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Buying the Best Clamshell Heat Press

Clamshell Heat PressThe definition, the?best clamshell heat press has different meanings depending on your needs and price. ?Whether you are a hobbyist, home or small business you probably have different requirements?and budget in mind.

We aim here to cover best entry level clamshell heat press, some mid range as well as high end presses that are suitable for pressing t-shirts, pillows, onesies and other flat items. ?If you are looking to press hats, cups, mugs or plates then check out our other article on multifunction heat presses.

 

 

Best Entry Level Clamshell Heat Presses

For hobbyists and small business users you are most likely looking for a cheap entry point to heat transfer and making t-shirts. ?We have a number of recommenations for you to suit your budget and startup needs.

US Cutter 15″x15″ Heat Press bundle

If you are starting out then the US Cutter is a wonderful deal to get you pressing right out of the box. ?The heat press comes with two sheets of heat transfer vinyl (HTV) as well as two t-shirts and a non-stick teflon sheet to protect your shirts and design as you press. ?US Cutter provides US based support and has a great following. ?They also sell vinyl and other higher end presses including auto open presses and multifunction presses. ?As their lower end starter press this represents the best value deal and a thumbs?up from us.

USCutter 15″x15″ Digital Heat Press Machine, T-Shirts, Vinyl, Non Stick Sheet (Starter Bundle)

Includes: Digital Heat Press, 2 Tshirts, 5 Sheets Siser EasyWeed Vinyl, Non-stick Sheet
Large Digital LCD Display - Preset desired time and temperature control for precise operation
Heavy Duty - stable and supported by rigid steel frame which is built to last

Price: $299.99

Buy Now

FancierStudio 15″x15″ Heat Press

This is probably the lowest price entry point for those looking for a clamshell heat press. ?For around $150 right now you cannot find a better deal on a 15″x15″ heat press. ?Cheaper presses from this price point and down are 12″x15″ heat platens which while they work fine, they may present issues if you want to press larger garments or designs – you will have to double press. ?The FancierStudio press is a sturdy build, well reviewed and popular press in the crafting groups online. ?If you are on an absolute budget then this is the press for you.

Fancierstudio Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press Rhinstone Heat Press, Red Black 15 by 15-Inch

Silicon gel base board Pressure adjustable
Voltage:110V Power:1800 W
Brand New Coated 15"x15" Heat Press Sheet Included

Price: $164.99

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Powerpress 15″x15″ Heat Press

This quality-wise is a step up from the press above and from personal experience it is a fantastic press. ?If you are in the craft groups on Facebook both for Cricut and Silhouette, this is the most recommended heat press by far. ?To add to it’s accolades it is Amazon’s best selling heat press with solid reviews and ratings. ?It is a close call between this press and the US Cutter press, the latter probably wins out based on the local US support and bundle options which are a huge plus if you are just starting out.

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US Cutter 15×15 Volcano Clamshell Heat Press with optional Mug Press

This is a little more expensive than the above models but it differs in one important area.? The US Cutter Volcano press is a regular clamshell BUT it has an additional hookup for an optional mug press attachment.? This gives you more flexibility to make cups but retains the solid construction of a clamshell.? The optional mug press attachment costs an additional $79.99.? US Cutter offers US based support.? Seriously check this press out if you plan to make more than shirts.? It is feasible that US Cutter could release an optional hat press too.

USCutter New 15″ x 15″ Volcano Digital Clamshell Heat Press with Optional Mug Press Attachment

VOLCANO Clamshell Heat Press w/optional mug press attachment
Large bright digital LCD display with quality electronics
Heavy-duty rigid steel frame and aluminum body

Price:

Buy Now

 

Best Midrange Clamshell Heat Presses

These heat presses offer more functionality like auto open and larger heat platens as well as local US support from companies like US Cutter and Hotronix.

