The world of t-shirt making is a wonderful opportunity to show your creativity through the designs you get out of your head and onto the material.
Success in this area will not just depend on the quality of your designs, but also the process that you use in order to transfer a design onto a t-shirt.
What is the best sublimation printer for T-shirts?
We’ve made a list to help you understand the differences between the printers available on the market, and how they can help you be successful in the arena of t-shirt printing.
Don’t forget, getting a design onto a t-shirt isn’t a job for just any old printer.
List of Best Sublimation Printer For T-Shirts
2. DNP DS-RX1HS
6. HiTi P525L
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
How to use Inkjet Printers for Dye Sublimation?
Yes, with a little bit of customization, you can use your Inkjet Printer for sublimation printing. Whether you want a big or small sublimation printer, you can find a way to get what you need.
If your printer can manage it, swap out the ordinary ink cartridges your printer uses and put in sublimation ink.
Whether your inkjet printer is compatible will depend on the print head. Check the specs of the printer to get a better idea. For example, the Epson L805 has a Piezo head which will support sublimation ink. Any Epson sublimation printer for t-shirts is going to give you good service.
If compatible, you will be able to print onto sublimation paper.
Tips for Sublimation Success
1. Ensure you have the right equipment for the job
You’ll need sublimation ink and sublimation paper with a good sublimation printer that can handle both of these. Finally, to transfer your design from sublimation paper to whatever you want the print on, you’re going to need a heat press.
2. Make sure you have the right accessories
Sublimation requires heat, so have some heat gloves to avoid burnt hands. Additionally, have something that will secure your sublimation paper when it goes to the heat press – thermal tape or some kind of spray adhesive will do.
Teflon or silicone sheets are needed to protect your heat press from inks that might be escaping during the pressing process.
Finally, have some heat transfer pillows and sublimation heating pads to help ensure the items you’re transferring to have the best chance to take your design.
3. Have spare sublimation blanks
Things go wrong. Don’t get caught out, having no sublimation blanks left when you have orders to complete. The places that stock blanks may not have any to send out immediately, leaving you with a problem.
4. Always test your equipment
Don’t just assume that everything is working correctly. Something can change with your printer or press and lead to wastage. Testing to make sure everything is in optimum condition will ensure you are always producing high-quality prints.
Comparison Table For 10 Top Sublimation Printer for T-shirts
5 Best Sublimation Printer’s for T-shirts Reviews
1. Kodak Photo Printer Dock | Printer for Sublimation
When you look at the Kodak Photo Printer Dock, your first thoughts do not go towards t-shirt printing. It is a relatively unassuming, portable little photo printer after all.
But you would be wrong to discount it.
The Kodak Dock uses D2T2 Thermal Transfer Technology, which means it can very easily be repurposed from its main photo printing function to a device that prints onto transfer paper. This then allows you to transfer your designs onto a t-shirt.
This printer is perfect for printing small designs and logos on transfer paper up to 4×6” in size ,with a 300x300dpi resolution, in roughly 60 seconds.
It is the ideal printer for someone who is starting out in t-shirt printing and wants to experiment with the process before purchasing a more expensive machine.
Conveniently, the Kodak Dock is compatible with either Android or iOS devices and can be connected to either wirelessly or via Micro-USB.
There is also the added benefit that this printer will charge up to 2 of your devices if you connect them.
- Create hi-resolution small graphic designs and logos on your transfer paper to get on a t-shirt
- Prints with brilliant colors and gets you incredible detail for your smaller prints
- Perfect for people starting out in t-shirt printing
- Excellent connectivity for users of all devices whether Android or iOS
2. DNP DS-RX1HS
This sublimation printer is another that can be adapted to use transfer paper in order to get prints onto your t-shirts.
As a printer, it is most comparable to the Kodak Dock, in that it will print on a maximum 6×8” paper making it suitable for smaller graphic designs and logos.
The advantage that the DNP DS-RX1HS has over the Kodak Dock is that it can print at a higher resolution of 300x600dpi.
This printer is also extremely quick at printing, allowing you to get roughly 290 sheets per hour. That makes it ideal if you are really stepping up your t-shirt making and need to get a lot of transfers done in a short space of time.
Where this printer compares unfavourably to the Kodak Dock is its connectivity, with no wireless features. Instead, you will need to connect through USB Type-A. This could be a hinderance to you if you require the freedom that wireless connections bring.
If you are considering this printer, be aware that you will have to use DNP print media with the machine. It is not compatible with other company’s products, which could lead to you having to spend more money.
- Get high resolution images at an incredibly fast speed
- Highly durable machine that has been built to last
3. Canon Pixma MG3620
The Canon Pixma MG3620 is compatible with t-shirt transfer paper, and with its color resolution of 4800×1200 dpi you’ll be able to get some seriously detailed prints.
