Sublimation Printer Selection: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re looking to purchase a printer that will allow you to create custom heat transfer designs, the first thing you’ll want to do is ask yourself what kind of printer should I get? There are several options available, and choosing between them can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for or where to start.

To make the process easier, we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the best sublimation printer for heat transfer (along with some alternative recommendations), so you can make an informed decision without having to scour the internet in search of information.

Sawgrass VJ 628

Sawgrass VJ 628

The Sawgrass VJ 628 is a great printer and the best sublimation printer for heat transfer. This printer has high-quality prints and it’s relatively affordable. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. The only downside to this machine is that it doesn’t have wifi capabilities, but that can be resolved by purchasing a USB cable so you can connect the Sawgrass VJ 628 to your computer.

Key Features

  • The Sawgrass VJ 628 is one of the best sublimation printers for heat press machines in the market right now, and it has a lot to offer.
  • It’s perfect for those who need professional printing because it can print at six colors at once, which makes it faster and more efficient than any other printer on this list so far.
  • It also has a high speed of 720×720 dpi (dots per inch), which means that you won’t have to worry about image quality or clarity when you’re printing your items out on this printer; everything will be printed out beautifully and with a lot of precision and detail so there’s no chance of anything going wrong during the printing process whatsoever!
  • What really sets this printer apart from the rest is its ability to save time and paper because it prints on rolls of paper as opposed to individual sheets.
  • Another bonus is that it has built-in networking capabilities, making file sharing simple across different devices with different operating systems like Macs, PCs, and Linux alike without having to connect via USB cable every time like some printers require you do.
  • But what really helps set this machine apart from the rest are its color calibration options–you get control over brightness levels as well as saturation levels so you’re not stuck trying to figure out how best to calibrate your prints before you send them off for printing–which saves us all a ton of time!


  • It is also the most recommended and best sublimation printer for heat press among professionals and enthusiasts alike.
  • It has a relatively low cost when compared to other models, but you get the best sublimation printer for heat transfer in return with exceptional quality prints, durability, and efficiency.
  • With its precise settings, it is a great machine that will not cause any headaches during use as it comes with an easy-to-use interface that’s been designed to be user-friendly and intuitive.
  • If you’re looking for the best sublimation printer for heat press on a budget, then Sawgrass VJ 628 is definitely the one to go for!


  • No Cons

SureColor F570

Epson SureColor F570

The Epson SureColor F570 is the best printer for sublimation and heat transfer. It’s both a pigment-based, solvent-free dye sublimation printer and a dye-sublimation inkjet printer, so it can handle any type of print job. It includes such features as six individual ink tanks that allow you to change colors during a single print job and two inks (black and white) that combine to produce grayscale prints.
The F570 also has an automatic media feeder that can accommodate up to three different media types at once, allowing you to print on roll paper or create prints with multiple sheets of paper laminated together.

Key Features

  • Durable construction and high quality materials – When selecting a printer to be used in production printing, you want something that will last. In the long run, this is better than going with a cheaper option that will have to be replaced in less than a year or two. The SureColor F570 has a durable construction made of steel, aluminum and plastic components. You don’t need to worry about it falling apart after just one use! It also uses some of the best materials available on the market, which means that your prints will come out crystal clear with vibrant colors.
  • Ability to print photo-quality images – One key difference between a cheap sublimation printer and a more expensive model is whether or not it can produce quality photo prints. Many people believe that buying an expensive machine like the SureColor F570 isn’t worth it because they only print photos occasionally for friends and family members. But if you are running an online store where there are pictures available for purchase, then investing in an excellent machine like this one makes sense because your customers won’t be disappointed when they receive their product (especially if they paid more).
  • Durability over time – Some heat transfer printers, even high end ones, break down over time. That is why many people think twice before spending so much money on a printer that might stop working in six months or less. Fortunately, this does not seem to be the case with the SureColor F570. Numerous reviews state that it has lasted for years without any problems or malfunctions whatsoever. They report being able to use all of its features and functions as intended from day one until now without any hiccups whatsoever! If you need a reliable machine that will provide perfect results every time and never break down, go with the best printer for sublimation and heat transfer: the SureColor F570.