US Cutter Auto Open 15″x15″ Clamshell Heat Press

This is a heavy duty commercial grade heat press. ?Unlike the manual heat presses this clamshell will automatically open the press once the timer goes off. ?If you are busy working large orders this function is a huge plus as you can set and forget your press and it will release ready for the next shirt while you multitask and concentrate on getting the next shirt ready. ?This auto open heat press will streamline your pressing process. ?Like the entry level model above the auto open press comes with 6 sheets of heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

15″ x 15″ Auto-Opening Clamshell Heat Press + Color Theory Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl Kit

15"x15" Auto-Opening Clamshell Digital Heat Press
Large Digital LCD timer - Preset desired time to help avoid over exposure
Easy to access control knob for controlling pressure

Price: $349.99

Buy Now

Powerpress 16″ x 24″ Clamshell Heat Press

If you are into making larger designs and want to press XXL and larger shirts, pillow cases, sheets, milestone blankets then this is the press for you. ?Offering a huge 16″x24″ heat platen you will be able to press designs that max out your Cricut or Cameo’s design limits!

 

Hotronix?Maxx 15″x15″ Clamshell Heat Press

This is a big step up in price but also performance. ?The Hotronix presses are heavy duty commercial grade presses. ?The Maxx features superior heating elements which ensure that you have consistent and accurate temperatures across your heat plate with no cold spots or variance. ?The price jump between these presses and the other midrange is high but this is due to a much superior product with fantastic local support. ?If you are getting into business and wanting to invest in a heat press that will last through the years with consistent professional results this is the starter press for you!

Hotronix Maxx Digital Heat Press – 15″ X 15″

Cast-in tubular heating element every 2?(5cm), eliminating cold spots
3/4? (2cm) thick, non-stick upper platen - 3/8? (1cm) Silicone rubber bottom pad
Temperature range 200?F - 400?F

Price: $945.00

Buy Now

Best High End Clamshell Heat Presses

These are the presses if money is not an issue and you want the best presses in the industry with commercial grade build quality and longevity. ?These presses are a business investment that will provide consistent professional results day in day out and have local US support should you have issues with your press.

Hotronix 16?16? Auto Open Clamshell Heat Press

 

This commercial grade heat press offers a larger 16″x16″ heat platen with magnetic auto-opening. ?The timer resets when the press auto-opens ready for the next item to help streamline your pressing process. ?The Hotronix features digital time, temperature and pressure controls, Twin TimerTM for programming two independent time settings, Auto Sleep Mode as well as magnetic assist lock-down. ?This press also has a wider opening to help you lay down your design without getting caught on the heat element. ?The heat plate is also teflon coated for protection.

Hotronix 16×16″ Heat Press Auto Open MADE IN USA – Heat Transfer Press Machine Built To Last!

Features 16’x16 Heat Platen Magnetic auto-opening Time resets when the press auto-opens Digital time, temperature and pressure controls Twin TimerTM for programming two independent time settings Auto Sleep Mode Magnetic assist lock-down Accepts items up to 1″ thick Leveraged handle for very easy closing Teflon coated upper heat platen Wide opening for easy layout Quick […]

Price: $1,325.00

Buy Now

Hotronix?Fusion 16″x20″ Heat Press

Now we are into serious presses. ?These are actually swing?away not clamshells but are the top of the line heat presses. ?They offer touch screen control of temperature, time and pressure. The teflon coated heat platen swings away from the plate and additionally the tray slides towards you so you can better place your design away from the heat source. ?You can program your heat, pressure and time preferences into memory on this press so you can switch between settings quickly and reliably press using the correct temperature and time every time! The Maxx also features the auto off functionality.

Hotronix Fusion 16″x20″ Heat Press Swing-Away MADE IN USA – Heat Transfer Press Machine Built To Last!

Features 16″x20″ Heat Platen opens w/Swing or Draw Motion Exclusive touch screen technology Live digital time, temperature & pressure readout Innovative EZ-On platen design eliminates the need for pillows or pads Special cast aluminum frame Multiple time settings make applications a breeze Program & store (unlimited) frequently used applications for time & temp. Records number […]

Price: $2,100.00

Buy Now

Hotronix?Fusion Air 16″x20″ Heat Press

As with the press above you have the touch screen control, multiple programmable settings, swing away, slide out drawer functionality. ?The difference with the Fusion Air is that it comes in a tabletop format and features auto open.

Hotronix Air Fusion 16″x20″ Heat Press Swing-Away Table Top MADE IN USA – Heat Transfer Press Machine Built To Last!

