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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Heat Press and Heat Transfers > Heat Presses - Equipment
Discuss the different brands and sizes of heat presses available on the market, including Hix, GeoKnight, Hotronix, and other smaller manufacturers. Topics include maintenance, selection, styles and more.



Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

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Old 5 Days Ago Nov 30, 2019 11:53:58 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

I've been putting off upgrading my press for around a year now. The platen will sometimes not lock down or pop open randomly. After it hit me hard in the elbow, I think it's time to move on.

I thought I wanted to upgrade to an automatic press and was prepared to purchase the DK20SP when I chickened out of the expense (I'm a small, home based business) and was overwhelmed by the learning curve with the air compressor and all that jazz.

I currently have a 20+ year old Hotronix clam shell that requires a lot of movement and quite a bit of force at times to press down. With my fibromyalgia, this is causing issues with my shoulders and back. Because of this, I thought the automatic was what I wanted. However, I'm still second guessing myself as I really don't know that I want the expense of the machine + the compressor + the downtime for learning to run it. I don't have room to have both machines up and running in my office here at home.

All this to ask, are there any (preferably Geo. Knight) machines that don't require a ton of movement when locking down the platen? The range of motion required for my clamshell is rather huge, however, the DK20S looks like it doesn't require a lot of pressure from my arms/shoulders or a large range of motion to utilize. A swing away would also be nice if it doesn't require a lot of muscle to move it out of the way because then there would be less hunching over to align my design when I'm doing vinyl.

Thoughts? Anyone who has a chronic pain disorder of some kind and runs a shirt business have any advice? Thanks so much!
 
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Old 4 Days Ago Nov 30, 2019 3:40:45 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

As for the automatic part of the question, have you considered a semi-automatic? They usually only add around $200 to the expense of the machine. Hotrinix, Knight, and Hix offer those options. Way more suitable for those of us with small shops.

I have Maxx presses, and even with the adjustable caddie, I can tell you that it is still hard to close and open at times due to the ergonomics, not because of any pressure adjustments. I just thought I would throw that in so people are aware. I have physical issues due to being hit by a drunk driver. I am considering adding a DK20 to my shop because the handle on those look so much more ergonomic, and I think that will help.

I recently added a DC16 (swing multi-use) to my shop. The way I have it set up I can work with it either facing the front or by standing on the side so that I can easily operate the top platen without being in the path of it. I've had a Swingman 15 in the past and it did the job but had a lot of limitations and was not at all ergonomic. The DC16 is highly ergonomic. I haven't operated all the swing presses out there, but I like it way better than the Swingman and I have operated a Fusion. It's fair to say the DC16 is a much better fit for me at this point. I can't speak to your situation, but based on my own experience I would take a serious look at the DC16.

Note: Yes, the DC16 is a heavy little unit. But!!!! You can easily remove the upper platen, lower platen, take it off of the plywood, and it suddenly lost almost 100 lbs!

I hope this helps!
 
Old 4 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 6:22:11 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

My wife also has fibromyalgia and was having a lot of trouble closing the DK20 we had after we added the auto-open to it later, the magnet can be hard to compress. If you can go for the money, the DKJS20SP would probably be much easier to close...

We upgraded to a Hix 880D auto and it's night and day. 1 finger to close, opens automatically. Expensive but worth it in our opinion.
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Old 4 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 9:35:11 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

here is a used hix 800 with the easy close that tfalk mentioned,
oddly enough it is $800
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Old 4 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 9:47:12 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Hotronix Fusion requires little effort but they have an air version that works well as well.
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Old 4 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 11:44:59 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Well, I was fixin' to be a hero here and recommend the Ryonet ePop. But I can't find it on their website and the link in my previous posting doesn't work any more. Hmmmmmmmmm.
 
Old 3 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 6:09:04 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippet
As for the automatic part of the question, have you considered a semi-automatic? They usually only add around $200 to the expense of the machine. Hotrinix, Knight, and Hix offer those options. Way more suitable for those of us with small shops.

What constitutes a semi-automatic? The auto open ones?

You had some great thoughts and what you were thinking about the ergonomic handle on the DK20S is what I was thinking as well. It looks so much easier to use than mine.

Thank you!
 
Old 3 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 6:10:51 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfalk
My wife also has fibromyalgia and was having a lot of trouble closing the DK20 we had after we added the auto-open to it later, the magnet can be hard to compress. If you can go for the money, the DKJS20SP would probably be much easier to close...

We upgraded to a Hix 880D auto and it's night and day. 1 finger to close, opens automatically. Expensive but worth it in our opinion.
Any advice on wading through the overwhelming part of seeing up the DK20SP? The whole air compressor thing just melts my mind. lol

I'll scope out that Hix. Thanks so much. This was exactly what I was wanting to know.
 
Old 3 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 6:13:07 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivingZiggy
Well, I was fixin' to be a hero here and recommend the Ryonet ePop. But I can't find it on their website and the link in my previous posting doesn't work any more. Hmmmmmmmmm.
LOL. That's one I've never heard of. I appreciate the thought. Thank you!
 
Old 3 Days Ago Dec 1, 2019 8:22:06 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

As far as what constitutes semi-automatic, you'd have to read manufacturers' descriptions and watch videos. I do know it's an auto-open without the need for an air compressor. Most of them work via some type of mechanism that I don't know enough about to explain it other than that. Lol! Here's a link to an example of one https://www.proworldinc.com/heat-tra...uto-popup.html

But I know Hotronix, Geo Knight, Hix, TransPro and HPN have them available them in various sizes.
 
Old 2 Days Ago Dec 2, 2019 1:24:20 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWSdbd
Any advice on wading through the overwhelming part of seeing up the DK20SP? The whole air compressor thing just melts my mind. lol.
I already had 2 air compressors for working on cars, etc so it was an easy addition for us, just had to run a flexible line across the ceiling in the basement lol. I also needed an air line for my SWF Embroidery machine, it uses air to operate the sequin attachment. They don't require a lot, I would think one of the small compressors for air guns would be sufficient but check the requirements.
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Old 2 Days Ago Dec 3, 2019 8:37:41 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

Go AIR. That is the only way for your solution. We use to press thousands of shirts a day and with out air we wouldn,t be able to do that many per day.
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Old 2 Days Ago Dec 3, 2019 9:02:52 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

I contacted Ryonet about the ePop. Here's the response I got: Hi there,

we no longer carry it, we had a few for a very brief period, but not anymore, I do not know if another distributor sells it, I am sorry.


Thanks,

Traci Ellis| Ryonet®
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Old 2 Days Ago Dec 3, 2019 11:53:33 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need machine purchase advice for someone with chronic pain issues, please!

We carried something very similar and it was nothing but problems. If you want an automatic stay with one of the U.S. models.
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