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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I swore I posted this question but it looks like my connection crapped and I lost it :(

Basically, I'm looking for a general consensus on a heat press with a maximum budget of around $500.(If you can get a good press for a little more, that's fine. I just want to do it right.)


I guess I didn't do enough homework before I bought and I want to avoid that mistake again... I purchased a 12x15" press that I haven't been thrilled with and am returning. After looking at the bottom plate, it's not perfectly level. The middle is a little bowed, which makes the outside edges slightly lower. When I lock down the press, there's a good 1/8th inch gap between the edges of the bottom plate and the press. I've tried all sorts of dwell and heat settings, (and everything else) and no matter what, if I get the transfer image too far away from the center, the ink that's transferred gradually declines towards the edges. The press is pretty generic (from Heat Press Heroes, which I just found a post on here discussing) and I haven't been too impressed. One of the knobs came broken, among other issues.

But we've got a lot of big orders coming in in a month and we need a good press relatively quickly. What do you guys think? What press should I get? It needs to be at least 16" and my max budget is roughly $500 or so?
 

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Our heat press is over $1200

Digital Knight 16X20 Clamshell: Colman and Company - Discount Commercial Embroidery Supplies - Machine Embroidery Supplies Catalog w/ auto pop upgrade
DK20 Auto-Release Pop-Up Upgrade: Colman and Company - Discount Commercial Embroidery Supplies - Machine Embroidery Supplies Catalog


We can run our heat press 12 hours a day 7 days a week with no problems been doing this for over a year now.

Perfect presses every time

We did over 300 shirts never had a problem very consistent.

No problems.

imo ~ save your money get the best because otherwise you will be in the same situation again.

If the heat press is your main source of getting the job done because you can always modify a printer and change paper to get the best results. The heat press stays the same.
 

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There are quality presses available for a good price.

There are many vendors available, some on this site, and the good ones will offer assistance and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I've been doing some homework. Thanks for the messages guys. I'm returning this crap press I already have....

I guess my two questions now are as follows:

I found what seems to be an alright one (thanks to ascjames) on ebay. But now I'm pretty weary about spending $350 on a 16x20 or 24" heat press. I spent $380 last time on a smaller press and look what I got. Should I be scared to spend less for fear of a crappier product? Is that an unfounded fear?

Second, which brands should I be looking at for around my price range? Thanks a ton, y'all!
 

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I have a Hix HT 400D that I really like, it's only 15x15, but i payed less than $500 for it used on eBay. I decided to purchase it based on posts I saw here. The model up, the 600D has a bigger platen, but is more expensive (they're both a lot more than $500 if you buy new, but they're extremely durable, so buying used shouldn't be a problem unless you want a warranty).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a Hix HT 400D that I really like, it's only 15x15, but i payed less than $500 for it used on eBay. I decided to purchase it based on posts I saw here. The model up, the 600D has a bigger platen, but is more expensive (they're both a lot more than $500 if you buy new, but they're extremely durable, so buying used shouldn't be a problem unless you want a warranty).
Funny you should mention that! I've basically narrowed it down to a Hix or a Hotronix. (Yup, that really shoots my budget estimate down, but I want something I won't have to worry about.) I haven't decided between new or used. I haven't hardly found any hotronix used...



Anybody got any input?
 

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Funny you should mention that! I've basically narrowed it down to a Hix or a Hotronix. (Yup, that really shoots my budget estimate down, but I want something I won't have to worry about.) I haven't decided between new or used. I haven't hardly found any hotronix used...



Anybody got any input?
Hi Cyprus,

Firstly, let me put out my disclaimer, I work for Stahls.

One trick you might try is to set up a Google Alert for keywords that would be related to what you're looking to buy. Google alerts sends me a good handful of Craigslist items every day, with used heat presses for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So an update guys!! I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought a new Hotronix 16x20 heat press by Stahl's. It was quite a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I know it's darn good quality that will last.

I bought it from Specialty Graphics Supply offers vinyl cutters, heat presses, transfer sheets, sign and t-shirt vinyl and more and it was completely pain free. I used a coupon that I found on this forum to knock some off the price, which was nice. The thing got to me in a couple of days, shipped out the same day. And I thought this was cool... they sent me a good $100 worth of coupons after I bought it.

On a side note, I was going to buy one from Transfer Paper, Heat Press, Heat Transfer Vinyl, Sublimation - Coastal Business. but they were in the same state as me, which meant $100 tax. I tried to swing it several different ways so I could keep the business fairly local, but alas, no way to swing it and I was already about $700 over budget. They still seemed like really helpful folks though!

All in all, I'm really happy with my purchase, though I haven't used it too terribly much as I'm still waiting for most of my plastisol transfers to come in.
 

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You bought the right press,Sthals service is first rate,if you need custom transfers Trandfers the have a side biz, call Transfer Express ,fast and good, :):D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You bought the right press,Sthals service is first rate,if you need custom transfers Trandfers the have a side biz, call Transfer Express ,fast and good, :):D
Man, I tried Transfer Express and found their website incredibly confusing & hard to use. I have custom plastisol transfers I want and all their links to things like "Custom Transfer Art" and "Custom Transfers" are all just to their stock stuff, among other problems.
 
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