How do I choose a Heat Press Machine? Beginners Guide

If you are deciding to start your own business or are new to heat press printing then you have to choose the best heat press machine. Finding a heat press machine is like discovering something new. Of course, we have to consider many factors like its durability, efficiency, budget, and portability while buying the right heat press machine.

Whether your business is home or commercial based, you are always looking forward to the right choice for you and we are going to guide you on how to choose a heat press machine.

We will discuss all the factors and functions of the latest heat press machine and all challenges which will cover all aspects of your demand.

Heat Press Machines and their comparative analysis

Clamshell Heat Press

As its name shows, it resembles the jaws or clamshell that consists of two plates, the upper heated plate, and the bottom plate. It is most commonly found in our markets.


  • It takes less space for storage
  • Best choice for T-shirt printers.
  • Good for beginners and easy steps to start the application
  • Portable machine


  • Unsuitable for bulky items
  • Carelessness can cause burning
  • When the upper plate is exposed to air, the heat is released.
  • Difficult to maintain the temperature

Check out: How To Sublimate A T-shirt Using A Heat Press
Best Dye-Sublimation Printer for T-shirts Printing Business

Draw Heat Press

Unlike some other types of heat presses, this one draws the lower plate towards you while holding the upper plate still.


  • After switching off, heat is preserved on the platen
  • Safe to use due to its heat-free surface
  • Get a full overview of the garment
  • Need little space and works like a drawer.


  • Difficult to print out heavy items like sweatshirts and hoodies
  • As you move the layout surface like a draw, the design may get out of place.
  • It is time-consuming hence the work becomes lengthy.

Swing Away Heat Press

This heat press swings the upper plate toward the left or right away from the bottom plate. The upper plate rotates about  360 degrees which completely moved away.


  • Huge space for free ventilation.
  • Less exposed to air which causes less dissipation of heat.
  • Give a complete view of the garment layout


  • More space is required for better working
  • Time-consuming machine 

Automatic Air operated Heat press

This type of heat press system is automatic, the upper plate moves automatically away from the lower plate by pressing two buttons.


  • Considered to be the most durable of all machines.
  • Bars of the machine open and close automatically
  • Precise application
  • Energy efficient due to the less loss of energy during exposure.


  • The Swing process takes more time and space.
  • Automatic functionality requires a processor.
  • Expensive than other Heat press machines.

Which Heat press is the right choice?

The accurate Heat press depends on your item, substrate, and garments. Here are a few suggestions to select the best for you.

For Sublimation printing

Those who want sublimation printing (the digital printing in which the product is coated with polymer or polyester) must go for the Manual Draw heat process or Swing away heat process.

Sublimation Printing is basically for the printing on thicker items like plaques, coffee mugs, etc.

Hence, the Manual draw heat process is going to be the best option for them.

Check Out: Best Sublimation Printer in 2023-Cheap for Mugs, Tshirts, HeatTransfer

For DTG Printing

For the users of DTG ( Direct to Garment) Printing, Automatic Air operated heat press will be highly recommended. In this process, a longer period is required so you don’t have to stand by the machine. This machine will swing and then print out the garment automatically.

T-shirt Printing

If you want to print out your T-shirts, go for the Clamshell Heat press. Clamshell heat press prints out your garments fast as compared to other heat presses. It is considered to be the most portable printing machine.

Check out: Best Sublimation Printer For Heat Transfer & Heat Press

For Sports and jersey printing

If one wants to print the titles, letters and names, etc on the sports shirt or Jersey then Manual Draw and swing away heat press would highly be recommended. Because for this type of printing, the words, and letters should be visible which can only be done by Manual Draw and Swing away heat press. 

For every type of printing

If you want to use a Heat press for a little bit of everything, then the Swing Away Heat Press should be suitable for you.

How to use heat press machine

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Which type of heat press machine should you buy?

While you are a little bit aware of heat press machines and which machine is suitable for your business. But still, there are many options like temperature, quality, coverage, and support system which should be considered when buying an accurate or demanding heat press machine.


You should not compromise on the quality. Better quality machines perform better and are more expensive than other local parts of machinery. 

You should go for steel material because it is durable.

Accurate time

For a proper heat transfer application, time should be accurate. There should be no alteration in time otherwise it may affect the printing quality.

An automatic reset factor is present in the machine which eases your job and you don’t have to reset the time first for printing a new one.


Temperature is the main factor in the process of printing. Excessive high or low temperatures may destroy your printing. The maximum temperature should be 400 Degrees, so you should be careful about measuring the temperature. 


Pressure and temperature are the crucial factors for applying heat to the product. It is important to notice to have the correct pressure, low, medium, or high depending upon the material or substrate used. But still, pressure should be evenly distributed to the entire print area.

These are the key points that should be noticed while buying the right Heat Press for you.


Many business persons have made huge profits by customization of products irrespective if it is sublimation, screen, or DTG printing, Heat press was found to be good in the curing process.

You should not compromise the quality over the price. So you must follow all the above methods while

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