When I first started, I had a hard time figuring out the best sublimation printer for me and what I wanted to use it for.
Making crafts using sublimation has become one of my favorite activities. I love the almost one-step process of printing, heat-pressing, and enjoying. There’s no quicker craft that produces such professional results.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew I wanted to do sublimation crafts, but I also knew I wanted to invest my money in the right sublimation printer for me. Now that I have used more than one sublimation printer, I feel like I have the confidence to share with you what’s the best sublimation printer and why – and why that depends entirely on you and your planned crafts.
There are lots of good sublimation printers with different features at a reasonable price. In this post, I only cover a handful of printers, basically the ones I have used for my own personal use.
Any time you are making a purchase like this it is a good idea to also research other brands of sublimation printers to find the 1 that is going to be best for you.
5 Best Sublimation Printers
My first printer was an Epson Workforce WF-7710, typically used for normal inkjet printing that I converted to a sublimation printer. I have had it for a long time. I got my conversion Kit From Cosmos Ink. Their inks have the most vibrant colors you will find anywhere!
My Epson Printers always give me the most high-quality prints. And with this printer, I am also able to make borderless prints, which comes in very handy when doing tumblers and such.
I recently got one of the sawgrass printers, the SG500. This printer prints high-resolution prints at a high speed. The first time I used it, however, I was a little upset that the prints were not borderless.
What Is Sublimation Printing?
To put it simply, sublimation is a dye that penetrates the surface of blends of polyester or polyester fabric. The way it works is you use a special inkjet printer and sublimation ink to print an image on a special transfer paper.
It works just like a traditional printer. You place the transfer paper into the paper tray of the printer. Except you DO NOT use the ink cartridges that come with it.
Image quality is just as important as the ink and your printer to this print method.
Dye sublimation only works with light-colored materials unless you use a polymer coating. Although you end up with full-color prints, you must heat transfer the images to a polyester or polymer or polyester coated material.
With that in mind, I thought I’d start off with what makes these two Epson ET printers the best sublimation printer choices.
Best Dye Sublimation Printers For Small Business Owners?
Any of the following printers would be a good choice. They all have excellent print quality and there is also a wide format sublimation printer or 2 on the list too. Each in my opinion comes at an affordable price.
When you go to purchase your printer for sublimation printing, double-check that it is in fact for sublimation. There are a few that are desktop printers or photo printers that you will have to convert.
- Sure Color f170 Epson Sublimation Printer
- Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 Sublimation Printer (SG 500 and SG 1000 are great too)
- Epson ET-15000
- Epson Workforce wf-7210
What Can I Make With A Good Sublimation Printer and Sublimation Transfer Paper?
I have seen many sublimation printer uses, here are some of the most common to do with your perfect choice of sublimation printer.
- Coffee Mugs
- Bottle Openers
- and so much more
For your subs to transfer you will also need a heat press. Sublimation requires high temperatures but very little pressure. An at-home iron is not the right choice for high-quality transfers.
What Is The Best Printer For You?
Honestly, it all depends on what you plan to do with your sublimation – is it a hobby or will it be feeding a business? Do you need to create designs that are larger than a typical sheet of paper or not?
Do you want a slot for a memory card? Is it solely for home use, or will it be for business use and printing large orders with it?
So at the end of the day, you will have to decide, through a little research which will be the perfect printer for you.
I honestly plan on getting a larger Epson Ecotank Printer and converting it. I believe this is the best option for me.
If you appreciate this quick sublimation printer comparison and think you might want to come back to it before you decide which printer is right for you, be sure to pin this to your favorite digital crafting Pinterest board so you can find it again quickly when you need it!
Make sure to check out my YouTube videos for tutorials and inspiration.
Thanks for your expertise. I’ve been toying with the idea and have a potential project to try this out on. I do wonder what type of sublimation paper you like to use. There are so many on Amazon, lol.
I actually have A-sub, Koala and Tex Print, I have never found my paper to make a huge difference. But most say paper matters.