Features 16″x20: Heat Platen Exclusive touch screen controller with new multi-swipe gestures Data interface port for software upgrades Fully digital time, temperature & pressure readouts Automatic on/off setting Multiple time and pressure settings for mixed media makes applications a breeze Electro Pneumatic regulator that auto adjusts pressure for all recipes Hands Free Auto Open, Auto […]

Price: $3,795.00

Buy Now

The Hotronix presses have the best warranties:

Lifetime Heating Element Warranty
5 year warranty on major components
2 year warranty on circuitry board
1 year warranty on parts and labor

 

Disclaimer:
We are Amazon affiliates. ?Links on these pages do earn us commission on orders placed BUT this does not affect the price to you! ? We hope and appreciate that you find our advice and reviews useful and worthy of a click through order to Amazon!
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Cricut Easy Press 2 now available – Order Now

Cricut Easy Press 2

Cricut EasyPress 2Cricut EasyPress 2

The new Cricut EasyPress 2 comes in 3 sizes to better suit different needs:

6″ x 7″ which will sell at $139.99

9″ x 9″ which will sell at $179.99

12″ x 10″ which will sell at $249.99

Cricut sees different use cases for the different sizes

Choose the right EasyPress 2 for the types of projects you love to make most. Cricut EasyPress 2 comes in three sizes: 6?x7?, think Onesies, baby bibs, cosmetic bags. The 9?x9?, think T-shirts and tote bags. The 10?x12?, think BIG. Blankets, beach umbrellas, banners.

The new presses have been upgraded and can now reach 400 degrees, an answer to previous customer feedback.? The EasyPress 2 devices are faster to warm up too.? Ashish Arora stated during his presentation that while a regular heat press may take 7 minutes to reach the desired 315 degrees the EasyPress 2 would warm up in less that one minute (6″ x 7″), less than 2 minutes (9″ x 9″) and less than 3 minutes (12″ x 10″).? The warm-up?time is 25% faster than the original EasyPress.

Rather than the original coral color, the new EasyPress will feature raspberry colored handles.

The EasyPress 2 release also included heat pressing mats – these are available now via Cricut here!

Coming in 2019, Cricut will also release EasyPress 2 carry bags – custom made for the new sizes presses and ideal for transporting your press to craft events, shows, etc.

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Siser Heat Presses – as featured in Siser videos

Siser heat presses

Siser?Heat Presses

Siser?heat presses?? Everyone knows Siser for Easyweed and lately for EasyPSV (Pressure Sensitive Vinyl – new competitor/alternative to?Oracal?651/631) but not maybe so much for heat presses.? Siser?features these presses all the time on their Facebook videos and their Youtube channel (recommend you subscribe for hints, tips and product releases)

Siser has a video that covers their range of heat presses that come in 3 different sizes, 16×20, 15×15 and 11×15 as well as a hat press.? Prices start at $395.99 for the 11×15, $495.99 for the 15×15 and $595.99.? The Siser?hat press costs around $395.

Siser?heat presses are available both in our store via Amazon or via Swing Design here.

We recommend checking both sources to compare price and availability, Swing Design often has promo codes that may get you a better deal.

Check out Siser’s heat press video below for a run through of their clamshell and hat presses.

 

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Cricut EasyPress 2 – Coming soon!

Cricut EasyPress 2

Cricut EasyPress 2Cricut EasyPress 2 was announced yesterday at Cricut’s Mountain-Maker-A-Thon 2018.? Cricut’s CEO, Ashish Arora,? announced the new presses, now in three sizes, to an eager crowd touting that the original EasyPress has been a success and had proven despite popular feedback online that pressure was not the key element to a great bond but consistent heat.

Building on the success of the original Cricut EasyPress, the new models now come?in 3 sizes to better suit different needs:

6″ x 7″ which will sell at $129.99

9″ x 9″ which will sell at $179.99

12″ x 10″ which will sell at $229.99

Cricut sees different use cases for the different sizes

Choose the right EasyPress 2 for the types of projects you love to make most. EasyPress 2 comes in three sizes: 6?x7?, think Onesies, baby bibs, cosmetic bags. Our original 9?x9?, think T-shirts and tote bags. And, 10?x12?, think BIG. Blankets, beach umbrellas, banners.

