The Power Press Heat Press is one of Amazon’s best sellers. With over 560 reviews and a 4.4 star rating, it has obviously got something going for it.
What makes this heat press special? Why should you consider it for yourself? What has compelled over 70% of buyers to leave a 5 star review and glowing comments?
If you’re tired of using an iron to do your pressing and you need to take it to the next level, or if your old press is due for an update, read on to discover if the Power Press is the right press for you.
Select an option in the table of contents below, or continue to read our full product review.
What’s The Power Press Heat Press Like?
This machine is perfect as a hobby press, or for the start-up t-shirt business. Though while I am impressed at its performance, I would not choose this for a high output t-shirt company – if only to save your arm by getting an automatic press instead!
It is a manual clamshell heat press – not unlike the Gecko heat press. It is a basic machine and very easy to use. Providing you follow the instructions, you can’t go wrong.
If you do happen to be new to heat pressing, we recommend familiarizing yourself with how to do it before getting started. Clarify in your mind the process before you start so that you are not learning as you do your first press.
This particular product is what you might describe as no frills or basic, but it performs its job well. By looking at it you can see it has an on/off switch, a digital timer and temperature gauge, and a turnable pressure adjuster. It has a silicon base plate which will stand up to years of heat.
When considering this heat press and reading this review, keep in mind that it is an entry level model. It is one of the cheaper machines available, and a low price for this kind of item has both its pros and cons.
Here are a few I can share with you:
- Simply, it is cheap! You are not investing a huge amount into it. If you are planning on creating t-shirts to sell, you can make your money back on it very quickly. Sell 10 to 15 t-shirts to your family and friends for $20 and you’ll have broken even!
- Spending less up front means you can get proof of concept without breaking the bank. You may not be sure whether your creations are going to sell or not. With this machine you can find out quickly and perhaps invest more later into a higher quality press with a few more bells and whistles.
- Even if you do have to upgrade to a heavier duty model after a year or so, you will have got plenty of value from it. This machine is simple to use, great for the beginner and pro alike.
- Cheaper means it will not have the same performance level of an expensive press. If your business has a high output and your machine needs to be on 10 hours a day, for example, you will want to get a more expensive machine.
- If you’re like me, the less you spend on something means the less invested you are, and the harder it is to knuckle down and do something about it. If you have dreams of starting your own t-shirt business, give it all you’ve got whether you’ve invested $200 or $2000!
- Cheaper means fewer of those bells and whistles. For example, it is a manual press as opposed to an automatic. You will have to press your products yourself!
- It may not last as long as a more expensive machine. You probably shouldn’t expect to get tons of use over a long period of time from this product. Many people have been so fortunate, but others have not.
The temperature range for this press is 0 – 500° F. Most transfers you will be using need a temperature between 300 – 400° F. Check with your transfer provider for the exact temperature setting for each type.
Your average household iron can reach temperatures of 400° F (depending upon the wattage), but applying heat transfers is about more than simply temperature. It is also about a uniformity of temperature and pressure. It is about time and type of fabric. This is part of the reason why a heat press is so much better than an iron – you have far greater control over the process.
Because it is a manual press, it will take a bit of trial and error to work out the pressure settings. It’s easy to know when it is in the lightest pressing position, and when it is in the heaviest. But finding the medium or medium/light position, for example, will take a little bit of experience.
What Items Can I Press?
✔Cotton and polyester garments
What Size Transfers Can I Use?
This particular press is 15×15 inches. Therefore, the largest transfer I suggest you try and use would be around 14×14 inches.
If you are planning on pressing XL t-shirts more than any other then you will want to consider a larger machine. This can definitely take them, but it would be easier with a larger machine if you are doing them more often than not.
What Transfers Can I Use?
The Power Press will take all of your standard transfers.
✔Heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
If you’re ever unsure, ask the advice of your transfer provider, or do a tester press and find out.
Tips For Using Your Power Press
Set up your press in a position where you can access it from three sides. It is easiest to position everything when you can shift from the left side, to the front, to the right. There is nothing more frustrating than being hindered when you’re in the middle of pressing a garment.
It is reasonably heavy, at 53 pounds, so you will not want to be shifting it from place to place within your home or business. Prepare a home for it where you can access it easily for use but where it will not be in the way from day to day.
Make sure you set up your press on a sturdy surface, rather than a flimsy table, for example. When you are clamping your press down for a job it does require a bit of force for it to click in.
Using Your Power Press For The First Time
Before you use your machine for the first time you will need to have a burn-off. You want to get rid of all the chemicals left on the heat platen from the manufacturing process. Completing this task will stop your press from producing bad smells over a longer period of time, and from passing this bad smell onto your early garments.
Set up your press in a good position where you will be able to work well. Set the temperature to 400 ° F. Open up all the doors and windows in the room and switch it on while the heat press is OPEN. This is very important – do not ever turn your heat press on while it is closed if there is nothing in it!
Once you turn it on with the lid open, this will burn away all the unnecessary chemicals. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Do not leave the room during this time and make sure you keep an eye on it. It will smell and possibly even smoke a bit – make sure you are doing this in a well ventilated area.
Once you have completed this task you will be able to begin pressing! I suggest having a practice run first before doing anything too serious. This is to get rid of any final residue from the burn off, and also to familiarize yourself with how to use your heat press.
Before you press vinyl onto any garment, pull your press down onto the bare item first. This will make sure that your t-shirt is flat and without wrinkles, and it will also take out any moisture in the garment. These are both important in order to get the best adhesion and perfect look.
What Can This Heat Press Not Do?
This machine cannot take attachments such as a hat or mug press. If you need to press either of those items, you will need to buy an independent machine specifically for that function.
Or, if you wanted one machine capable of doing all functions, the Power Press 6 in 1 might be for you.
Many people have had concerns about the base pad not being totally attached. There was a reason for this. The manufacturer was asked not to completely secure it so that in the event of the pad needing replaced, it would be easier to do. Over time the base pad can become worn or get damaged and might need replaced.
However, because of customer concerns over it not being completely glued down, further presses will have the pad completely secured. If yours happens to be loose on arrival, or becomes loose over time, you are able to glue it back down.
Power Press Vs Gecko GK100
How does the Power Press differ from the Gecko GK100? Well, to be honest, there is very little difference at the end of the day.
Here are a few points for consideration:
- Usually the Power Press is a bit cheaper, though when it is at full price the Gecko would be cheaper
- The Power Press has sold more units, has hundreds more customer reviews and a higher star rating
- The Power Press weighs 11 pounds less than the Gecko – something to think about if you may have to move your press around a bit
- The Power Press is specified to reach a higher temperature – 500° F compared to 435° F – though as the major majority of transfers require a setting of between 300 and 400 ° F, this is not an issue
- The Power Press is a higher power press – 1800 watts vs 1500 watts – to put it simply, the higher the wattage of a press, the higher temperature capacity. Therefore, to state it again, the Power Press is able to achieve higher temperatures, but alternatively, the Gecko will save you on power.
Price Of The Power Press
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This is a fantastic machine that is sure to be an asset to the hobbyist or small start-up. With this machine you can stick your neck out into the market and get a real feel for all that’s involved in pressing your transfers. It is a low risk purchase which could quickly pay you high dividends. At the very least, your friends and family will be impressed with your creations.
Even if you are not a professional, you will feel like one with the Power Press. This heat press has been tried, tested and approved by so many of your like-minded colleagues in the community – what are you waiting for?
Thanks for reading our review of the power press heat press machine! Please leave us a comment if there is anything else you would like to know.
Do you want to produce professional high quality products? Read our article on 5 heat press machine accessories that will save you both time and money.
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