What is a Heat Press Machine

What is a Heat Press MachineDo you envision seeing the heavily-embossed graphics on the t-shirts?

Especially those t-shirts the youngsters like to wear and then visualizing how come those graphics would have been imprinted on the t-shirts?

That entire process of imprinting the graphics is the work achieved by a heat press machine.

But that is a little into details about what is a heat press machine.

Since the heat press machines are used commercially for custom t-shirt printing projects, we do not see any disadvantage in adding this useful tool to your business.

We will thoroughly guide you through what it is,

How the heat press machine works, and what important factors you should oversee before purchasing it.

What is a Heat Press Machine

A heat press machine provides the opportunity to imprint the designs on t-shirts using the heat and pressure for a certain preset time and temperature.

The common heat press machines generally work to engrave designs on the t-shirts but it does not limit the heat presser to print your designs out on different objects such as mugs, plates, caps, and such using the specially-designed presses.

While we stick to imprinting t-shirts, we would only stick to this specialty.

Working Mechanism

The working mechanism does not involve any complex process.

And the notable working mechanism is the temperature setup.

While most of the modern heat presses have the integrated Run-and-Stop mechanism to heat the machine and then stop itself when the desired temperature is met.

But the older models with the manual system have the beeping alarm that sets off upon reaching the set temperature.

Understand that it is vital to pre-heat the press machine properly to fetch the best results.

Types of Heat Press Machines available in the Market

4 types of heat press machines we see in the market.

All these four types are different in design, hence they are capable of handling a variety of printing tasks.

Allow us to detail them out real quick.

1- Clamshell Heat Press

The clamshell heat press machine comes with a flatbed screen printing press.

Whereas, the screen frame from the machine is hinged on the other end with ease of raising and lowering down the screen to the printing table just like the clamshell does.

What to look for is, the screen frame would not raise beyond 70°’s angle. Trying so may break the frame.

2- Swing-Away Heat Press

If we call it the ultimate convenient heat press machine,

We would rate swing-away the perfect type amongst all of the heat presses.

That swings the upper platen away which transfers heat onto garments.

This way, you can freely move the garments around the lower platen without any issues.

This allows going through the enough-thickened surfaces due to having a wider printing table to imprint even larger designs in one go or multiple of them on a single surface.

3- Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press

This is the heat press type that is common around the world —

The creative yet beautiful graphics on the t-shirts are what the sublimation heat press comfortably does.

It is a super cost-effective type of heat press machine ensuring the prints last longer;

The best addition for the small to medium printing businesses.

Sublimation heat presses are generally available in both forms; clamshell screen frame or swing-away.

And whichever to pick is all about your personal preferences and the budget.

4- Draw Heat Press

The draw heat press is the same as having a swing-away machine but the only difference is,

It pulls the lower heat platen out instead of the upper.

And the upper platen works like a clamshell to raise the lock and pull it upward.

On the lower platen, set the garment, close it back in place, and lower down the upper lid by locking the handle.

This is how the drawing heat press works.

The notable feature of a draw heat press is, it comes with an extended lower platen than all the types available to lay the bigger piece of garment for faster turnaround time.

What They Are Capable of

Depending on the printing projects, all those heat presses are capable of performing different but targeted tasks.

Do not expect a single heat press machine to do all the printing work.

Let’s quickly elaborate on what each heat press machine type is capable of doing.

Clamshell: It can imprint HTV (heat transfer vinyl) on a variety of garments.

For space-limited and cost-effective businesses, a clamshell heat press machine is a perfect choice.

Swing-Away: For the faster imprint projects, swing-away the upper platen is known for embossing high-end designs on t-shirts for lasting results.

Sublimation: It takes only the special heat-printed-rated ink that forms the design on the t-shirts.

The perfect solution for cost-effective printing, you would not need any transfer paper to first draw the designs.

Draw: Explicitly designed for a bigger printing business,

The draw heat press provides the chance to work at a faster pace as it pulls out the lower platen.

It is capable of handling the most-thickened materials like flags, mouse pads, leggings, and more that require higher heat to transfer the designs and level of augmented pressure in a short time.


An economical addition for your startup, no printing business should skip purchasing the heat press machine.

The old-traditional machines were only able to imprint a single t-shirt in minutes but the modern ones are up to finishing the large quantity in a short time.

Now you have everything covered for what is a heat press machine?

We believe there are no doubts left as purchasing the wrong or non-compatible (according to your work nature) one can so damage your business.

Invest after carefully reading this whole guide to save yourself from experiencing the severe hassle.