Sublimation printing is one of the best printing methods for transferring clean designs onto a clean or rigid surface. Sublimation printers are for mugs, clothing, ceramics, and many other products. Once the design is printed on a sublimation paper, heat transfer is applied to transfer it to the sublimation blank.
Are you on the hunt to find the best sublimation printer for heat transfer? Whether you are searching for a sublimation printer for your home office, studio, or business, we have added a couple of options for all your needs. Continue reading to find out our top picks.
1. Epson 7720 for Heat Transfer:
I think the Epson 7720 is the best sublimation printer for heat transfer in the last few years. it’s an all-in-one A3 printer print scan copy fax Wi-Fi printer that features the ultimate in wired and wireless networking. It is a precision core powered printer that produces print shop quality borderless prints up to 13 inches by 19 inches and scans up to 11 by 17 inches. Epson 7720 also comes with a 500 sheet capacity, dual trays, and a rear feed for speciality paper.
WF-7720 makes printing from tablets and smartphones easy. The top tray fits well even after the bracket screws are removed. It holds over 100 sheets of paper just fine without necessarily having to feed through the top feed behind the scanner.
However, this printing machine has also faced criticism from various users. Some complain that printing from a USB is complex, and if one tries, the images produced are in a distorted black colour even after using compatible file extensions. Users may also need to set the printer right next to the router to identify it.
2. Epson WF-7210:
Epson Workforce WF-7210 is one of the best sublimation printer for heat transfer that give the user performance beyond laser. The precision core powered printer produces quality colour graphics, laser-sharp black text, and brilliant marketing materials up to 13 by 19 inches. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC mobile networking, comes with two large paper drawers, and auto-duplexes up to tabloid size.
Dash replenishment is a top-notch feature that prevents users from running out of ink during printer operation. Once activated, dash replenishment keeps track of ink usage and orders for more when ink is running low. Additionally, WF-7210 uses up to 80% less power making it more economical than colour laser printers.
Unfortunately, WF-7210 is designed for use with only genuine Epson brand cartridges. This significant downside prevents users from using third-party ink and other brand cartridges. Even if the printer is described as compatible, cartridges from other brands may not perform.
3. Epson EcoTank ET-2760:
Epson ET-2760 is cheapest sublimation printer for heat transfer. It’s a perfect family printer that features a high-resolution flatbed scanner, auto duplex printing, and outstanding print quality. It has a built-in scanner and copier, auto 2-sided printing. The easy to fill, supersized, high-quality ink tanks exclude the need for tiny and more expensive ink cartridges.
Epson 2760 for sublimation and heat transfer is fast, affordable, and easy to use. The printer comes with ink bottles capable of printing approximately 7500 pages in black and over 6000 colour pages and can last for about two years, enabling users to save on replacement ink dramatically and minimizes out of ink frustrations. Also, since the printer is an innovative cartridge-free solution, it helps reduce cartridge wastes ending up in landfills.
The only problem with ET-2760 is it can only be used occasionally. Frequently using it will have you fighting with it to get to clean colours. The printer may also frequently ask the user to update the software after a couple of weeks, which can get quite annoying. Additionally, a lot of time was wasted scanning items on the glass scanner bed page by page.
4. Epson EcoTank ET-15000:
ET-15000 is one of the best sublimation printer for heat transfer from Epson. It’s offers cartridge-free printing with supersized tanks which are very easy to fill. It is an all-in-one printer that delivers vibrant prints up to 13 by 19 inches and scans up to 8.5 by 14 inches through the ADF. ET-15000 also features a 250-sheet front tray paper capacity, a rear speciality paper feed, a 2.7-inch colour touchscreen, and a hands-free, voice-activated printing.
Epson Ecotank is the best selling supertank printer with one set of replacement ink bottles equal to eighty individual cartridges. The high yield ink bottles also reduce wastage. ET-15000 barely experiences connection issues, unlike other typical printers, and it is pretty easy to set up and print. Scanning of multipage documents is accessible through the simple feeder, which works flawlessly.
Although the printer has received much praise from users worldwide, others complain that it stops and says “Printing completed” with media halfway in the printer. Another downside is the printer doesn’t support duplex scanning, and while it prints black and white documents reasonably fast, it is slower with colour pages.
Read more: Top 5 Best Sublimation Inks For Epson 2720
5. Epson ET-8500:
The EcoTank 8500 prints lab-quality colour photos, graphics and everyday documents at an incredible value. The 6.4 by 15.9 by 14.5 inches printer is business-oriented and comes with a 20-sheet automatic document reader used for sending multiple copies to the scanner. Unlike most printers, ET-8500’s functions can comfortably be operated from mobile phones and computers through Epson’s software or its onboard web portal. The printer is also perfect for walk-up tasks, including making copies. The user easily controls how the printer operates through its 4.3-inch colour touch screen. ET-8500 provides several connective methods, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and USB. Users can also print from SDs, SDHC, and SDXC cards.
ET-8500 is the most accessible printer to use and set up. Adding the ink and firmware or software updates is a process that should take no more than 20 minutes. Printing photos from a mobile phone is simple. The user only needs to make sure that there is paper in the printer. The pictures of the printer are beautiful and of standard quality.
On the downside, EcoTank-8500 is slow and may put a lot of ink on the paper. Users suggest that the printer produces bizarre pictures with enough ink to cover your hands and printer.
