Best Heat Press Machine for Beginners - 2020 Reviews
Cover Image: The Best Heat Press Machine for Beginners

You’ve probably seen the rise of heat press crafting projects using vinyl fonts and designs all over the web. But what is a heat press and how does it work? It’s a machine that is a device used to transfer designs onto a particular object. It’s commonly used to transfer vinyl images onto garments, especially T-shirts, tote bags, caps, and the like. But what are the pros and cons of operating a heat press machine, and is it something that even a beginner can use?

Quick Comparisons of 5 Best Heat Press Machine for Beginners

IMAGE BRAND FEATURES
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Cricut Easy Press 2
  • Dimensions: 16.9 x 15.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Type: handheld press
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PowerPress
  • Dimensions: 28 x 17 x 16.5 inches
  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Type: clamshell
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F2C
  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 19.3 x 20.2 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Type: swing-away
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Fancierstudio
  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 50.3 pounds
  • Type: clamshell
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Cricut Easy Press Mini
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.1 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds
  • Type: handheld press
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Pros of Using Heat Printing

Heat pressing machines are relatively simple to use. Even if there are multiple types available to choose from, they all use similar heat transfer mechanisms, so it’s quite simple for just anyone to master the techniques of operating such a machine in no time. The advantages of using these things and turning to heat printing in the detriment of other garment-printing techniques include:

Man Printing Image On a white T-Shirt using a heat press machine

  • They are really good for small batches of orders, especially if you’re looking to start a small printing business or want a machine designed for home use. It’s quite a cost-effective method of printing a limited number of certain products.
  • You can use software to create your own designs, opening up a world of possibilities in terms of how your end results will look like. Alternatively, you can also use ready-made images from the internet, provided that you’re not breaking any copyright claims by using images owned by other people on sold goods. You can even go a step further and use other materials like gems with heat press rhinestone designs.
  • You can use heating press machines on a variety of different objects, such as caps, shirts, bags, stuffed toys, puzzles, plates, etc.
  • You have a wide variety of transfer papers to choose from, so do your research and pick the very best one for each project if you want to end up with high-quality prints.
  • In general, heating press machines render very professional results, and this is really important if you want to start your own T-shirt printing business. This kind of printing will not sacrifice quality.
  • Compared to other methods of transferring prints onto items, heating press printing is less messy (especially if we compare it to silkscreen printing).

Cons of Using Heat Printing

Since no product is ever perfect, neither are heat press machines. Here are some of the cons you can expect:

  • One of the potential throwbacks of using such a machine can be understood once we explain how the process works. When you create a design to transfer onto an object, the process involves cutting the image on heat transfer paper, which is very similar to a sticker. Imagine having an A4 blue paper and a machine that cuts the shape of a cloud onto that paper. In order for you to transfer the cloud on the item you want to personalize, you will have to remove the shape from its outline. You’ll basically be removing every bit of blue that’s not the cloud itself before printing. This may be a tedious process if you want to print multiple objects at once.
  • If you have to print a very large number of items, it’s not a very cost-effective way to do so. It can also take quite a lot of time to finish bulk orders using a heat press machine. Also, the ceramic discs can get dirty fast, so it’s important to know how to clean your heat transfer machine.

Top 5 Heat Press Machines for Beginners Reviews

Now that you know what to expect from a heat pressing machine, let’s look at some of the best items for people who have never used this kind of equipment before.

Cricut Easy Press 2

Cricut Easy Press 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry
  • Dimensions: 16.9 x 15.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Type: handheld press
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The Cricut Easy Press will always be a portable heat press machine that we praise and mention time and time again. It has an ingenious design that makes it not just lightweight, but also incredibly simple to use. First of all, the product is available in three dimensions: 6 x 7 inches, 9 x 9 inches, and 12 x 10 inches.

The machine uses pretty much the same mechanisms as a traditional model, in a sense that it allows the user to set the temperature and timer via a small digital display. The 12 x 10-inch version of the machine takes about three minutes to heat up and requires less than 60 seconds to deliver results.

Who Should Buy This?

This is an awesome machine for those who have no clue how such equipment works. It’s for those looking for a portable heat-press, especially for those who want to make their own T-shirts at home.

Pros:

  •   Easy to use.
  •   Lightweight and portable.
  •   Good for beginners.
  •   Three available sizes.
  •   Digital timer and temperature.

Cons:

  •   You need to manually apply pressure.

PowerPress

PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine for T Shirt, 15x15 Inch, Black
  • Dimensions: 28 x 17 x 16.5 inches
  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Type: clamshell
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Here is another good heat press for those of you who have never operated such equipment before. This is a clamshell press that comes with all the features that a beginner might need from such a product.

Measuring 15 x 15 inches, this is relatively bigger compared to the Easy Press 2. It comes with an LCD that will show you the adjusted temperature and timer of the unit. The heating plate is Teflon-coated, which means that it offers a non-stick surface to avoid ruining any products.

The machine has a pressure knob that can be adjusted so that you’ll never have to use brute force when creating your own T-shirts (unlike the Easy Press 2, which requires some brute force on your behalf).

