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Product

Description

Where to Buy?

Product

HTVRONT Auto Press for T-Shirts

Description

Best Overall – A Dream for Sublimation

Where to Buy?

Product

Cricut EasyPress 2

Description

The Beginner’s Choice

Where to Buy?

Product

Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press

Description

Best Versatile Option

Where to Buy?

Product

Fancierstudio Heat Press

Description

Best for Larger Needs

Where to Buy?

Product

EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press

Description

Best for Mugs and Tumblers

Where to Buy?

Best Sublimation Printers

Best Overall – A Dream for Sublimation

HTVRONT Auto Press for T-Shirts

The Beginner’s Choice

Cricut EasyPress 2

Best Versatile Option

Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press

Best for Larger Needs

Fancierstudio Heat Press

Best for Mugs and Tumblers

EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press

Are you on the quest for finding the best heat press for sublimation? Using the right heat press machine can be a game changer for your sublimation projects. In the quest for the best heat press for sublimation, the right choice can elevate your crafting game. And that is where I step in. My article ranks and reviews top machines focusing on precision, ease, and dependable performance to match your sublimation needs. Find your ideal heat press without the guesswork.

Quick Look at the Best Heat Presses for Sublimation

Whether you’re a beginner dipping your toes in the crafting world, a small business owner looking to diversify your creations, or a seasoned pro in need of a premium heat press machine, there’s a particular heat press for all.

So lets skip through the fluff and get right into it. In my opinion, the best heat press for sublimation is the HTVRONT Auto Heat Press for T-Shirts, which you can find here.. I began my summarizing my top picks in the table above. Now its time for a deeper dive into each of these picks!

Before we dive in, you might wonder – why should you trust my review over others? I run a comprehensive website with over 150 articles focused on sublimation printing. I carefully research each product and provide detailed reviews based on tests conducted to ensure you get quality products. Please do read the section towards the end on choosing the ideal sublimation heat press.

One important factor to keep in mind is that if you are in the quest for a heat press for only flatter items such as shirts and coasters, you will want to go for a traditional heat press (swing-away or clamshell press) or the Cricut EasyPress 3. If you want a heat press that can sublimate on other types of items, you can go with a traditional heat press with attachments (more details to follow). I begin with a detailed review of the Cricut EasyPress 3 and my top picks for traditional heat presses.

In-depth Review of Cricut EasyPress 3: Best for Beginners

A heat press machine next to a printer in a sublimation workroom

The first pick on my list of the best press for sublimation is the Cricut EasyPress 3, which you can find here.

I want to begin by highlighting that the EasyPress 3 is pretty much the same as its predecessor model, the EasyPress 2, except for the fact that it possesses Bluetooth capability. It links to the Cricut Heat app for communication with EasyPress 3. The original size is the 9 x 9 and can be used for sublimation, HTV and infusible ink. The 6 x 7 is useful if you have several smaller projects, while the 12 x 10 is more appropriate for those with larger needs.

I will now describe a sublimation test conducted using the Cricut EasyPress 3. This test includes use of the Cricut Heat app for sublimation on a polyester onesie. The onesie was pressed at 400 degrees for 50 seconds, a lint roller was used and polyester surface protected using butcher paper. The results turned out pretty great. You can learn more about the Cricut Heat app here.

Let us take a look at some of the benefits of this product. It is easy to use with an intuitive digital display and temperature controls. Safety features are included such as a built-in safety base and auto-shutoff after 10 minutes of inactivity. It has a lightweight design and varying size options make it portable and convenient for any space, and I have heard a very high number of success stories with the EasyPress.

In terms of drawbacks, the machine is not suitable for large projects due to the size limitation, and can only press flat items such as shirts and coasters similar to other heat press machines of the traditional type.

Now its time to consider how the Cricut EasyPress 3 stacks up against its competitors. In terms of sublimation results, a test result demonstrated equal results on shirts from an EasyPress and a heat press machine. The Cricut Heat app offered by the EasyPress is great for beginners as it walks beginners through the process, and helps reduce the risk of forgetting steps that could impact your project.