  • Great quality output prints with low to high resolution
  • Easy to use controls panel with touchscreen display
  • Tons of features and options that will help you make your projects stand out


  • Pricier than most printers in its class

Epson Artisan 1430 Inkjet

Epson Artisan 1430 Inkjet

The Epson Artisan 1430 Inkjet is a reliable and cost-effective option that’s perfect for heat transfer. It uses 8.5 x 11 paper and can print up to nine different colors at once, which is perfect if you’re designing a logo or t-shirt design.
It also has the ability to print on fabric, so you can use it to create your own custom clothing! The only downside is that it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, but if you’re using it solely to print your designs onto fabric or paper, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Key Features

  • LCD touchscreen- While most touchscreens on printers are easy to use, the Epson Artisan 1430’s is by far the best touchscreen we’ve seen yet. It was very responsive and you can tell that Epson put in a lot of effort into making it user-friendly.
  • Easy one-click connectivity with iOS and Android devices- In today’s society, many people use their smartphones as a tool for staying connected with friends, family, and co-workers when they aren’t together in person (or using other means of communication). The Epson Artisan 1430 comes with a handy app that will allow you to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth or USB cable to send scanned images or print anything from your phone wirelessly.


  • Uses four colors of ink to create prints that are vivid and rich in color.
  • Uses piezoelectric crystals to control the ink on the paper instead of a roller, which means that it can produce full-color images quickly and with little noise or vibrations when printing.
  • Ink cartridges are sealed, so there is no worry about spilling ink all over your hands or clothes when you replace them. 4a. The Artisan 1430 includes a scanner and two paper trays, one of which is designed to hold a roll of paper up to 13 inches wide (330 mm). 5b.


  • The printer can not print very high quality images with a resolution of 600×1200 dots per inch (dpi).

Epson EcoTank 3760

Epson EcoTank 3760

The Epson EcoTank 3760 is a great option because it’s incredibly versatile. You can print with dye-subliming, inkjet, or pigment inks and use various media such as cotton, polyester, canvas, and more. The ink tanks are housed in the printer rather than on your desk like most other printers. This helps keep your workspace tidy and makes it easy to change the ink out when needed.
It also has an automatic document feeder that works well with thicker substrates. Another benefit of this printer is the high resolution of 1440×720 dpi which means you’ll get crisp images every time! If you’re looking for a multifunctional printer that will provide quality results while keeping your desktop clean, then this is a great option to consider!

Key Features

  • Dual tanks- one for ink and the other for water The EcoTank 3760 has a dual tank system which means that one tank is used to store the ink and the other stores water. Having two separate tanks makes it possible to maintain the same level of quality in printing by ensuring that when you are running low on ink, there is still water available.
  • Energy saving mode While not exclusively a feature of this printer, it’s important to consider how much energy your printer uses while you are printing because printers can consume quite a lot of power if they are left on without use.


  • Easy installation- The printer is easy to install, just take out of the box and plug in with a USB cord to your computer and you’re good to go!
  • Energy efficient- The EcoTank 3760 is energy efficient and needs only one liter of ink per week, meaning that you’ll be saving lots of money in the long run!
  • Quality prints- You won’t be disappointed by the quality of these prints; they are crisp, bright and high resolution which makes them perfect for printing shirts!
  • Professional looking images- Photos printed on this printer will look so professional that it will be hard to distinguish between a print or a photograph; they are that good!


  • EcoTank can’t be used with third-party inks Epson Workforce Wide-Format Inkjet Printer

Epson Workforce Wide-Format Inkjet Printer

Epson Workforce Wide Format Inkjet Printer

The Epson Workforce Wide-Format Inkjet Printer is a great option for the home office or small business. It is an affordable, versatile printer that can print on a variety of media. The printer is built with speed, performance and efficiency in mind – it prints at speeds up to 26 feet per minute. Plus, you’ll be able to print on large format paper sizes up to 13×19 inches with ease.

