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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys my name is Khydijah and I'm looking to by a heat press and to arar my apparel company but i don't know which way to go. I've been looking at cheap vs. expensive, geo night vs. hix, china vs. America and still don't have a clue of what machine would be best. So I thought maybe if I asked you all what make/model machine you have? Does it do everything you want it to? And how much did it cost? I can get an idea of what would work for me. I need my machine to be able to last at least 5-7 years if not longer, have the ability to press shirt (thick and thin , big and small) pant legs, sleeves, aprons etc... You know pretty much any flat even surface. Down the line I am going to add caps etc. but for right now just need a great stable cost efficient machine. I would like to pay no more than 4-450 but will go up if I'm secure it will be everything and more for a long time, b/c this is an investment.
 

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If you are only spending 400-450 you will have no choice but to purchase an imported machine. 5-7 years? Who knows? Think of it this way. If you buy a car, do you really know how long it will give you good service? Depends on the how you drive it, the amount of driving, and the construction. Same with a heat press.
 

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I have a 10 yr old Black Max 15x15 clam shell that works as good today as it did the day I bought it. I paid $600 for it back then. I've hauled this particular heat press in my van 30 to 40 weekends a year throughout the NE and set up indoors and outdoors using various sources of electricity (including generators). The few repairs (springs and relay switch) were easy to make since it is a Stahl's machine and parts were easy to access. It is finally showing a bit of wear, but I'd bet I could sell it for at least $100+ with no trouble.

I press shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants, totes, mousepads, puzzles and aprons. You will need a cap press to do caps.

I also bought a used Hix HD400 Digital (again a clamshell) that I've been pleased with.
 

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Your odds with a Chinese press are better if you buy from a reputable dealer but if you want durability, buy a professional (as opposed to hobby) press.

To answer your question, I own a Hotronix 16x20 ($1200, demo model) and Maxx Cap Press ($200, used).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so it sounds like MAXX and Hotronix are the best options for longevity and durability and I've also heard Geo Knight was great too. But do I save and go for the glory or just shuck out a few hundred just to get my feet wet? I'd rather wait and get a machine that has all the bells and whistles. I have children so i def would need something that beeps and auto opens b/c i can become easily distracted with them or other things, even pressure and even heat distribution and i would preferr something USA made, in case of it needed to be serviced...am i asking for too much or just giving excuses for not starting now arrrrrggghhh:confused:!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
your right proworlded..I've just had cold feet but no more i'm ready... can u suggest a good working budget friendly machine to start with I would need something that auto opens. I was looking at a PRO-1620AD - 16" x 20" Auto Opening clam Heat Transfer Press Machine - Pull Out Draw Style. have you heard of this one..if so is it good and worth 500$ (ebay)?
 

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I am not familiar with this machine. As important as the machine is the supplier. Make sure that they will be able to provide service, replacement parts, and technical help if needed.
 

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I lucked into a very old Geo knight 394ts (before they were called that). It is my first press and I absolutely love it. I don't know how I could go to a clamshell after using this press. The best thing I like about it and what I would look for other than good quality is a press that you can dress. I think you get a better pressing when you are just pressing one side instead of both set there on top of each other. Maybe this is just in my head, but I think that especially fleece (sweats) are a huge advantage to be able to feed them onto the press instead of setting both layers there.

I've considered selling my press and getting a smaller less production press and then using that money for a vinyl cutter too, but I just love it too much. Best $60 I've ever spent. If I had to get something else I think I'd look at the George Knight DK20 dual swinger (I think that's what it is). Before I found this though I was looking at Chinese 15x15 presses and wishing I could find a cheaper one that I could afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@printingray true indeed, I've decided to save for a professional machine appose to a hobby machine. While I'm saving, so I'm not just wasting time I'm gonna get my designs drawn up and laid out and transfered.

Thank everyone you've been a TREMENDOUS help!!!
 

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Don't leave out Hix, I've used some Hix machines that looked like they were drug cross country behind a train and they still worked perfectly, they are tough machines.

Something to consider, if you can't do it right the first time, can you afford to re-do it if the press is defective.
 
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