This printer will allow you to do much larger, much more detailed transfer prints than the previous two printers so far on the list. The maximum print media size that the MG3620 can use is 8.5×14”. It can also go as little as 4×6” for your smaller designs.
The set-up of this printer is relatively simple, and you will be able to wirelessly connect through a range of devices. It is Apple AirPrint enabled which means anyone using iOS will be able to connect hassle-free without the need to download new drivers.
The all-in-one nature of this printer make it perfect for anyone who is running a t-shirt business as it will also allow you to manage the other jobs any business needs to do. For example, printing invoices, forms or promotional material.
Ultimately, this is an ideal printer for anyone looking to get t-shirt transfers without having to break the bank to do so.
- Utilizes FINE inkjet technology to get an incredibly detailed image
- Prints on larger print media with speed and efficiency
- Ideal not just for T-shirt printing but overall business requirements
4. Epson WorkForce WF-7710
The second of the larger printers on this list, capable of printing on larger transfer paper, the Epson WorkForce WF-7710 will set you back a bit more money than the Canon Pixma MG3620, but for a that higher cost you will get some advantages.
Firstly, the WorkForce WF-7710 will provide you a more detailed image with its 4800×2400 dpi color resolution, allowing you to produce a higher quality t-shirt print.
The higher resolution of this printer is also complimented by the 4-ink cartridge configuration. This will provide you better shading and color saturation to help your print better match what you envisaged.
A 13×19” input tray will allow you to print large designs, and a specialised 13×47.2” input will allow you to print longer designs if you ever find the need.
This printer also comes with a 4.3” touchscreen that makes navigating through the various printer settings easy to do.
As a printer for a t-shirt business, this one also has all-in-one functions, and can be connected to wirelessly through a multitude of different devices whether they run Android or iOS.
- Extremely detailed printouts from a high-resolution inkjet printer
- Vivid and intense coloration possible due to 4-ink cartridge configuration
- Print larger t-shirt designs due to a large input tray
- Perfect for all business needs because of all-in-one functionality
5. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025
The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 is a heavy-duty printer that is compatible with t-shirt transfer sheets. With a monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages, it is the perfect printer for any t-shirt business that needs to get a lot of transfers done in a month.
With a color print resolution of 4800×1200 dpi, this printer will get you amazing detailed t-shirt transfers that will wow your customers with their quality. It is also capable of 1205×1200 dpi black resolution, allowing you to print quotes and other writing that will look crisp and clear.
This printer also uses a 4-ink cartridge configuration which allows for a better depth of color on your transfer paper than a 2-ink cartridge system would manage.
As an overall business printer, this machine is able to print, scan, fax and copy meaning that it meets the full requirements of any busy office.
Wireless connectivity means that this printer is easy to set up and use, especially with iOS devices that can handily use Apple AirPrint.
There is also a 2.7” touchscreen so that you can easily adjust the settings of the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 to meet your individual needs.
- Get heavy usage out of the machine with a high monthly duty cycle
- Vibrant colors and astonishing detail possible due to the printer set up
Sublimation Printer for T-shirts Buying Guide
The images on t-shits come in all different shapes and sizes with different levels of detail. This buyer’s guide will help you which of the devices is the best sublimation printer for t shirts to suit your own personal needs.
1. Print Media Size
Our list has a variety of printers capable of printing on different sizes.
If you are only going to be doing small transfers onto T-shirts, something like a logo for example, then a printer that does 4×6” printing may be all that you need.
Those printing much larger designs will need a printer that can handle a larger transfer paper. Be sure to check the maximum and minimum print media sizes a machine can take.
Resolution is important depending on the type of detail you are looking to transfer onto t-shirts.
Images with lots of intricacies will require a printer with at least a 4800x1200dpi resolution, though if you are able to get higher than that by spending a bit more money, then perhaps you should. It can only make your t-shirts look better.
If you are doing smaller transfers, then a 300x300dpi or 300x600dpi should be enough for you to come away with a well printed image.
3. Print Speed
Are you printing t-shirts as your main business and need to get them made quickly? Or is it just a bit of a side-gig that means you do not need to get a huge number out by a specific deadline?
If speed is what you are after, you may need to go for one of the higher end printers. They are capable of printing quickly without compromising on image quality.
Just remember, the higher the resolution of the printer, the slower its print speeds might be.
The sheer number of prints you intend to make is a huge consideration in buying a printer for t-shirts.
Check to see if the printer you have your eye on is capable to doing heavy duty work over the course of a month.
You will find some printers capable of work in the tens of thousands whilst others can just about get to a 4-digit number.
The printers on this list will get you high quality images on transfer paper to put on your t-shirts.
Your main considerations when looking for the best t-shirt sublimation printer are the size of prints you want to make, the resolution quality of the images you need, and the volume of t-shirts you need to get out in a month.
Whether you do t-shirt printing as a hobby, or it is your main source of income, we’re certain there is a printer on this list that will meet your needs.