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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again,
I'm about to buy a new heat press for my business (40x50)... I will use it for sublimation onto socks (almost exclusively).

1) First, I dont know for what quality I need to aim for. Do I need a premium machine, without hot spots, perfect temperature and pressure managment. Or it just doesnt matters if I'm 20°C lower or higher?
 

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Hello again,
I'm about to buy a new heat press for my business (40x50)... I will use it for sublimation onto socks (almost exclusively).

1) First, I dont know for what quality I need to aim for. Do I need a premium machine, without hot spots, perfect temperature and pressure managment. Or it just doesnt matters if I'm 20°C lower or higher?
Accurate (and uniform) temp is critical for sublimation. You can get away with some variation with htv but not sub.
Most manual presses hold consistent pressure - only light pressure is needed for sublimation - so that is not such an issue.



What is your budget, and what country are you in?
 

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On socks you are doing a front and a back in pairs... If your time and temperature are not consistent you will risk not having consistent results. Meaning that your front and back might be two different shades and also with matching socks in pairs. So it all comes down to how controlled you need your results to be and what kind of equipment budget you have.
 

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I would go with the Stahls Fusion press. They have platens for what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for reply and good points.

I am based in Europe - Czech Rebublic. Which eliminated all of the England options (mechpress; novachrome). I maybe can mail a brand new Adkins from UK, but any warranty or service would cost me 40kg mail by air.

Options I have found so far:
1) Stahl's Hotronix, their EU centre is based in Germany with plenty of dealers in nearby.
2) Unknown Chinese inported press (Eq of this)
3) Chinese Xing Hong press - which seems to be higher end heat press pruducent of China. Can ship one to my address, but probably no real warranty.
4) Secabo (appeared to by german brand, but really is just a rebranded china stuff)
5) maybe Sister Heat presses from Italy (https://www.siser.com/heat-presses/)

......

I'm looking for the "cheapest viable solution." So some of the basic models. I dont really look for longetivity or advanced functions - I just need to start a business.

I have found:
- Stahl's Maxx (more expensive)
- Stahl's Basic Clam Press (cheap, china, but stahl)
- Adkins EZ auto-clam (mid price)
- huge variety of chinese presses brought here by czech resellers from 550 to 1000USD
- Schulze BluePRESS (expensive, no idea what this is)

....

So yep, I am really overwhelmed at the moment. Currently Im playing with an idea of buying Stahl's basic, since its cheap, but hopefully should perform well. Maxx is also an option, but wish I could get it a little bit cheaper. Or maybe just buy some chinesee option warantied by czech resellers and hope for the best? I dont know... what do you think?
 

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Here is a pic of my old Stahls Basic - broke about 5 weeks after the meagre warrenty expired. Stahls EU were not interested in trying to put it right. Never kept consistant temp, always cuttig out. This is not the same animal as the US made presses, IMHO don't touch this basic model with a ten foot pole.
Maxx are good.



The cheaper Siser press is very similar to the Stahls basic - looks chinese made.
The dearer model looks weird but is well made and versatile with severeal platen options. I believe you can swap out the heat platen for cap platen.




Adkins are also chinese - good quality but without access to warrenty you are taking a risk. The EZ Clam is similar to - if not identical to - the Secabo.
The only UK made press is Pressmech - also sold unbranded by Novachrome, built like a tank, and very little to go wrong.



Schultz make good presses.


Just to make your decision harder.....:D:D:D



There are two other Italian brands- Lotus and Transmatic.
https://www.lotustransfers.com/epages/Lotus-YourOneStopShopForTextilePrinting.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/Lotus-YourOneStopShopForTextilePrinting/Categories/Pressen/Manuell
https://www.transmaticsrl.com/en/heat-printing/manual-presses/


Thee is also Sefa from France - expensive but 10 year warrenty.
https://www.sefa.fr/en/194-dual-platen-duplex


If you buy cheap chinese get from a seller with a bricks and mortar business, who actualy holds stock.
 

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I've mentioned before in another similar thread... Things have changed lately, and many low cost heat presses are actually OK. The problem is how to identify a good one if are a newbie.

My suggestion would be to talk to a local shop, explain what you need it for, and ensure you can return it for a full refund if it doesn't do the job. Then go home and check the heat plate for temperature variations and flatness (when hot). You will need a temperature gun and a cheap flatness ruler.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is a pic of my old Stahls Basic - broke about 5 weeks after the meagre warrenty expired. Stahls EU were not interested in trying to put it right. Never kept consistant temp, always cuttig out. This is not the same animal as the US made presses, IMHO don't touch this basic model with a ten foot pole.
Maxx are good.



The cheaper Siser press is very similar to the Stahls basic - looks chinese made.
The dearer model looks weird but is well made and versatile with severeal platen options. I believe you can swap out the heat platen for cap platen.




Adkins are also chinese - good quality but without access to warrenty you are taking a risk. The EZ Clam is similar to - if not identical to - the Secabo.
The only UK made press is Pressmech - also sold unbranded by Novachrome, built like a tank, and very little to go wrong.



Schultz make good presses.


Just to make your decision harder.....:D:D:D



There are two other Italian brands- Lotus and Transmatic.
https://www.lotustransfers.com/epages/Lotus-YourOneStopShopForTextilePrinting.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/Lotus-YourOneStopShopForTextilePrinting/Categories/Pressen/Manuell
https://www.transmaticsrl.com/en/heat-printing/manual-presses/


Thee is also Sefa from France - expensive but 10 year warrenty.
https://www.sefa.fr/en/194-dual-platen-duplex


If you buy cheap chinese get from a seller with a bricks and mortar business, who actualy holds stock.
Thank you for the information. At last we eliminated Stahl's basic. I'm also sitting on polish, german and austrian ebay in hope, but not many heat presses there...