So all that being said, should you buy the Cricut EasyPress 3? If you are starting out with sublimation and are looking for ease of use and convenience, the Cricut EasyPress is a great choice. Furthermore, if your needs only involve flatter items, this model could be your go-to choice. However, if you have several ongoing sublimation projects, an EasyPress might not be sufficient and you might need to go for a heat press. Consider your needs before making a decision.

Quantitative analysis:

  • Price: 4.6/5
  • Safety: 4.8/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Performance: 4.8/5

Detailed Analysis of Swing Away Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine: Best Versatile Option

A heat press for sublimation next to wooden coaster blanks

The next item on my list to be reviewed is the Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine. You can view the item here.

This swing away heat press comes in multiple sizes, so make sure to select the size which fits your needs. This heat press is a very popular choice and comes with attachments that enhance the selection of items you can sublimate on.

I will begin by highlighting testing of the Slendor Heat Press. The machine was unboxed, it comes with a 360 degrees rotator and swing design that helps the user lay shirts on nicer and an easy to hold rubber handle. Its range is up to 482 degrees, when heated, it took less than 4 minutes to reach a temperature of 300 degrees, which is pretty fast. A pressure test conducted revealed the pressure is pretty even. You can learn more about heat press settings in my detailed guide.

The test was conducted using a transfer on a Bella Canvas poly cotton blend. The results turned out great, all the edges were down and you could see details pressed in, the lines indicate that it has enough pressure.

When highlighting benefits, it is important to mention versatility due to multiple attachments for various items., a high quality of pressure and heating and a high heat threshold.

However, drawbacks include a small number of reported performance issues like timer problems. and durability concerns due to problems like a cracked top and metal warping under heat.

Now let us compare the Slendor 5 in 1 against its competitors. When compared with to the EasyPress, this machine supports projects of larger sizes. Furthermore, its versatility is its biggest selling point, with multiple attachments for hats, garments, and the mug press attachment. This feature will allow you to diversify your crafting projects, making it a worthwhile investment for your home business or hobbies. However, this machine comes at a higher price point than the EasyPress. Furthermore, this is a swing away press – I have heard reports of uneven pressure with clamshell presses, therefore, you might avoid running the risk of uneven pressure with this swing away press. As demonstrated in the test, the pressure is pretty even.

If you are looking to sublimate on a variety of items such as hats and mugs, this model is a great choice. If you are a beginner looking to sublimate on flatter items, the Cricut EasyPress 2 might be a more affordable choice (depending on the size you select). All in all, despite a small number of reported defects, this machine boasts a high quality of performance at an affordable price.

Now its time for my quantitative rating based on key factors:

  • Price: 4.5/5
  • Ease of use: 4.5/5
  • Versatility: 5/5
  • Performance: 4.5/5

Comprehensive Review of Clamshell Fancierstudio Heat Press: Best for Larger Needs

A heat press for sublimation next to phone case blanks in workroom

Next up on my list of the best heat press for sublimation is the Fancierstudio Heat Press Digital, which you can find here.

This heat press machine is the clamshell style. The Fancierstudio Heat Press Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press Rhinestone Heat Press T-Shirt Heat Press 15×15 B/BLK is a multifaceted machine designed to meet various heat pressing needs. This model boasts a generous 15×15 inch heating platen, ideal for transferring designs onto a wide range of substrates including t-shirts and rhinestone embellishments. It features a digital control panel for precise temperature and time settings, ensuring optimal results for sublimation and heat transfer applications.

I will now outline a test conducted using the Fancierstudio Heat Press. The test was conducted using supacolor transfers. We need to make sure the garment is as flat as possible and not bunched up, pressing for a few seconds to get the shirt ironed. The design turned out really great.

The silicon-gel baseboard and adjustable pressure setting allow for even pressure distribution and better quality prints. The clamshell design conserves space and provides convenience, while the Teflon-coated heat platen prevents sticking and scorching of transfers. This heat press is a solid choice for both hobbyists and small businesses seeking a reliable, versatile tool for their heat pressing endeavors.

Pros of the machine include a higher temperature range than the options discussed above in the article and the machine boasts a great number of success stories.

