Mon. Jun 18, 2018 in Buyer's Guide
Without a doubt, a heat press is most important piece of equipment that you will use with Heat Transfer Vinyl. So for high quality results, shouldn’t you be investing in a high quality heat press?
We think so! In fact, almost any professional in the heat transfer industry will likely agree that you get what you pay for when it comes to shopping for a heat press. We aren’t trying to convince you to break your bank and invest in the most expensive heat press out there - but we do believe that you will greatly benefit in the long run by by spending a little more $$ on a well-known and high quality heat press brand.
In this blog, we’re going to be talking about why it’s so important to invest in a quality heat press when using anything heat transfer!
Having Pressure Issues? It Could Be Your Heat Press!
Have you ever had issues with vinyl falling off? Vinyl falling off is almost always caused by issues related pressure… which can be a result of using a lower quality heat press! One of the biggest issues people have when using heat transfer vinyl is not using enough pressure or having uneven pressure. While people may think they are using proper pressure, they wash their garments to find that that vinyl begins peeling off! In the scenario of two vinyls not working, it is very unlikely that a user received 2 separate batches of faulty vinyl! The odds are high that it is heat press-related!
Many quality heat presses, such as a Hotronix, Geo Knight or Hix, provide you with an indicator of how much pressure you are applying, so you know whether or not you are using low, medium or firm pressure. Usually, htv calls for medium to high pressure. Medium pressure ranges from 3-4 and high pressure will range from 5-7. Also, due to the quality of heat presses like these, you won’t have to worry about uneven pressure! Heat presses of these brands feature advanced designs to ensure even pressure throughout all areas of the platens.
A good rule of thumb when using heat transfer vinyl is you should be applying enough pressure to see the texture of your garment through the vinyl (there are few exceptions, especially with thicker vinyls such as Glitter, Flock or Siser Brick)!
Just like a vinyl cutter doing a test cut, doing a test press isn't a bad practice either!
Does your Heat Press have cold spots?
Have you ever run into the problem where part of your transfer is adhering but there remains a stubborn part that will just not adhere to the garment!? Heat distribution is another common issue that we see people having when using HTV!
Uneven heat distribution can be a result of not having even pressure; however, it can also be a result of the quality of the heated upper platen of your heat press. Are you sure that when your heat press reads 305° F, it truly is at that temperature throughout all areas of the platen? A great way to test that is with the use of Thermolabels, or even a Temperature Gun/Laser!
If you are experiencing cold spots on the heated platen of your heat press, unfortunately the only way to really fix this is to get a better heat press. It is common for lower-end heat presses to contain a single heated rod in the upper platen (which produces the heat). In this case, heat is not evenly distributed throughout the whole platen, resulting in cold spots!
On the other hand, quality heat presses contain coiled rods in the upper platen, which leaves less gaps for cold spots to occur! As a result, you are going to get much more consistent and even heat distribution… which will always lead to a better press! These styles of heat presses normally offer lifetime warranties on the heating elements as well!
Overall, without adequate and even pressure, and even heat distribution, you are much more likely to have your vinyl fall off your garments over time and the lifespan of your vinyl is likely to be decreased. A quality heat press could really help you avoid these issues!
As for warranties on heat presses, good quality heat presses will offer a lifetime warranty on the platens and heating elements. Plus it’s very common to receive a warranty on the framework, circuit board, and parts and labor! Your investment of a quality heat press isn’t excluded to just the press… you also get great warranties and service!
We fully understand that many people aren’t looking to spend much on a heat press, especially if they are just starting a small business. But, when it comes to shopping for a heat press, just remember… you usually get what you pay for! A high quality heat press will also have a longer lifespan! Keep in mind that an investment in a quality heat press could offset the costs in which you could incur with mistakes due pressure and heat! Especially when using dye sublimation or transfer paper, having a quality press is very crucial! You will save lots of money over time by making sure you start off with a good quality heat press.