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A New Curiosity - Heat Press

mitch5252mitch5252 Member Posts: 93
edited December 2016 in Off Topic
I would like to look into pressing t-shirts and other small items for family and friends - nothing in any quantity and I have ZERO knowledge or experience. I have been researching presses for the past two days. Since I have no idea if I will enjoy this part of the cutting hobby (I have a Zing), I don't want to spend a big chuck o' change. 

Any thoughts on either of these two machine? (I found out about the Gecko by reading an older post on this forum). 



Any pressing hints, recommendations, thoughts? I figure if I really like doing this, I could sell my starter machine for a few bucks and move up to something bigger and better (ohmygosh - Tim Allen I am not...)

Thanks for your help and advice. 

ON EDIT: Or this one:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/311557878388 (I kinda like the looks of this one a bit better - it looks sturdier?)


  • AnointedHandsAnointedHands Member Posts: 797
    I don't know anything about those specific presses but cheaper presses have a tendency to have uneven heat or cold spots. Just doing vinyl doesn't pose that much of a problem because you can always re-press. But there are so many other avenues where you can use the press (don't open your wallet...crafting is like a vacuum cleaner...once you open the wallet, money is sucked out).

    I don't think you have to get the most expensive press (I definitely would start with a 16X20) but get a better press. Check HeatPress Nation and USCutter. 
  • mitch5252mitch5252 Member Posts: 93
    edited December 2016
    OP here - How does this look as a starting point? (all US Cutter via eBay)

  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,469
    If you are planning to do t-shirts and other types of larger shirts or items, you will benefit from buying a 16x20 heat press.  I have a 15x15 heat press and I find it difficult to align the HTV on the shirt correctly.  I wish I had asked before I bought mine.  It's worth the extra money.

  • sandyjsandyj Member Posts: 821
    I agree with gabe, I have a 16 x 20 (hotronix autoclam, big bucks) and wouldn't want to go smaller.  And I agree with annointedhands, you would also benefit purchasing from a real equipment supplier, like sign warehouse, heat press nation or imprintables or etc.  They will stand behind their product and help you.  A successful press will have even heat and even pressure - anything less will cause the vinyl to eventually fail.  If you plan on selling shirts, that will kill you before you start.  You can cheap out on a cutter or shirts, but buy the best heat press you can afford.  It will pay for itself in no time.
    Just MY opinion, your milage will vary. Like "Andy" but with an "S"
  • Barb_craftroboBarb_craftrobo Member Posts: 43
    I went with a swing-arm press a couple years ago rather than the clam because I wanted to do more varied stuff and some sublimation.  Mine is a 15x15 Hix and so far I am very happy with it and haven't had problems doing shirts or anything (I don't do production stuff), and like being able to do more varied blanks than I think could be easily done with the clam.
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,299
    I think a swing-arm is safer, as well.  I've burned myself a few times on my clam-style heat press.. not seriously... just enough to irritate me!
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest KNK / MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 55
    I have a 15x15 press from Heat Press Nation.  It has been very good to me.

  • CravNCraftNCravNCraftN Member Posts: 354
    I love my Signature Series HPN 16x20 auto open drawer from Heat Press Nation! No worries about getting burnt with it either. I've always gotten great customer service too.
    Take Care & God Bless, Dee H Proud Wife & Mother of 2 Wonderful American Army Veterans!!! Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Expression, Cricut Cake
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