Printers are probably one of the most underrated inventions ever. The first printer ever invented changed the way humans viewed things. It catapulted and changed the way information was shared and stored ever since then. This was the printing press, developed by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. Printers have come a long way since then, however.
They have evolved from being used for printing basic things such as books to printing highly detailed and visual elements such as photos. And while printers of those days and age printed just books, there are now printers that print on t-shirts, mugs, billboards, photos, etc.
Heat transfer printers are printers used for printing high-quality images on materials. Whereas home and office printers can print images and such, they simply do not have the capacity and range for printing the high-quality images that heat transfer materials require. Choosing a heat transfer printer can be an arduous task, which is why we have put together this material for your use. Here, you will find a list of seven of the best heat transfer printers around, as well as a guide on what to consider when choosing a heat transfer printer.
Rest assured that the printers on this list are some of the best you will find around. And by following the tour guide, you will have a very useful heat transfer printer in your hands in no time. This will be useful in printing customized materials such as t-shirts and mugs, which you can gift to members of your family as well as your friends.
Table of Contents
- 1 7 Best Printers for Heat Transfer Comparision Table
- 2 7 Best Printers for Heat Transfer Reviews
- 3 Printers for Heat Transfer Buyer’s Guide
- 3.1 Types of heat transfer printers
- 3.2 Compatibility
- 3.3 Features
- 3.4 Versatility
- 3.5 The size of the medium
- 3.6 Quality of printed graphics
- 3.7 Printer speed
- 3.8 The type of ink used
- 3.9 The cost of refills
- 3.10 Durability
- 3.11 What do I need to perform heat transfer printing?
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.0.1 What is the heat transfer printing process?
- 4.0.2 How can I do heat transfer printing
- 4.0.3 Printing on vinyl material requires which type of printer?
- 4.0.4 Can you do heat transfer printing with normal printers?
- 4.0.5 Why should I choose a heat transfer printer?
- 4.0.6 When is it advisable to use a heat transfer printer for printing on t-shirts?
- 4.0.7 How does a heat transfer printer work for t-shirt printing?
- 5 In Conclusion To
7 Best Printers for Heat Transfer Comparision Table
7 Best Printers for Heat Transfer Reviews
The Artisan 1430 inkjet printer by Epson is a wireless, ultra-modern printer that has the ability to print images in ultra-high definition format. The results this particular printer churns out are vividly colored, brilliant, and absolutely impressive. It can print images at a format of as large as 13 x 19 inches. It also has other features that render it one of the topmost inkjet printers out there, and which enhances its case as a printer for heat printing works. One of these features is wireless networking. As such, this printer can be used by more than one person at the same time. That is to say, you and other people within the same team can simultaneously print different sizes of superb quality heat printing for whichever purpose you desire, including CDs and DVDs. Apart from the properties that have already been mentioned, the Epson Artisan printer has advanced color and lighting correction, which it utilizes in producing such great, high definition pictures. And because it uses Claria Hi-Definition ink, the graphics and designs it is used to print are very durable. Images printed with this ink are resistant to several things, including water, scratching, fading, and smudge.
One particular feature that we think useful is the fact that the printer has individual cartridges. This makes replacing a cartridge easier and less expensive than if there was one cartridge for everything. It is also very fast, with an ISO print speed of 9.5 for black photos and 9 for colored ones. What’s more, it has other connectivity options apart from the wireless feature. This includes Wi-Fi, ethernet, SD card slots, and so on.
And even though it is on the pricey end of things, we think it is worth it because of its features. That is why it comes highly recommended for people who have a need for a heat transfer printer.
The Canon MX492 printer is a portable model that is useful for a wide variety of purposes. It is chockful of features that render it one of the most sought-after printers for heat printing purposes. For instance, it can be connected with mobile devices, including both Android and Apple smartphones. This connection can happen via a number of mobile apps such as Google Cloud Print, Canon Print, and AirPrint. These can then be used to send printing instructions to the printer, which it will subsequently obey.
