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Discussion Starter #1
Great forum Rodney and I've learned a lot so far!
Other newbies...take a few hours to read all the old posts.
Thanks in advance. Susan

We are looking to make our own t-shirts
to test the market So it will be short runs
of one of each design.

The budget for a new heat press is under $1,000.


1st QUESTION
Seems as if the preferred press is HIX (which I understand
used to be National from local supplier).


2nd QUESTION
Why jump from small-sized press (e.g., 15 x 15)
to larger 16 x 20 inch?

My reasoning for going larger is I'll have more options
for XXL shirts, tote bags and using larger images. And
I read easier placement of garment/item.

3rd QUESTION
Analog or Digital? Pros/Cons?


Here's what I'm looking at


HIX SWINGMAN 20 - 16 -X 20 $865.00

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Advised by McLogan Supply Co. in Los Angeles (www.mclogan.com)
this is reliable. Was told the OLD 15x15 Swingman
had problems with wire getting in way, but Hix supposedly
fixed this problem on 15 x 15 new models.

QUESTION - is "swing away" better? Pros/cons?


HIX HT-600 D clam shell 16 X 20
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Apparently this is THE "tried and true" heat press.
Pros/Cons?


Other heatpress brands I've discovered.....

INSTAPRESS
Costs a lot more - least expensive is $1,035

JET PRESS
They are less expensive than the other brands.
Is this because they are barebones? Or not well made
and full of problems?

George Knight Clamshell DK20 - 16" x 20" $976.00
Anyone happy or unhappy with theirs?

MIGHTY PRESS
I know nothing, except seems inexpensive.

Going to the McLogan showroom on Friday
to check out the Hix and InstaPress heat presses.
Will be cool to see the $20,000 Brother Garment Printer.
Too bad I didn't know about the Long Beach trade show
a few weeks ago.
 

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There are a ton of things to consider when buying a press, however the main points are time, temperature & pressure. The preferred brand ranges, and you've pretty much covered all of them in your post. I would definitely recommend digital time & temperature & some kind of over the center pressure adjustment (there are even presses out now with a digital release/automatic opening feature). You should be able to find a digital press in the 16 x 20 size within your budget. If the press has the right kind of upper platen you will not need a swing away press. What I mean is there are clamshell presses now that will lock down on items up to 1" thick with no pinching effect (traditionally what clamshells are criticized for). Keep this in mind: a clamshell is space saving and more affordable -- a swing away is higher priced but allows for more layout room and keeps the heat of the upper platen off of you. The decision on that one is simply a preference. I'm sure the daily users here could sound off a little more on this one...
 

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I have the DK20S, Swingarm, works great for me. I personally prefer the Swingarm, like JohnEllsworth said, it will keep the heat off of you. If you are new like i was it takes time to get the tee straight, make sure the transfer is straight, so lots of heat would be right in your face. By the time you are comfortable with that, you will be printing several tees a day, and will have just as much heat in you face. I would spend the few extra dollars for the swingarm (just my opinion)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tripletees, thanks for letting me know about massive amounts of hot steam
in the face. That's what I thought. I'm just under 5-feet. I'm thinking now we need to purchase an adjustable height table from Ikea LOL.

The Geo Knight DK20S Digital Swingarm looks really nice with lots of bells and whistles. Wow! How long have you had it and what's your volume? We like a good deal but are willing to pay for quality and ease of use. I'm looking for a Geo Knight supplier so I can take a personal look.

Susan


triplebtees said:
I have the DK20S, Swingarm, works great for me. I personally prefer the Swingarm, like JohnEllsworth said, it will keep the heat off of you. If you are new like i was it takes time to get the tee straight, make sure the transfer is straight, so lots of heat would be right in your face. By the time you are comfortable with that, you will be printing several tees a day, and will have just as much heat in you face. I would spend the few extra dollars for the swingarm (just my opinion)
 

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You seem to have already done your research pretty well =)

The only special note about the Geon Knight presses is that they are known to have electrical problems. They've known about the problems for years but as far as I know how yet to actually fix the problem in their new presses. If it does burn out (the wiring harness or whatever), they will send you a new one for free I believe, but you could be down for a few days and it's a fire hazard. Many people have used Geo Knights without ever having this problem, but enough have had this happen to definitely be worth mentioning.

Also, I personally don't think a digital tempreture gague is very important, but I haven't been pressing shirts long enough or with enough different kinds of presses to really say for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Twinge,

What press are you using? I figure I would go digital and swing arm as the cost difference is very little. I just want something reliable/good quality and I won't outgrow as we'll be using for other items besides t-shirts.

Will be going to showrooms next week for personal look.

Susan


Twinge said:
You seem to have already done your research pretty well =)

The only special note about the Geon Knight presses is that they are known to have electrical problems. They've known about the problems for years but as far as I know how yet to actually fix the problem in their new presses. If it does burn out (the wiring harness or whatever), they will send you a new one for free I believe, but you could be down for a few days and it's a fire hazard. Many people have used Geo Knights without ever having this problem, but enough have had this happen to definitely be worth mentioning.

Also, I personally don't think a digital tempreture gague is very important, but I haven't been pressing shirts long enough or with enough different kinds of presses to really say for sure.
 

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Suzieth, i have had my DK20S for almost a year, I print between 100-200 tees a month, and have not had any electrical issues. I bought mine at www.bestblanks.com and because they are located about an hour from where i live, i was able to go to the warehouse and checkout some presses. I was like you, i want to see it before i spend the hard earned money on it.
 

