So you want to find the best swing away heat press machine for you but you’re not quite sure where to start? Maybe you’ve got a few questions as to what sort of heat press machines are available on the market but you’re not sure what the differences are? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Swing away heat press machines are heat presses that allow the heat platen to swing out to the side. The benefit here is that it gives you a lot more room to move the materials and designs around without the machine getting in the way.
Still a little vague? Here we’re going to take a deep dive into the kinds of heat press machines you can expect to see on the market, the best swing-away heat press machines for every use case as well as a little extra information to help you on your way.
What is A Swing Away Heat Press Machine?
Let’s take this back a layer and discuss exactly what a heat press machine is.
A heat press machine is an essential tool for any t-shirt maker’s arsenal to produce custom designs and apply them to different types of clothing.
So what makes a swing away heat press so different from the other heat presses out there? Well, there’s a clue in the name!
Swing away heat presses are exactly what you’d expect – they are a heat press that consists of a top heat plate and a bottom plate that are pressed together to heat designs onto a variety of materials. However, the key difference is that the top plate of a swing away heat press is actually on a pivot.
This means that you can ‘swing’ the top plate away from the bottom plate to give you a lot more room to organize your fabrics and designs.
How Are Swing Away Heat Press Machines Different Than Other Types Of Heat Presses?
In short, a swing away heat press is the only heat press that allows you to move the top heat plate completely away from your workspace.
Typically, all heat presses will end up performing the same function – the top heat plate presses down onto the bottom platen and lifts back up again.
However, the differentiating feature that defines the swing away heat press is that the top heat plate can be pivoted away from the bottom platen to allow more extra room to move your fabrics and designs.
Best Swing Away Heat Press Machines At All Sizes and Needs
1. Best 15×15 Heat Press – Seeutek Sublimation Heat Press Machine
Our best 15×15 heat press pick has to go to the Seeutek Sublimation Heat Press Machine. This is a great choice as it won’t break the bank but also provides outstanding results.
This heat press can also be used for sublimation projects which helps make up for the fact that it’s on the more expensive side of the spectrum.
In addition to sublimation, it’s also suitable for a whole range of products such as coasters, mouse pads, clothing and everything in between.
2. Best 12×15 Heat Press – ColorSub Industrial Quality CE 12X15 Combo 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine
For the 12×15 heat press category, our favourite has got to be the ColorSub Industrial Quality CE 12×15″ Combo 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine.
Surprisingly, this is actually much cheaper than our 15×15 swing away machine pick (although it is a touch smaller) at around $230 to purchase.
3. Best 16×24 Heat Press – Yucheng Tech 16×24 Heat Press
Our pick for the best 16×24 heat press is the Yucheng Tech 16×24 heat press. From the smart thermometer to the handy press timer – this machine is an absolute MUST if you’re thinking of buying a 16×24 heat press.
4 Best Beginner Friendly Heat Press – Cricut Easy Press 2
The winner of the ‘best beginner-friendly heat press’ has got to be the Cricut Easy Press 2. Let me explain why.
As a beginner, you’re not going to be doing crazy or large-scale production projects and so you don’t need to have the biggest heat press.
Additionally, you’re probably just going to be dipping your toes into the hobby and so won’t want to spend an awful lot of money – because what if you don’t like it?
I know what you’re thinking… this is a post about swing-away heat presses, the Cricut Easy Press isn’t a swing-away?!
You’d be correct – however, this heat press provides the same benefits as a swing-away press and it gives you the same sort of experience without needing to go all out and invest in a super-duper swing-away press.
5. Best Budget Heat Press – Bettersub 12×15 Swing Away 5 in 1 Sublimation Heat Press
Unlike the beginner-friendly heat press reviews where you’d want to hear things about the ease of use and what sorts of user-friendly add-ons it has – a budget heat press is purely based on one thing – the price!
