Finding the right heat press can seem like a tough task for anyone who is looking to buy their first one. The current popularity of these devices means that there are numerous models around to choose from. How will you know which one is right for you, though?
The ideal starting point is to look at a few of the top models on sale just now and think about your own needs. Then you can see which is the best heat press for home use in your case a lot more easily.
With this in mind, we have put together a list of the features to look at in order to make a good decision. After you have checked this out, then you might want to take a look at the 3 top models that we have reviewed for your information.
So, what are the main factors to take into account before you choose to buy a heat press?
Is It for Business or Leisure Purposes?
Not everyone who buys a heat press does so for the same reasons as everyone else. The main difference to take into account is whether you will be using it for personal reasons or to run a printing business. Both are popular choices for very different reasons.
This is a fantastic hobby to have, as you can print off terrific t-shirts, caps, and other stuff for family members and friends. This means that you can then hand out personalised gifts that give you a lot of satisfaction and put big smiles on other people’s faces as well.
Equally, it can also be a highly rewarding type of business venture to start up. Many people all over the world have been tempted into setting up a printing business using this type of machine. You don’t a lot of space, expert skills, or a large budget to start a business like this.
The approach that you are going to take will help you to understand what kind of heat press you need. If it is for business then you probably need one that is more robust and practical. If the business really takes off then you could end up carrying out loads of jobs every day, meaning that you need a heat press that won’t let you down.
If you want one purely for personal reasons then you might just go for a low-cost model that is simple to operate.
Of course, it is possible that you want a heat press to use for both personal and business reasons. In this case, you would be well advised to get the best model that you can find, as you are probably going to be using it a lot.
The Size You Need
Is the size of your new heat press important to you? The truth is that the majority of good heat presses for home use are nicely compact, so they shouldn’t take up to much room.
However, if there is a particular space that you need to fit it into then you might want to check the exact measurements of the models you are interested in. On the other hand, you might want a bigger model to fill a space better. For example, if you want it to take pride of place in your business premises.
Naturally, a smaller model is going to be more portable. On the negative side of things, you might find that it isn’t quite as sturdy, though. It can also be harder work to print off big designs on a compact heat press, as you will probably have to do it in sections instead of all at once.
The weight is also worth taking into account. If it is easily portable then you are going to be able to take it away with you to use in different locations if needed.
Take Into Account the Energy Consumption
Are you worried about the amount of energy that your heat press will consume? If you are going to be using it a lot for business reasons then the energy costs for this could be a big concern. You certainly don’t want the energy bills eating into your profits too much.
Or maybe you just want to be careful that you don’t do too much damage to the planet while you are printing off your designs. In either case, you will be pleased to see that the best heat presses typically don’t consume too much energy. To be fair, they only need to work for a minute or so at a time anyway.
Having said that, it is always a good idea to take into account the energy consumption of any device that you plan on buying. By taking this issue and making a good choice you can use it as often as you want to without worrying too much about the energy usage.
How Easy Is It to Use?
It is fair to say that many people who look for a heat press are completely new to this way of printing designs onto fabrics and other materials. Maybe you have heard about these devices but aren’t sure whether you are skilled enough to use one.
The good news is that it isn’t especially difficult to get the hang of it. Anyone can give this a go and do a great job if they give it a try.
Yet, you are sure to feel more at ease if you start off with a heat press that is very easy to use from day one. If you can start using it confidently right away then you will feel great about doing so. Most modern heat presses come with simple, clear controls that help you understand exactly what is going on at any time.
Look for a device that comes with a comprehensive instruction leaflet and maybe a DVD guide as well. You can also usually see from reviewers and previous purchasers whether it is easy to get going with or not.
What Features Should You Look For?
If this is your first time looking at heat presses online then you might wonder what features you should be looking for above all else. Knowing what to search for will help you to narrow down your search and find the right model a lot more quickly.
For many people, the best heat press for home use will contain the following features.
- A big temperature range. Not every type of material needs the same temperature used on it. Therefore, if you get a heat press with a good temperature range then you can expect to get more use of it. Up to 500oF is typically good enough to let you use it on just about any sort of material that you wish to print a design onto.
- A long warranty. Getting a good warranty on any sort of new electrical device is always a good move. This will give you tremendous peace of mind even if you never have to use it. It also shows that the manufacturer has a good deal of confidence in the product that they are selling you.
- A digital timer. You need to heat the material and the transfer for the exact time stated in order to get the perfect result. Bearing this in mind, a digital timer will make life a whole lot easier for you. It is even better when there is an audible alarm that sounds when the time is up.
- Heat control. In the same way as the previous point, it is vital that you can control the temperature accurately as well. This means that you need to be able to set it to the exact temperature you need and trust that it will stay at this temperature for the duration of the job. A reliable and simple to understand heat control knob will let you stay in control.
