T-Shirt Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am in Melbourne Australia and I am starting my clothing brand so I am a super newbie to this scene. I have been looking at heat press machines the last couple of weeks. Trying to find an affordable heat press and there seems to be limited information on what I want to know. Hopefully someone can enlighten me and shed some light.

I have read that the major brands like Stahls, Geo-knight, Siser and Hix are the way to go but it is abit out of my budget. My plan is to find something that is a little cheaper and when my business kicks off then I will buy a better heat press. I have been watching and reading alot of reviews online but besides the major branded ones, the rest seems like they're just imports from china and rebranded. Like Vevor (don't know if its from China but it gives me that vibe). However I have seen some good reviews for them. I am not looking to buy a $200-300 one from China, if I was to buy one from China I want a decently priced one with good quality, functionality and relibility.
After heaps of searching, I found a local seller that's selling the Stahl's Clam basic heat press 16x20. Everything from price to location etc. was very good. Until I did some further searches and found that it is "MADE IN CHINA".
Reading and watching so many reviews of Stahls heat press, it definitely slapped me in the face. I thought Stahls were a USA made product? Does anyone own one and are using this heat press? I hope you can shed some light. Because if this Stahls heat press is made in China, then I might as well look in to a Microtec heat press from China that has 17+ years experience in heat presses and get a better bang for the buck. From what I have searched, some user reviews say it is quite reliable and read that it has decent support as well.

I am a newb so I can be wrong but just from what I have read and searched this is where I am at at the moment. Hence why I want some help and opinion in choosing a decent heat press. I dont want to buy a marked up heat press that will have the same quality as the "Made in China" ones just because the brand is better. Like a Gucci Leather jacket that cost $400.00 but sold for $5000.00, if that makes sense?
I am more concerned of the funtionality and reliability rather than the brand. If anyone has experience with any of the mentioned heat presses especially the Stahl's Clam basic heat press 16x20 or the Microtec heat press from China please please help me out and give me your honest opinions and experience.

I have also read that some bought used heat presses but I rather get a new one because I don't really know what to look for in a used heat press. Plus, I havn't found many in Australia.

One more thing I am abit confused about is, why do some heat presses say it can do sublimination as well? is there such a heat press that presses both heat transfer vinyl and sublimination in one?

Hope someone here can help with my enquiry because I have tried searching everywhere before I started this discussion.

Much appreciated, (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
A press might specifically call out the ability to do sublimation simply because it can attain the high temperature required for this. Any press that cannot easily attain and maintain (quickly recover to target temp after pressing an item) 400F, or about 200C, is not suitable for sublimation. Many cheaper presses list 400 as the maximum temp they can attain; such presses will struggle to maintain a temp suitable for sublimation. My Chinese press certainly was not suitable for sublimation (but was okay for what I originally bought it for ... until the electronics partially failed and I had to use a "manual" override to regulate temperature).

There are good quality USA/Euro made presses, and then there is everything else. There is not a middle ground, just overpriced, over-hyped lower ground pretending at being middle ground. Bad electronics is the most likely failure point of the "China" presses. Mine failed shortly after a year from purchase date, having been very lightly used during that time, as I was just getting started. For someone without the ability to rig a workaround (and the tolerance to live with it), it would have instantly become a boat anchor.

That said, like me, you start where you start for reasons. Buy a "China" press if you must, just don't plan on it lasting (but rejoice if it does :cool:).

I have heard before that the entry-level Stahls are not USA made.

If you eventually buy an expensive press, consider the price of fixing it. Again, the control electronics are the most likely point of failure. Hix still makes some presses with "manual" temperature controllers rather than touch screens and ICs. I went with Geo Knight, myself, as they have the most reasonable price point on replacement parts, and a solid history of keeping them available. I like the feature set of Stahls Fusion press, but a replacement controller is $$$.

All that said, my Geo Knight did arrive with a problem. The large bolt that adjusts pressure/height had been damaged in shipment. I described the problem to them and they sent out a new adjustment assembly the next day, no charge, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
After heaps of searching, I found a local seller that's selling the Stahl's Clam basic heat press 16x20. Everything from price to location etc. was very good. Until I did some further searches and found that it is "MADE IN CHINA".
Made in China does not automatically equal bad. iPhones and plenty of other products are made in China too.
The heat press obviously meets Stahl's quality requirements and they provide the warranty for it.
You are basically paying for the quality assurance and the warranty.
This is why most people buy from reputable brands.

