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Top 7 Best and Most Popular T-Shirt Printer in 2022
Finding the best t-shirt printer can be hard, given the many options in the market. But if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to choose a printing machine made specifically for your application. The good news is that modern t-shirt printers are compact, work fast, and produce countless colors, allowing you to create iconic designs.
Want something that can print to print one of your favorite photos on a shirt or customize t-shirts for companies and sports teams? Teeanime break down your options and compare the top models in t-shirt printing to help you decide. Here are the best t-shirt printers of 2022.
Things to consider when shopping for the best t-shirt printers
The quality of the prints will depend on whether you acquire a t-shirt printer for commercial or personal use. While it’s vital to study reviews and product specifications, the printer you purchase should be based on your specific demands. Here are some things to think about when looking for the best t-shirt printer.
Your printing needs
Do you want to print t-shirts for fun or for profit? Or do you wish to start small before expanding into a t-shirt printing business? How many t-shirts do you intend to print each month? If you expect to print fewer than 500 t-shirts per year, a modest sublimation machine would suffice. If you exceed that amount, you should consider purchasing a Direct to Garment (DTG) printer.
There are numerous printing methods for t-shirts, each with advantages and disadvantages. Printers spray a tiny layer of ink onto the fabric, which results in a softer print. They are ideal for highly detailed designs that require smooth color transitions, such as pictures. Because they perform similarly to a typical inkjet printer, you can switch between designs without requiring any complicated setup changes. However, DTG printers are pricey, so it’s definitely more than you need unless you’re printing large quantities of orders.
One of the most prevalent and oldest methods of printing on shirts is screen printing. It simply entails putting ink through a stencil (the screen) onto fabric, with each color requiring a new screen. Many artists choose screen printing because it produces highly durable and exceptionally colorful artwork with practically limitless color options. It is good for large orders but not for extremely detailed designs.
Dye sublimation is perfect for printing on t-shirts. It uses a unique color vaporizing technology to create delicate, breathable designs. However, sublimation only works on synthetic textiles such as polyester and is costly.
Heat press printing is ideal for people who are just starting out and wish to experiment with their own ideas. You can use your inkjet or laser printer to print a design onto special transfer paper, then press the design onto the shirt with heat and pressure. It will not withstand washing as well as other ways, but it is more user-friendly.
While the printer’s price is vital when determining which t-shirt printer to buy, you should also consider the material and operating costs. Heat press printing is the least expensive t-shirt printing technology because you can use a normal inkjet printer that you may already have and then simply acquire transfer paper and a heat press.
Screen printing is similarly relatively priced, but the cost rises as you move into more complicated designs with more colors. For modest orders, the labor required to put up screens makes the printing process inefficient.
DTG printing is not inexpensive because it takes an expensive printer to begin started, but it is perfect for small orders or regularly swapping between designs.
When looking for a t-shirt printing machine, maintenance should be a top priority. Choose a printer with automated cleaning capabilities and low maintenance expenses for less hassle. You’ll also want something that requires less manual maintenance. Some printers automatically notify you when they require cleaning, eliminating the need for you to keep track of when you last cleaned it.
The best t-shirt printers in 2022: Our picks
Best overall: F2C 5-in-1 Pro Heat Press Machine
Why it made the cut: This 5-in-1 printer is simple enough to be used even by beginners. It is ideal for commercial or personal use and works well for small printing businesses.
- Printing method: Heat press
- Dimensions: 20.6 x 19.6 x 20.2 inches
- Printing area: 12 x 15 inches
- Weight: 55.8 pounds
- Sturdy body for durability
- 360-degree rotation for high precision
- Full-range pressure-adjustment knob
- Intelligent timer and alarm
- Easy to use
- The 1200W heating element takes relatively long to heat to the desired temperature
- Can’t print on extra-large t-shirts
The F2C 5-in-1 pro heat press machine combines form and function flawlessly. It is strong enough to survive use by both beginners and experts. This heat press offers numerous handy characteristics, including a nonstick surface, a swing-away 360-degree rotation, and a pressure-control knob with a wide range of adjustment. Despite its industrial-grade metallic body, it is portable and can be utilized on small working surfaces, making it suitable for those without a dedicated workspace.
But what makes this the best t-shirt printing machine? For starters, it is really simple to use. With the adjustable pressure knob, temperature control, and timer, you can effortlessly modify the settings. The 12 by 15-inch plate enables for relatively big designs to be printed, while built-in structural support helps ensure flatness for equal heat and pressure distribution.
Second, with its numerous capabilities, this machine outperforms its competition. It comes with accessories, for example, that allow you to print on clothes, mugs, plates, and headgear. Because it can spin 360 degrees, it can apply heat and pressure to different places.
Surprisingly, the machine’s adaptability is also its downfall. Its attachments are heavy and difficult to replace. It also does not support extra-large prints because it is not a dedicated t-shirt printing machine. Furthermore, the 1200 W heating element takes some time to reach the correct temperature.
Best sublimation printer: Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Printer
Why it made the cut: The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 wireless printer offers excellent print quality, is novice-friendly, and can easily be converted to a dye-sublimation printer.
- Printing method: Sublimation
- Dimensions: 13.7 x 14.8 x 8.7 inches
- Printing area: 8.5 x 14 inches
- Weight: 11.88 pounds
- High-quality prints
- Low operating costs
- Supports wireless and Wi-Fi-direct printing
- Can work as a sublimation printer
- Has a built-in scanner and copier
- Slower printing speed
- Can only print up to 8.5 x 14 inches
Look no farther than the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 for the best machine for sublimation t-shirt printing. It is one of the best sublimation printers on the market in terms of value for money. However, because the EcoTank is not a specialised sublimation printer, it must be converted. You should do this with a fresh new printer for the best and easiest results, but be aware that it will lose the warranty and limit you to using it as a sublimation printer in the future.