Key Features

  • Fast printing speeds with a 10×15 inch borderless photo in 2 seconds.
  • Epson Connect with mobile print and scan apps for easy printing from your phone or tablet.
  • Advanced LCD touch screen display and menu navigation make it easy to use the printer at the office or on-the-go
  • Ink saver mode so you don’t have to replace cartridges as often
  • Prints up to 600 x 2400 dpi resolution 6. Paper size range of 8×10 inches to 13×19 inches 7 Holds one roll of film
  1. Fast printing speeds with a 10×15 inch borderless photo in 2 seconds.
  2. Epson Connect with mobile print and scan apps for easy printing from your phone or tablet.
  3. Advanced LCD touch screen display and menu navigation make it easy to use the printer at the office or on-the-go
  4. Ink saver mode so you don’t have to replace cartridges as often
  5. Prints up to 600 x 2400 dpi resolution 6. Paper size range of 8×10 inches to 13×19 inches 7 Holds one roll of film


  • The Epson Workforce Wide-Format Inkjet Printer uses high quality pigment inks and a special cotton cloth print blanket that’s more durable than standard PVC films, providing high-quality images that won’t peel or fade over time.
  • The Epson Workforce Wide-Format Inkjet Printer has a built-in USB port so you can print from your PC without the need to attach an additional USB cable when you want to print directly from your computer.
  • It also includes a dual paper tray with auto duplexing capability, letting you print on both sides of the page in just one go so you save time and money on paper.


  • It doesn’t have a wide range of sizes to choose from.

Brother Mono-Laser Printer

Brother Mono Laser Printer

The Brother Mono-Laser Printer is a great entry-level printer with a low price point. This is a mono-laser printer, meaning it can only print one color at a time. This might be an issue if you are printing photos where every pixel needs to be the same color, but this printer is perfect for when you want to print documents in black and white and don’t need any other colors in your prints. It also has duplex printing capability which means you can print on both sides of the paper.
This printer does not have many features or capabilities, but it is still very useful because it prints everything clearly and consistently on all types of paper including plain paper and transparencies.

Key Features

  • Print speeds – the time it takes for a printer to output a single page is measured in pages per minute (PPM). Most models have print speeds of between 4 and 24 PPM, with 18 PPM being a standard speed. The lower the number, the slower it prints.
  • Connectivity – how well can the printer be connected to your computer? Can you use Wi-Fi or USB cable? What type of connection is there? Is there an SD card slot on board?
  • Paper handling – how much paper does the printer hold at once? How easy is it to change paper rolls when needed?
  • Software included – does the printer come with any software pre-installed, like Photoshop or Microsoft Word?


  • The printer is easy to set up and use, which is especially helpful if you’re not a professional designer. 2. It can print from many different file types (JPG, GIF, TIFF, PDF)
  • The laser quality and printing speeds are quite high when it comes to mono-laser printers on the market today and the price tag is more than affordable for someone just starting out with home sublimation projects or artisans who need a solid machine without breaking the bank on an expensive industrial model that might be too big of a commitment in terms of cost and space needed to house such a device in your studio or work environment.


  • No Cons

Sawgrass SG500

Sawgrass SG500

The Sawgrass SG500 is a high-quality desktop printer which is easy to use and prints an excellent quality image. If you are looking for a printer that can handle anything from small, personal projects to big commercial orders with ease, this is the machine for you.
It’s perfect if you’re just starting out and don’t want to spend too much on your first sublimation printer. The Sawgrass SG500 even has Wi-Fi connectivity so you can print straight from your computer or mobile device without having to be in the same room as the printer.

Key Features

  • High-quality prints: the printer’s print head can produce up to 600 dpi resolution on materials up to 8 inches wide and 14 inches tall.
  • Double in-line printing: the SG500 can print two-sided images with a single pass of the print head, making this a quick and efficient machine.
  • Easy to use control panel with large LCD screen, wireless connectivity, and intuitive software interface with drag-and-drop functionality make it easy to get started right away without any training required.
  • 24 hours of free lifetime support via phone or chat guarantees that any issues will be resolved quickly and effectively by knowledgeable technicians who know what they’re doing – no annoying wait times on hold!