I will try to find out prices of Schultz basic models, maybe thats the way. I also can buy second hand Secabo for a good price, but I read so much negative in UK forums - that customer support is slow, lazy and spare parts crazy expensive (also problems with heat spots and so...) that I'm afraid to go for it.

So yep... But I swear now if I see good price pressmech on Uk ebay, I will figure out the way how to get it here! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've mentioned before in another similar thread... Things have changed lately, and many low cost heat presses are actually OK. The problem is how to identify a good one if are a newbie.

My suggestion would be to talk to a local shop, explain what you need it for, and ensure you can return it for a full refund if it doesn't do the job. Then go home and check the heat plate for temperature variations and flatness (when hot). You will need a temperature gun and a cheap flatness ruler.
That's a good idea. We only have two real vendors of heat presses here. But maybe I will convince one of them to let me test and mesure the press before buying.
 

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Here is a pic of my old Stahls Basic - broke about 5 weeks after the meagre warrenty expired. Stahls EU were not interested in trying to put it right. Never kept consistant temp, always cuttig out. This is not the same animal as the US made presses, IMHO don't touch this basic model with a ten foot pole.
The Stahls Basic is obviously a Chinese re-branded press. I have 5 identical looking ones and have all failed just like yours. Easy to repair though, and were very cheap.
 

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Hah, just exchanged few emails with Xing Hong. Their hottest model sells for $435 ; And something like this is for $247. Just letting you know, its interesting...
Are those 'door to door' prices? You will probably have to pay import duty plus your local vat/sales tax on top before it is cleared through customs. You will also be taking responsibility for the warrenty.


Presses similar to the dearer model are available from UK and US vendors - if you shop around it will be available in EU somewhere https://www.printerowners.co.uk/shop/hardware-and-equipment/flat-bed-presses/hp3805-heat-press/
 

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Hah, just exchanged few emails with Xing Hong. Their hottest model sells for $435 ; And something like this is for $247. Just letting you know, its interesting...
It's better to buy from an established local reseller whenever possible. Pay by credit card and let them take all the risk. This way you can inspect the product before you buy it, and you can easily return it if it's not fit for purpose. You will not be able to return it to the Chinese seller. Shipping will be too expensive, and you will not be protected by law.
 

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"cheapest viable solution." is the criteria you imposed.
Then simply buy the cheapest one you have access to.
However, in the USA, the suggestion is to choose a cheap one that will look good on the curb when it must be thrown out. Price only is rarely a valid criteria.
I suggest buying a quantity of temperature testing strips to verify the temperature of the cheap press. Then you can adjust the displayed temp to the actual temp and even identify the cold or hot spots to avoid. I know my "not cheap' press was 10 Degrees off. I compensate with an adjustment and never missed a beat in production.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"cheapest viable solution." is the criteria you imposed.
Then simply buy the cheapest one you have access to.
However, in the USA, the suggestion is to choose a cheap one that will look good on the curb when it must be thrown out. Price only is rarely a valid criteria.
I suggest buying a quantity of temperature testing strips to verify the temperature of the cheap press. Then you can adjust the displayed temp to the actual temp and even identify the cold or hot spots to avoid. I know my "not cheap' press was 10 Degrees off. I compensate with an adjustment and never missed a beat in production.

So, you think some simple chinese press together with proper temperature mesurement and experimentation will do? I'm still not sure how much will press quality affect the result.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hmh, I started browsing second hand options in austria and germany. Find a guy that is willing to ship some used insta (maybe adkins) press...

Not sure about that, but what do you guys think? For 399€
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Are those 'door to door' prices? You will probably have to pay import duty plus your local vat/sales tax on top before it is cleared through customs. You will also be taking responsibility for the warrenty.


Presses similar to the dearer model are available from UK and US vendors - if you shop around it will be available in EU somewhere https://www.printerowners.co.uk/shop/hardware-and-equipment/flat-bed-presses/hp3805-heat-press/

Yes, that is the price anyone can buy it for. Ill let you know when they get back with shipping price. I probably wont order directly from china anyway, but it is interesting how little those things costs. Especially when you find their $425 model being sold for $1500 over here Insane...
 

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Hmh, I started browsing second hand options in austria and germany. Find a guy that is willing to ship some used insta (maybe adkins) press...

Not sure about that, but what do you guys think? For 399€
Very old - still got old style temp and time controls.


A cheap chinese press will get you in the game, but either buy local ( or at least from someone who has stock in EU, not shipped from China) or buy from ebay/amazon with their customer protection.
Only buy if you can afford to replace at short notice.


Chinese can be good, but there is no way of telling until you buy. Chinese ' manufacturers are usualy very small. They make nothing inhouse. Everything is bought in and assembled- even the completed frame and control box. You can get 10 presses that look identical on the outside but are finished with different components.
 

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Hmh, I started browsing second hand options in austria and germany. Find a guy that is willing to ship some used insta (maybe adkins) press...

Not sure about that, but what do you guys think? For 399€
I think 400 euro is a bit too much for an old heat press. I'd offer the seller 250 euro maybe.


Personally I'd rather buy two decent Chinese ones instead of one of the big names. Working with two heat presses will save you a lot of time, and you will be able to continue production if one fails. I like to have at least 2 of everything because things do have a tendency to fail when you need them.
 
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