In order to convert it from a conventional printer to a dye-sublimation printer, fill the ink tanks with sublimation ink. Despite the fact that it must be converted, the machine is competitive with the best dedicated dye-sublimation printers. It boasts a maximum print resolution of 5760 x 1440 DPI, resulting in highly detailed prints that are ideal for printing images on shirts.
Epson’s EcoTank printers have a large ink capacity, so depending on your usage, your ink may last for months. However, the ET-2720, like most entry-level inkjet printers, has a number of flaws. The major disadvantage is its limited printing area (8.5 x 14 inches), which means it’s best suited to small t-shirts.
Best value: SURPCOS 5-in-1 Heat Press
Why it made the cut: The SURPCOS Heat Press machine has all the standard features of a 5-in-1 heat press but is more affordable than most.
- Printing method: Heat press
- Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 18 inches
- Printing area: 12 x 15 inches
- Weight: 40.6 pounds
- 360-degree rotatable swing arm
- High-temperature—up to 4500 F
- Built-in timer
- 5-in-1 functionality
- Unclear user manual
- The timer setting is not beginner-friendly
The best shirt making machine will save you time rather than money. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a machine that saves you both time and money, such as the SURPCOS Heat Press 5-in-1 printer. It provides the best value for money while not sacrificing quality. It comes with five attachments and is capable of printing on clothing, glass, wood, and other materials.
You can quickly set the desired time and temperature with the digital time and temperature controls. And the pressure knob is adjustable to adapt the fabric thickness to the needed pressure. The attachments on the removable bottom platform are simple to swap out and simply require a Phillips screwdriver. Furthermore, the heated element can rotate 360 degrees to avoid unintentional touch.
This SURPCOS heat press includes a big 12 x 15-inch heating plate with a one-of-a-kind design that allows for simple construction and removal. However, it is not without flaws. Its user manual contains text that has been badly translated from Chinese to English and can be confusing. You’ll also need to set aside time to learn how to use the timer.
Best for screen printing: VEVOR Screen Printing Machine
Why it made the cut: The VEVOR screen printing machine is compact and easy to assemble. It applies four ink colors to each side of a printed piece and can print on complex materials.
- Printing method: Screenprint
- Dimensions: 55 x 7.9 x 32 inches
- Printing area: 21.7 x 17.7 inches
- Weight: 43.2 pounds
- Easy to assemble
- High-quality prints
- Sturdy build
- Large printing area
- Desktop design saves space
- Not great for mass production
- It’s hard to line up the holes during assembly
VEVOR is a custom shirt printing machine that works well with a wide range of materials. This machine can print on fabrics, metal, wood, paper, glass, and a variety of other materials, allowing you to print your patterns on virtually any flat surface that accepts screen printing ink.
The four-color one-station screen printing machine improves the efficiency of producing multi-color designs. Simply connect your various screens and rotate to print as needed.
The VEVOR Screen Printing Machine is simple to construct and operate, and its compact form saves space. It’s great for folks who have little storage space or just print on occasion.
Although the VEVOR screen printer is the greatest t-shirt printing machine for small enterprises or artists, it does have certain drawbacks. We do not recommend it for busy environments because it is not suitable for large manufacturing. You may also have trouble aligning the holes during assembly.
Best for fabric printing: PUNEHOD DTF Transfer Printer
Why it made the cut: Generates high-quality prints on all fabrics and is easy to use. It’s also more affordable than DTG machines.
- Printing method: Direct to film
- Dimensions: 12.99 x 5.87 x 5.12 inches
- Printing area:
- Weight: 61.6 pounds
- Can print on a variety of materials
- Requires no pre-treatment
- Uses less white ink than a DTG printer
- Produces durable and high-quality prints
- 3-year warranty
- Setup process is not beginner-friendly
- Slow print speed
Direct to film printing (DTF) is a one-of-a-kind process that includes printing graphics on special films and then transferring them to clothes. DTF prints can endure as long as traditional silkscreen prints, so you can be confident that your printed clothes will last. This PUNEHOOD model is one of the top clothes printers on the market and will complement your t-shirt printing setup nicely. Unlike a DTG printer, which works best on 100% cotton materials, this device can print on cotton, leather, nylon, and fabric blends.
The best part about DTF technology is that it eliminates the need to pre-treat materials after printing your graphics on PET film. Film prints can be used immediately or stored for later use. When it comes to ink, DTF printers use substantially less than DTG printers.
It’s worth noting that this printer is difficult to set up, and beginners may struggle. Fortunately, the manufacturer has an excellent customer service team that can remotely walk you through the installation process. Unfortunately, the machine’s printing speed is also lacking, and it becomes much slower as image size and resolution rise. We recommend that you print and save your preferred designs ahead of time.
We examined t-shirt printers from several manufacturers in this product roundup based on factors such as build quality, functionality, portability, printing area, and ease of use. To achieve a fair judgement, we examined the printers’ printing technology and compared them to their peers. We also looked at buyer feedback on big e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay.
T-shirt printing may be a fun and gratifying process, whether you do it as a hobby or as a business. For the best results, find a t-shirt printer that generates the style of print you want and works well with the designs you create.