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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Heat Press and Heat Transfers > T-Shirt Crossover - diary of a heat press newbie
This section of the forum is where Rodney, a die hard screen printing fan, journeys into the world of heat press and heat transfers. Coming from the perspective of a complete heat press newbie making t-shirts for the first time. Jump right in :)



[HEAT PRESS] - 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

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Old January 10th, 2007 Jan 10, 2007 1:38:47 PM -   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretchymantis
Thanks, R.

Like you said in an earlier post, the major brands all sell quality. Preference I suppose. The clamshell seems better for grilled cheese sandwiches...There, I decided.
Actually, a clamshell might squish the cheese out unevenly because of the way it closes. I prefer my swing away for grilled cheese

Oh, and a "Hello" and apology for this late post in here, I just found out Rodney had gotten into heat press so I'm catching up on posts.

PS - No heat presses were harmed in the making of this post (I don't actually make grilled cheese sandwiches with either of my presses).
 
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Old January 10th, 2007 Jan 10, 2007 4:25:15 PM -   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Guys, help me pick one before I drive myself nuts:

1. Geo Knight 9 x 12 Digital Swinger JetPress
OR
2. Hix Hobby Lite 9X12 Swinger Heat Transfer Press

No, I can't afford anything bigger Thank u
 
Old January 10th, 2007 Jan 10, 2007 9:19:01 PM -   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annushka
No, I can't afford anything bigger Thank u
In that case I'd pick option 3) Wait until you can afford something bigger.

If you can't afford the purchase, all the more reason not to throw away the money you do have on something you're sure to outgrow.

In the meanwhile you could sell through CP, or outsource a run of shirts to a DTG printer / Screen printer / Heat press printer, etc.



 
 
Old January 11th, 2007 Jan 11, 2007 6:05:04 AM -   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Lewis, you are killing me here...lol
sigh....ok, well what if I told you that I just want one for at home testing. Right now I'm just trying to sample some of the techniques at home such as screenprinting and heat transfers, want to test different brands and kinds of ink, different shirts as well. The purpose of the testing for me is not so much for market reasearch (i.e. to see if it sells or not, thus I'm not interested in CP) but to see the product quality, textures, looks etc. Once the testing stage is completed, will I want to do my own work or outsource it - I don't know. Most likely I will outsource large orders. But before I send anything to DTG printer / Screen printer / Heat press printer, I have to see and do it myself first. (Yes, I'm one of those "have to have total control of everything" freaks lol)
I don't know guys, honestly, I'm not trying to be thickheaded . I just don't think I need a 15x15 heavy duty press. I'd LOVE one at a bargain price, but haven't been able to find one yet. And the $200 price difference could be spent on more blanks and inks and other supplies. In the meantime I can't really consider any testing really relevant if I'm doing it with an iron. Unfortunately I'm not finding many posts re: smaller light use presses. And yes that right there speaks for itself. But then I think that the structure of everyone's operation is different and others did need bigger presses.
Please feel free to argue folks, every opinion is appreciated Thank you.

P.S. What do you think about - Mighty Press® 11" x 15" Lite Clam Press? Can I consider it? Thanks again
 
Old January 11th, 2007 Jan 11, 2007 6:40:26 AM -   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Annushka,

If you just want a press for testing (and I can understand why you don't want to use an iron), why not outsource the testing to someone else? I am sure there are many members here who would be able to create some sample shirts for you, to your specifications.

If you still want to buy a press, I think it's still better to just shell out the extra dough for a 15x15. If you decide that it's not going to work out, it will probably be easier to resell a 15x15 rather than one of the smaller presses.

Another option is to look for a used press, you might try Craigslist if you haven't already.
 
Old January 11th, 2007 Jan 11, 2007 11:09:58 AM -   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Quote:
P.S. What do you think about - Mighty Press® 11" x 15" Lite Clam Press? Can I consider it? Thanks again
I think it's worth considering if it's in your budget and you think it will do what you need (which is to make samples).

Even Lou started off with a small press and only upgraded to a larger press when he needed it (or when he could).

Starting out with a small press isn't *that* bad I think for your specific needs, it seems like a smart choice. Plus, if you go with a new, name brand press, it will have a better resale value should you decide to upgrade later.

That's just my two bits though I tend to think things out way too much, but after a while, there comes a time where you just have to do it and jump in.

Quote:
Oh, and a "Hello" and apology for this late post in here, I just found out Rodney had gotten into heat press so I'm catching up on posts.
Hey Eileen, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums!

Be sure to post a member introduction so others can know what kind of knowledge you have to share
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Old January 12th, 2007 Jan 12, 2007 8:56:39 PM -   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Annuska ,given those two choices I went with a used Hix Hobby Lite when I started. I eventually bought a bigger Hix but I still use my Hobby Lite for on location sales and when it gets busy, it's still going strong.

