functions. The temperature range allowed by this model is between 32-455 ℉ while the timer can be set for anywhere from 0-999 seconds.
The printing area is 15 by 15 inches, and the base is made of silicone gel. The heating plate is harmless to clothes since it is covered with Teflon. This coating is easy to clean and enhances the attractiveness of this piece. The power needed to run this machinery is 1400 W while the voltage ought to be at one hundred and ten. The pressure can be adjusted accordingly to give the desired results. This t-shirt printing machine weighs 48 lbs. and it does not take up much space in the home or office space.
More features: has a timer; LED controller; Teflon coated platen press element; detachable lower platform
When using this product, safety is guaranteed since it features the swing-away design, which allows the arm to rotate three hundred and sixty degrees. This provision makes it easier for you to get the heating element out of your way without causing any accidents or damage. The ample size printing space, which has dimensions of 15 by 15, makes it possible for you to work on an array of pieces seamlessly. The optimal temperature range is between 32-430 ℉. The LED controller lets you set the temperature you want to work with painlessly.
The timer allows you to preset the amount you want the machine to run while printing. This machine can be used in a variety of applications — t-Shirts, caps, mugs, coasters, and fabrics, among many other items. The tool allows for colorful designs on all the things that it can print. This model comes with five attachments that allow you to perform the various functions that this t-shirt printing machine is designed to deliver. The lower platform is detachable, which makes it possible for easy cleaning.
What stands out?
Digital dual control
Wide range of applications
Ease of use
Allows colorful designs
What cons did we manage to find?
Electrical hazards reported
Things to Consider
T-shirt printing machines are crucial at one point in life, especially if you live in a community that utilizes branded merchandise from time to time. You can choose to outsource printing services, but this will be costly in the long run in case you need printed t-shirts or any other items regularly.
Buying a printing machine will help you save on resources while getting the best graphics t-shirts ever. Getting the device may even prompt you to start a small-scale business. Read our buying guide to understand the dynamics involved in the acquisition of a t-shirt printing machine and some of the features that you must take into consideration.
Why do you need a t-shirt printing machine?
Many reasons will prompt you to buy a t-shirt printing machine, but the most obvious is it allows you to print your t-shirts in the comfort of your home. There are many other reasons why you might need such a machine. We dive deep into these reasons and some of the benefits that you get when you acquire any of the models in the market.
Expeditious printing – when you own a t-shirt printing machine, you can produce the pieces that you need as soon as you start working. You are able to plan your time and deliver the expected results as all the factors necessary for a speedy control are in your hands.
Superior quality – printing your t-shirts and other items gives you the chance to pick the best variety of the needed raw materials. Whether for personal use or professional services, you can make the decision on the superiority of the merchandise printed, and this way you can achieve the desired results.
Readily available – when you own a t-shirt printing machine, you can choose to print whatever you want at any time. It grants you flexibility and the freedom to decide when to get the printing done. Additionally, you can handle projects within a short time of getting notified about them since you have the necessary tools to execute.
Features to consider before you buy a t-shirt printing machine
Many elements come together to make the best t-shirt printing machines in the market. Knowing these features and their importance in the machine is paramount if you want to get the most out of your acquisition. There are some vital elements that you must pay attention to when you are looking to but a t-shirt printing machine.
Heating plate size
The heating plate size is the printing area, and this determines the amount of coverage that you can work with. Some models are made to handle smaller t-shirts and other items, while others are ideal for large area printing. Assess your needs and the size of t-shirts you are likely to be printing before acquiring a t-shirt printing machine.
Getting a machine with a broader surface area gives you the autonomy to work with different sizes with no restriction on the areas you can work on.
In this review, most of the machines we picked have large printing surfaces. The Fancierstudio Power Heat Press, which measures 15 by 15 inches, is an example of a considerable-sized t-shirt printing machine.
T-shirt printing machines rely on electric power for their normal functioning. It is crucial to know how much energy a printer consumes to estimate the cost of the venture. Additionally, knowing how much power it needs gives you a chance to assess the power supply in your residence or place of work to determine if it is enough to run the machinery’s day to day operation. Some machinery runs on high power, as is the case with the Fancierstudio Power Heat Press, which operates with a power of 1800 W. The bigger the machine, the higher the amount of power required. Not all models require high wattage; some brands such as the Cricut Easy Press Mini requires low power since it only needs 150 W for smooth operations.