The new presses have been upgraded and can now reach 400 degrees, an answer to previous customer feedback.? The EasyPress 2 devices are faster to warm up too.? Ashish Arora stated during his presentation that while a regular heat press may take 7 minutes to reach the desired 315 degrees the EasyPress 2 would warm up in less that one minute (6″ x 7″), less than 2 minutes (9″ x 9″) and less than 3 minutes (12″ x 10″).? The warm-up?time is 25% faster than the original EasyPress.

Rather than the original coral color the new EasyPress will feature raspberry colored handles.

The EasyPress 2 release also included heat pressing mats – these are available now via Cricut here!

Coming in 2019, Cricut will also release EasyPress 2 carry bags – custom made for the new sizes presses and ideal for transporting your press to craft events, shows, etc.

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Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl 25% off until July 31st!

Siser?Products 25% Sale

Siser EasyweedSiser?deals don’t get much better than this, via Swing Design, use the code SISER25SALE at checkout to receive 25% off across all Siser?HTV products!

This code is only valid until July 31st, click here stock up on your HTV products right now!

Come like us on Facebook?& share this post with your crafty friends, spread the savings!

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Oracal 651 and 631 $0.43 per square foot 150ft rolls

Oracal 651If you get through a lot of Oracal?651 or 631, buying by the roll may be for you!

Bulk purchasing Oracal?can get your per?square foot price down to as little as $0.43 using the discount code of SWINGDESIGN10.

Oracal 651 Glossy Vinyl 12 In x 150 Feet
Prices Start?at 10% Off $71.99 With Code

  • 61 Assorted Colors Available
  • 2.5?mils thick
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • 6 Year Outdoor Durability / Metallics 4-years

Oracal 631 Matte Vinyl 12 In x 150 Feet
Prices Start?at 10% Off $71.99 With Code

  • 88 Assorted Colors Available
  • 3?mils thick
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Designed to last years

Whether you need adhesive vinyl for decals, cups, tiles or more removable?vinyl for window decorations, stencils, etc. buying bulk rolls will save you lots of money and shipping costs.

Check our store also for different pricing and size options for Oracal and Siser?products!

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This Volcano heat press from US Cutter will blow your mind!

Volcano heat press from US Cutter, traditional clamshell with added mug press functionality.

Space is a common compromise when selecting a heat press – that and the choice of items that you are planning to make for yourself or your business.? Many adopt a clamshell heat press as it requires less space than a swing away or multifunction press.? The problem is that sometimes compromise sells us short and ends up limiting the things we want to create.? US Cutter has gone some way to reducing the problem here with their Volcano Heat Press.

USCutter New 15″ x 15″ Volcano Digital Clamshell Heat Press with Optional Mug Press Attachment

VOLCANO Clamshell Heat Press w/optional mug press attachment
Large bright digital LCD display with quality electronics
Heavy-duty rigid steel frame and aluminum body

Price:

Buy Now

The Volcano heat press is like a traditional 15″x15″ heat press BUT it has the added bonus of being able to function with a mug press attachment.? The Volcano has an additional hookup port on the side that allows you to attach an (optional) mug press attachment.

The mug press attachment is available only directly from US Cutter here for $79.99

 

 

 

 

 

  • Plugs right into your Volcano heat press for use when you need it.
  • Works with 10oz – 15oz straight mug sublimation blanks 75mm to 87mm in diameter!
  • Fully digital temperature control
  • Automatic digital timer
  • Easy pressure adjustment
  • Solid steel welded framework
  • Soft heater liner for accommodating inconsistent mugs
  • Temperature readout accuracy +-1C
  • User selectable end-of-cycle alarms

Works with the following mugs:

  • 11oz. White Sublimation Mug
  • 11oz. Sublimatable Inner Colored Coated Mugs
  • 15oz. White Sublimation Mug (Coffee Cup)
  • 10oz Stainless Steel Camp Mug, White Enamel Dye Sublimation Blank
  • 17oz Stainless Steel Travel Mug Dye Sublimation Blank
  • 16oz Frosted Glass Beer Mug Dye Sublimation Blank
  • 20oz Clear Glass Beer Mug Dye Sublimation Blank

The Volcano heat press comes with:

  • Quick-start guide inside pocket featuring settings information for commonly used heat transfer materials.
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-understand operations manual.
  • Large bright digital LCD display with quality electronics for setting alarm timer and temperature.
  • Arrives fully assembled.
  • Heavy-duty rigid steel frame and aluminum body.
  • Lifetime support.

