Heat Press Machines
The words "heat press" describe the operation and intent of these devices, so vital in the apparel decorating business, just perfectly. A heat press is basically a kind of commercial grade iron that applies heat and pressure to a garment. The reason you're applying heat as well as pressure can be to activate or seal garment printer inks into a t-shirt, melt the glue from hotfix rhinestones, sequins or spangles and press onto a garment, or apply any kind of vinyl transfer onto apparel.
Heat presses come in a variety of sizes, shapes and costs, but there are common factors you should evaluate before purchasing a press.
What should you look for in a heat press?
The answers are the same whether you're working with direct to garment printing, rhinestone transfers, spangle transfers, heat transfers or even embroidered patches. The list below includes optional features as well as the basics, but each are important enough to inform your purchase:
- ACCURACY OF TEMPERATURE - this must be measure across the entire surface. For consistent results you cannot have the center of your press be at 320F and the edges at 300F!
- ACCURACY OF PRESSURE – pressure can be key depending on your product, especially for rhinestones and spangles.
- DURABILITY - The heat press gets used in a very physical way throughout the day so the construction MUST stand up.
- WARRANTY AND WARRANTY SERVICE
ColDesi, a distributor of Geo Knight heat presses, offers the highest of quality presses, featuring a full range of operation styles, sizes and configurations. Overall, each heat press features state-of-the-art control systems, heavy-duty solid steel framework, and industry leading innovation. Geo Knight heat presses are known for their high quality, performance and durability and are made and serviced in the USA at a factory in Brockton, MA.
Heat Press Options
A heat press can range in price from $200 to the many thousands, so it’s important to match your business, budget and application with the right press. Below you’ll find the basic features that will lead you to the best options, and then the pricing is provided farther down on this page next to each press.
- PLATEN SIZE – the platen is the lower table part of the heat press that you lay your garment and transfer on. Platen sizes start as small as 12” and work their way up past the most popular size of 16”X20”.
- MANUAL VS. AUTOMATIC – each type of apparel decorating process has a different recommended temperature and timing. Leaving it on too long is just like leaving your home iron on a shirt for too long! Do you have to release the heat press at the right time or will it do that automatically?
- CLAM SHELL VS. SWING AWAY – a clam shell press opens UP with the top half of the press coming down like a clam’s shell. The swing away heat press has a top that raises straight up slightly, then swings out of the way horizontally to allow you to remove the current garment and add the next. The swing away exposes less of the hot surface, making it safer to operate, and provides the most even pressure possible since it comes straight down onto the platen below.
- AIR OPERATED – higher end heat presses are often pneumatic, with air pressure being used to lift up and move the top half of the heat press. More automation, less manual effort.
Of course, there are specialty heat presses that have some or all of these options as well, though most are manual presses. You’ll find information on Hat Presses below and our sales staff can provide more on mug presses, etc.