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Im looking into buying a heat press machine in the next week or so. I wanted to see if anyone wanted to share personal experiences of their own on which types are user friendly and easy to operate for a beginner. I read a few other threads and saw people were having problems with operating their press. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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the geo knight dk20 swing away is a great machine, we love the swing away feature, lets you line up transfers easy, and it has a great height feature also. lots of adjustments and it has a life time warrenty on the heat platen.
 

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I have a Stahl's Hotronix swinger. I think it's a 16X20. I've never used any other brand in the past 14 years and haven't owned any other brand for the past 3 years.

I did some research before purchasing the one I currently own and people were saying that they'd owned one for 15 years and they never had 1 single problem. That was the #1 selling point for me - you can't make money if your equipment is broke.

I think I paid about 1000.00 for a used one on Ebay and it came with a like new hat press and 5 teflon pillows. I have no complaints.

I think they're around 1500.00 new - they cost double what a lot of other presses cost, but I was just used to it so I stuck with what I knew.

I know that they always offer show specials - meaning they'll offer like 5% off for a week after a show. I'd call them and see when they're gonna be on sale next if you decided to go with the Stahls.
 

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So it seems most if not all the responses on here so far all use the swing rather than clamshell.

Is there anyone on the side of clamshell? I'm still weighing up which one to go for. It's a hard decision. I have the space available for the swing. But for some reason I sway to liking the clamshell.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!
 

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I have had a Hix 15 x 15 clamshell with the floating platen for about 7 years now. It's been great.
Not one bit of trouble with this press. I was tempted at the time with cheaper deals on ebay
with unknown names but decided to pay more for a well known name. I think in the long run this is
the best policy when it comes to heat presses or any equipment for that matter.

Lar
 

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Hix is your best bet. I prefer a clam personally and if you want to spend a bit more money, I'd tell you to take a look at this new splitter that I just got. Its amazing how many problems you can avoid with it.
[media]http://www.renegadethreads.com/2400flyersheets.pdf[/media]
 

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As far as clam vs. swinger goes;

I'd say it simply comes down to personal preference. Both ultimately do the same job in the same manner in the same amount of time.

I like to 'get over' my shirts to visually line them up. I have my press on a 8 foot folding table and the swinger allows me to lean forward and try to see directly over the shirt.

It seems like a clam would make you have to work from the side a bit. I mean, do you clam owners find yourself standing in front of the press, but moving your head to one side or the other of the press to grab the shirt? Is the handle of the clam ever a issue?

And it seems like a clam has a greater vertical operating distance. Seems like you have to do more reaching up and down whereas a swinger makes your arm move in a easier horizontal motion.

For me, it's the swinger.
 

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I have the stahls hotronix with the auto open, clam style and love it :) I dont have any problems with it lifting up instead of swinging over. I do have 2 swingers and they are actually more work to me swinging them back and forth. Also the auto open feature is really nice as I can walk away from my press and it opens on its own. Hope this helps :)
 

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Thanks for all the responses.....so the overall consensus is generally go with the name brand.......ill proly choose a clamp to start........thanks alot and ill keep u updated on how im doing.
Something to keep in mind if you go with a clam.
If you are planning on doing any sublimation printing on thicker items such as plaques or clocks you should get the clam with the floating platen which makes it alot easier when heatpressing these kinds of items.

Lar
 

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You'll probably end up with as many different answers as 'what is you favorite car?'. The most popular machine sold is a 15x15 manual press. It is the least expensive and a great choice for a beginner and a small volumer user.
 

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I have a 16x20 Phoenix (from what I can tell its a rebadged Hotronix) clamshell. The large size is nice in some ways but many times I wish I had a smaller platen.

I've only used clamshells but there was an earlier thread about swinger vs clam; the consensus in that thread was that swingers are more work and more tiring, this from people who had used both.

If I had to buy a press now, I would spend the extra for the Hix Splitter mentioned earlier. Being able to load my shirts on a cantilevered platen like in screenprinting would be a huge advantage.
 
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