  • The Sawgrass SG500 has been tested to produce over 4,000 square feet per hour of quality prints at the highest levels of detail and durability
  • The Sawgrass SG500 is backed by a 12-month warranty 3. The Sawgrass SG500 offers a variety of colors, fonts, and graphics options so you can customize your design
  • 3.a These options include monochromatic designs that can be combined with an unlimited number of colors and gradients to create detailed artwork
  • You also have access to transparent ink that allows you to print on dark fabrics and light garments alike
  • It’s easy-to-use control panel is intuitive enough that even first time users will find it easy to navigate


  • No Cons

Things to consider when choosing Best Epson Sublimation Printer For Heat Transfer

  • The best sublimation printer will be fast, efficient, and economical in its use of ink and transfer paper, while still maintaining high quality prints and results.
  • The best sublimation printer should also be able to handle a wide range of designs and sizes with ease, as well as run quietly with no vibrations or noise coming from it while in operation.
  • For optimal usage, the best Epson sublimation printer should also be easy to maintain and affordable in cost over time (for those who print often).
  • What separates the best Epson sublimation printers for heat transfer is how they compare across these four categories, but what might not be immediately clear is that there are other factors that can make certain models stand out against others.
  • When considering the best Epson sublimation printer for heat transfer options on offer, first determine if you need an analog machine or digital model and then consider size (it may be worth investing in a larger unit so you have plenty of room to work), durability, reliability, efficiency at transferring images onto items being printed on, features such as being able to handle materials like leather better than others would on average), warranty coverage length and cost-to-operate ratio (the price per page).
  • Finally, do some research into the company behind any prospective purchase – see what their customer service is like and find out about their return policy before making your final decision.
  • The last thing to think about before purchasing a new Epson sublimation printer for heat transfer is where you plan to use it most – this will help you identify which particular type of machine offers the features that are most important to your specific needs.
  • Whether looking for an electric or gas powered model, desktop or floor standing system, table-top design or full countertop installation model – all available types come with their own benefits depending on where they’ll primarily be used in your workspace and budget constraints at play when making your purchase decision.

The Basics of Working with Heat Press Machines

Heat presses are an excellent way to add a customized touch to your company’s promotional products. Because they can be used to print on almost any type of material and heat press machines can be used in many different ways, it can be intimidating to begin using them if you’re new to this technology.

The good news is that there are some tips and tricks you can use that will make the process simpler and more rewarding overall! In this article, you will learn about some of the basics of working with heat presses, so read on to find out more.

Heatset vs Direct To Garment Printing

Heatset printing is the process where a laser or ink-jet printer transfers an image onto a polyester garment using heat. Direct to garment printing is the process where the design is printed on a garment with a heat press machine.

Direct to garment printing can be done on cotton and polyester, whereas heatset print only works on polyester garments. Cotton shirts are more prone to shrinkage than polyester shirts when they’re dried in a dryer, but they do not shrink as much as 100% cotton products when washed in warm water.

Direct-to-garment print is also best for any complicated designs that would not work well with heatset printing because it allows for finer detail and better color accuracy than what heatset printing does. It’s important to note that direct-to-garment prints typically last longer than other prints, even after washing.

But there’s one downside to this method–it takes much longer to produce these types of prints. With this type of print, you need to start by printing your design onto a special transfer paper which then needs to go through an etching process before being put into the printer and transferred onto your shirt (which is why we’ve put together some handy guides below).

Types of T-Shirts You Can Use with a Heat Press Machine

There are many types of t-shirts that can be used with a heat press machine. Short-sleeved, long-sleeved, tank tops, T-shirts with and without sleeves, sweatshirts and more. You can also use cotton, polyester or fleece fabric for your shirts. There are no limits!

Different Types of Heat Press Machines Available in the Market

1. Embroidery Machines

Embroidery machines are the most expensive type of heat press machine and are used for decoration purposes only. Embroidery machines come with a variety of fonts, embroideries, and designs that can be stitched onto clothes or other products with materials like polyester and vinyls.