One more thing I am abit confused about is, why do some heat presses say it can do sublimination as well? is there such a heat press that presses both heat transfer vinyl and sublimination in one?
All heat presses capable of 200°C can be used for sublimation.
The Stahl's basic press goes up to 220°C, so it will do.

Many cheaper presses list 400 as the maximum temp they can attain; such presses will struggle to maintain a temp suitable for sublimation.
That's not accurate...
The oven type heating elements used in these presses can go up to 600°C.
The temperature limitation is due to the controller, but if it can be set to 200°C it can reach and maintain that temperature.
If the actual temperature is less than what is set, adjusting the offset in the controller will fix the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
Made in China does not automatically equal bad. iPhones and plenty of other products are made in China too.
The heat press obviously meets Stahl's quality requirements and they provide the warranty for it.
You are basically paying for the quality assurance and the warranty.
This is why most people buy from reputable brands.


All heat presses capable of 200°C can be used for sublimation.
The Stahl's basic press goes up to 220°C, so it will do.


That's not accurate...
The oven type heating elements used in these presses can go up to 600°C.
The temperature limitation is due to the controller, but if it can be set to 200°C it can reach and maintain that temperature.
If the actual temperature is less than what is set, adjusting the offset in the controller will fix the issue.
Well my piece of China couldn't "maintain" 400 worth poop. Not sure what you mean by adjusting the "offset." It wasn't misreading the temp, just not able to maintain it in use. Sure, it could more or less maintain 400 if you never perturbed it by actually pressing something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Not sure what you mean by adjusting the "offset." It wasn't misreading the temp, just not able to maintain it in use.
The "offset" is basically the setting to offset the difference between the displayed and the actual temperature.
Even the crappy $100 heat presses from eBay have it, so I'm sure yours had it as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for the inputs and insights. I am probably asking no brainer questions but I just don't seem to be able to find much information anywhere regarding my topic. So I really appreciate the responses.

So the main issues with the chinese presses seems to be the electronic side of things. This Stahls basic press is Made in China and has digital adjustable temp and time. Does that mean it has the risk of electronic failure as well and is in the "everything else" category?

I am leaning towards purchasing the Stahls basic press as it is local and a well known brand but would like to do some comparisons with other chinese press of the same quality before I make a final decision. When I buy chinese products in general, my expectations are usually not expecting it to last long. Should I be buying this Stahls basic press with the same mentality? My train of thought is, if it's not ganna last long I might as well find a press that has the best bang for the buck because my end goal would be to get a quality press when I have the capital anyways.
In saying so, what should I be comparing? and would the specs show what max temp it can maintain?

End of the day, the high end presses are the US/Euro made from what I've read everywhere so this press being made in China I have my concerns. Hence why I'm asking if there is anyone that has purchased one because I want to know if I have the same risk when purchasing like other chinese presses (not the cheap cheap ones) and whether I get the same assurance and service.

All that said, my Geo Knight did arrive with a problem. The large bolt that adjusts pressure/height had been damaged in shipment. I described the problem to them and they sent out a new adjustment assembly the next day, no charge, of course.
This is a very valid point. Hearing that, I am scared I will jinx myself if I purchased a chinese press. However, the Chinese Microtec press seems fairly legitimate though. Only if I could find more user reviews and experience on both presses so I can do a more solid and real comparison...

I have been quoted $1250AUD including shipping for the Stahls basic clam press 16x20. Is that a decent price? I thought I'd ask as I don't want to get ripped off.. I havn't had much luck with purchasing things lately. The price is also much much chepaer than other Stahls heat presses which is another concern that it's abit too good to be true.

Thoughts?o_O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,460 Posts
i think microtec makes the presses for proworld (and hpn)
go to their site here for many reviews

personally, i would go with the microtec, and the manual open
auto open is simply more to go wrong (unless you are infirm)

are you buying from bizsupplies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
The main issues with all presses is likely to be the electronics. Which is why even when buying a USA press, I chose a brand that has reasonably priced replacement parts and a solid history of stocking parts for their older models.

My China press died a month or so out of warranty. But even if it had died in warranty, what then? Package the 80 pound thing and pay to ship it off somewhere? For the price of the shipping alone I could probably buy a new Geo Knight controller and install it myself, and be back up and running inside a week.

