Get all the basics as it relates to the heat press machine. In this video tutorial, I tell you which machine to get and where to find them.

What is a Heat Press?

Hotronix Auto Open Clam Heat Press A heat press is a machine that operates pretty much like an iron. A typical heat press machine can heat up to as much as 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s purpose is to apply heat and pressure onto a special type of release paper that has artwork on it.

With the combination of heat and pressure, the design is transferred from the release paper and onto various types of printable items like t-shirts, canvas tote backs, hoodies, sweatshirts, etc…

What are the Various Types of Heat Press Machines

There are all types of heat press machines available and each one serves a different function. In the descriptions and links below, you’ll see how these machines can benefit you when trying to decide which heat press is best suited for your needs.

Clamshell Heat Press Machines — They call these ‘clam-shells’ because they open up in a manner that a clam shell does. There is a manual clam heat press and there is an automatic open clam press as well. The manual press operates like the one shown in the video below where you have to manually open and close the press.

Automatic Open Heat Press — It opens up automatically based on the timer you set. These machines have a hinge between the upper platen (the heating element) and the lower platen (the part where the garment lays). See it in action by playing the video below:

Swinger and Draw Heat Press — On these type of heat press machines the upper platen (the heating element) swings away from the lower platen (the part where the garment lays). Since the heating element swings away, you’re free to move and manipulate your garments on the lower platen without fear of getting burned.

Concerning a ‘draw heat press’, you have a lower platen that pulls out towards you. Laying out your garments can be done without the user reaching under the upper heated platen. This type of heat press machine involves a moveable work surface, requiring greater care to be taken to avoid designs shifting out of place before application.

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“Where can I buy new or used heat press machines for sale?”

I’m glad you asked… I’ve posted a few detailed videos below outlining where you can find great deals.

*Disclosure: I am an authorized distributor for Hotronix. I believe they have the best machines on the planet. Their machines are made in America and the quality and craftsmanship is absolutely amazing.

By far, their machines are the best and after you see them, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Okay… Let’s get started:

New Heat Press Machines: The ones sold on Amazon.com and eBay are usually the cheap knock-offs made in China. The quality aren’t the greatest, but if you’re strapped and simply need to start, then get one.

Used Heat Press Machines: Try websites like Craigslist.com I’ve found great deals there.


If you have a decent sized budget, I’d recommend you starting off with a 16×20 heat press machine. I’m currently using the Hotronix Fusion machine and this machine is awesome.

We are authorized distributors for Hotronix and I’m not suggesting you buy it because we make money from it. It’s hands down the best machine on the market with a very STRONG guarantee. It’s an American made product and the quality is absolutely amazing. No other machine compares to the Hotronix brand.

My Hotronix Heat Press Machine Recommendations

  1. Hotronix’s The MAXX Clam Heat Press (cheaper cost and great to start with)
  2. Hotronix Fusion Heat Press
  3. Hotronix Auto Open Clam Heat Press