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for a good heat press machine that will allow you to make custom gifts and all sorts of home crafts, the Powerpress might be the product you’re looking for.

Pros:

  •   Good for home projects.
  •   Easy to use.
  •   Pressure adjustable.
  •   Teflon-coated plate.

Cons:

  •   Complaints about heat not being consistent.

F2C

F2C Pro 5 in 1 Swing-Away Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press Machine Hat/Mug/Plate/Cap/T-Shirt Multifunction New Black (5 in 1 Swing Away)
  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 19.3 x 20.2 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Type: swing-away
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OK, say you wanted to make something more than just T-shirts, like maybe caps or mugs. The F2C heating press is here to serve multiple printing purposes, as it comes with several heated press attachments for each of the products you want to make.

When you purchase this machine, you will receive a Teflon-coated heat press for making T-shirts and other flat garments, a press that’s suitable for hats and caps, one that serves for making mugs and other objects with similar shapes, and two additional plate presses.

Since this is a swing-away press, it means that the top side of it (which is the heated plate) can be lifted and rotated out of the way, making this heat machine safer compared to other types, which is also a plus for beginners. The plate measures 15 x 15 inches and comes with a digital LED controller and display.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re interested in a safer heating press, one that can make mugs and caps and other objects, you should take a look into what the F2C has to offer.

Pros:

  •   Safe to use.
  •   Multipurpose.
  •   Digital LED controller.
  •   Teflon-coated surface.

Cons:

  •   Faulty timer.

Fancierstudio

Fancierstudio Power Heat Press Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press 15x15 Blue White
  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 50.3 pounds
  • Type: clamshell
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Fancierstudio is no stranger to making decent heating presses, so we threw one of their products in today’s list to show you what you can achieve by purchasing it. This is a 15 x 15-inch heat press that’s really good for making T-shirts or transferring images on other fabrics. So, if you wanted to make tote bags for your small Etsy shop, this would be a product to look into.

As a clamshell-type of hat press, this machine is really easy to operate, and it’s also one of the most durable products within its price range. Like most products of its kind, it comes with a pressure adjustment knob that sets up the machine so you won’t have to use manual force to get good results.

The electronic display will grant you full control over the timer and the temperature. It includes a Teflon sheet and a silicon-gel base board, which is pretty much all you’ll ever need unless you own a business that prints hundreds of T-shirts every day.

Who Should Buy This?

Beginners that are mainly interested in a heating press for making T-shirts for personal use or for small craft shops and businesses will love what this Fancierstudio press has to offer.

Pros:

  •   Good for home use.
  •   Good for small businesses.
  •   Pressure adjustment knob.
  •   Teflon sheet included.
  •   Electronic heat and time control.

Cons:

  •   Lightweight and would require a table-bolting mechanism.

Cricut Easy Press Mini

Cricut Easy Press Mini - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and Small HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.1 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds
  • Type: handheld press
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Are you on a budget, but you still crave your own starter heat pressing machine for making small projects at home? Then the Cricut Easy Press Mini is here to deliver as the best affordable heat press. It is your smallest and most compact option when it comes to a heat press machine, and even if it has some minor flaws, it is a very popular product amongst people who want to make their own T-shirts.

But how much is a heat press, anyway? Their prices depend on size, brand, and features, but you can start with this model for a low cost. No bigger and no heavier than a clothing iron, this tiny heat press comes with a handle that allows you to maneuver the device in order to transfer small designs onto garments. It comes with three heat settings that allow you to work with infusible ink projects and achieve beautiful results.

Before and after use, this little fellow can be placed in its own safety based, which is insulated so that no heat will be transferred to the surface on which it’s placed. It has an auto-shutdown feature that’s here to prevent potential overheating.

Who Should Buy This?

The Cricut Easy Press Mini is cheap and great for multiple types of users: it’s a great inexpensive choice for people looking for a small and lightweight heating press they can take with them at any time.

It’s also a great buy for those who are on a tight budget and want the cheapest option but would still love to own a heat press. It’s also worth considering if you mostly want to make small crafting projects and want a product of matching size. But if you want more options, click here to check them out!

Pros:

  •   Good for small projects.
  •   Lightweight and portable.
  •   Budget-friendly.
  •   Auto-shutdown feature.
  •   Safety base.
  •   Three heat settings.

Cons:

  •   Only good for really small projects.

Bottom Line

Man Printing On a white T Shirt In Workshop using heat press machine

The market isn’t short on good heat presses for beginners. As someone who has never used such a machine before, it’s safe to assume that you don’t want to spend too much money on such a product until you first get a chance to use it and learn your way around it.

In fact, if you own a really small business, like maybe an Etsy shop, or would most like a press for making your own craft projects and products for gifting, chances are you’ll never need to upgrade to an industrial-quality heat press. The rest is just looking through the specs and choosing a product that’s suitable for your needs.

And if you’re really new to this whole HTV world and are wondering how to use a heat press, you can always check out Mostcraft for helpful tips and tutorials!