CreativePlethora

New to heat presses. Please help.

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Hello All,

I'm in the market for a heat press and I've been researching a lot on here and other sites for the past few months trying to narrow down my choices. I will be starting out doing t-shirts as a hobby using a vinyl cutter and my own designs but I hope to add sublimated products in the future.

 

I've read that SunIE has entry-level presses that seem to work well. I've narrowed it down to these two..

http://sunie.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1

 

http://sunie.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=50

 

I know many people start with a 15"x15", but I would like to do designs that cover more than the top half of an adult shirt which is why I'm considering the 16"x20". Are these two good options as a first press? Or should I consider something different? I would like to stay under $400 for the press itself.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions  B)

 

P.S.- I'm sure the Hotronix Fusion is great but it's not in the budget and currently there are no used presses from bigger name brands available on my local CL site.

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16x20 is nice but it will be much bigger than you need for 75% of things. I got by with a 15" for several years just fine. I don't know if you have ever put a 14 or 15" graphic on a shirt but it's much larger than you would think. Most of the shirts I make are more in the 11 to 12" wide areas and some only 9 or 10" wide. With HTV you can press in two passes if it's bigger than your press too. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is if your trying to stay on a budget anyway then 15" is very serviceable. I would start there and then when you get ready to upgrade to a higher end press step up the size as well.

 

I have a fashion and change platens often stepping down to my 11x15" for smaller shirts and even the front of hoodies. If you can find on you like get a swing out. They are more versatile. You may want to get a pressing pillow too as it will help you deal with collars and seams. This will be critical if you go to the 16x20". Anytime you have a neck collar or thick sewn seam up on the platen it can hold the upper platen off the rest of the shirt enough to cause problems. 

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Most will say these are junk <a href='http://m.ebay.com/itm/131432504425?nav=SEARCH'>http://m.ebay.com/itm/131432504425?nav=SEARCH</a><br />

but I used one for a couple years pressing thousands of shirts before getting a hotronix. it was on 10 hours a day 5 days a week and after I replaced it I sold it and it's still being used to this day. Most important thing is to get an ir temp gun to check the accuracy of the press.

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I agree with Jaybird. USCutter used to sell one just like that but no longer does that I can see. I would shy away from the 5 in one type set-ups too. I bought mine for about $350 range and other than the temp being off it was fine. Definitely not the highest quality construction and that will become apparent a few years into it when the joints and pins start to get loose but I still have mine as a back-up. I would bet most of those are produced at the same distributer over in china cause they all look the same and they have little or no branding on them. 

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I bought a cheap 15x15 swing away china one off eBay in February, checked it against a temp gun and it was dead on surprisingly. Paid $250 shipped for it, I've done 345 shirts since buying it, needless to say it's paid for itself.

 

What I don't like about it, swinging it back and forth works works the height adjuster down which increases the pressure. its has to be reset every 10 shirts or so.

 

Build quality isn't the greatest. Watching a video of another member use his Fusion and how smoothly his machine pivots back and forth was shocking.

 

When doing 2XL and 3XL shirts I wish I had the 16x20 pallet size just for convenience sake.

 

For reference widest design I have is 13", longest is 14".

 

I use searchtempest daily looking for a fusion or Geo Knight.

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