2. Transfers Machines

Transfers machines are also very expensive and used for decoration purposes only as well, but they work by transferring graphics onto clothes or other materials instead of stitching them on.

3. Vinyl Cutters

These presses cut through large sheets of vinyl material at one time to produce a clean-cut design that’s ready to apply on clothing or any other material using an iron or steamer process.

4. Screen Printing Machines

These have been around since the late 1800’s and are still a favorite in many small-to-medium sized businesses. Screen printing is a good option when you’re looking to create custom t-shirts, posters, and more!

5. Iron & Steamer Process (Thermoforming)

An inexpensive way to get quality prints is through this process where you put your own shirt over top of another shirt (and even patterns!) before applying your desired image/pattern with an iron or steamer.

6. Silhouette Cutting Machine

Used for cutting out vinyl shapes from different sources such as CD covers, CD labels, logos, textiles etc., this machine will cut down your production costs in half because it cuts from both sides of the piece at once and saves you a lot of money on wasted materials. The downside is that it requires special software which not everyone has access to.

7. Inkjet Printers

A newer technology, these printers use inkjet technology to print on various types of fabrics without causing damage.

8. Laser Printers

A more old school printer, laser printers transfer images directly onto paper so that they can be applied directly onto garments or pieces.

9. Sublimation Printers

Sublimation printers are similar to laser printers in the sense that they transfer images directly onto paper but these particular machines use sublimation technology which transfers ink right into fabric without having to go through paper first.

10. Ribbon Silk Screening

Ribbon silk screening is an affordable way to make color copies of your design as long as you don’t mind waiting for each screen to dry.

11. Continuous Cylinder Printing

Continuous cylinder printing uses water based inks which gives this process a lower price tag than typical oil based inks.

12. Quick screen Printer

A less expensive type of screen printer, quick-screen printers use digital plates rather than screens and are meant to replace manual processes like silk screening.

13. Direct To Garment Printers

The newest form of garment manufacturing, DTG printers use inkjets combined with UV coating films and specially coated nozzles that help produce high quality prints.

5 Tips For Choosing The Right Sublimation Printer For You

1. Price Check

Even if you have a tight budget, there is probably a printer out there for you.

2. Compare Brands

Ask about the pros and cons for each company’s printers before you commit to one type of machine or another.

3. Learn How To Use It

Make sure the model you choose has videos on how to operate it, as well as troubleshooting guides, so that when your printer needs an adjustment or fix, you’ll be able to handle it quickly and efficiently without needing professional help!

4. What Type Of Fabric Will You Be Printing On?

When choosing a machine, make sure that the type of fabric your designs are printed on matches up with what your machine can handle.

5. Are You Doing Full Color Designs Or Just Black And White?

f you’re doing full color, then a 4 color printer will be best suited for the job. However, if you’re printing black and white designs only, then a 2 color heat press will do just fine. Once you know these basic principles of using heat presses, find out more by checking out our other blog posts!


Can I use a sublimation printer for heat transfer?

We don’t recommend that you use a sublimation printer for heat transfer. Sublimation printers are more expensive than other types of heat presses, and sublimation printers use a different type of ink. If you’re interested in using a printer for heat transfer, we recommend a dye-sublimation printer.

Is DTF printing better than sublimation?

DTF printing is a popular option for those who want their designs to be printed directly on their products. DTF printing does not offer the same level of color vibrancy as sublimation, but it does have the advantage that you can use any type and color of paper.

Can a regular printer do sublimation?

No, regular printers are for printing ink onto paper. Sublimation is a process that transfers the design from a special film onto the garment using heat and pressure.

What type of printer is needed for sublimation printing?

To print with a heat press machine, you need both a printer and a heat press machine. A printer is what prints the design onto the fabric or garment, while the heat press machine presses the design onto the fabric and heats it up so that it will transfer from ink to fabric.

A sublimation printer is needed for this process because it uses heat and pressure to change one type of substrate into another type of substrate. Without these two elements, printing with a heat press machine would not be possible. For example, if you wanted to print an image on wood with your heat press machine, you would need an industrial wood-burning device rather than just any old printer.

Last Updated on March 21, 2023

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