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suzieh said:
Twinge,

What press are you using? I figure I would go digital and swing arm as the cost difference is very little. I just want something reliable/good quality and I won't outgrow as we'll be using for other items besides t-shirts.
Well, right now all I have is a used press I bought from a screen printer locally that didn't need it anymore. It's about 15+ years old, an analog Insta 15x20 press. Worked fine for several months, but now it's not pressing evenly... oh well, I can't really complain too much, got it very cheaply.

Now I'm planning on getting a new Hix Swingman 15x15.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Triplebtees. We're willing to spend. I have not regretted dropping serious bucks for Epson 900 printers in 1997. They are still going strong!

Yes, we have a Geo Knight showroom about 30 miles away...that could be a 90-minute drive in LA traffic :p Susan

triplebtees said:
Suzieth, i have had my DK20S for almost a year, I print between 100-200 tees a month, and have not had any electrical issues. I bought mine at www.bestblanks.com and because they are located about an hour from where i live, i was able to go to the warehouse and checkout some presses. I was like you, i want to see it before i spend the hard earned money on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Twinge, have you tried asking a printer who they use for repairs locally.There's usually a regional publication for the print industry and someone there may be able to look at your analog Insta.

:(Okay, I was told by my local Hix supplier that the OLD Hix Swingman 15x15 has problems with the wire getting in the way. Apparently, this has been corrected. So just a heads-up.

We're going to jump to 16 x 20 size for flexibility.

Twinge said:
Well, right now all I have is a used press I bought from a screen printer locally that didn't need it anymore. It's about 15+ years old, an analog Insta 15x20 press. Worked fine for several months, but now it's not pressing evenly... oh well, I can't really complain too much, got it very cheaply.

Now I'm planning on getting a new Hix Swingman 15x15.
 

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Great thread. I am quite a newb and find this site absolutely fantastic. I love the interweb :)

I'm curious Susan, did you end up going with this? - http://www.bestblanks.com/heatpress.html#9

Also, to all you who do your own printing, how would I go about learning how to use the heat press? Is it all in the manual or is there some common knowledge I am missing? This is after reading about temperatures, digital pressure, height gauge, etc. Is there a resource anyone can point me to?

Loving this forum - thanks!

Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Adrian,

I've spent hours and hours reading posts here and on other message boards and groups. You will learn a lot by doing so. There's a book at personalizedsupplies.com (TLM supply house) that many new people seem to like on another group. No, I have not been able to check out any presses yet but leaning towards the Knight Digital Swingarm 16 x 20. Lots of reading at Yahoo group heat_transfers_for_desktop_printers as well. I want to buy my equipment local.

Susan H.

Jehozadak said:
Great thread. I am quite a newb and find this site absolutely fantastic. I love the interweb :)

I'm curious Susan, did you end up going with this? - http://www.bestblanks.com/heatpress.html#9

Also, to all you who do your own printing, how would I go about learning how to use the heat press? Is it all in the manual or is there some common knowledge I am missing? This is after reading about temperatures, digital pressure, height gauge, etc. Is there a resource anyone can point me to?

Loving this forum - thanks!

Adrian
 

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Thanks for the reply, Susan. I have been doing research here and there and slowly trying to put the pieces together. Threads like this really help when figuring out what my choices are. Anyways... back to the research.

Adrian
 

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I've just burnt through my 2nd Geo Knight. THe fist one lasted 8 months and then started smoking! and this one is only 5 months old and already the temp gauge isn't working. Says its only 200 degress, but is burning stuff at a 400+ temp. I need yet ANOTHER heat press and will definately not buy another Knight.
 

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I suggest you check out the HIX and Stahls brand press', I have heard lots of bad things about Geo Knight. Theyu seem to have a problem with their on/off switch and their heating elements. When I was looking for a new press,I found this out on a dye sub forum. ..... JB
 

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I'ma newbie too, just researching all of the facets before launching my business.

It seems like everyone uses these pressing devices whether heat or silk screen, etc...

http://www.findscreenprinters.comIs it imperative to make your own stuff or do some established people still use an established vendor to make their products?
I'm researching some vendors in the Boston area b/c it never occured to me to make my own stuff (plus I want help with graphics from their artist).

i'm not exactly a techincal/mechanical person so I'm wonderingif I could operate a press anyway...

Thoughts?
 

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Is this not an UL approved machine?
Hello,
I am a Newbie, ready to buy a press. I have been reading away. I was going to buy the Geo Knight DK16, but you have had problems with yours? Which one did you end up buying?

Thanks a million.
Tracey
 

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I'ma newbie too, just researching all of the facets before launching my business.

It seems like everyone uses these pressing devices whether heat or silk screen, etc...

http://www.findscreenprinters.comIs it imperative to make your own stuff or do some established people still use an established vendor to make their products?
I'm researching some vendors in the Boston area b/c it never occured to me to make my own stuff (plus I want help with graphics from their artist).

i'm not exactly a techincal/mechanical person so I'm wonderingif I could operate a press anyway...



Thoughts?
Hi Paragonx,
I am fairly new to this forum. I am wondering if you bought a press? I am new to this whole idea of heat pressing. I have been trying to do business with local screen printers, and also with companies that print
directly on the shirt. I will tell you if you want to do small volume shirts through someone else, it is very costly. Some charge for Art and set up fees and for shipping. That leaves me barely able to make 2-4 bucks a shirt, not enough to pay the bills of my business. I have found people do not want the small jobs. They end up getting my art work and not returning phone calls. I am wondering if you decided to try the heat press route? I feel I have to at this point. Good luck!
Traceyt:)
 
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