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Hi! I've been looking into getting a heat press and I'm having a hard time getting information. Can anyone help me? I want it mainly to do vinyl cut-out designs onto t-shirts and sweatshirts...what would be the best type of press to use? This would be mainly for at-home personal use so it doesn't have to be anything amazing but i'd like something that can do bigger designs (15in x 15in at least).

Also, I won't have a vinyl cutter, I plan on just using scissors and x-acto knives to cut out simple letters and designs. This is do-able, right? What is the best type of vinyl to use? I prefer something that isn't too thick or stiff.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond!

Heather
 

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The Hix Swingman 15x15 Press is pretty popular and should work fine for you. You might also look into trying to find a used press locally (call up t-shirt printers and ask around).

I would definitely NOT Suggest trying to manually cut out designs from vinyl, even simple ones. You're bound to end up with some semi-jagged edges (even with a stencil), and the end result will almost definitely look unprofessional.

As far as what type of Vinyl to use, though, the Thermoflex Plus from Personalized supplies seems a pretty popular and good choice.
 

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Regarding the Hix 15-inch swing, make sure you have the newer one so the cord doesn't get in the way (dealer told me this).

As for cutters, what's your budget. The Roland Stikas start at about $400. Graphtec just came out with craft level line of cutters called Robo.

I just got off the phone with a local Roland dealer and she said she has an ol' timer who used to put all his family members cutting transfers many years back.

I think manually cutting is all a matter of "what" you are cutting. I sew and quilt and do paper crafts. If it's straight lines, then go with a quilting Omnigrid Ruler and Olga Rotary Cutter.

I've been advised to avoid the Chinese brands, but Ordway Signs has for about $700 and I've seen some at signwarehouse.com

I've cut mylar stencils with exacto knives (there are different blades). Also, Fiskars sells some intricate pointy scissors for embroidery and decoupage.

Just some thoughts....Susan
 
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