Cheap Heat Press Machines vs Commercial Heat Presses

If you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur working to create your own custom products business, then at some point you will want to invest in new gear and equipment.

I’m sure you’ve done all your research and know what you’re in for — you’ve probably worked out what equipment and supplies you’ll need and where you’ll get them from.

But, for someone just starting out, it’s a jungle out there. It’s hard to tell what is what and where to order from. 

So, how about we start with a few baby steps?

In our opinion, the heat press is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the custom products business and deserves to be discussed as much as any other machine.

If you’ve never heard of the machine, don’t worry. We’re going to tell you all about them. 

So, stick around to the end, as I explain to you why you need one, how they work and what they’re used for.

Once that’s done, then we can talk about the differences between commercial and entry-level heat presses and what’s best for your business.

Let’s dive right in.

Why You Need a Heat Press for Your Custom Apparel Business

I’m sure you have some questions, like, why you need a heat press in the first place?

And that’s a question worth asking.

Whether you run your own business and you’re looking to upgrade or you’re just starting out and figuring out what’s what, the information in this article can be very beneficial. 

To understand why you need a heat press you need to know that heat is what helps you produce custom products.

In other words, as the name implies, heat presses use high temperature and pressure to transfer ink or toner from the transfer paper to your blank.

This is the main reason why anyone would use the heat press.

Heat presses are used for processes like sublimation, white toner transfer, direct-to-garment, direct-to-film, and many other printing methods.

Now that you know this, let’s talk about how it actually works.

How Does a Heat Press Work?

Without going into scientific details, the mechanism for how a heat press works is very simple.

It uses three laws of physics; time, temperature and pressure.

This combination of forces work together to transfer your graphic onto the desired product.

It’s important to say this now, each heat press is different about how it’s engineered.

With that said, the first thing you should do when this piece of equipment arrives at your doorstep is to read the manual.

Get to grips with its workings before you begin tinkering with it.

You may ask, what’s the big deal? Well, it runs hot at the upper platen and can cause burns and injuries if you’re not careful.

How much of the heat is generated depends on what you set it to.

Normally, you will see a “control panel” at the upper platen with a digital display and a few buttons.

These kind of heat presses are designed for users to give users an accurate time, temperature, and pressure read out. But just note, not all heat presses have a digital display panel. 

So when you set up your settings, you simply press down the platen on your well-positioned fabric and let the heat press do its job.

Pretty simple, right? Just wait until you hear all the things you can make with one!

improper heat press settings

What Can You Make With a Heat Press Machine?

Oh, good — you’re still here! It means you want us to tell you what a heat press machine is capable of creating?

Well… a more interesting question is what can’t it customize?

What’s beautiful about these machines is that they’re great all-rounders.

You can make just about anything you want depending on what customization process you use. 

Heat presses can be used on all types of products.

We’re talking about the whole spectrum of blanks here…t-shirts, shorts, jackets, bags, and much, much more!

It’s also worth mentioning that a heat press can be used for sublimation, screen-printing, patches, and surprise, surprise — rhinestones. So, you’re all set!

This brings our conversation to the differences between heat presses.

Heat press can be used for sublimation, screen-printing, patches, and rhinestones.

Heat Press Features To Consider

It goes without saying that a heat press is a sophisticated piece of technology. It’s jam packed with exceptional hardware and all all sorts of great features.

But all this comes with a cost. You see, top of the line equipment can be pricey.

However, when you put it side-by-side with a cheap heat press, you can see exactly where your money goes.

Not everyone needs the latest-and-greatest equipment, especially one who is starting out.

So, be sure to consider these certain features like durability, production capacity, serviceability, and output quality before purchasing one.

Let’s talk about each of these features next.

Durability & Production Capacity

Business must work like a Swiss clock. It has to run all day, every day, seven days a week. If it stops, you’re out of business.

So, if you plan on going into the custom apparel business, build it on a solid foundation of equipment.

Equipment has to be reliable.

Think about it… you’ll be rolling out products the whole day, from morning until evening.

You can’t afford to work with equipment that can fail under load.

This is where top-of-the-line heat presses get to shine, like the Hotronix Fusion IQ or GeoKnight, to name a few.

That is, they’re the embodiment of the words durability, safety, and consistency.

But this is just one piece of the puzzle. Next is the element of serviceability and finding parts in an event it breaks down.


So, whom will you call when your heat press breaks down? 

You can try to fix it yourself but if it’s a more serious matter, then you may need some additional help.

Ideally, this could be an expert who can come out to fix up and repair the problem you now have in your hands.

Talk about headaches!

Fortunately, when you buy a heat press directly from us, you’re getting peace of mind. It carries a fully guaranteed warranty, tech support, and training — basically everything you could want in a heat press purchase.

As important as support and training is in this process, so is the output quality. So, let’s go over that. 

When you buy a heat press directly from us, you’re getting peace of mind..

Output Quality

Next, you have to look carefully at output quality.

Ideally, finished product would be flawless, without any imperfections; ghosting, burns, misprints, etc.

It’s in your best interest to deliver products that makes customers come back for more.

That’s why it’s important to do research on the heat press you’re thinking about purchasing. Check reviews, any videos online, tutorials, all of that.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about why speed is also an important factor to consider in the purchase process.

The quicker you can make something, the faster you can put it up for sale.

So, you want a heat press that reaches high temperatures quickly but also can cool down just as quickly.

But, be careful. You don’t want to sacrifice the quality and consistency in your custom goods just for speed.

The resulting product must be flawless, without any imperfections; ghosting, burns, or misprints.

Considering everything you’ve learned in this article, you have the information you need to finally make that heat press purchase. 

Luckily, we have tons of heat press options to fit all business needs. 

Plus, we have professionals who have the experience and knowledge to help guide you through the purchase process. Just call 800-891-1094 or live chat with one of our pros to get started!