Most, if not all, electrical machines work with 110 or 120 volts, and this is the case with most home printers for home and small-scale commercial use.
During printing, some models require high voltage, while others require minimal volts to function optimally.
Current consumption and limitations are controlled by several factors that you must be aware of when making your order. The density of what you intend to print affects the amount of current required to flow through the printer. This, in turn, has a significant influence on the results. Denser fabrics may cause the printer to shut down if the voltage flowing through is not suitable for the task at hand. The current speed is also proportional to the print pace. Picking a low voltage machine, therefore, mean that you will have to wait longer to get the work done. You should pick a printer that accommodates high voltage if the work to be carried out is bulky. In our review, most of the models operate with a one hundred and ten energy except the Cricut EasyPress 2 and Cricut Easy Press Mini.
Transferring graphics designs onto the t-shirts require a certain amount of heat for it to work. To achieve the expected results, the temperature must be set correctly. You must know how to identify the temperature range for the material being heat pressed. This information is vital to ensure that the fabric is not damaged during the printing process due to excessive heat. Using low heat also has adverse effects on the material and printing process; hence the temperature must be right. Review the manufacturer’s heat settings as well to ensure that the range you pick is suitable. Some machines show the temperature in Celsius, others in Fahrenheit, while others provide both readings, and VIVOHOME 8 in 1 Heat Press is the perfect example of this.
The time range allowed by a given model is a crucial element to know before buying any t-shirt printing machine.
Some materials require little time for the transfer to finish while others need more time.
The editor’s pick for this article, for instance, avails a time range of fewer than sixty minutes. If you wish to print for longer, the Cricut EasyPress 2 may not be the best pick for you. Most of the other machines allow a maximum of up to 999 seconds, which is a comprehensive and flexible range to work with.
The weight of the machine is a must know as it dictates whether it is portable or not. Once you are sure about the purpose of acquiring a t-shirt printing machine, you will know which weight is best suited for your needs. The lightweight tool we talk about here is the Cricut Easy Press Mini, which has a mass of 1.5 lbs. This feature makes this model portable, and it can be used anywhere.
Yes, it is safe. T-shirt printing machines are designed with technology and materials that allow them to perform their duties while keeping the user safe. For models that require assembly such as the VIVOHOME 8 in 1 Heat Press, ensure that you adhere to the instructions availed in the manufacturer’s manual to prevent the occurrence of an accident within your home. For those that have already been assembled, make sure that the power supply is constant and robust and that the work environment is free of any substances that could cause harm to you or your property.
Yes, there are portable t-shirt printing machines in the market. T-shirt printing machines come in different sizes and shapes. Most of the models that we have reviewed above are portable, and you can use them from home or work station effortlessly. The Cricut Easy Press Mini is a perfect example of some of the best portable t-shirt printing machines that you will get in stores. It weighs 1.5 lbs. making it easy to carry around, and it also requires minimal power to function. Most machines that do not have multiple elements and broad printing surfaces can be moved from one point to the next.
It is possible to print something else with a t-shirt printing machine when you get one that has this provision. For instance, the SUNCOOHeat Transfer Machine allows one to print on mugs, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic tiles, and caps, among other things. If you are looking for a machine that does more than print a t-shirt, then you should opt for one that has multiple elements that can print on different things.
The main features we reviewed to select the ten t-shirt printing machines include the size of the heating plate, weight, power, voltage, temperature, and time ranges, among others. The editor’s choice in this assessment is the lightweight Cricut EasyPress 2, which is versatile and avails a lot of options for the user. It is easy to use, made of durable materials, and allows you to achieve pro-results in sixty seconds or less. The VIVOHOME 8 in 1 Heat Press model came in second due to its unique features and diverse options that it offers you regarding what you can print. The heating plate is made of die-cast aluminum and coated with nonstick Teflon allowing for even heat distribution giving the best results. To sum up the top three of the best t-shirt printing machines in our evaluation, the F2C Pro 5 in 1 Combo Heat Press Machine captured our attention due to its versatility.