When the returned China press got where it was going, someone would plug it in, verify it was broken, and trash it. Whereupon a new press would be sent my way. There typically isn't a parts/repair network for these. Though, if you are handy, you could buy a cheap generic controller on Amazon or eBay and install it yourself. Rinse and repeat when that one dies.

You goal/plan sounds the same as mine was. Get a less expensive press to get started with, and buy better when the need arises to do so. I wouldn't bother looking for the "Best Bad Press." As you may have noticed, a lot of these look an awful lot alike, including the domestically branded house brands. The one I bought was a house brand, but clearly the only difference is the brand label and the price.

As into-the-T said, skip the auto open unless you have a physical need for that. My China press has that, but there are actually more downsides to it than upsides, and I didn't get auto open on my USA press. Skipping that feature saves a bit of $, which is your goal in buying a China press to start with. The downside I spoke of is that the auto open locks your press closed for the entire duration of the programed time. You cannot abort or open early other than by turning off the power to the press. So doing a 5 second prepress to flatten the garment and expel moisture would require setting a new time twice for every shirt, or turning the power on and off for eavery shirt. With a manual press, you can lift at any point you want. And, at least with my Geo Knight, I have not found hte manual aspect to be physically difficult or wearing at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,460 Posts
i wonder if bizsupplies can offer parts (the real parts, not teflon sheets labeled as parts on their site)?

it is a conundrum when starting out and money is not to be wasted
do i roll the dice on a cheap press, or hold out for a decent used, or buy a decent new and hope i make money?
one thing i think we can all agree on, do not buy a cheap used press

unless there is a huge rush, i would wait for a decent used (you have to be checking fairly frequently and act quickly)
assuming 'they' let you out of your cell, i mean home, to go and check the press out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Nothing lasts forever... Even the most expensive heat press will eventually fail, especially if it has a lot of electronics.
My advice is to focus on making money so you can replace your equipment, and obviously a $600 press is much easier to replace than a $2,000 press.
If you press 2,000 shirts with a $600 press the cost per shirt will be 30 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After much research, I'd prefer a slide out drawer rather than the auto open heat press or swing away. I don't really need all the bells and whistles, but just want a decently priced reliable press to take me through to the next stage. I prefer a slide out drawer only because I have read many have burnt their knuckles and stuff with the clam shell presses. And I can see myself burning myself.. alot LOL But all the reputable brands with a slide out drawer press is abit out of my budget.

I contacted Heat transfer warehouse in the states but they told me they don't ship heat presses to Australia due to the pandemic. I initially was looking at the WALA heat press as I watched and read some decent reviews and most importantly price was right. But Australia don't seem to sell that.

The main issues with all presses is likely to be the electronics. Which is why even when buying a USA press, I chose a brand that has reasonably priced replacement parts and a solid history of stocking parts for their older models.
Is it common that heat presses need parts replaced? Is it a regular thing or it's just if something fails and needs ro be replaced?
Assurance and service seems like a good peace of mind to have.
As NoXid outlined, I don't wanna buy a press then find it being faulty and having to send that heavy thing back. Which will take ages and cost some dollars to deal with.

are you buying from bizsupplies?
No, I found this Australian company in Victoria selling heat presses. That's where I found the Stahls Clam basic heat press. With this lockdown I have to have it shipped or I might have saved 1 or 2 hundreds of dollars picking it up. Maybe. 🤷‍♂️

Do you's think $1250.00AUD for the Stahls Clam basic heat press including shipping is decent? Being that it is made in China? Not saying that all made in China are bad but I am trying to say, I might be able to buy a press of the same quality without the brand for cheaper.
I have sent a quote for the Microtec Heat press with slide out drawer to see how much it will cost. I might just have to roll the dice like into the T says. Fingers crossed...

Nothing lasts forever... Even the most expensive heat press will eventually fail, especially if it has a lot of electronics.
My advice is to focus on making money so you can replace your equipment, and obviously a $600 press is much easier to replace than a $2,000 press.
If you press 2,000 shirts with a $600 press the cost per shirt will be 30 cents.
So true... Honestly tho, $600 press is alot more attractive to my wallet than $2000 LOL Most importantly, as long as it gets the job done.

Let's see if Microtec can do me a good deal... Keep ya's posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,460 Posts
No, I found this Australian company in Victoria selling heat presses. That's where I found the Stahls Clam basic heat press. With this lockdown I have to have it shipped or I might have saved 1 or 2 hundreds of dollars picking it up. Maybe. 🤷‍♂️

I have sent a quote for the Microtec Heat press with slide out drawer to see how much it will cost. I might just have to roll the dice like into the T says. Fingers crossed...


