If you want to start a custom T-shirt business, you probably know that you’d need to buy a T-shirt printing machine.
What’s great about T-shirt printing machines is that you can print on demand from one unit without keeping a stock of different designs and sizes. But with the number of options on the market, it becomes confusing: What model should you choose? And which one best suits your needs?
This confusion is because each manufacturer incorporates different features and characteristics in the machines. So, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll review the top T-shirt printing machines out there to help you make a buying decision.
Ready? Let’s go!
Our Top Picks
|Model||Printing Area||Temperature Range||Warranty|
|1. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press||15 x 15 inches||32-750F||1-year|
|2. DTG G4 Direct To Garment||16 x 20 inches||N/A||2-year|
|3. Cricut EasyPress 2||12 x 10 inches||0-400F||1-year|
|4. SureColor F2100 Direct-To-Garment||14 x 16 inches||50-95F||1-year|
|5. CO-Z Heat Press||12 x 15 Inches||0-500F||1-year|
The 5 Top T-Shirt Printing Machines in 2022
Now that you know some of the features of these T-shirt printing machines, let’s consider the full details of each.
1. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press – Best Overall
It’s not surprising that this T-shirt printing machine is on top of our list. The PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine is one of the best options on the market for commercial users. With a whopping 1400 W maximum power output, it’d work all day without breaking a sweat!
It’s also equipped with a broad 15 X 15-inch printing area. In addition, the T-shirt printing machine comes with a silicone gel baseboard, which helps protect your T-shirt from damage during application.
Plus, the working pressure of the press is adjustable according to the type of clothing material you’re working on. As a general rule, the tougher the material, the more pressure is required.
What’s more, the machine comes with a replaceable fuse that you can easily change when overheating or overcurrent occurs. So, you can work at a certain temperature for about 15 minutes without any worry.
And the best part is that the heating plate is coated with Teflon, which is durable, quite easy to clean, and harmless to the cloth.
However, the downside of this T-shirt printing machine is its bulky size.
- High power output
- Offers a large printing area
- Has a replaceable and washable silicone mat
- Suitable for commercial use
- Very bulky
The PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine is one of the best T-shirt printing machines on the market. So, if you want to produce T-shirt designs in commercial quantities, it’d definitely fit your needs.
2. DTG G4 Direct To Garment – Runner Up
The DTG G4 Direct To Garment Printer is a powerful machine used to print T-shirts, hoodies, jerseys, and more. Moreover, it’s equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display that shows the ink levels in all the cartridges and facilitates easy control.
Furthermore, with the DTG G4 Printer, printing an 8 x 10-inch design with a 600 x 600 dpi resolution will take only 28 seconds in two passes. That’s an incredible speed for a printer of its category!
Also, the printer doesn’t spray ink on the shirt directly. Instead, there’s a Vacuum Platen that stops direct spraying. As a result, your prints will look colorful and vibrant. The platen also lowers the risk of ink wastage.
In addition, the G4 Direct To Garment Printer works with Kodak inks which require little or no head cleaning and maintenance. And the printer doesn’t require any special maintenance even after 30 days of being unused.
- Easy to use
- Reduces the need for maintenance
- Speedy and reliable
- Produces neat prints
- Quite pricey
The DTG G4 Direct To Garment Printer is one of the finest printers out there. It’s a decent choice for people looking for a fast and reliable T-shirt printing machine. Also, you won’t spend so much time on maintenance.
3. Cricut EasyPress 2 – Best for Portability
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is one of the most portable pressing machines on the market. It consists of a manual heat press designed to make heat transfers.
It’s also perfect to use with textile vinyl and sublimation projects. So, if you want to make vinyl transfers, sublimation, or any material that needs heat, and you want to make them professionally and quickly, this is your go-to option!
In addition, the EasyPress is designed with a ceramic coating that generates even and dry heat across the entire surface. Plus, it’s easy to use, has simple and intuitive controls, and has security functions (the iron turns off when it has been inactive for a while).
Moreover, the printing machine includes a protective base to support the iron and not leave it directly on the work surface. And the machine has an exciting accessory: A separately sold mat. This mat serves as an ironing base and distributes the heat throughout the surface.
- Very comfortable to transport from one place to another
- Easy control of temperature
- Allows control of the ironing time
- Too small for commercial purposes
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is a highly portable pressing machine suitable for people who want to make simple T-shirt pressing on the go!
4. SureColor F2100 Direct-to-Garment – Versatile Pick
The SureColor F2100 Direct-to-Garment Printer is one of the few T-shirt printing machines that are pretty versatile and can print dark garments. In addition, it has an exciting TPF PrecisionCore head, which is a technology that delivers super-fast results with a high resolution.
Moreover, this printing machine has several ink filters to prevent white ink sedimentation problems. Also, it possesses an ink recirculation system to prevent clogging.
And the best part is that maintenance is so easy; it has 95% automatic or semi-automatic maintenance. Also, the machine carries it out only when the printer requests it through the digital display.