Rodney, what? Introduce myself? But I've only just gotten out of lurking status, it'll take a few more years for me to post again! Well ok, maybe I oughta pick up the pace, hehe.
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Old January 12th, 2007 Jan 12, 2007 9:20:06 PM -   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

I just bought a 16x20 knight press for $300. OMG, that thing is GIGANTIC!!! I was freaking out so bad on my way home I could almost hear my car's trunk scraping the asphalt.
For all those that adviced me to go "big" - I wish I could drag you guys by your ears down/up to Boston so you could help me carry this thing up to the THIRD floor lol. I guess when I was seeking advice on which press to buy I should have mentioned I was only 5'1" and 105lb.
Well jokes aside - it looks ok, seems to be working fine, the pressure knob works and the upper panel heats up quick. The only thing is that when you turn it on it makes a sharp noise for the first few minutes. So I don't know if this is normal or it's something that needs to be fixed.
Oh yes and let me not forget to mention that opening and closing the press took the life out of me. I'm going to be jacked by the time I'm done pressing a couple of shirts.
Anyways, thanks to everyone that lead me through my little journey of buying my first press.
 
Old January 12th, 2007 Jan 12, 2007 10:11:11 PM -   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Way to go Annushka.. Hopefully you'll be selling enough t-shirts to make up for all that pain and suffering!
 
Old January 13th, 2007 Jan 13, 2007 8:01:18 AM -   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annushka
I just bought a 16x20 knight press for $300.
Congratulations. Glad you managed to find a good secondhand option and just sidestep all of the budget vs. size issues



 
Old January 16th, 2007 Jan 16, 2007 9:04:26 AM -   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Thank you guys. I tried it last night just to heatset a couple of waterbased shirts I had done a couple of days ago. The only problem that I see with it so far is the fact that it is so big and heavy it would make it difficult to work on it fast. Lifting the top platen takes a while for me. I do look forward to ordering some transfer samples soon and trying those out, I think that'll let me feel the differences in temp and time more than what I've done so far.
It makes a sharp continuous noise from the time I lower the top until I lift it, which is really annoying. If anyone knows what could be the problem please let me know, and even better - let me know how to fix it.
 
Old January 22nd, 2007 Jan 22, 2007 11:51:03 AM -   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

I don't have many ideas for what the noise would be. A random thought is that it might be a broken timer deal meant to go off after pressing for X seconds (and it's set to 0 seconds or something).

Have you tried asking the person you bought it from? Maybe they know what was going wrong with it. I certainly don't think the noises you mention are normal by any means, but wheter they are actually harmful to more than your eardrums is hard to say for sure.
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Old January 23rd, 2007 Jan 23, 2007 5:28:38 AM -   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

How quick is quick? How long does it take to get that press to, say, 400 degrees? Thanks! Cory
 
Old January 23rd, 2007 Jan 23, 2007 5:58:05 AM -   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annushka
I just bought a 16x20 knight press for $300. OMG, that thing is GIGANTIC!!! I was freaking out so bad on my way home I could almost hear my car's trunk scraping the asphalt.
For all those that adviced me to go "big" - I wish I could drag you guys by your ears down/up to Boston so you could help me carry this thing up to the THIRD floor lol. I guess when I was seeking advice on which press to buy I should have mentioned I was only 5'1" and 105lb.
Well jokes aside - it looks ok, seems to be working fine, the pressure knob works and the upper panel heats up quick. The only thing is that when you turn it on it makes a sharp noise for the first few minutes. So I don't know if this is normal or it's something that needs to be fixed.
Oh yes and let me not forget to mention that opening and closing the press took the life out of me. I'm going to be jacked by the time I'm done pressing a couple of shirts.
Anyways, thanks to everyone that lead me through my little journey of buying my first press.
If you are having problems opening the upper platen then you are applying too much pressure and you need to reduce it with the knob.

Sonds like the noise is exactly what Twinge mentioned...check your timer settings.
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Old January 23rd, 2007 Jan 23, 2007 6:16:08 AM -   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5 Tips: How to select which heat press to buy?

I visited the ISS show in Long Beach this past weekend.

One of the vendors was trying to put the clamp down on a press and he had a hard time....this scared me. I am not 5'1 and 105 lbs, but I do have my limits. lol

While at the show, I thought throughout my walking around someone would have prices that would have just stood out. There were a few things but nothing to seriously impress me. I figure at a show, the prices are better and this was the day I waited for to make my purchase. I saw lots of vendors with the Geo Knight and the Brother 541. Although not many people speak for the Brother, I was impressed that so many vendors were selling or using this particular dtg. I had my heart set on the DTG Kiosk. Most of the dtg manufacturers have my price range $15K, so its just a matter of deciding which one will best suit my needs.

As for the heat transfer, I re-thinking on the Geo. I was looking at the DK Knight, but the Geo's quality looks like something for a business not home. I am not looking for anything that is not durable but at the same time I cant use anything that is too much for my hands/wrist.
 






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