Frequently Asked Questions - Heat Press Machines
What is the difference between a domestic iron and a commercial heat press?
The three main requirements to successfully apply a transfer are accurate temperature, time and pressure. A heat press can be calibrated to these requirements and maximise your efficiency, whereas you will not be able to perform anything accurately with a domestic iron.
Therefore, although an iron could technically be used, we would strongly recommend using a heat press to ensure that the heat transfer is properly bonded to the intended fabric.
Which is the right heat press for me?
We offer an excellent range of heat presses that cater for all levels:
- Stahls’ Clam Basic Heat Presses: These are entry-level clam heat presses which are competitively priced and built in China but to the high standard that customers demand from Stahls’ products.
- Stahls Hotronix MAXX Heat Presses: These are mid-level clam heat presses which are proudly built in the USA by Hotronix and are of exceptional quality.
- Stahls Hotronix Auto-Open Heat Presses: Like the MAXX press, these clam presses are also built in the USA, but have the additional features of a pressure sensor and an auto-release magnet which raises the upper platen automatically once the predetermined time has elapsed.
- Stahls Hotronix Fusion IQ Heat Presses: These are top-level heat presses which are built in the USA and are of the highest quality – They have several features to make high-demand printing quicker and easier, along with cloud-based press operator reports. The standard Fusion IQ heat press has both draw and swing-away options, but there are all pneumatic versions available which are swing-away presses.
Regardless of the heat press you choose, you should always ensure that the company that supplies it offers a comprehensive warranty and can supply any parts that you may require in the future. We can repair and maintain all of the heat presses we supply to give you the support that you require.
How much power do I need for a heat press? Can I just plug it into a standard electrical socket?
Most heat presses consume between 8.5 and 14.5 amps and use a standard 240 volt UK plug connection – We would recommend ensuring that you have a 15-20 amp circuit to connect the heat press to in order to ensure you don’t have issues. You can also use heat presses with generators, but we strongly recommend ensuring that you don’t have power surges which can affect the operation of the press, in addition to ensuring that the generator has the 1.8kw to ensure that it can operate properly.
When I’m not using my heat press should I leave it opened or closed?
We recommend leaving the heat press in the “open” position to ensure that the silicon rubber on the lower platen isn’t perished by the heat which remains on the upper once you’ve used it. In addition, for heat presses which have springs (rather than dampers) it also ensures that they aren’t weakened by prolonged periods at full extension.
Do most people leave their heat presses on all day?
A lot of retail customers tend to turn their heat press on at the beginning of the day to ensure that it’s ready to use when required, as it would usually take 10-15 minutes to reach the normal operating temperature. The heat press will not use the full power to maintain temperature, but this should be factored in to your operating costs. As an additional point, a heat press would usually take 30-40 minutes to cool down.
Which heat presses have interchangeable lower platens?
All of the Hotronix heat presses that we stock have interchangeable lower platens – For more details, go to the Heat Press Accessories area of the web site.
What accessories do I need for my heat press?
This depends entirely on the types of garments, print types and heat press you have – We usually recommend the following accessories for different uses:
- Non-stick cover sheet/Release paper: These greatly aide heat pressing by preventing any static from raising the heat transfer when lifting the upper platen and to prevent dyes and inks from contacting the upper platen
- Non-stick pillows: When printing awkward areas, such as near zips, seams and the rears of shirts, non-stick pillows absorb these to produce an even printing area to apply onto.
- Additional lower platens: All of our heat presses have different shapes and sizes of lower platens which make the placing of garments much easier. For example, printing a child’s garment on a 40x50cm heat press is much easier with a 15x25cm lower platen.
There are lots of other accessories available, all of which can be seen in the Accessories area of the website.
Can I cover up the rubber mat on the lower platen to prevent it wearing?
Not only can you, but it is something that we would recommend! All you need is a Quick Slip Protector that is available from the Heat Press Accessories section of our web site and they come in a variety of different sizes to fit most heat presses.
How do I make sure that my heat press is heating accurately?
We supply an infrared temperature gun under the Accessories section of the website which can be used to accurately gauge the temperature of the upper platen. You can also look at purchasing a non-contact temperature probe as an alternative, but unfortunately we don’t supply these.
How do I know what is the correct temperature, pressure and time for my heat press?
The temperature, pressure and time are all specific to the particular heat transfer that you are applying – All of the vinyls and custom transfers we supply are shipped with instructions to guide you on this.
How do I clean my heat press if I get something on the upper platen?
The best way to clean a press is with a dry cloth whilst the heat press is HOT but not plugged in – Use caution when cleaning the press as the upper platen will be extremely hot.
I already own a press – Will it work with your vinyls, media or custom heat transfers?
The only requirements that our materials and transfers need are the correct heat, pressure and time – We guarantee that they will work on any heat press on the market, provided you follow the instructions given and that the heat press is functioning correctly.