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The largest advantage of the press is even application of heat and pressure. I'd probably say pressure is the most important thing a press can contribute.

As far as the designs go, if you're printing to white or light shirts, the regular transfer paper will allow you to loosely cut around any intricate design and when pressed, the border will virtually disappear into the fabric. You might even only be able to see it if you know what you're looking for and at the right angle.

For darks and black, you either break your fingers with an exacto knife or decent scissors and live with the inevitable little white border around the designs. Forget about lettering.

If your designs ever mainly consist of lettering or few colors (under 5) it would probably be most beneficial to purchase plastisol transfers through a printer. You won't have to worry about cutting anything out (unless they gang the designs on the sheets) and you'll have no border; it only transfers the actual ink on the paper.
 
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