Screen printing machine vs. heat press
With these two options, there isn’t a clear winner on which one is going to be the best as they are suitable for different things. A screen printing machine is better for simpler designs and is easier for the mass production of garments.
The advantage of a heat press is that it’s easier to do more complex designs, but can take more time to complete the project.
Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of screen printing:
- Great for large projects
- No size limitations
- Softer feel
- Durable finish
- Harder to make complex designs
Each method has its place, but for most apparel jobs, a screen printing machine is going to be easier to use. You can still make complex color designs with them, but this will be quite time-consuming.
How to pick the best screen printing machine?
In order to get the answer to this question, you first need to know what designs you plan on making and how many garments you intend to produce. Once you know that, then it makes the job of choosing the best screen printing machine a lot easier. After that, you can focus on the likes of dimensions and weight to get a perfect choice. As we go through these segments, it’s a good idea to make a note of how important each feature is to you.
Number of colors
It’s tempting to get as many colors as you can, but your costs go up, and you could be left with colors that you never use. When it comes to the screen printing machines, each frame can only use one color at a time. Therefore, if you plan on using more colors, you will need to find a model with more frames, which is going to be a lot larger and heavier compared to one-color models. Besides, simpler models are not as time-demanding as their bigger brothers.
For a simple one-color option, the INTBUYING 1 Color Manual Screen Printing Machine would be perfect, but on the other end of the scale, we have the heavy-duty INTBUYING Double Rotary 6-6 Colors Screen Printing Press for mass production.
It’s best to plan ahead and know how many colors you want, and whether you ‘ll make complex detailed designs or something a little different. For simple jobs, you may be fine with having just one or two colors.
Number of stations
The key question to ask yourself here is how many t-shirts you want to be able to make at a time. If you’re only using one color on a light garment, then it’s likely that you’ll only need one station. If you want multiple colors and designs, then your needs will grow.
An essential point to note is that anything needing an underbase will also require a station. If you are printing on dark garments, this could mean a lot of waiting around if you just have one station. Again, planning ahead is important.
If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to start small as you’ll always be able to upgrade. The Yudu Personal Screen Printer is a great option for those who only need one station.
You need to know the amount of space that you plan to be working with. While they are great for the likes of t-shirts and hoodies, these screen printing machines can also be used for bed sheets and towels, which might require a larger printing area.
For bigger prints, it’s best to get a bigger machine, but that can take up more space. It’s about getting the right balance for your printing needs. Make sure that you’re not going to compromise on the quality of the finish.
Before you buy a screen printing machine, it’s vital that you check if it will fit the space that you have. Whether it is a spare room, a garage or another type of space, you want to measure everything properly to be able to move around the room.
It’s also worth noting that some of these machines are quite heavy, and some will need to be kept stationary and be bolted onto a table or workspace. If you don’t have a lot of space available, then it’s going to be the best idea to get a machine that has a higher level of portability, such as the Yudu Personal Screen Printer.
If you plan on having your screen printing machine in a permanent position, then you will either want to have a freestanding model that is going to stay in the middle room or have a machine that you are going to bolt into place. If you are doing either option, then the weight isn’t going to be much of an issue.
However, it’s not always possible to have that permanent place for your printing machine, so the weight can be important in some cases.
There are some machines here that are still not hard to carry. The VEVOR Screen Printing 4 Color 2 Station Screen Printing Machine weighs 56 lbs. and can be used for two shirts at the same time. Having a heavier model can be quite awkward to carry when fully assembled.
With the best models out there, you should be able to have plenty of adjustability. The frame clamp, pallet, and tension should all be able to be set up in order to get perfect results.
This is important, as otherwise, it’s going to be difficult to work with other types of garments. The Screen Printing Equipment 4 Color Printer is a great example of a model where you can make micro-adjustments.
You want to be able to put the design you’ve made on the perfect spot, and you also need to apply the right pressure. Without having these adjustments, the final result may look sloppy and not up to the standard you have.
Ease of use
Some of these machines are heavy, have a lot of moving parts, but your main goal is to achieve exceptional results. With those aspects in your mind, you want the screen printing machine to be very easy to use, and all of the models we’ve looked at here have that superior level of quality to provide that.
If you’re a screen-printing novice, then it may be the best idea to get something that’s a little smaller in size as these machines will be easier to master. It can take some time to learn the perfect formula, but you’ll soon get to grips with them.
As well as the machine itself, it’s always good to get some great accessories with it to have everything you need to get started. If you’re going to have multiple designs, then you will want to have plenty of frames and mesh to be able to create them.
You’ll want to have squeegees to complete the prints and emulsion or ink, depending on your requirements. There are also other items that you may need, such as a dryer and adhesives. It’s recommended to check the product description to see if there are any accessories included.
While there are some that will be looking for the best value for money, others will simply want the highest quality. As you can imagine with these machines, there is a large correlation between the number of colors/stations and the price.
If you’re looking for a budget option, then the INTBUYING 1 Color Manual Screen Printing Machine is going to be a great bet. At a little under $100, it’s a wonderful model for simple projects. If you’re looking for bigger capacity, then the VEVOR Screen Printing 4 Color 2 Station Screen Printing Machine at around $300 is going to be perfect for your needs.
If you have your own business and need high capacity, then you’ll need a larger heavy-duty model. At around $1,300, the INTBUYING Double Rotary 6-6 Colors Screen Printing Press may seem expensive to some. However, with the number of garments you’ll be able to produce, you’ll soon see that it is an excellent value. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to go for a smaller model and then scale up as you increase your skills.