If you’re shopping for a heat press, you’ll soon realize that there are huge differences in quality and durability. If you want to buy the best heat press for your business, here are the top ten things you will need to consider:
Top Ten Things to Look for in a Heat Press
1. Even Heat Across the Platen
The most important thing to look for in a heat press is its ability to provide consistent, even temperatures across the platen. One of the most frequent causes of misapplied transfers is cold spots in the platen. Cold spots occur when there is not enough heating element used in the manufacturing of the platen, or if there is a short or disconnect in the heating element within the platen. Every Hotronix heat press platen is designed with more than sufficient heating element to ensure even heat application and prevent the formation of cold spots. In fact, they have three times more heating element than other presses.
2. Accurate Heat
In addition to providing even heat, a heat press must be designed to accurately control the temperature. When you apply transfers, proper application temperature is essential to the success of the finished garment. If you apply a transfer with too little heat, the adhesives needed to hold the graphic to the garment may not be activated. If you apply a transfer with too much heat, the adhesives may be pushed out beyond the edges of the image and cause an undesired outline or smearing. Excessive heat can also cause “strike-through”, which reduces the opacity of a graphic. In order to maintain accurate heat, the Hotronix is equipped with more cal-rod heating element, spaced Before installation, the heating element is x-rayed to ensure functionality and maintain the highest levels of accuracy.
3. Even Pressure
The key to even pressure is the way the upper platen is engineered. A centralized pressure adjustment, coupled with a flotational heat platen ensures a “no-pinch” application result regardless of the thickness of the application substrate.
4. Easy to Position Garment
You want to make sure that you can easily slide garments on and off your heat press without burning your arms and hands and without damaging the garments on screws or greasy bolts. Hotronix Clam style presses feature a wide 65 degree opening, which is 10% wider than most other clam-style presses available today. This allows for safer, easier positioning of the garment on the lower platen, as well as safer positioning of transfers and other graphics. The Hotronix Fusion model takes it a step further, offering complete “threadabiliity” or the ability to turn the garment on the platen without removing it, so you can print both sides quickly and easily.
5. Easy to Open and Close Heat Press
Even if you apply just one transfer a day, working with a press that is difficult to open and close is no fun. The more transfers you apply, the more important this feature becomes. Hotronix presses are engineered with precision machined pivot assemblies to ensure no jerking or jarring when you open the press. It’s the smoothest press you’ll ever operate. If you’ve operated a heat press before that “pops” or “jumps” when you open it, you’ll really appreciate the smooth operation of Hotronix.
6. Digital Readouts
Once you determine a time and temperature that works for the transfers and graphics you apply most often, you want to make sure that you are able to replicate the settings exactly, every time you print. If you’re using a manual or bell timer, and a dial thermostat, this is not always possible. There is always margin for error with manual timers and temperature dials, which is why Hotronix lets you control both time and temperature with digital precision. You can set the temperature and time to your desired settings time and time again, with the same, consistent results.
7. Fits Your Workspace
When choosing a press, examine your workspace first. For a clamshell model, you will need at least 2 feet of counterspace, if you are considering a swing-away model, at least 3 feet. It is a good idea to have room next to the press to layout the garment and to place finished garments. One big advantage of the clamshell design, is that it takes up less workspace. At the same time, it has a wide, 65 degree opening, which makes it easier to layout graphics. This is about 10% wider than most other clam models.
8. Compatible with Your Workload
If you are printing long production runs, you need a press that will maintain consistent heat and accurate temperatures. Some machines don’t maintain platen temperature, due to a thin platen that loses heat, poor insulation, or some other design flaw. Hotronix presses have thick platens that retains heat transfer after transfer, and the digital readout accurately reflects the platen temperature, so you can be confident that you’ll get consistent results, time after time. High-volume customers have reported using Hotronix presses to print over 1,000 garments without a single ruined garment. Operator fatigue is also kept to a minimum due thanks to the Hotronix’ easy open/easy close design.
9. Warranty for Your Heat Press
Before you purchase a heat press, make sure the warranty offers a lifetime guarantee on the heat platen. The manufacturers of the Hotronix press stand behind the quality with both a lifetime platen warranty and a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor. It also features a corrosion-resistant, anodized aluminum framework, which makes it stronger, and a powder-coated, baked-on finish to keep it looking new.
10. Customer Service for Your Heat Press
If for some reason, you should experience a problem with your press, or have a question about a particular application, you want to make sure that qualified service representatives are available to help you. Hotronix has a team of friendly, knowledgeable service representatives that will do everything possible to make sure you’re satisfied with your heat press. We can help you troubleshoot application problems, as well as offer tips on how to achieve the best printing results possible.