The Canon MX492 printer is at least 30% smaller than the preceding MX printer models by Canon. This renders it the perfect printer for people who have little space to spare. Among its several beneficiary features is the quiet mode. This feature enables you to use the printer quietly without polluting the environment with the noise and constituting a nuisance to those in your vicinity. And because it has a wireless connectivity feature, it can upload documents to the cloud.
Finally, the printer can be used to accomplish several functions apart from printing. This includes faxing and scanning of documents.
If you are looking to buy an inkjet printer that will fulfill your heat printing needs, look no further than this Epson Workforce color inkjet printer. With a Precision Core engine, this printer will far exceed several of your printing needs. What’s more, it is versatile and multi-functional, as it can perform other activities apart from printing. These other activities are copying, scanning, and faxing. One of the enviable features of this printer is the fact that it can produce borderless prints that are about 13” x 19” in size. Also, you can use it to scan materials of up to 11” x 17” in size via the two-sided Auto Document Feeder.
And if the above does not make enough of a case as to why you should go with the Workforce Pro WF-7710, you should know that it uses way less power than the average laser printer. And by the way less, we mean that it runs on about 80% less power. Also, its tray is large enough to accommodate 250 sheets; this is asides the rear feed with which you can use specialty papers. Its output tray, on the other hand, has a 125 sheets capacity.
The Epson Workforce Pro WF-7710 has several options when it comes to connectivity. This includes Wi-Fi Direct connection, Ethernet connection, and an NFC connection. By the way, it has a sound level of about 6.2dB. In all, the Epson Workforce Pro WF-7710 is a pretty impressive printer and it comes highly recommended for your heat printing projects.
The Epson Stylus C88+ inkjet printer is yet another masterpiece printing machine. For one, it is super-fast and can print as many as 23 pages per minute in mono (black and white) mode, while it can print as many as 14 pages per minute when in color mode. Apart from this, it is versatile, and a wide variety of paper sizes ranging from A6 to A3 can be used with it. The thing about this printer is that even with all these, its quality isn’t compromised. This is all the more possible because it uses the DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. This is a premium quality printing ink type that is used to accomplish several high-profile projects. And it doesn’t matter on which medium you are printing, as this printer, and its ink, provide consistent quality across all platforms. This printer uses four different cartridges, each dedicated to a particular color. What’s more, it is compatible with both the Windows operating system as well as the iOS for Macbooks.
You can accomplish border-free printing with the machine. And the DURABrite ink confers smudge, fade, and water resistance properties on every item printed using the printer. This leads to heightened durability of the printed products. One of the cons of the Epson Stylus printer, however, is the lack of a wireless connectivity option. It does have a parallel port and a USB port for networking.
The Epson Premium All-in-one printer is just as the name suggests, a premium printer that can do almost everything. This particular printer features revolutionary ink tanks which eliminate the need for cartridges. And that’s not all; it comes with up to two (2) years’ worth of ink upon purchase. In other words, you have enough color ink to print about 9,000 pages or even more thousands of 4” x 6” photos. It uses five (5) different ink colors, which help achieve high-quality and amazing results. And even though it is pricey, it is cost-effective and leads to cost savings in the long run. This is because it uses low-cost replacement bottles, which can help save up to 80% on ink. It is versatile and can be used to print on a wide variety of media, each of different sizes. It features several options of connectivity, including an SD card slot, a USB port, and wireless connectivity. And its all-in-one functions include copying and scanning.
In all, the Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 All-in-One printer is a versatile, multipurpose printer that is well suited for an office environment. And with its wireless connectivity option, it greatly lessens the stress involved in printing especially when there is a group of people involved. This is because each person that is part of the network can simply connect their device to the printer without even having to leave their workspace.
The PC universal sublimation printer is yet another printer that you definitely want to consider if you are in the market for a heat transfer printer. This printer was specially created for use in making t-shirts, mugs, and other objects that require the use of heat transfer to imprint images on them. It is absolutely fantastic and capable of being used alongside a heat press machine to customize objects.
