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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The past few weeks, you all have convinced me that it's just stupid to keep messing with these "off brand" non-US-made presses. Plus it's making me crazy to keep getting defective presses.

So, I'm gonna return the most recent messed-up press I got last week and bite the bullet and get one of the quality presses recommended by the people on this forum.

I've been researching and I know this question has been asked here many times before, but I'm getting down to the gritty details and I just can't decide between the following two (both clamshells for space issues):

1. Hotronix Auto Open Clamshell 16x16 ($1400)

OR

2. Geo Knight Auto Open Clamshell 16x14 ($1250)

I'm inclined to go with the Geo Knight one at this point because it's cheaper. Other than that, the two presses seem like they have the exact same features. They both also give a digital pressure read-out, which for a newcomer like me, seems important.

But before I buy the GK, does anyone know why the Hotronix might be worth $150 more? Is it a little bit better for some reason? Do they have better tech support/customer service?

The warranty on the Geo Knight looks a little better 'cause they have 3 years on the control board, whereas Hotronix has 2 years. The rest is the same.

I know everyone has different opinions and that either of these two will be great, but I just wanted to check with you all because spending this kind of money makes me pretty nervous.

Also, bonus question: what's your preferred website to buy these things from?

I was looking at heattransferwarehouse.com 'cause they won't charge me for tax or shipping, but I've never used them before so don't know how reliable they are.
 

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geo knight hands down
hotronix parts are mucho dineros and difficult to replace, plus they stop making parts once that model is discontinued

you can do a search for 'hotronix' and 'geo knight' here in this subcategory, just start typing the name and you will see a drop-down for searching in 'this forum'
this may help you in your decision

don't forget hix also has a 15x15 in this category, proworld has it here
(they now come with a splitter stand for threading tees)

reach out to our member proworlded in a pm and see if he can give you some advice, they have all the presses mentioned here
or if you like the hix then our other member 613originalsrick carries them as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
geo knight hands down
hotronix parts are mucho dineros and difficult to replace, plus they stop making parts once that model is discontinued

you can do a search for 'hotronix' and 'geo knight' here in this subcategory, just start typing the name and you will see a drop-down for searching in 'this forum'
this may help you in your decision

don't forget hix also has a 15x15 in this category, proworld has it here
(they now come with a splitter stand for threading tees)

reach out to our member proworlded in a pm and see if he can give you some advice, they have all the presses mentioned here
or if you like the hix then our other member 613originalsrick carries them as well
Thanks for this answer. I was leaning toward GK mainly for the price, all else being equal. Although I suppose the platen is 2" smaller than that Hotronix.

I considered the Hix, but I took it out of the running mainly because the warranty was less generous than the other two companies. They all offer lifetime for the platen, but Hix only offers 1 year warranty on everything else (as far as I could tell), whereas the other two give 5 years on the frame. GK covers the control board for 3 yrs, and Hotronix does it for 2.

Also looks like Hix doesn't have a teflon coating on the platen. I'm sure it's not that big of a deal, but as someone who will probably do more than a few screw-ups, seems like the teflon will be much easier to clean.
 

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don't forget teflon will monkey with your temps, and there was a thread here too where it off-gases on every press resulting in the deaths of pet birds

personally that is the first thing i would remove on a new press and stick with using parchment paper

geo knight and hix are made in the usa, hotronix is made in china if that affects your decision making process
and i mean that in the shopping and supporting local manufacturers

i am pretty sure proworld has a 2 year extended warranty on the hix components
 

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The price difference is partially due to the Hotronix being a bit larger in one dimension.

In general I like Hotronix features, but am scared away by the high cost of replacement parts, especially controllers. Parts for Geo Knight tend to be more reasonable.

That Geo Knight press you are considering is the same one I will be getting ... if my current piece of rigged-up Chinese poop proves to be inadequate to my next project (and/or when I get tired of fussing with the thing). 16 x 14 seems a good size if one wants to thread shirts on the press (and not have to buy an additional smaller platen). There are certainly limits to what I can thread on my current 16 x 20.
 

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I've had the Hotronix clamshell for several years and I had to replace the thermostat which was no big deal - and the customer service was good - I think the part was $60. It worked fine for a couple years and now when I set the temp it just goes past it - if I turn it on and off - it goes to the correct temp. Weird, but it's something I can live with. Overall, I've liked this press.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was all set to get the Geo Knight today, but then saw this thread about them having problems with a concave platen: DK20 Issues

Anyone know if this has been a problem in the years since this thread happened?

This has me leaning back toward the Hotronix, even though the pricey spare parts initially scared me off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One other thing I just noted -- looks like GK's tech support runs on normal east coast business hours, but Hotronix has 24/7 support. I like the idea of not having to wait until Monday to get problems solved. Has anyone used their tech support? Is it really 24/7/365?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would call and ask them before you use that as a determing factor for your purchase. Hard to imagine a technician sitting at their desk waiting for that New Year's eve phone call about a heat press.
Just called and checked. They said they have techs basically "on call" with their cell phones, and that someone is always available. This feels like a big differentiator to me.

The idea of something going wrong on a Friday evening and having to wait until Monday for support is something I'd love to be able to avoid, especially given my recent bad luck with presses.

But I'm still mulling (aka being intensely undecided).
 

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I think the Hotronix has the quick-change platens in different sizes--including sleeve. Another vote for ProWorld since Ed is on the forum regularly. Maybe irregularly.
Geo Knight has a similar setup. The newest version also allows platens to be switched between "landscape" and "portrait" orientation. Can be a little confusing to browse for info as to what works with which presses, as initially the "rotatable" platens only worked on a few models, and some sites still list it that way (see Geo itself for clearer info). But I think all the places sell the newer ones now.

PS

Anyone have thoughts about the merits of using an undersized platen versus an undersized pad to avoid press lines on polyester shirts? I'm leaning toward the 16x14 with a smaller pad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quick little update: I just pulled the trigger and bought the DK16A.

I'm kind of in a state of shock that I just spent that much money, but I'm hoping I can make it back. At least I'll feel much more confident pushing my product if I know the press is rock solid.

Thanks for all the input you've all given me!
 

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Quick little update: I just pulled the trigger and bought the DK16A.

I'm kind of in a state of shock that I just spent that much money, but I'm hoping I can make it back. At least I'll feel much more confident pushing my product if I know the press is rock solid.

Thanks for all the input you've all given me!
Cool :)

Let us know how it goes. Like I said, I'm likely getting one of these myself before long. In particular, I'd like to know if you are happy with the 16 x 14 size. I have a 20 x 16 now, but think a 16 x 14 would be better, as then I could thread all adult sizes on the press.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cool :)

Let us know how it goes. Like I said, I'm likely getting one of these myself before long. In particular, I'd like to know if you are happy with the 16 x 14 size. I have a 20 x 16 now, but think a 16 x 14 would be better, as then I could thread all adult sizes on the press.
I've only ever used 15x15 so I won't really have anything to compare it to. Not doing sublimation (yet at least) so that size should be fine for me. I do like that the GKs are fairly threadable from front and back without having to get an extra stand.
 
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