Each of the three main types of plastic bucket heat transfer machine has its own characteristics, as well as its own advantages, each should be carefully considered.
THE DRAW HEAT PRESS
Also known as the drawer heat press, this machine has a moveable lower plate that can be pulled towards the operator. The garment is stretched over this plate before it is pushed back in and the label pressed onto it. This type of press allows heat to be directed away from the operator during use. The top plate of the draw heat press remains stationary.
This choice is best for labels requiring a degree of precision. It is also ideal for printing high numbers of labels if automated. The draw heat press is small and easy to transport, as well as being time-efficient and easy to use. The layout area and ability to pull out the lower plate allows the operator to see the garment area clearly.
If space is scarce where the draw heat press is being used, it’s important to note that this type of machine will take up space when the lower plate is pulled out. As well, garments made from bulky materials may not produce ideal results.
This particular machine features a hinge between its top and bottom plate. The machine opens like a clamshell and the top plate can swing to the side. The clamshell heat press is available in both manual and automatic versions. This type of heat press is ideal for beginners, as it is incredibly easy to place the garment onto the machine for transferring. If you have a manual clamshell heat press, then you might need to open and close the top at the start and finish of the Transfer process. The automatic version will open once the timed transfer process is finished.
The clamshell is ideal where large numbers of garments need to be labelled, as it is easy to lay garments onto the machine. It is also perfect as a first purchase for small operations that are just getting into garment labelling with heat transfer.
This type of heat press is a great alternative to other presses, as it is the most portable of the three types, and also takes up the least space. Companies looking to take this press to trade events will find the clamshell to be most convenient option.
Where labels are needed on thicker or bulkier items, the clamshell may not be suitable. Also, due to the way in which the machine opens, the layout area isn’t as visible as with other types.
More pressure is needed in order to ensure proper printing with the clamshell heat press. If pressure is not enough or uneven pressure is applied, a loss of quality can be the result. The clamshell heat press also requires a degree of skill, and so may not be best for beginners.
The transfer process takes more time to complete when a clamshell heat press is used. Finally, although it is portable, the clamshell will take up space when the top plate is swung to the side.
The swinger heat press has a top plate that swings in both horizontal directions. This particular press is used where precision is required, such as when logo details, individual letters and numbers or embellishments like rhinestones are required.
The swinger press is also very easy to use. The layout area is highly visible due the ability of the top plate to swing out in either horizontal direction. It also allows for even pressure to be applied to the garment’s surface.
Printing garment labels will take more time with this press. It also requires a greater degree of skill to operate, which doesn’t make it the best option for beginners.