Unlike most printers employed for printing customized mugs and cups, which use a CISS (continuous ink supply system), this particular printer makes use of universal sublimation ink cartridges. This helps avoid hassles that usually arises with the use of CISS as a result of the air bubble, desk levels, and ink levels.
This printer is highly rated by users due to how easy it is to use it, among other things. Its set of universal sublimation cartridges have four colors and it can handle a number of different operations. It also has a wireless connectivity option.
If you need a printer that can provide you with very high-quality images for you in your heat transfer project, you can’t do much better than this Epson Expression Wireless printer. There are several features that support this assertion, which will all be revealed in due time.
On the one hand, this printer uses the premium Claria ink cartridges and ink. This particular ink type is responsible for several high-end, superb, and amazing aesthetically appealing heat transfer projects around. It has a wide and diverse color range, which helps ensure that its outputs are very vivid and detailed. It features an auto 2-sided printing, which is how it performs several other functions. With auto 2-sided printing, the Epson Expression Photo wireless printer can also perform scanning and copying functions.
There are two different trays; a front tray that can accommodate as many as 200 sheets, and a rear specialty tray with the capacity to accommodate 50 sheets. And as you will have inferred, it features wireless connectivity.
In all, it is a great option for use in heat transfer projects.
Printers for Heat Transfer Buyer’s Guide
While you might be tempted to use any random printer for heat transfer printing, you should know that such is far from being a good idea. This is because, even if it works and what you want to print is printed, it will be of such low quality that it wouldn’t have been worth the effort and stress you went through.
Some of the problems you can definitely expect to encounter are; poor color saturation (which means that your designs won’t be very appealing), low durability (such that the printed design will not last for an extended duration; they could even start peeling after just one wash), and poor image quality. And while you might be able to cope with this if you were just playing around with heat transfer printing, this is definitely not suitable for commercial printing, such as in cases where you intend to sell the finished product.
And seeing as there is a wide variety of printers out there, it is essential that you have the knowledge require to choose one that will serve your purposes while also providing a good value for the amount you pay for it. This is the reason why we provided the list of ten (10) best heat transfer printers for your use above. However, in the event that you will like to choose a printer by yourself, we have prepared this guide for you so that you can have a good knowledge of heat transfer printers, and as such, be able to identify and choose a good one for your use.
Types of heat transfer printers
As has been mentioned, there are several types of printers out there. Even then, there are three basic types that are ideal for use in heat transfer printing. Each of these printers has its own pros and cons, however, and your top priority should be whether or not a particular type fulfills your needs.
#1 Inkjet printers:
The inkjet printer type is one of the best options you can choose when it comes to getting a heat transfer printer. They are quite affordable and, as such, do not require you to break the bank to buy. They are also widely popular and are very accessible. Inkjet printers are also versatile and can be used for a wide variety of printing purposes. This type of printer has always been one of the best types of printers available, and this has become even truer over the years seeing as the technology behind them has improved, which has also resulted in their improvement. As such, you can print very realistic and high-quality prints with these printers. That is to say, designs that are durable and also quite attractive.
Apart from all of these obvious advantages, inkjet printers are also highly recommended because they can be used with a wide variety of printing papers and inks. That is to say; you will have a diverse range of options to choose from for your printing needs when you use an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are especially useful for use by individuals in their homes and for their personal printing purposes.
#2 Laser printers:
Laser printers are another type of printer that is ideal for heat transfer printing. This type of printer has been designed for use in the office, and as such, can be used to print a large volume of material. The disadvantage of using a laser printer for heat transfer printing, however, comes with the fact that they are not very detailed when it comes to printing colorful images and graphics, which is the norm for heat transfer printing. There are units of laser printers designed specifically for use in printing colored documents, and even these are not on the same level as inkjet printers, which do a better job of rendering these colors than they do.