 

 

 

Given the additional flexibility, price, support and build quality we have to move this to the top of the list as our recommended heat press!? Check out our other recommendations here!

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Cricut EasyPress Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl – Time and temps

Cricut Easy Press

Cricut EasyPress users frequently ask what settings should I use to apply Siser?Heat Transfer Vinyl to my project, can I use Siser?HTV?

The answer is YES – the Cricut EasyPress will work with any heat transfer vinyl product BUT the application and temperature may differ from the manufacturer’s recommendations for a regular heat press.

Applying HTV with an iron ?When you press with an iron you press onto a hard surface like a tile or cookie sheet maximizing the amount of pressure with as much downward force as you can muster.

 

 

 

Etekcity IR ThermometerTemperature, unless you have a IR thermometer is purely trial and error – higher is not always better and could lead to melting.? Time is guesswork and you’re looking to see if and when the vinyl has bonded well with your garment/project.? Repeated pressing over different areas can lead to overheating or inconsistent results.

 

 

 

 

Powerpress Heat pressWith a heat press it’s pretty simple, dial in your temp and time, maybe adjust your pressure, lay your garment and press!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cricut EasyPressThe Cricut EasyPress is a mixture of both techniques.? Cricut has not released their pressing mat yet and it is recommended to use something like a towel as a pressing?surface under your project (differing from the basic iron method)? Some have recommended using rubber mats like heat presses have – you can get them online via Amazon:

RUSPEPA 12” ×15” Silicone Pad, Flat Heat Press Replacement(Red)

Size: 12" x 15" (30.3x38.5cm) Thickness: 0.295" (0.75cm) Weight: 1.41Lb(0.64kg)/piece
Silicone Pad: Silicone foam board
The Replacement Silicon Pad provides proper heat condiction to ensure high quality prints in every heat press application

Price: $9.99

Buy Now

With regards to temperatures, based on speaking with Siser?NA, they recommend using 340 degrees and using the firmness/pressure based on their published application guide.

 

Siser?has a blog post that covers using the Cricut EasyPress for applying HTV on one of their project blog posts here:

How to Cut Siser? Heat Transfer Vinyl with the Sizzix? Big Kick? and Apply HTV with the Cricut??EasyPress

You can get a Cricut?EasyPress, IR Thermometer, pressing mat here and check out our recommendations for heat presses right here if interested.? It is recommended that you use an IR thermometer to calibrate your heat press temperature as well as to test your iron settings to get the optimum temperature.

Cricut EasyPress

Pro-level performance and home-friendly design
the big handle, Safety Base, and auto shutoff feature keep things safe every step of the way
The evenly heated plate adheres your iron?on in 60 seconds or less

Price: $149.99 $139.99

Buy Now

RUSPEPA 12” ×15” Silicone Pad, Flat Heat Press Replacement(Red)

Size: 12" x 15" (30.3x38.5cm) Thickness: 0.295" (0.75cm) Weight: 1.41Lb(0.64kg)/piece
Silicone Pad: Silicone foam board
The Replacement Silicon Pad provides proper heat condiction to ensure high quality prints in every heat press application

Price: $9.99

Buy Now

We also welcome your comments and shared experiences with your Cricut EasyPress and or Heat Press below.

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Siser EasyPSV (Pressure Sensitive Vinyl) coming in January 2018

Siser Easyweed

Siser?announced a new product line,?Siser?EasyPSV which stands for Pressure Sensitive Vinyl.

This will be a direct competitor to Oracal?651/631 products.

They will be offering both permanent (gloss for now) and removable?(matte) vinyl options in colors, glitter, glow in the dark, etched glass and chalkboard varieties.

Siser?will also have their own transfer?tape with a medium tack alongside their new Siser?EasyPSV vinyl products.

Pricing is to be inline with what you would expect in the market i.e. look for pricing around current?Oracal?631/651 costs

Siser?EasyPSV will ship in 12-inch sheets as well as rolls.

Check the video here for more information

Look out for this new release in January 2018!!!

Check out Siser?North America at SiserNA.com for more information as it is released!