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OK, so i've been told that using a laser printer is better than an inkjet for doing transfers, but have found so many people on here using inkjet. So, I'm wondering what the deal is -

I have about $500 to spend on a printer and was looking at purchasing a OKI 5500 - I do mainly custom tees for camps, sports teams, bachelorette parties, so am usually printing 1-10 sheets at a time.

I also see that a lot of people recommend the Duracotton paper and am thinking about using this as well - is that a smart decision? and where is the best place to purchase this?

I am outsourcing all my work, which has started to become very costly, not to mention, a pain in the butt to drive 20 minutes over there everyday. I have the press, so want to get the rest to go along with it.

THANKS!
 

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OK, so i've been told that using a laser printer is better than an inkjet for doing transfers, but have found so many people on here using inkjet. So, I'm wondering what the deal is -
Well, while I can't say for sure why folks pick what they pick, I do know for one thing lasers do cost more to get into. Laser can only do light shirts. The darkest color in the design has to be darker than the shirt.

Where as inkjet can be a song and dance for the printer, and you can do both light and darks shirts with different papers made for each.

From those who have done both processes, laser is considered by them to be a higher quality process. I know someone who switched to laser and will never go back to inkjet. But then, a paper like JPSS/jetprosofstretch has leveled the playing field, alot.

Then there is the "window" to consider. With certain laser papers, like no window "image clip". With inkjet, you have to trim the excess paper away or you can see the window. Again, JPSS has reduced that window alot, and on some brand shirts, you can not see it even if it's left in place.

The coin can be flipped again and again. :)


I have about $500 to spend on a printer and was looking at purchasing a OKI 5500 - I do mainly custom tees for camps, sports teams, bachelorette parties, so am usually printing 1-10 sheets at a time.
These kind of low qty, 1off jobs are perfect for inkjet and laser transfers.

Laser costs more to get into up front, but because of the toner, I understand is cheaper per print, so over time, becomes the more economical process. Opposite for inkjet, and if you use OEM geniuine ink carts, the ink expense is a very big burden $. Inkjets also wastes a ton of ink just because of how they are designed. There's a thread out there with a picture that can make a grown man cry. :)


I also see that a lot of people recommend the Duracotton paper and am thinking about using this as well - is that a smart decision? and where is the best place to purchase this?
I see that paper and Image Clip recommended. I would most definitely say you should find a member named Luis/Lnfortun. He uses laser and also Inkjet I think. Either way he has the best grip on both processes of anyone I've met on the boards. Great guy, shoots it straight, and he know his stuff.

I am outsourcing all my work, which has started to become very costly, not to mention, a pain in the butt to drive 20 minutes over there everyday. I have the press, so want to get the rest to go along with it.

THANKS!
Yep, it all adds up fast these days. Hopefully this info helps you out up front, and for the nitty gritty, Luis can give you specifics. (I find even reading his posts on laser etc very informative, so if he's still at the show, look up his posts in the meantime.) :) Good luck to you,
 

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Good post, Kelly. Thanks. I just want to add that there are also opaque transfers (for dark shirts) for Laser printers. i have used the Laser1 Opaque and the Forever-Dark.

... Laser can only do light shirts. The darkest color in the design has to be darker than the shirt.

Where as inkjet can be a song and dance for the printer, and you can do both light and darks shirts with different papers made for each.
 

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Thank you so much, Byron. I am glad you came along to add that. I'll remember that one for the future. Thanks again. :)
 

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One thing to consider is cost of operation. Ink jets are cheap but the ink is expensive and much of it is wasted. You also need to print just about every day or the heads will clog and you'll use up $15-20 worth of ink to unclog them. So the initial cost is low but the cost of operation is high. This is also true of cheap color lasers.

A nice color laser will be more expensive but you'll be spending pennies a print rather than a dollar+. And lasers don't clog. But I don't think that color laser printers reproduce photos nearly as well as an ink jet.
 

