Irrespective of whether you are a weekend crafter on a creative overdrive or a perfectly salaried person bitten by the entrepreneur bug, you’d need the right equipment to get started with your custom T-Shirt shop.
That’s the place where most T-Shirters get it wrong.
They buy a heat press machine one size too small or one size too big, they thought they’d mostly deal with hipsters looking for a cool tee, but now are getting custom requests for hoodies and hats too, they were confident that they understood heat transfer vinyl until they started dealing with different types of fabric.
There’s so many things that can go wrong if you skim through the research.
For most beginners, a starter T-Shirt press machine that will last you until expansion looms on the horizon, is the best bet. But with a hundred different options to choose from, to call the selection process daunting, would be an understatement.
The Gecko GK100 is more than a starter press, is easy on your pocket and performs way better than customer expectations.
Out of the box, the Gecko GK100 has a design as simplistic as any manual clamshell press ought to. There’s the 15 x 15” heat platen (not Teflon coated), a single gauge to control the temperature and the time range, the manual lift handle and the adjustable pressure knob at the rear side.
The packaging is excellent and you can set it up for use in as less as 15 minutes of your time, if you are familiar with heat press machines. If this is the first time, then read the detailed instruction manual.
Weighing a mere 64 lbs, the Gecko GK100 is surprisingly light weight for a heat transfer machine. This means that you can lug it around for local trade shows and events without begging your friend to assist you or breaking your back doing it.
The temperature can be adjusted up to 435 Degree F, which more than suffices for most types of garments when you are starting up. The timer is adjustable between 0 and 999 seconds.
With uniformly wound heating coils throughout the surface of the platen, there is no disparity in temperature across the surface, which is crucial to maintain print quality.
Working with the GK100
The bare bones design of the Gecko GK100 allows even beginners to get started with their heat pressing in limited time.
When you lift up the manual handle the first time, you may need some extra support to yank it open. But once you adjust the pressure to the desired level, it becomes a cakewalk.
All you need to do is power up the machine, set the desired temperature and time, and you are all set to go. The Gecko GK100 alerts you when the printing is done and also when it is heated up to the preset temperature level.
Pretty basic, but very effective.
What we liked
For a starter press, there are some bare minimum requirements that people desire, without having to spend a bomb. The Gecko GK100 ticks off most of them.
- Metal frame construction that gives a solid feel to it
- Non-Stick coated heat platen
- Easy set up and usage
- Compatible with a wide range of transfer materials including standard, plastisol, sublimation, inkjet, laser or color copier
- Cost Effective
What it cannot do for you
Every heat transfer machine has its limitations. But for the price and the features, the Gecko has very few. Here’s what we could garner so far.
- You have to be careful while using the machine because the heat platen on the top can cause a nasty burn
- It cannot be used with hats, XXL t-shirts, hoodies or ceramic tiles. If you wish to go that way, then you are better off with a higher priced model from Gecko.
What customers are saying
If the reviews are to go by, then customers are swearing by the performance of the Gecko GK100. There are people who are amazed by the flexibility that it offers and the precision in the heat transfer.
When it comes to durability, then some customers on Amazon mention, how they have used the machine for every single day in the past 4 years without having any problems with it whatsoever.
And to top it off, the customer support is top notch, with fast and efficient solutions to most problems.
Will this be the right machine for you?
The Gecko GK100 is an extremely versatile starter-press machine that will more than pay for itself by making you some cool t-shirts. Unless you have ideas to print on materials that demand heavy pressure, this should be perfect for your setup.
And hey, it’s a lot more economical than most of the ‘big brands’. Go for it by all means!
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