The Best Heat Press Machine for Summer 2018
Summer is coming up, and that means one thing: T-shirt season is back, and for business that pick the right heat press machine, this can be the most profitable time of year. Don’t worry The Best Heat Press Machine rankings are here! But of course, everyone’s goals and needs are different. Which model makes the most sense for producing large volumes of high-quality T-shirts? What if you’re just doing this as a hobby, and want to earn a little extra cash? Relax— we’ve got you covered. We put together this guide to help you pick the best heat press machine for the summer 2018 season.
Why the Summer Season is So Important
Let’s add up the reasons why summer is such a great time to put that heat press machine to work:
Warm Weather: People enjoy wearing custom T-shirts to make a statement all year long, but they are MUCH more likely to actually do it when it’s warm enough to wear one comfortably. This means that starting now (April 2018) through early September, you’ve got 4.5 months or so to cash in on a surge in demand for funny, witty and cool T-shirts! Let’s add up some more reasons why summer is such a great time to put that heat press machine to work:
Holidays: you’ve got Memorial Day Weekend, the Fourth of July, Bastille Day (any excuse to party, right?), and to cap it all off, you’ve got Labor Day Weekend. Plenty of money-making opportunities for T-shirt vendors who are ready to pounce on them.
Parades: On many of the days mentioned above, as well as on other occasions, parades will take place, and many of the organizations participating will need their own apparel for the event. Yet another opportunity for those who have a heat press machine ready.
Bar Crawls: These events are popular all year long, but spring and summer are the perfect season to throw to go bar hopping in special T-shirt design just for that event. When participants put on their shirts, they get to enjoy the feeling of being part of the “tribe” for the day, creating a fun and memorable shared experience. Sometimes all it takes to turn an average bar crawl into an excellent one is a unique, themed apparel. Your designs can be what makes those memories, and the organizers will remember your company when it’s time to do another one.
Special Events: This ties into reason #1: with the increasingly pleasant weather outside, more workplaces, local organizations, social clubs and Meetup groups will be hosting events, especially outdoors. This is a perfect opportunity to put that heat press machine to work and produce customized apparel for the occasion.
Amateur Sports Leagues: Organizations like United Social Sports allow people to start their own amateur sports teams. Anything from basketball, kickball, ultimate Frisbee, flag football and dogeball— they do it all, and with the weather finally warming up, more people are going to want to get back on the playing field. Each of those teams will need their own customized uniforms, and who are they going to turn to? T-shirt vendors like you who are ready to step up to the plate and give them what they need! Hell, even bocce, corn hole and beer pong leagues pick up steam again in the summer, so be ready to give them the T-shirts they need to let everyone know they rule the court!
With all this in mind, which is the best heat press machine for summer 2018?
If you are just doing this as a hobby, and you’re looking to make a little money on the side during T-shirt season, here are some good models to choose from:
Hotronix 11’’ X 15” Auto-Open Heat Press
This is a good choice for both beginners and experienced users who need a reliable, easy to use heat press machine. It features a classic clamshell design with a unique twist: its programmable settings allow the user to set the timer, and the press will automatically open when the heating process completes. This frees you from having to worry about remembering to manually open it, reducing the risk of burning the shirt or starting a fire. It also features an excellent lower platen design that can be quickly and effortlessly changed.
Fancier Studio 15” x 15” Power Heat Press Machine
The Power Heat Press from Fancier Studio might be the best heat press machine for those on a tight budget. What you see is what you get: a manually-operated, budget clamshell heat press machine for cranking out T-shirts. It offers electric time and heat control, and maximum temperature of 699ºF. If you have literally never used a heat press machine before, this is one of the easiest ones to use. While it is not the best one you buy (it is not nearly as durable or high quality as a Hotronix model, for example), it does offer you the minimum you need to get started.
Promo 15” x 15” Heat Press
This is another popular design from Promo. It features an LCD digital interface and pressure adjustment knob that makes a good choice for working with thicker garments like hoodies or sweatshirts.