- Pressure control. The other crucial element of any job is the pressure. You need to be able to set this easily and confidently every single time. In some models you simply hold down the top heat plate, while in others there is some form of automatic control available
- Push button operation. What it is like to control? A good heat press for home use will normally be one that has simple push button operation that you can get used to right away. There should be nothing on here that is overly complicated or awkward to use.
- The materials it can work with. Cheap heat press models can often limit the number of different materials that you can work with. This is especially important in a printing business, as you could be forced to turn some customers away if you can’t handle what they ask for.
The Benefits of a Heat Press
Maybe you are already clear about the benefits offered by a heat press and the reasons for getting one. If not, then perhaps it is time to think about them. What do you want to gain by buying one of these tools?
For a lot of us, this is easy enough to think about. We either want a new business idea or we want to produce fun clothing very easily at home. Yet, what if you still aren’t sure about buying one of these machines?
Let’s look at the main benefits that might help you to make up your mind. Which of the following most appeal to you?
- Cheap and easy way to start a new business from home. There can be few cheaper and easier ways of getting a new business than by purchasing a heat press. These devices will let you get going with a new company in no time and at little expense.
- A fun way to personalise clothing and other goods. If you only plan to use it for personal use then this is still a great thing to buy. You can have hours of fun creating designs and then bringing them to life. If you are a creative person then you will love seeing how you can use your heat press to great effect.
- Save money on clothes. Do you spend a lot of money on buying t-shirts just now? With a heat press you can buy basic t-shirts and then turn them into wonderful pieces of art. This is sure to be a cheaper approach in the long run, especially if you also do the same for your family.
- Get a hobby. Plenty of people are happy just using this sort of home heat press as a way of getting a new hobby. It is hugely satisfying to produce fantastic, unique items that you have designed and made. If you want to add some extra interest to your days then this is a fine way of doing it.
Best Heat Press For Home Use: The Reviews
Having covered the basics, it is time to take a look at a few short heat press reviews on specific models. For this purpose, we have selected 3 of the best models around just now that you might be interested in finding out more about.
The Cricut EasyPress heat press promises us professional iron-on results in a maximum of 60 seconds. It comes with a reference chart that lets toy see exactly how to set it up for each job that you carry out. This product is really designed to be something in between an iron and a heat press rather than an industrial quality heat press, to be honest.
You can adjust the heat setting all the way up to a fairly impressive 350℉ (180 C). This means that it is highly versatile and can be used safely on a wide range of different materials, although other models do go up higher than this.
Among the features that make it safe and easy to use are auto-shutoff and an insulated resting base. The whole thing is compact and light, making it highly portable and easy to store away even if you have limited space for it.
The ceramic coated heat plate is fairly big at 9” x 9”. It is worth pointing that it is for use with a maximum input of 120V and is really just for use in North America.
- Highly versatile with a good range of temperatures covered
- Compact and lightweight
- Works fast and is very easy to use
- The heat plate is probably too small for a lot of bigger jobs
This heat press is a clamshell type and it features an eye-catching swing away design. What this does is allow you to rotate the upper heat plate around by 360 degrees. This is so that you can work on your designs more safely on the base plate.
The handle is easy to use in order to open and close this digital swing away heat press. There is also a pressure knob that you can use to easily set the pressure.
When setting the timer for a job you will see that that the range goes all the way up to 999 seconds. The temperature can be set at up to 399℉. An alarm sounds when the timer reaches 0 and the job is complete.
With a size of 12” x 10”, this is a decent size for home use or for a small business. The manufacturer promises perfectly even heat distribution for perfect results every time.
- Clever design for increased safety while using it
- Good range of useful features
- Simple to start using for the first time
- A few reviewers claim that it doesn’t heat up evenly for them
With this ePhotoInc heat press you can carry out a huge range of printing jobs effortlessly. It measures 15” x 15” and is designed to be incredibly simply to use.
This heat press arrives fully assembled and ready to use. Features include a digital Led temperature and time display controller. The temperature runs up to 500℉ and the timer can be set up to 999 seconds, with an alarm going off when it reaches zero.
The pressure knob is top mounted for ease of access. A non-stick Teflon coated surface mean that you don’t need a separate silicone or Teflon sheet to avoid.
It weighs just 50 pounds, so it is nicely portable for working in different locations and storing it away after use.
- Big temperature range
- Non-stick surface removes the fear of scorching
- A few reviewers mention not being able to get it to the correct temperature
Best Heat Press for Home Use: Conclusion
As we have seen, a smart choice of heat press can add a lot of fun to your life, as well as giving you a potentially profitable new business. By taking a few minutes to consider your options and think about why you want one you stand a far better chance of making a good decision.