How to Adjust Pressure on Heat Press Machine

How to Adjust Pressure on Heat Press“The heat press machine is an electric tool which uses heat transfer to imprint any label or illustration on a substrate (like  t-shirts, tote bags and leather jackets etc) with pressure”.

The machine contains two metal plates with the feature of temperature adjustment (the temperature of each plate could be adjusted separately) and a handle to close-press the lid or upper metal plate as the lower plate (on which an article is placed) is fixed.

Usually, the Clamshell Heat-Press Machine is used for thinner items like t-shirts, trousers knickers, etc.

It is the simplest and most used form of heat press machine.

However, another type of heat press machine is known as a Swinger or Swing Away Heat Press Machine which is used for thicker items such as leather Jackets, Leather Bags and Caps etc.

The main advantage of a Swing Away Heat-Press Machine over a Clamshell heat press machine is that the upper plate or lid of the Swinger Machine can be rotated away from the lower plate while the item is being placed.

Thus it provides a clear view of the item before heat pressing.

How to Adjust the Pressure of a Heat-Press Machine?

With the vital advancements, the new models of heat-press machines contain a number of features such as auto opening, auto-temperature, and auto pressure adjustment modes.

These features not only boost productivity but also save the user from complexities.

Some machines provide semi-automatic modes which means the user can adjust pressure and temperature from the controllers or dials as per the instructions written in the user manual of the machine.

The use of automatic and semi-automatic heat-press machines is not a headache.

If you are dealing with a Semi-Automatic Heat Press Machine then for reference you can use the following pressure parameters and for this, we’ll use the PSI ( Pressure per Square Inch) units.

  • Low or Light Pressure: Ranges from 25psi to 30psi (used for thinner substrates like shirts undergarments and pants)
  • Medium Pressure: Lies between  32psi to 38psi ( applied on items having some thickness such as jackets and uppers)
  • High or Firm Pressure: The pressure from 40psi and above (used for thicker articles such as leather bags and leather jackets etc)


But here is the question; What to do if you have an economical heat press machine or Hobby Heat-press machine?

Well, since these machines have no display or gauge to check the applied pressure we are sharing a little trick to do it manually.

The Paper Pressure Trick:

To apply this trick you’ll have to follow the steps listed below::

    1. Take a normal sized paper
    2. Cut it from the middle vertically into two pieces
    3. Put the piece of that paper on the front side of the machine so that only 4 to 5 inches of that paper can be pressed between the plates of the machine.
    4. Press down the handle making sure the plates are closed properly and try to pull the paper.
    5. If the paper takes little effort to be pulled then rotate the knob clockwise and repeat steps number 4 and 5 again and again until you get the required pressure
    6. When you feel the paper is stuck nicely then you can stop and remember, if you pull the paper forcefully it will tear into pieces now.

Important Suggestions

Each heat-press machine comes with a user manual provided by its manufacturer.

Therefore it is highly recommended to read it first as it’ll provide you the best guidance regarding your machine’s capabilities ensuring maximum output of the machine with longevity.