With a laserjet printer, however, you can rest assured that you will be able to print on image clip transfers such that only the printed graphics will be transferred to the cloth you are printing on.
#3 Dye-sublimation printer:
The third and final type of printer that is highly recommended for heat transfer printing is the dye-sublimation printer. This type of printer utilizes heat as a means of transferring dye straight on to the printing medium, which you have provided no matter the type. That is to say, you can print on fabric, plastic, paper, card, and the types easily and without fuss with the dye-sublimation printer.
The advantage of using this type of printer is that they produce images and graphics of superior quality every time they are used. And what is more, there are options for you to choose from. If you plan to do heat transfer printing for your personal use, you will find consumer printers, and if your plan is to print for commercial purposes, you will also find that there is provision for that.
The disadvantage of using this particular printer type, however, is that it cannot print directly on cotton material. This can be worked around by first printing the graphics on an intermediate layer before finally transferring it to the cotton material.
When buying a heat transfer printer, do make sure to confirm whether the printer is compatible with your computer’s operating system. This shouldn’t constitute much of an issue though, as most modern printers being manufactured are supportive and compatible with a wide variety of operating systems. This doesn’t invalidate checking and confirming, though, as this will help avoid the headaches that will come in the event that your system and the printer are not compatible.
One of the factors you should consider when choosing a heat transfer printer to buy is the kind of extra features it comes with, and how these features can be of help with your work. For instance, if you will find quite a considerable amount of printing and yet, will have to move around sorting and working on other things within the same period, you will be well served by buying a heat transfer printing that has a wireless printing feature. This will ensure that you can keep printing your projects even while on the move, which will mean a faster process. Also, printers with a wireless printing feature are more suitable in situations where the printer will be used by more than one person.
Some heat transfer printers also come with a remote printing application that can installed on the user’s smartphone and by which the user can control the printer. This is also very useful and can help make printing easier than it normally would be. You will also find that some printers have a photo-editing application which can be extremely handy in helping ensure that your printing work comes out in the best possible way as you will be able to make the tweaks necessary to ensure this.
These and several other features are things you should pay attention to when deliberating on which heat transfer printer to buy.
While some printers can print on just one medium, there are those who can print on a variety of mediums. So, depending on your preference, and what you need the heat transfer printer for, you should endeavor to confirm the versatility or otherwise of the printer you want to buy.
You should know that almost every printer prints on transfer papers, after which the printed design can then be transferred to the substrate. And if you will like to have a printer with the ability to print on other mediums such as fabric and vinyl, ensure you do not take it for granted that any printer will. Ascertain whether the printer you want to buy can do this or not, and then make a decision based on what will meet your needs.
The size of the medium
Yet another factor that should be examined looking to buy a heat transfer printer is the size of the mediums upon which you plan to print. You can decide to purchase a printer that is specific and limited to a particular size or one that is versatile and can print on a wide variety of medium sizes. If you are a business owner who requires a machine that can handle a diverse range of medium sizes, you should look at getting an inkjet printer that has printing-field specifications that are easy to change. This is especially useful, seeing as it enables you to print on a diverse range of printing materials efficiently and effectively without having to resort to wastage of said materials.
Quality of printed graphics
The reason you are choosing to buy a heat transfer printer in the first place is so that you can print high-quality images and graphics on your preferred medium, whether it is a t-shirt, a mug, a pillow, or anything for that matter. As such, you should endeavor to confirm the quality of the printing exhibited by a particular heat transfer printer before you spend your money on it. One way by which you can do this is to seek the opinions and reviews of those who have bought and used that printer. This will give you an insight into whether or not that particular printer is worth your hard-earned cash or not.
Yet another factor you should consider and deliberate upon when looking to buy a heat transfer printer is the speed at which it prints. This is essential unless you don’t mind waiting a longer period than is necessary for a graphics to print. When checking out the speed for a heat transfer printer, pay more attention to how long it takes to print a colored image as opposed to a black and white one. This is because, naturally, it takes longer to print colored graphics, which is why this is the true test of a printer’s speed.