In terms of drawbacks, the weight might be a bit heavy – be prepared for that. The instructions might also not be very clear and additional research could be required. When compared to competitors, keep in mind that this is a clamshell press, unlike the Slendor swing away press, and clamshell presses have been reported to result in uneven pressure. The Fancierstudio does provide a larger area (15 x 15) than competitors such as the EasyPress and Slendor 5 in 1. It does not come with attachments unlike the Slendor 5 in 1.

So now the question remains – should you buy this heat press? No doubt this machine boasts excellent performance and ease of use and has a high number of success stories. While being a high-performance workhorse, this model is not necessarily the best choice for all. If you have larger needs for your t-shirts or are looking for a compact clamshell style heat press, the Fancierstudio is a great choice for you. However, if you are looking to sublimate on a variety of items such as hats and mugs, the Slendor 5 in 1 option above is likely a better choice for you.

Now for the quantitative analysis:

  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Large size capability: 5/5
  • Versatility: 3.8/5
  • Performance: 4.6/5

HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts: Best Overall – A Sublimation Dream

A heat press machine next to sublimation mug blanks in workroom

The next item from my list of top picks is the HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts, which you can find here.

The HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts – 15×15 Smart T-Shirt Press Machine with Auto Release is a marvel of modern crafting technology. This innovative machine is designed to streamline the sublimation process with its automatic release feature, which enhances productivity by allowing for hands-free operation. The 15×15 inch platen provides ample space for larger projects, making it ideal for pressing a variety of items, from t-shirts to tote bags.

I will now describe sublimation testing conducted using the HTVRONT Heat Press. Once unboxed, you will find it has a drawer that can be pulled out to full extension, the underneath surface is hard so using another pad might be difficult. The thickness of your project cannot exceed 1 inch.

In this test, the project is sublimating front of a notebook. The item was pressed for 55 seconds at 385 degrees, and the resulting sublimation designs were excellent.

I will now describe some of the benefits of this heat press. With precise temperature control and a digital timer, it ensures that each sublimation project is completed with the highest level of accuracy. The HTVRONT Heat Press is also equipped with safety features such as an auto-shutoff function to prevent overheating, ensuring a safe crafting environment. It works extremely well and provides great success with sublimation and heat transfer vinyl. It is compatible with wide variety of items such as ceramic coasters and wood signs up to 1 inch in thickness

However, the machine features a higher price point than several other items on my list of top picks. The drawer is quite limiting , and the press will not open too far. Furthermore, the size of blanks is limited to a maximum of one inch.

Let us consider how the HTVRONT compares with its competitors. The machine does have a higher price point than several other items on my list. However, it is a 15 x 15 press unlike the Slendor 5 in 1 and EasyPress 3, so you can press larger pieces in one go. Compared to the EasyPress 3, it opens up wide, making adjustments easy. While the pressure and heating are relatively similar, the EasyPress 3 does not auto close.

Now its time for an overall assessment. The HTVRONT Heat Press boasts excellent success stories and offers a premium experience. It is a great choice if you have larger size requirements (e.g. larger sized t-shirts). And the great news is you can use it for other items such coasters and wood signs. However, if you are on a budget or would like a press for other items such as mugs, you might want to consider some of the other options.

Now its time for a quantitative analysis based on key decision making factors:

  • Performance: 4.9/5
  • Larger size capacity: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine: Best for Mugs

A heat press machine next to sublimation tote bag blanks in workroom

Now for another exciting item – the EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press, which you can find here.

The EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine is an impressive gadget that caters to the custom drinkware market with remarkable versatility and efficiency. Designed to handle a range of sizes from 12-30oz straight skinny sublimation tumblers to 16-30oz glasses and other straight water bottles, it’s a boon for those looking to personalize a wide variety of drinkware. It boasts a rapid transfer process, allowing for swift production times. We also have a separate guide on sublimating designs on water bottles.

Following is a description of a test conducted using this press. A sublimation tumbler 20 ounces from Craft Haven is used. The tumbler is pressed at 350 degrees for 2 minutes in one direction and flipped for 50 seconds, the results are pretty good and it is really use to use for beginners.