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I wonder if the OP is coming back... lol. Okay, either way, I checked with my good buddy, Luis to ask him more about the darks, and he had a nice review of the different papers, so I thought I'd share it with the OP here in case it's any benefit. (I asked Luis more with my own research in mind, so I understood more about these dark laser papers....) Here's a link to the post... hope it helps someone: :)
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/heat-press-heat-transfers/t34162.html#post342436
 

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I've used Duracotton HT and ImageClip. As for the printing process, ImageClip is superior because it has nothing to melt if the fuser is too hot. Also laser printing is much easier and quicker. Here's the problem, ImageClip and Duracotton require a very precise pressing proceedure. If the temp is too low it fails, if the pressure is not almost perfect it fails. With the ImageClip when peeling the red sheet from the green of not done correctly then it leaves gaps. Also Imageclip requires a lower temp for prepessing the sheets together, then a high temp for pressing. If you ever change the settings on your press, you would have to reestablish the correct pressing settings. If your press is manual then its trial and error. I have not tried the Duracotton goof, paper quantities for ordering are too high for me. So I don't know if it solves some of the probems with maintaining a high temp consistently. Duracotton HT was hit and miss for me. I liked it when it looked good and cussed when it didn't. With an inkjet paper like JPSS the success rate is very high. Temp does not have to be perfect, pressure does not have to be precise, peeling is more forgiving and easier. Inkjet printing does take longer and ink can be a mess. But it works almost every time. I have a variety of papers, but JPSS is just a no brainer. If JPSS made a one step laser paper that wouldn't melt in high heat fusers and would press at 375F, it would be great.
 
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Yes, that's why I have'nt tried the ImageClip yet; and also it's more expensive.

We have a new non-oil based laser printer, the canon iRC2550. So far so good with the Forever-Classic-Universal (lights), the Laser1 Opaque and the Forever-Dark-Opaque. I have also ordered some Techniprint Light Transfers to try out. I think it will work fine.
 

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Hi Byron, how do you like the darks? Thanks! :)
We'll, I'll put it this way:

I always tell my customers that "it's not a replacement to screenprinting". I also always have a sample to show them, and I also do Vinyl/Flex transfers (1 color only), so they can choose. We sub-out screenprinting jobs but we only accept quantities of over 240 pcs.

I personally think that the Forever-Dark's quality is a little better than Laser1 Opaque, but at the end of the day, "both are still opaque transfers", and both are acceptable and serve their purpose (few piece orders for dark tees).

p.s. We also have opaque transfers for printing on the Roland Versacamm (forever-solvent-Dark). They come in big sheets, 63.5 x 96.5 cm.
 

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...but at the end of the day, "both are still opaque transfers", and both are acceptable and serve their purpose (few piece orders for dark tees).
I hear you. Thanks for the review tho. :)

vctradingcubao said:
p.s. We also have opaque transfers for printing on the Roland Versacamm (forever-solvent-Dark). They come in big sheets, 63.5 x 96.5 cm.
How do you like these? How is the hand and duration? Thanks. :)
 

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Thanks for all the responses. I am thinking that a laser printer is the way to go for me. Can you recommend one that is not too expensive, but will give me the results I need? We don't do very many photo transfers, mainly just text and graphics (and mainly just 1 or 2-color graphics, actually!) We use the heat transfer method mostly when there's less than 12 pieces and don't want to sub it out to the screenprinter.
 

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My personal preference is the Okidata...either the 5500 or 5800...only difference is the 5800 does auto duplexing while the 5500 has to do manual...but both excellent.
 

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Yes, that's why I have'nt tried the ImageClip yet; and also it's more expensive.

We have a new non-oil based laser printer, the canon iRC2550. So far so good with the Forever-Classic-Universal (lights), the Laser1 Opaque and the Forever-Dark-Opaque. I have also ordered some Techniprint Light Transfers to try out. I think it will work fine.
Imageclip is a lot cheaper than most laser transfer paper including Duracotton HT. Jsut got to know the right vendor.
 

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Imageclip is a lot cheaper than most laser transfer paper including Duracotton HT. Jsut got to know the right vendor.
Hi Luis. But surely Imageclip, (with it's special feature) should be more expensive than the other regular laser transfers.
paperhood.com's listed price is 600USD for the PhototransPlus, 800USD for the Techniprint, and 1,300USD for the ImageClip, all 11x17 sizes. Forever-Classic is 310Euros and Forever-Classic-Universal costs 350Euros, both come in A3 sizes.
 

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Hi Byron,How good are these Forever classic ie. Are they self weeding or must they be trimmed.
These are the regular ones, not the self weeding type. Forever-classic is the equivalent of photo-trans plus, and the Forever-universal is the equivalent of Techniprint (for non-oil laser printers). I cut the unprinted portions using a pair of scissors. I like the Forever-Classic because the printed shirt comes out soft. And it's the cheapest paper out there.
 
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