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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I wanted to start doing small quantities of tshirts and other garments for many of my customers that cannot afford going to screen printing shop. I do decals and printed vinyl for many customers and most of them cannot afford to get 25 min of many of the local screen printing shops. I wanted to start doing some shirts & hoodies. I have no prior experience with shirts, I have only done sign work with decals and prints.

I would like to start out with something below $650 if possible, if cheaper better. Below are two that I have been considering getting from US Cutter, not sure if they are good to get me started or anything. If you could direct me in the right direction or give me some beginners tips I would highly appreciate it, 16"x20" (thanks PatWibble). I have lots of space available too.

Thank you so much for your time and recommendations. Hope you have a great day.

https://www.uscutter.com/1515-Clamshell-Heat-Press-with-Cap-Press

https://www.uscutter.com/Swing-Arm-Heat-Press-Volume-Production-Bundle
 

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Can't help you with specific models because I am in the UK and I am not familiar with those models. All I will say is go for a slightly larger garment press -16x20" - you will have much more scope for larger size t-shirt prints.


Your budget is about right to get two good starter presses.
 

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I suggest going with a better quality press like a Geo Knight DK20 or a Fusion.
Good market need good press though.
AL
 

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you are very close to hix swingman15 territory ($800)

these things are usa made and built like tanks, no electronics to fail, just a simple analog temp controller

mine is 30 years old and runs like new (no cold-spots, pressure knob perfect, etc.)
i've done up to 5xl with it, but you do have to think about the design and how to press, but for 95% of the shirts we do (up to 2xl) it works fine for vinyl

you can find them around, or hit up proworlded for more info, as proworld sells them
 

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...no electronics to fail, just a simple analog temp controller...
This is a very good point!

Circuit boards full of chips and stuff make all sorts of fancy features possible, but they are also why virtually everything made now days is destined for the landfill. Old washers and dryers, and ovens, and the like may occasionally need an inexpensive belt, bulb, element, or sensor replaced, but otherwise are pretty much indestructible.

When I was about 50, I sold the washer dryer set my grandmother had when I was a kid. Still worked fine.

I've got one of those "starter" heat presses made in a far away land. The control board failed just out of warranty, and with very little use. At least it still correctly displays the temp and counts time. So I just rigged a manual switch to cycle the heat on/off. (No, the issue is not the SSR, but some gizmo on the board.)

Practically everyone I know has some expensive appliance that quit working one day and required an $800 circuit board to fix. Most of these weren't all that old. Might be an extra chip in these things designed to FUBAR the board when corporate profits need a boost ;)
 

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This is a very good point!

Circuit boards full of chips and stuff make all sorts of fancy features possible, but they are also why virtually everything made now days is destined for the landfill.

I don't like buying presses or conveyors with circuit boards for the simple reason that the boards are usualy bespoke and you are reliant on the manufacturer to have the parts available when you need them.


My presses and conveyor all come from small scale manufacturers who install sealed unit PID temperature controllers. Probably no more or less reliable than a bespoke board, but readily available online for about £50 if a replacement is needed. Simple to replace.
 

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Can't help you with specific models because I am in the UK and I am not familiar with those models. All I will say is go for a slightly larger garment press -16x20" - you will have much more scope for larger size t-shirt prints.


Your budget is about right to get two good starter presses.

Hi Pat, I was lurking on this thread from the UK. What heat press do you use?
 
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