Let's Talk Heat Presses!

What brand of heat press do you recommend?

Clam shell or swing away?
What size?

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𝐼 π‘Žπ‘š π‘“π‘œπ‘™π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘œπ‘›π‘’. 𝐼 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘£π‘’ 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘π‘œπ‘‘β„Ž 𝑖𝑛 π‘Žπ‘π‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘›, 𝐼 π‘‘π‘œπ‘›β€™π‘‘
π‘˜π‘›π‘œπ‘€ π‘Žπ‘›π‘¦π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘Žπ‘π‘œπ‘’π‘‘ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘π‘ .

π‘Šπ‘’ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘Ž π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘š π‘ β„Žπ‘’π‘™π‘™ 𝑑𝑦𝑝𝑒 β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ π‘  π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘šπ‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘π‘œπ‘ π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ 
π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘ β„Žπ‘œπ‘ 𝐼 π‘€π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘‘. 𝐼𝑓 𝐼 π‘π‘œπ‘’π‘™π‘‘ 𝑠𝑒𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘’π‘šπ‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘
π‘€π‘œπ‘’π‘™π‘‘ 𝑏𝑒 π‘Ž π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘  π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘œπ‘π‘π‘¦ 𝑏𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑓𝑖𝑑.

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I’m honestly curious what everyone prefers.

I am leaning towards Clam Shell simply because it saves a little space because you don’t need that room to swing the top like Swing Aways.

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Interested as well! :slight_smile:

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So much depends upon your needs, your workspace, and your budget.
Like any tool for your shop or business, think in worst case scenario. What will the biggest image you need to press (on a regular basis) be?
You need to get something with a platen (backing plate) that is big enough for that. All you only do flat transfers, or will you do hats, mugs, etc.? Will you be doing things like heavy sweatshirts? Those are bulkier and need to have more space above and around the platen when you have a garment on it. Will you just be doing heat transfers, or some of the more exotic stuff?
Different types of work require different temperature capabilities, some much hotter than others.
If timing is an issue, both for warm up time, and for the actual pressing time, then you need to look at timing controls.
Clamshell models tend to take less space, but they can be a pain if you have to work with bulkier stuff. Swing styles (where the heating head swings side to side) give you more flexibility, but they take more room to store and work, they also tend to be more expensive. They also often have the options for doing things like hats, mugs, sleeves on shirts and sweatshirts, etc.
If you are just doing the occasional heat transfer, then you might look at a simple clamshell.
But beyond that, you need to look at your current and future needs. Buying cheap for the sake of being cheap is a money losing game.

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Well stated response.

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I have one of each. The swing away is definitely easy to use but I feel the clamshell provides better pressure overall. I use my smaller swing away for small projects and the clamshell for larger projects

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Thank you so much for your response Brian! It was very helpful! :slight_smile:

How are VEVOR brand Heat Presses? Are they a good brand?

I have a FancierStudio 15x15 heat press I bought on Amazon. It’s a clamshell. I love it. I honestly have only wanted bigger a couple of times, but the 15x15 works well for me. I also don’t have space for a bigger machine. Mine sits on my kitchen counter for the time being.

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Also, look at what you are going to use the press for. Some materials, both transfer and garment, have specific requirements and limitations. on the amount of heat used, as well as the amount of time you have to maintain that pressure. Some presses have very accurate temperature settings and timers that let you set the clamp down time to not over or under-do the pressing time, some also let you set the clamp down pressure so that it’s just what you need on a consistent basis.
Having a good working surface (table or bench top) at the right hight makes a huge difference too! Too high and you have a difficult time getting things placed on the platen correctly, and can also make reading the temp. and timing numbers more difficult too.
Too low, and you have the recipe for an achy back and shoulders, and also the potential for burned fingers by β€œhelpful” children. There curiosity can be a challenge.
Whatever you get, keep it clean, and get or make a cover for it to protect it when it’s not in use. Like most tools, dust and moisture can shorten its lifespan.

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