With this in mind, our best budget heat press is, again, the Cricut Easy Press. It has tonnes of great reviews and is the cheapest heat press on the market at around $120 USD. However, as this is also our beginner-friendly pick, I’ll give you another one – the Bettersub 12‘’X15‘’ Swing Away 5in1 Sublimation Heat Press Machine.
This is a highly reviewed and popular machine whilst also one of the cheapest swing-away press machines on the market at approximately $250 USD.
Unlike its more expensive heat press competitors, this machine also comes with multiple attachments that allow you to heat press, not just t-shirts, but also caps!
6. Best Overall Heat Press – CO-Z 15×15 8 in 1 Swing Away Heat Press
What if you want the best of everything? You want something that is bigger the Cricut Easy Press but less expensive than the 15 x 15 Seeutek Sublimation Heat Press – well we have a great pick for you. Let us introduce you to the CO-Z 15 x 15, 8 in 1 Swing Away Heat Press Machine.
This beauty will only set you back approximately $350 USD but it will give you the surface area of the Seeutek but at almost 60% of the price! Not only that but it provides 8 settings so you can experiment with a large variety of different materials and projects.
7. Honourable Mention – Whubefy 12×15 8 in 1 Swing Away Heat Press
We thought we’d also leave you with a bonus suggestion. This narrowly missed out on being our ‘Best Overall Heat Press’ as it’s a little bit more expensive than the CO-Z 15×15 and a little bit smaller.
However, this is not a machine that should be overlooked – it has the same capabilities as the CO-Z, boasting a variety of attachments allowing it to heat onto 8 different shapes and sizes!
You can snag yourself a Whubefy on the likes of Amazon for just over $350 USD (plus postage) and comes with all the tools you need to swap the different attachments in and out.
Swing Away Heat Press Machine – Buying Guide
So now you’ve seen our top picks but you may want to do your own research – what are the sorts of things you should be considering when picking the ideal machine for you?
Entry level refers to how experienced you are in the heat press ‘scene’. Have you done many projects before? Are you still in the process of learning? How much support/resources do you need?
These are all really important questions that you’ll need to answer when considering the best heat press machines for you.
If you’re still learning, going for a Cricut will be the best bet as they’re the most widely used by hobbyists and there are so many tutorials and guides on YouTube that you can use to help you along the way.
If you’re more experienced, you’ll be able to go for a much more technical press as you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for and be able to use more of the ‘bells and whistles’ the higher end presses provide.
How much room do you have to work with? Is this going to be set up in a workshop or on a home desk?
Some heat presses can be absolutely massive and others can be very compact and small. For the likes of a swing away press, you’re going to need a little more space than if you were to opt for a clam shell press as you need to account for the swing!
If you’re just doing this in your room, you’ll want to get something relatively small – again, a Cricut is probably a good option. If you’ve got a small workshop then a 15×15 or a 12×15 will be best. However, if space is no object then you can splash out and opt for a 16×24 press!
What are you making? Are you only doing t shirts or do you want to leave yourself options to explore more projects?
Some heat presses come with various attachments that allow for more projects to be undertaken, whilst others are your standard, run-of-the-mill heat presses. If you want to delve into caps, you’ll need to consider getting a machine that will facilitate this!
Some projects are going to need a little more room on the heat press than others – something like a baby grow is only going to need a fraction of the space as opposed to XL t shirts for example.
Make sure you get a press that has a heat platen large enough to facilitate the work that you want to undertake!
Swing away heat presses are essentially the same as conventional clam shell presses but instead of the heat platen only being raised up, it also swings out to the side which allows for more room to manoeuvre your materials.
Overall, there are so many different swing away heat presses out there – our favourite overall being the CO-Z 15 x 15, 8 in 1 Swing Away Heat Press Machine.
You want to ensure that you take into account everything you intend on making, both now and in the future, when deciding on the best swing away heat press for you. These things can include:
- Entry level;
- Project type; and
- Material size.
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Last update on 2022-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Disclaimer