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TrackHawk707

Stahls Cap Press

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Hey guys!

been doing some research of cap press machines and I come down to deciding on the Stahls Maxx or the Hotronix auto cap press. I hear there is an awesome profit margin in the hat area so figured Id make the move and purchase a very well off machine rather then a budget one and risk possible issues. The reason I can't decide is due to just a $150.00 dollar difference. I know the hotronix reads the pressure apparently for you and its clearly auto open, while the maxx seems to be the same without those 2 options. I don't do insane volume so auto open isn't a priority (yet) but then I think its only a $150 more so do I just get it so later down the line I don't kick myself in the ass? Anyone have any input on how each machine functions. I watched a lot of youtube videos and been reading peoples reviews I can't say I seen ONE negative one on both machines which is a nice thought and gives me peace of mind spending my money as I try and expand my home shop but I just want some more info on which one and if anyone has experience with them.. pros / cons / ETC. 

Thanks in advance for your feedback hope to hear from you guys. 

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I hate to be the only guy giving you advise but I have the Auto press and it's a dream. I had an old original version (still do as my back-up) and got a monster order so I decided to upgrade. The Maxx is built by Hotronix too so both are great quality and use the same interchangeable platens. 

I like the auto open although you have to be just a little careful when pre-pressing so it doesn't lock because it really gets hold and you have to work at it to override the magnetic hold. My only worry long term is whether the mag hold will be any kind of a breakdown problem. You can get parts even for my ancient one so not too worried. Having the pressure readout is far more awesome than the auto open part. 

One thing I suggest is buying the small lower platen for kids caps. That one fits almost everything and I use it almost exclusively. I have the regular one that comes with them but have only used it a couple times. I rarely do a design more than 2" tall and the small platen fits in low pro hats and doesn't cause as much of a pressure ridge at the crown. The larger platens require more stretching. You have to preheat then rub the face and smooth it down so the center seam doesn't bunch up and crease. Small platen is less work. 

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Thanks for the information goose! why would you hate being the only guy giving me advice? your advice is always spot on and I definitely appreciate it. 

The pressure reading was what really caught my attention over the auto open honestly lol I never heard of that feature showing pressure but then again Im a small shop just trying to grow. now let me as you can I force it open if i happen to activate the auto open or do I just have to run the time and let it open on its own? awesome to know I can alway find parts I really like that. 

Does the platen it come with good enough for most hats ? I would hate to purchase and then get a few different style hats and learn the hard way that I need to purchase a few platens at $75 each. 

Im all for investing in what I teach myself if it makes me money, but so this price point you agree is 110% worth it? I know I said I don't do high volume but I do always like spending my money in the right equipment plus I work a full time so if it cost me a little out of pocket for a little Im sure once I get the hats on the market and my etsy shop I can make some back quickly.

again thanks goose your feedback is much appreciated. 

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Depends on your volume because the press is definitely expensive but I make fair money on each hat. If you can score a large order it will pay off really quick. 

One other thing I forgot to mention you will need is some of the heat press tape. The curved platen often makes it hard for the graphic to stay in place so I usually use a piece of the clear heat press tape to keep in line. Two color layered is the more common need here.  If you do it right you can leave a tail and get hold of it to pull up the hot carrier without having to get your fingers on the hot surface so much. Its not a big deal, the heat, but if you are doing 100 of them you can find your finger tips a little tender. 

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its ordered and Im really excited to get it !

it apparently counts as a special order item so Im not sure what that means but all i know is my inks will be here tomorrow for my printer but no email or info on press yet .... booooo lmao

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I don't like the auto open on my Stahls 16x20, when it pops up that's were you get the ghosting from, IMO, so I took it off.

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5 hours ago, mfatty500 said:

I don't like the auto open on my Stahls 16x20, when it pops up that's were you get the ghosting from, IMO, so I took it off.

I could see that happening yep. For other work like plastisol transfers and HTV the auto open is awesome on the hat press. Dye-Sub you may have to be ready to catch the handle so it doesn't jump too fast. 

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