6. Epson EcoTank 4800:
Epson 4800 heat sublimation printer is a wireless all in one cartridge-free super rank Epson printer that gives users a new operation experience. It is a fast, affordable, and easy to use the printer that uses easily refillable ink tanks. ET-4800 home office printer features an auto document feeder, high-resolution flatbed scanner, easy document copying and navigation, and a convenient colour display. Users also enjoy modern connectivity through the printer’s ethernet and wireless, plus it also features a hands-free, voice-activated printing.
On the bright side, the ET-4800 is light and sturdy, unlike other models. The ink cartridges are easily accessed by pulling up the cover on the right side. Users can also print thousands of papers without necessarily having to refill the ink tanks. Additionally, users can enjoy many wireless printing options at a low cost.
On the downside, users cannot lift the scanner sheets fully to access the sheet rollers. While they can raise the top side a little, it is not much, and one can only access the sheet rollers by pulling down the sheets found on the printer’s front side. When removing the paper jams, users have to be careful not to touch the tubes within the printer, which is quite hard due to the lack of enough space to move around.
7. Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16650:
ET-16650 is a top tier printer that saves you up to 80% with low-cost replacement ink bottles compared to standard quality colour laser toner categories. The printer measures 13.8 by 20.3 by 19.7 inches with the trays closed. It is light, compact, and sturdy compared to several of its wide format competitors. One factor that makes it unique is its 50-sheet auto-duplexing automatic document feeder. This feature lets the printer scan, copy, and fax one- and two-sided multipage documents without intervention.
Pro EcoTank 16650 for heat press is a single function printer that enables the user to do plenty from the model’s control panel, including the configuration of the AIO, monitoring of consumables, generation of usage and other reports, and performing walk-up tasks. The printer is spacious with a set of easy-to-use controls. Like other Epson made printers, ET-16650 contains a 4.3-inch colour touch screen and an onboard web portal that allows the user to access all printer operations from their mobile phones or computers.
This printer is perfect for small businesses. It gives users excellent print quality by spending fewer running costs. It comes with thousands of pages worth of ink that lowers ink depletion frustrations during operation. ET-16650 also enables users to enjoy excellent mobile connectivity options.
Unfortunately, besides the printer being quite expensive, it also prevents users from printing borderless. Quite a good number of them complain that the printer experiences issues within the five months of use.
Considering the capabilities of a sublimation printer prior to purchase prevents you from getting disappointed and spending a huge sum of money on low-quality printers. To eliminate any disappointment, you need to start by learning factors and features to consider when buying a printer and how to make the most out of those features. Some of the things to consider are;
• Format of the Printer:
This is probably the first thing to consider when buying a sublimation printer. Several formats include desktop format, narrow format, and wide format or large format. Desktop format sublimation printers are the same as the typical office printers; narrow formats are made for photo printing and are best for a photo booth, while wide and large format types are sublimation printers that print out large sublimation designs.
• Printing Specifications:
The key printing specifications include resolution, size and speed. Basically, resolution is the printing quality. The more the resolution, the higher the quality. Always consider the size you want your prints to be sublimated before investing in a printer. For example, if you need a 14 by 24 inches print but buy an 8.5 by 11 inches sublimation printer, you will be required to cut down the design. Finally, the speed determines the rate at which printing can go along. Use a high-speed factor as leverage to charge more in business.
Most printers get unfunctional if not used for over a week. Printers run into issues, including cartridges, connectivity, and paper and ink expenses. It is imperative for the user to look out for the warranty to see what damages are covered. Users should also remember that good quality ensures the least maintenance.
• Connectivity, Storage, and Price:
Ensure the printer’s wireless or mobile connectivity is properly functioning. Storage is also a key feature to consider as it helps you store essential designs, assuming you will need them in future. Finally, the price of each sublimation printer is affected by the format and type of printer. For example, commercial sublimation printers may cost more than $ 5000, while home sublimation printers may be $ 1000 or less.
Frequently Asked Questions:
While screen printing has its benefits and place in garment customization, sublimation printing is perfect for a lightweight finish, and it is the way to go for a large number of prints or colours or an all-over print.
Sublimation printing doesn’t reduce product quality. If anything, it allows the ink to permeate the surface of the item being printed and correspondingly, the ink doesn’t adhere to the fabric’s surface. Therefore, images on fabric will not peel or crack or even fade. The colours will remain vibrant even after multiple washings.
Unfortunately, you cannot. Printing dye sublimation inks onto darker fabrics is still an issue because the materials are already coloured. If you wish to sublimate on another colourful fabric besides black, you can use a darker ink-like and make your printing visible.
Always run your printer regularly without turning it off. It provides regular ink circulation in print heads. If the printer automatically activates the cleaning process, turn it on and run it a few times a week. A small amount of ink should be enough for this process.
Ideally, artwork should be supplied in a vector format such as AI, PDF, and EPS. This ensures the detail in the design is not lost to give you a high-quality finish. If this is beyond your capabilities, consider a hi-resolution image file or PSD.
As you consider the many choices, remember that the best printer for sublimation and heat transfer and heat press is one that saves you up to 80% on ink. Choose an Epson printer that will give you a quality printing experience, especially the one that can work as a scanner, copier, or fax machine. However, while all the mentioned sublimation printers are safe bets, the choice made is a matter of personal preference.