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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm starting a rhinestone biz and will press the stones along with mixed media.
At first I won't be pressing a lot, but I want a reliable, even heating press.
I know this subject has been asked to death, but I hardly see any good new reviews on affordable presses.
I have done my research and narrowed it down to a 15 x 15 or a 16 x 20 in these brands.
HeatPressNation-HPN
SunIE-Seiki
ProWorld-Transpro
HeatPressVinyl-Vesta
All these presses seem to be half way decent presses to start with.
They are not cheap no name brands sold on eBay or Amazon and are sold by companies that have a reputation to keep.
I have looked for a long time for a used name brand press and they still sell for too much.
Please recommend which ones you feel are the best in order or at least which one to stay away from.
Also let me know if a 15 x 15 will be fine or if I should go for the 16 x 20.
Thanks.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum.

As far as presses go, I would go with the biggest one you can afford. I have the littler ones and went to what I thought would be a big press and bought a 15x15. It is still too small to do a lot of things. If I could afford it, I would invest in a 16x20. Not sure where I'd put something that big, but the size would certainly help.

I would also like to suggest if at all possible you go with a swing away type press rather than a clam shell type press. My 15x15 is the first clam shell press I bought. I don't care for it at all. I don't like my hands being forced that close to that kind of heat. I prefer to have the heat safely away from my hands while I'm lining up a shirt. The one I would love to get is that Stahls Hotronix Fusion 16x20, but until my rich uncle dies (I have to find one to adopt first), I don't have that much $$$ to part with.
 

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go with a 16x20...My choice would be either heatpressvinyl or proworld . I have a Sunie and have not had any trouble but there have been some grumbling about support
 

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I just bought a Sunie 15X15 and will be doing a review of it shortly. I have only put about 50 shirts through it but it seems to hold heat well.....Like stated in other posts, Get the biggest you can afford.
 

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i cant complain about my gecko 15x15, of course you get what you pay for. but i have made a ton of money with my gecko and its still purs like a kitten... maybe im just lucky tho
 

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You can get a 16X 20 Vesta press from Hugh at heatpressinc. for a very reasonable price. I have had mine for a little over a month and love the thing. Call Hugh and ask for his best price and he will be very accomodating. I really wanted a Stahls but could not justify the cost as a startup. I also heard that many of their parts were coming from overseas and just being assembled here. I asked this question in another thread and never got a response. I do not have any experience with any other presses so I can not give an honest comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the quick responses that are right to the point and backed by knowledge.
I used other forums for other subjects in the past and never had such great responses.
I got very lucky and set up alerts with eBay and saw a Geo Knight DK-16 which is 14 X 16 (I know, not the sought after 16 x 20).
It was being sold locally and I was able to contact the company, run over and look at it, test it and bought it for $300 instead of the $400 asking price, it's $935 new.
It's a 3 year old lease, but it's in great shape.
I contact the manufacturer direct and found out that all parts are inexpensive and available if needed in the future.
Even the heater coil can be fixed or replaced, not the case on all presses.
And the manufacturer said 3 years on that machine even if used commercially is nothing, so I'm very happy.
Very good experience so far with the manufacturer and another plus of buying a used name brand press is in the worth case scenario that I can market myself good enough to make money with the press I can resell it for what I paid.
Thanks for the help and I'll be back with multiple questions on tips and tricks on using the press, different things to press, and a lot of questions when I can afford to get a vinyl cutter and software.
 

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Marco. That sounds like a good purchase. Geo. Knight is an excellent company. I wish you success with your endeavor.
 

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I saw your thread here and I am looking for a start up press for a good price as well that I can order today or in the next couple of days or so. Can you give an update on what vinyl cutter you ended up going with and how it's working out? I'm actually looking for a cutter and also a heat press machine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Tourino,
Your best bet will be to buy a used name brand press from eBay or Craig's list like I did.
Just do your research.
Before I bought my used Geo Knight I called the manufacturer to make sure that all parts that could go bad was available for purchase, that the heating coils can be replaced if not the whole heat press is garbage if they go bad and they are sealed to the upper plate, that all replaceable parts are affordable and that the press was made for commercial work so you know even if the press saw heavy use that's what it was made for and still has a lot of life left.
Of course if you are doing a local pickup make sure everything works and if buying online from eBay make sure seller has good rep. and that it doesn't look beat to sh_t.
If buying new I'll stick to my initial research:
HeatPressNation-HPN or HPN Pro
ProWorld-Transpro
HeatPressVinyl-Vesta
They can't compare with the name brands, there is a reason the name brands cost so much and it's not just because of the name.
But I believe these presses above will do everything you need them to do till your business grows enough to upgrade and those presses are much better that the eBay presses because these presses are sold by stores that will back up their presses 100%.

As far as vinyl cutters, the choice is simple.
GCC Expert 24 or Expert 24 LX (optic eye).
These vinyl cutters are the most cost effective cutter to get started with that are still a real vinyl cutter and not a hobby cutter for doing scrap booking, it's wide enough for most needs and for rolls of materials, it's a very good machine for the money and the tech support is great.
They have remotely taken over my computer and solved problems that I couldn't get solved with techs from other company's.
The best place to buy the GCC is on eBay from Imprintables Warehouse. They do packages that give you a extra blade and lots of vinyl rolls that are good quality and made in-house, they extend the warranty and offer lifetime tech support for almost the same price as what the cutter would cost by itself from someone else.
Good luck and feel free to post other questions and I'll help if possible, I'm very good at research.
I was very close to launching my business of decorating items with vinyl, rhinestones(hand applied also) and sublimation when I learned a valuable lesson when a lot of my items I made didn't sell at all on eBay and Etcy.
I learned that I wasn't in the t-shirt business or the rhinestone business, I was in the marketing/prospecting business.
I would have to go to schools, churches, teams, organizations and businesses to get accounts in order to make it and the competition was hard.
So I decided to reactive my real estate license and put all of those prospecting/marketing efforts into selling something that can earn me more money.
I'll still use my equipment as a hobby and maybe be able to use t-shirts to promote real estate.Good luck and let me know what happens.
 
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