Depending on the size and detail involved in particular graphics, you can expect most printers to take anywhere between 1.5 to 10 minutes to print graphics. Endeavor to buy one towards the lower end of the spectrum so that you can conclude your printing works as fast as possible.
The type of ink used
While this isn’t directly related to the type of heat transfer printer you buy, it is definitely useful to have a knowledge of it. The best type of inks to use with heat transfer printers is special inks. However, you will find that other, normal inks will also get the job done, although not as well as the special inks would have. If you can, ensure you go with special inks. You might find that a particular ink has been specially developed for use with plastics, while another was developed with fabric in mind. No matter the type of ink you buy, ensure it is compatible with the medium on which you plan to print.
The cost of refills
Refilling heat transfer printers is usually expensive. As a result, you should do your best to ensure that the particular printer you are purchasing does not require refills that are out of pocket for you. One way by which you can save cost is to purchase a printer that has individual ink cartridges. Printers with individual ink cartridges allow you to replace an individual color when that runs out since it is in a single cartridge. If the printer has one cartridge housing all the colors, however, this will constitute wastage and a considerable amount to replace.
When buying a heat transfer printer, endeavor to do research into just how durable the printer is. Heat transfer printers don’t come cheap; as such, it is essential that you are able to maximize one when you buy it fully. Just as you can use customer reviews to discover the quality of graphics and images printed by a heat transfer printer, so can you use the same method to determine its durability. Also, ensure that the printer is covered by a warranty for as long as is possible. This will provide you with ample protection in case the printer develops a fault.
Conducting regular maintenance checks is yet another avenue by which you can ensure your heat transfer printer lasts for as long as possible. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when doing this. And in the event that you cannot do it on your own, hire an expert. While this might cost you some money in the short-term, you will find that it is cost-effective in the long-term.
What do I need to perform heat transfer printing?
There are several avenues by which you can accomplish heat transfer printing. These include DIY methods and commercial methods. The DIY method usually involves the use of iron for heat transfer printing. The commercial method usually involves the use of advanced machinery and tool, which are discussed below.
- Computer: one of the most important tools for carrying out heat transfer printing is a computer. This is because it is a computer that you will use to develop the logo or design which you intend to print.
- Printer: we would think it’ll be quite obvious to figure out that you will require a printer for heat transfer printing. You will require one that is larger than the everyday type in order to allow for larger sizes.
- Cutter: you will also require a cutter in order to accomplish heat transfer printing. The cutter is what you will use in cutting out the design printed on the heat transfer paper so that you can then apply it on the substrate.
- Substrates: the substrate is the product upon which you intend to print your desired design or logo. It can be a mug, a t-shirt, a bag, a sweatshirt, and so on.
- Heat transfer paper: the heat transfer paper is a unique kind of paper intended for use in heat transfer printing. This paper is basically enclosed with a wax and pigment polymer film, which is responsible and necessary for the strong bond formed between designs and the substrates.
Other tools that will be required include:
- Heat press
- Heat pads
- Heat tape and
- Heat resistant sheeting
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the heat transfer printing process?
How can I do heat transfer printing
Printing on vinyl material requires which type of printer?
Can you do heat transfer printing with normal printers?
Why should I choose a heat transfer printer?
When is it advisable to use a heat transfer printer for printing on t-shirts?
How does a heat transfer printer work for t-shirt printing?
In Conclusion To
Reading through this article, it is certain that you will be imbued with the knowledge required to identify and choose a heat transfer printer that will fulfill your personal needs. One thing you should have at the back of your mind is that high cost doesn’t automatically connote functionality.
In fact, a printer can be very expensive and yet won’t meet your needs. In lieu of this, ensure that you decide on which printer to buy based on whether or not it can meet your needs before anything else. That is the most efficient and effective way to choose a magnificent product for your use.