However, it’s worth noting that this machine does require a significant amount of workspace, so it’s essential to plan your crafting area accordingly. While there may be a learning curve and occasional temperature inconsistencies, with practice, the EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine proves to be a reliable tool for creating custom, high-quality drinkware designs.

In terms of comparison with competitors, this press machine is only good for tumblers and mugs. Overall, the EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine is a great option  for those only looking for a mug and tumbler press (assuming the machine meets your size needs).

Rating:

  • Affordability: 4.6/5
  • Safety: 4.8/5
  • Performance: 4.5/5

My Top Heat Press Pick: The Ultimate Dream for Sublimation

A heat press for sublimation next to tumbler blanks in workroom

Now that we have gone through a detailed review of each heat press, you might be asking: “which heat press is best for me?” As always, it is important to emphasize that it depends on your needs and preferences. If you are a beginner looking to sublimate on flatter items such as shirts, the Cricut EasyPress 3 might be your best choice, which you can find here. If you have a wider range of needs such as mugs and hats too, the versatile Slendor 5 in 1 is your go to choice, which you can find here. In my opinion, the best heat press for sublimation is the HTVRONT Auto Heat Press for T-Shirts, which you can find here. This is due to its user-friendliness, great success stories and high-end performance, making it an excellent choice, especially for those with larger size needs.

Choosing Your Ideal Sublimation Heat Press Machine

Several heat press machines on display in a shop
Several heat press machines on display in a shop

Your specific needs determine the right heat press machine for sublimation. Consider your crafting space and the variety of products you aim to create. Do you need a machine that can handle thicker substrates or multiple items at once? Or are you looking for a compact, easy-to-use heat press for smaller projects?

When choosing a heat press, keep your size requirements in mind. Once you purchase a heat press with smaller size capability, you can’t make it larger when your needs increase. If you anticipate larger needs in the near future, you might want to consider purchasing a larger one upfront. Also keep in mind cheaper presses will last for a limited time (perhaps less than a year). Heat presses with attachments might seem like a good bargain, but they could often be of low quality. Therefore, you might want to consider purchasing a more expensive one and then a separate press based on your needs as needed, instead of one with multiple attachments, all of which you might not even need.

It all depends on your needs. As a beginner with a lower budget, you might want to start cheap and upgrade and invest as you go along.

Your crafting journey can be significantly impacted by your decision to invest in a good quality heat press machine. Make sure to weigh all the pros and cons, understand your needs, and choose a machine that offers the right balance of features, quality, and price. Those looking specifically for a reliable tumbler press to use for sublimation can read our separate guide. Are you excited to start your sublimation journey? Learn more about the process of sublimation on plastic or the process of sublimation on metal through my detailed guides.

Summary

In the world of crafting, a heat press machine can be a game-changer. Whether you’re a beginner, a small business owner, or a seasoned pro, there’s a heat press machine out there that can meet your needs. From the user-friendly Cricut EasyPress 3 to the versatile Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine, the high-performance HTVRONT Heat Press and the efficient EENOUR Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine, the options are abundant. Remember, the best heat press machine is one that blends precision, reliability, and support to help you create stunning, durable designs with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best press for sublimation?

In my view, the best press for sublimation is the HTVRONT Press for T-Shirts. This is due to its user-friendliness, great success stories and excellent performance, which makes it a great choice for those who want to work on larger sizes.

Do I need a special heat press for sublimation?

You can use a swing away or clamshell heat press for sublimation, as they are suitable for different types of sublimation blanks. A professional heat press is necessary for consistent and high-quality prints, as a standard home iron may not be suitable for the job.

What is the best heat press temp for sublimation?

The best heat press temperature for sublimation is between 350-400°F. Set the heat press to this temperature range for best results. You should ensure you check the recommended instructions for time and temperature.

What is the difference between a heat press and a sublimation heat press?

The main difference between a heat press and a sublimation heat press is that sublimation creates a design that becomes an actual part of the fabric, providing a superior feel and durability, while heat transfer printing results in a layer on top that can crack or fade with washes.

What is the best heat press machine for beginners?

The Cricut EasyPress 2 is the best heat press machine for beginners because of its user-friendly design and safety features.