Heat Press Buyer's Guide: Clamshell Heat Press VS Swing Away Heat Press
With so many heat press options for your business and hobby needs, it can be overwhelming to figure out what best fits your needs. In this guide series we will break down the things you need to consider, so you can figure out which heat press is best for you.
There are a couple of considerations you need make before picking out a heatpress:
- Size: How big a heat press should you buy?
- Style: Should you get a Clamshell or Swing Away Heat Press?
- Materials: What are you planning to Heat Press (fabric, mugs, caps, etc)
- Function: How the heat press releases. Manual, Auto Open, or Air Operated
- Volume: How many things are you planning to make with your heat press?
In this article we will be breaking down all you need to know about the two most common heat press styles. We are going to break down the positive and negatives of the clamshell and swing aways heat press to see what best fits your needs and Heat Press set up.
Clamshell Heat Press
The Clamshell heat press style is named after clams because it opens and closes like a clam shell. The clam shell heat press have hinge between the upper and lower platen. This is one of the most common designs, the least expensive for heat presses, and a great entry level heat press.
Pros for Clamshell Heat Press
Cons for Clamshell Heat Press
Learn more, check out our Clam Shell Heat Press Collection.
Clamshell Heat Press is for you if:
- You are a beginner or hobbyist looking into getting into Heat Press. Clamshells are cheaper and has less moving parts.
- Have very limited space to dedicate to your heat press station
- Need something more portable, for conventions or on the go heat press work.
- Planning to do mainly T-Shirts.
1. Best Clamshell Heat Press for Beginners
Geo Knight DK16 14" x 16" Clamshell Heat Press
With its solid steel frame work, Supercoil-Microwinding heater technology and high temperature read out accuracy and with a lifetime heat platen warranty, the GeoKnight DK16 is perfect heat press to help start your business and hobby into heat pressing.
2. Best Clamshell Heat Press for Hobbyist and Small Businesses
Geo Knight DK20 16" x 20" Clamshell Heat Press
3. Best Clamshell heat press for Business
Hix N-880 16" x 20" Clamshell Heat Press
Swing Away Heat Press
The swing away heat press has a lower platen that pulls towards the user, so the user can lay out the work without reaching under the hot upper platen. Also known as the swing arm, the swing away is designed with three purposes in mind:
- Made so the heating elements comes evenly and flat against the object/garment that is being imprinting, no matter the thickness.
- Easy to lay out lower work area to put your garment or objects that you want to heat press.
- Made to get heating platen away from the user's hands when doing lay outs, thus eliminating the dangers of burns.
|HIX SwingMan Heat Press|
Pros for Swing Away Heat Press
Cons for Swing Away Heat Press
Learn more, check out our Swing Away Heat Press Collection
Swing-Away Heat Press is for you if:
- You want to work with thicker materials and thicker embellishments. If you plan to use your heat press beyond T-Shirts.
- You want high quality sublimation heat press jobs (where majority of the shirt is printed on). Since swing aways heat presses give you even and level pressure, it will give you a better print for items with large surface areas.
1. Best Swing Away Heat Press for Beginners
Hix HobbyLite 9"x12" Swing Away Heat Press
The HobbyLite is the perfect unit for anyone who is looking for a heatpress at a value price. The Hix HobbyLite is one the of lightest units we have at 19 pounds. It's is great for hobbyists, artists, schools and social organizations that are looking for a solid entry level heat press.
The HobbyLite is great for beginners because your hands will not operate near the heat platen. A stop keeps the head from going to far when the platen is swung back to the left.
With control over pressure and temperature, the HobbyLite is an easy to use unit that is perfect for beginners.
2. Best Swing Away Heat Press for Hobbyist and Starter Businesses
Geo Knight 16" x 20" Swinger DK20S Swing Away Heat Press
3. Best Swing Away Heat Press for Businesses
HIX SwingMan 25 Twin Swing Away 20"x25" Heat Press
To check out specific models we highly recommend checking out the following two pages: