Heat Transfer printing is becoming very popular for at home use therefore, increasing the selection of heat transfer printers on the market today. Choosing the right heat transfer printer can make printing your custom logos or designs effortless.
When it comes to finding the right heat transfer printer it can be very overwhelming and time consuming. It took me a great deal of time to come with the top-rated heat transfer printers with the most reasonable prices. There are numerous products, brands, and series of heat transfer printers to consider. Also, it is important to determine what materials you plan to print on (i.e. paper, t shirts, etc.) because not all heat transfer printers will produce the quality imagine you are looking for.
Will the printer be utilized for mainly heat transfer printing and/or everyday printing? You also need to decide if you would prefer the printer to have other capabilities as well (i.e. scanning, faxing, and copying).
A key aspects of heat transfer printing you need to investigate are printing quantity, printing quality, and printing speed. As these are the top features that differentiate each heat transfer printer. Each printer tray holds different quantity of paper which comes into play when you are thinking about printing numerous duplicates seamlessly. When discussing heat transfer printer quality, the key factor you will see in each review is dot per inch abbreviated as DPI, meaning how many dots fit into a linear inch. This is a measurement of the resolution for an imagine on screen and in print. The higher the DPI, the more detailed, vivid, and higher quality the picture appears. Printer speed will also be listed in each review seeing as it can really vary from printer to printer. As well as it can play a key role in many of your projects. With heat transfer printers there typically is a higher speed for printing in black versus color, with this rated in page per minute abbreviated PPM or IPM which stands for image per minute.
Next, one needs to choose between laser or inkjet printing. If you plan to print in high volume a laser printer may be the cost-effective option, due to the cost of toner tends to be cheaper than the cost of ink. Whereas inkjet printers tend to print more vivid images. However, if you plan to complete deigns on fabric inkjet printers tend to be the way to go because of their high-quality resolutions.
Last things to consider is price because it can really range with inkjet and laser printers. I would recommend determining what projects you plan to use your heat transfer printer for, then investigate which printer would you be better suited for, inkjet or a laser printer. This is a great start to breakdown the price and what features you wish to have in your new heat transfer printer.
|Printer||Printing Speed IPM (images per minute) and PPM (pages per minute)||Resolution DPI (dot per inch)|
|Epson WorkForce WF-7720||Black: 18 ppm Color: 10 ppm||4800 x 2400 dpi|
|Brother HL-L2320D||Black: 30 ppm Color: N/A, only prints in black and white||2400 x 600 dpi|
|HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw||Black: 28 ppm Color: 28 ppm||600 x 600 dpi|
|Canon PIXMA TS9520||Black: 15 ipm Color: 10 ipm||4800 x 1200 dpi|
|Canon MX492||Black: 8.8 ipm Color: 4.4 ipm||4800 x 1200 dpi|
Best Heat Transfer Printers
Epson WorkForce WF-7720 (Inkjet printer)
The Epson Workforce WF-7720 is a versatile inkjet with capabilities of printing, wide format printing, scanning, and faxing with an intuitive 4.3’’ color touchscreen controls. You can quickly produce print-shop-quality borderless prints up to 13″ X 19″ and scan up to 11″ X 17″ in lightning speed of 18 ppm (page per minute) when printing in black ink and 10 ppm when printing in color with 4800 x 2400 dpi (dot per inch) resolution. With it’s high volume printing capabilities of 500 sheet capacity, dual trays, and rear feeding tray for specialty paper; this heat transfer printer can handle large workloads in an efficient time frame.
This product is compatible with multiple common operating systems, ranging from windows to mac. With ultimate wireless printing and networking with it’s ability to print from iPad, iPhone, Android tablets, and smartphones. Featuring Wi-Fi direct, ethernet, and NFC (near-field communication). The Epson Workforce WF-7720 contains many eco-friendly features and is ENERGY STAR® qualified. This product uses up to 80 percent less power versus color laser printers and saves up to 50 percent of your paper supply with automatic, 2-sided printing.
One con of the Epson Workforce WF-7720 may be that Epson strongly recommends the use of Epson inks for a quality printing experience. Since non-Epson inks and inks not formulated for your specific printer may cause damage that is not covered by the Epson warranty. However, Epson is known for having the most durable pigment-based ink compared to dye-based ink. Epson’s pigment-based ink is resistant to water, smudges, and fading. Epson Workforce WF-7720 is compatible with dye-based ink cartridges as well.
When is comes to heat transfer printing the Epson Workforce WF-7720 has the most vivid picture quality. This printer is a top pick due to its ability to complete large t-shirt printing, smaller jobs, and for the completion of everyday printing.
-Can print from many different compatible devices
-Cable of printing in wide format
-High customer rating
-Print, copy, scan, and fax capable
-Requires Epson ink
-USB cable not included
Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer
The Brother HL-2320D mono Laser printer has automatic two-sided printing, with high printing speed of 30 ppm (page per minute) and 250 sheet capacity for letter, executive, legal, and custom paper sizes. Laser printing with a resolution of up to 2400 x 600 dpi (dot per pinch) ensures detailed, high-quality commercial grade prints. Never worry about having a bend or any wrinkling in your work when completing heat transfer printing as your projects prints straight though the printer.
This printer utilizes high speed USB 2.0 interface. Enjoy the cost saving option when using toner save mode, you can decrease the amount of ink required when utilizing this printer for everyday printing (i.e. shipping labels and documents) and with automatic duplex printing. This printer only prints in black toner which makes it easy to replace the ink when it runs low, with less inks to replace and monitor. The manual feed slot for letters is ideal to improve accuracy and placement for a professional appearance when completing heat transfer printing.
With the use of white toner and colored heat transfer paper designed for laser printing you can create a variety of fabric designs. Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer is a simple and low-profile design which makes for a greater starter heat transfer printer, as well as for additional use as an everyday printer.
-High customer rating
-Requires computer and USB to connect
-Prints only in black and white
-For printing only, unable to copy, scan or fax
-Cannot print borderless
-USB cable sold separately
HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw Wireless Laser Printer
The HP Laserjet Pro M454dw Wireless Color Printer produces high-quality prints with 600 x 600 dpi (dot per inch) resulting in vivid graphics. Enjoy the ability to print wireless with or without a network connection, as this color laser printer is designed to connect to your smartphone or use built in Wi-Fi. This printer also has a front USB port for easy access for direct printing versus utilizing the wireless printing feature. Compatible with Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android operating systems.
With Built in security features consisting of instant threat notifications and optional Pin/pull printing to help protect your color laser printer from being an entry point for attacks and ensure the safety of your sensitive data.
HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw Wireless Laser Printer saves time with automatic on/off technology, automatic 2-sided printing, black and color printing speeds of 28 ppm (page per minute). Also, save money knowing that this energy efficient, ENERGY STAR® certified LaserJet printer saves up to 11% energy over prior HP products. Another cost saving options that is recommended by the manufacturer is to utilize HP toner cartridges to help avoid reprints and wasted supplies.
The 2. 7″ color touchscreen and 250-sheet input tray and 550 optional paper tray makes completing projects easier when utilizing this heat transfer printer on multiple mediums such as envelopes, paper, card stock, labels, glossy photo paper, and high-resolution paper. And if you ever need help, enjoy the 1-year limited hardware warranty with 24/7 customer support. This heat transfer printer is ideal for time management while growing your business.
-Wireless, Bluetooth and USB printing
-Fast printing speed, especially for color printing
-High customer rating
-Ecofriendly and ENERGY STAR® certified
-Recommend use of HP original ink cartridges
-For Printing only, unable to copy, scan or fax
-USB cable not included
Canon PIXMA TS9520 (Inkjet printer)
This all in one wireless printer can print from all most any device, whether it’s from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. With this printer you can utilize one or many of the compatible apps to print and design effortlessly. The AirPrint app makes it easy to print from apple devices, Mopria print service allows you to print directly from android devices, Canon print app enables you to print and scan from cloud-based platforms, and Easy PhotoPrint editor app allows you to get creative with calendars, stickers, collages, and so much more. If that was not enough, you can print from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and ethernet as well. With a built in SD memory card reader you can print photos quickly from your memory card.
Canon PIXMA TS9520 is a versatile heat transfer printer and can handle many different printing needs from booklets, oversized scanning, auto document feeding for multi-page documents and 2-sided printing. Printing sizes varying from 3.5 x 3.5 inches to 11 x 17 inches from the easy to use 4.3’’ LCD touchscreen. This printer is known for printing sharp black text and vivid looking photos with 4800 x 1200 dpi (dot per inch) producing high quality greeting cards, labels, stickers, and printing photos. Enjoy borderless printing on size 11 x 17 inches and 12 x 12 inches, however the Canon PIXMA TS9520 cannot print borderless on all paper types, such as: envelopes, high resolution paper, t-shirt transfer, and photo stickers.
The 5-color individual ink system is a great cost saving feature by allowing you to replace only the ink color that has run out. With printing speeds of 15 ipm (images per minute) when printing in black and 10 ipm when printing in color you will be able to quickly complete any heat transfer project.
-Print, copy, and scan capable
-Individual ink system
-High printing resolution
-Max borderless printing is 11 x 17 inches / 12 x 12 inches with restrictions on borderless printing material
-USB cable sold separately
Canon MX492 (Inkjet printer)
The Canon MX492 is an all in one printer where you can print, scan, and fax all from the same printer. This printer can utilize goggle cloud and AirPrint to print wireless from compatible smartphones and tablets. If wireless printing is not for you, the printer is also capable of printing with high speed USB to print directly from your computer. You can save time with the use of the 20-sheet auto document feeder. The Canon MX492 is 30% smaller than previous MX models, making it easy to fit seamless into your home. Enjoy having to replace the ink cartridges less with the optional XL ink cartridges available for purchase.
With printing speeds of 8.8 ipm (images per minute) when printing in black and 4.4 ipm when printing in color your heat transfer project will be done in an efficient time frame. The Canon MX492 has high resolution for printing and photos of 4800 x 1200 dpi (dot per inch). Enjoy the quiet printing mode that can be selected to print without disturbing anyone around you or interpreting your focus while working on other projects.
Make craft projects easier with use of My Imagine Garden to create and print collages, cards, and make paper crafts with your personal photos and utilizing your designs.
-Printing, scanning, and faxing capable
-High printing resolution
-Slow printing speeds
-USB cable not included
Most asked questions
Can I use any printer for heat transfer?
Typically, a majority of the inkjet and laser printers will work for heat transfer designs without any modifications required. The ink required for your inkjet or toner required for you laser printer will be the correct ink or toner needed to transfer your personalized images onto multiple mediums. The difference in the printers DPI (dot per inch) is what truly will be noticeable in the quality of your designs.
The secret to heat transfer printing is found in the heat transfer paper. If you have an inkjet printer you will need heat transfer paper designed for an inkjet printer and if you have a laser printer you will need heat transfer paper designed for a laser printer, the heat transfer papers are not compatible with one another.
What kind of printer do you need to print iron on transfers?
You need an inkjet or a laser printer. However, you need to purchase iron transfer paper that is compatible with your printer. Typically, inkjet iron on fabric transfer paper is not compatible with laser printers. But there is iron on transfer paper that is compatible with laser printers.
What is the best printer for t shirt printing?
This is really a loaded question that I could do a whole other article on. To simplify the answer quickly; I would say you want to determine what kind of design you desire to print onto your t shirts. If you plan to print simple letter designs, then there are numerous printers that will work for you. However, if you are planning to print images, then I would recommend going with a heat transfer printer that has high DPI (dot per inch) to produce high quality designs on your t shirts. I would recommend going with an inkjet printer since they are known for printing vivid and high-quality images compared to a laser printer. You will also want to consider if you prefer to have your designs borderless and the size of your designs. Some printers are unable to print borderless, whereas some printers can. Also, each printer has a max printing size you will need to examine.
Most importantly you need to see if the printer can reverse an image. Some can, but if yours cannot, it’s typically pretty simple to complete using photoshop software on your computer. You need to be able to flip image horizontal so the image will be reversed to apply to your t shirt correctly and not backwards. I would also consider if the printer has options to select to print on different media types to achieve the best appearance on your t shirt. The most common media types common selection include: coated paper, envelope, photo, photo glossy paper, photo high gloss paper, photo matte paper, photo semi-gloss paper, plain paper, ultra-premium photo paper, and fine art paper. Then you can do trial and error with your design on regular paper to determine which setting works best for your design; this way you are not wasting money on iron on transfer paper.
What printer should I use for heat transfer vinyl?
The answer to this question is very similar to the answer to t shirt printing, see answer above if you have not already. Heat transfer vinyl printing can be done on an inkjet printer or a laser printer. I would again recommend going with an inkjet printer to achieve designs printed with higher quality images. Remember, you need for the printer to be able to mirror the image or be able to do so in the photoshop software so the design does not come out backwards.
Heat transfer printing is really taking off and becoming a DIY home business. Comment below with pictures from your latest heat transfer project and let us know what heat transfer printer you’ve had good experience list.
Also, check out our article on DIY Christmas cards as they would make a good start for high resolution heat transfer printing.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.