Let's see if Microtec can do me a good deal... Keep ya's posted.
you know bizsupplies is just up the road in sydney, and has the microtec with slide-out drawer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi, my only advice is, as they say, buy cheap, buy twice. I made the error of buying a Vevor when I first started, worked great for the first couple of weeks. Before I had to buy a decent press. Which I should've done in the first place what attracted me to the Vevor was the fact that it came with many attachments. The attachments are better than the press itself. I should have just gone in with the decent one to start with. Good luck x


Hi everyone,

I am in Melbourne Australia and I am starting my clothing brand so I am a super newbie to this scene. I have been looking at heat press machines the last couple of weeks. Trying to find an affordable heat press and there seems to be limited information on what I want to know. Hopefully someone can enlighten me and shed some light.

I have read that the major brands like Stahls, Geo-knight, Siser and Hix are the way to go but it is abit out of my budget. My plan is to find something that is a little cheaper and when my business kicks off then I will buy a better heat press. I have been watching and reading alot of reviews online but besides the major branded ones, the rest seems like they're just imports from china and rebranded. Like Vevor (don't know if its from China but it gives me that vibe). However I have seen some good reviews for them. I am not looking to buy a $200-300 one from China, if I was to buy one from China I want a decently priced one with good quality, functionality and relibility.
After heaps of searching, I found a local seller that's selling the Stahl's Clam basic heat press 16x20. Everything from price to location etc. was very good. Until I did some further searches and found that it is "MADE IN CHINA".
Reading and watching so many reviews of Stahls heat press, it definitely slapped me in the face. I thought Stahls were a USA made product? Does anyone own one and are using this heat press? I hope you can shed some light. Because if this Stahls heat press is made in China, then I might as well look in to a Microtec heat press from China that has 17+ years experience in heat presses and get a better bang for the buck. From what I have searched, some user reviews say it is quite reliable and read that it has decent support as well.

I am a newb so I can be wrong but just from what I have read and searched this is where I am at at the moment. Hence why I want some help and opinion in choosing a decent heat press. I dont want to buy a marked up heat press that will have the same quality as the "Made in China" ones just because the brand is better. Like a Gucci Leather jacket that cost $400.00 but sold for $5000.00, if that makes sense?
I am more concerned of the funtionality and reliability rather than the brand. If anyone has experience with any of the mentioned heat presses especially the Stahl's Clam basic heat press 16x20 or the Microtec heat press from China please please help me out and give me your honest opinions and experience.

I have also read that some bought used heat presses but I rather get a new one because I don't really know what to look for in a used heat press. Plus, I havn't found many in Australia.

One more thing I am abit confused about is, why do some heat presses say it can do sublimination as well? is there such a heat press that presses both heat transfer vinyl and sublimination in one?

Hope someone here can help with my enquiry because I have tried searching everywhere before I started this discussion.

Much appreciated, (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Hi, my only advice is, as they say, buy cheap, buy twice.
It depends what you consider "cheap".
A 15x15 inch press with 4 additional attachments for $150 will definitely be junk.
The only way to make a heat press that cheap is using a ridiculously thin heat plate and a crappy or very thin silicone pad. These are the expensive parts.
A thick 15x15 plate of aluminum would cost $40 (the price of metal) on its own, and a half inch thick pure silicone pad will cost at least another $40.
Even at half thickness, these parts will be too expensive for a press selling $150 retail.

You also have to watch out for people selling those $150 for $250. Price is not a indication of quality, and people do sell overpriced junk.
This is why buying from established, reputable, and accepting returns shop is recommended.

what attracted me to the Vevor was the fact that it came with many attachments. The attachments are better than the press itself.
That's one of those $150 heat presses. The small accessories are cheap to produce and make the product look like a unicorn.
Once people realize they've bought a donkey with a dildo on its head, it's way too late.
The dildo may be good quality, but donkeys don't have magical powers, and cannot heal illnesses like unicorns do.

I paid just £350 a pop (around $450) for my 16x20 heat presses 5-6 years ago and I still have them.
I had to repair every single one of them a few times (identical faults), but I've also used them for pressing tens of thousands of shirts.
I do my own repairs, and these low cost presses are much easier to repair than let's say a $3,000 Hotronix heat press.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top