A common problem with cheaper clamshell designs is uneven pressure distribution. Luckily, the adjustable multi-spring balancer solves this problem and evenly distributes pressure across the whole garment. Another thing that makes this model stand out is that it offers a higher maximum temperature than most designs (750ºF), which makes it good for working with thicker materials that require higher temperatures.
Stahl’s Hotronix 16” x 20” Heat Press
Now we’re kicking things up a notch…this model offers a larger 16” x 20” press which offers you more room to work with and lets you handle a wider range of projects. Its superior design includes a dual timer digital interface, and over-the-top pressure adjustment ensures even pressure across the entire plate. The magnetic auto-open design will prevent over-application and burning.
When it comes to durability and reliability, the simple fact is that Hotronix has been the industry leader for decades and remains so today. Yes, they are more expensive, but as with everything else in life, you get what you pay for. A cheaper model can break down in a few years. A Hotronix heat press machine will last for decades— plus they carry a lifetime warranty on the heating element (plus a 5-year warranty on the framework). All in all, this might be the best heat press machine for those with basic press needs, but still want to ensure they are getting a lot of quality for their money. If you take custom garment production seriously, it is worth the investment.
What is the best heat press machine if you are serious about making some REAL money? The answer depends on your commitment to quality and the volume of apparel you need to produce.
Here are some of the best heat press machines in the industry:
Hix Heat Press SwingMan 50E 16” x 20”
This is a popular design with professionals who use a heat press for their business. This model features a swing-away design and full-range pressure control. It is capable of handling not only large quantities of T-shirts, but thicker items as well— up to 1 and a half inches thick!
Hix products are made in the USA, as such, they tend to carry a higher price tag than imported designs. But they also carry a well-deserved reputation for quality, and remain one of the best heat press machines on the market. Consider this model if you are looking for a durable design suited to regular use.
Check Prices and Availability on Amazon (LINK)
Hotronix Fusion Press
This is arguably the best heat press machine money can buy. The “fusion” name comes from how the engineers at Stahl’s ingeniously combined swing-away and drawer-style features into a single design. Depending on how much space you have available, you can swing the top component off to the side, or just switch to drawer-pull mode if you have more space behind you. Totally up to you!
The “threadability” feature allows you to fit garments around the lower platen, preventing buttons, seams or zippers from interfering with the equal distribution of pressure. Its programmable interface allows you to place the machine in “sleep mode” which will lower your electric bill, and you can even program it to wake back up at specific times so you or your staff can resume work.
All in all, the Hotronix Fusion is one of the highest quality and most versatile heat press machines ever designed. If you are serious about making money with T-shirts this summer, you just can’t go wrong with this one.
Check Prices and Availability on Amazon (LINK)
Hotronix Air Fusion
This is a twist on the Fusion model described above. Instead of a normal tabletop design like most heat presses, the Air Fusion is mounted on legs and operated by a foot pedal. It also does not feature the pull-out drawer.
The Air Fusion combines many of the benefits the Fusion and eliminates the need for a table. Depending on your space requirements and availability of a higher surface to place a heat press on, this might be an excellent alternative.
Hotronix Air Fusion Dual Heat Press 16” x 20”
This is the best heat press machine for larger businesses that need to churn out great volumes of high-quality shirts. This amazing, heavy-duty design is practically two heat presses in one! While one shirt is being pressed, you or an assistant can thread the next shirt onto to the other platen. When the first shirt is done, just slide it over and start pressing the next one!
What’s especially cool is you can program it to press and move automatically! All you need to do is keep replacing the shirts.
If you serious about growing your business, we strongly encourage you to consider the Air Fusion Dual.
There you have it folks! All the tools you need to crush it this summer and make a ton of money producing and selling T-shirts. The money is out there waiting for those who are ready for it. Pick the best heat press machine that matches your goals and get after it!