In addition, this machine uses Epson UltraChrome inks that allow you to reproduce colors of maximum intensity. And these inks have the Oeko-Tex certificate. So they’re safe for health and the environment.
And if you’re worried about washing shirts after using this machine, say no more. It has passed the most demanding tests in terms of resistance to washing.
However, the downside of the SureColor F2100 Direct-to-Garment Printer is that it’s a bit expensive. So, if you’re on a budget, it won’t be your best bet.
- Easy to install
- Has an automatic maintenance
- Has a quality filter
- White printing for dark garments
- Has a PrecisionCore printhead
- Quite expensive
- Only works with Epson inks
If you want to start a high-production, high-quality, and versatile T-shirt printing business, the SureColor F2100 Direct-to-Garment Printer would be the best investment.
5. CO-Z Heat Press – Budget Pick
If you’re in the market for a T-shirt printing machine that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, the CO-Z Heat Press Machine is absolutely for you! In addition, it can be used on various materials such as shirts, caps, cups, plates, phone cases, tote bags, coasters, puzzles, and pillowcases.
Also, the CO-Z machine is equipped with a 360-degree swivel that ensures pressure is applied directly and evenly distributed.
What’s more, it has a dual-LED display that makes monitoring time and temperature quite simple and easy.
In addition, since this press machine is durable and produces a smooth heat transfer on a broad range of objects, it’s recommended for individual and commercial use.
However, it may emit a particular odor during your first use. But that’s quite common with most press machines on the market today.
- Quite affordable
- Has a 360 swivel arm
- LED display for monitoring time and temperature
- Quick installation
- May emit some odor during first use
The CO-Z Heat Press Machine is a good option for people looking for a budget T-shirt printing machine that’s powerful enough for personal and professional purposes. Also, it can print on several items and not only T-shirts—for example, mugs, phone cases, and more.
Factors to Consider When Buying a T-Shirt Printing Machine
As you’re now familiar with the top machines on the market, it’s time to discuss how to choose your machine. Before choosing the ideal T-shirt printing machine for you, there are some factors you need to consider. So let’s take a look at some of them!
Your safety should be a top priority when buying a T-shirt printing machine. Safety is necessary as these devices operate at high temperatures.
So you could sustain injuries or burns from direct or indirect contact with the working surfaces of these machines. Therefore, you should get a printing machine with features that ensure safety from overloading, overcurrent, and similar issues. Also, an ideal machine shouldn’t damage the shirt while working.
As you look into the market for a T-shirt printing machine, have it at the back of your mind that you’d use the machine for several kinds of clothing materials. Also, note that different materials require various temperatures for optimum results.
Hence, picking a printing machine with a decent temperature range is essential. Anything between 0-300F is decent enough. However, for industrial application, you may need up to 750F.
Also, note that it’d be a great idea to get a machine with a high-temperature level even though you don’t require it now. This is because the need for it may arise in the near future, so it’s better to make a solid investment now!
It’s essential to consider the warranty period when purchasing heavy-duty machines like printing machines. This is because T-shirt printing machines are quite pricey and may not be replaced easily in the event of damage.
Furthermore, they contain many internal components that might cost you a fortune to repair. Hence, you don’t have to worry as a long warranty will keep you covered in such a scenario.
Before setting out to buy a printing machine, you should ask yourself what you want to use it for. This will give you a good idea of the functionality that your ideal T-shirt printing machine must possess.
For instance, some machines only print on mugs, caps, and dishes, while others are good for printing on T-shirts. So, these machines with different functionalities have different parts based on their purpose.
However, if you intend to maximize your machine, it’ll be nice to go with a multi-functional T-shirt printing machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do All T-Shirt Machines Also Print Mugs and Caps?
No, because for printing T-shirts, a flat printing surface is required. For printing caps, the machine must have a convex support surface so that the cap is worn and stretched and a concave printing plate for proper pressing.
Also, in machines for stamping mugs or round objects, there should be a cylindrical surface to embrace the product during stamping.
How Long Does Direct to Garment Printing Take?
It takes around 5 minutes for a design of 10 x 10 inches. However, time may increase if you make any adjustments during the process.
What Are the Different Types of T-Shirt Printing Methods?
T-shirt printing can be done by the following techniques:
Direct to Garment
Transfer Paper Method
CAD Cut Vinyl Printing
Now that you’ve seen the features and characteristics of the top T-shirt printing machines out there, it should probably be easier to make your decision. However, we’ll recap our top three picks.
For starters, our top pick is the PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine that’s ideal for commercial printing. And if you want a durable and fast machine, the DTG G4 Direct To Garment Printer would suit the role.
However, the Cricut EasyPress 2 is a decent choice if portability is of top priority to you.
I am a bilingual, meticulous, and hardworking professional. As a high-energy professional, and printing specialist who offers high-quality printing services I possess excellent oral and written communication skills coupled with an ability to establish and maintain strong rapport with clients. I am able to prioritize workloads and handle multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently. My work experiences have made me accustomed to working in fast-paced environments with the ability to think quickly and successfully handle difficult situations.