The Best Sublimation Printers For T-shirts in 2021

The Best Sublimation Printers For T-shirts in 2021

Contents

Sublimation printers are known to produce high-quality images and are gradually becoming one of the most used printers taking over inkjets. In fact, these printers tend to have pictures with higher resolution in terms of photo quality.

These printers are the perfect machine to opt for whether you are starting a business from scratch or intend to change an old inkjet printer to something better. Over the last couple of years, most sublimation printer brands have experienced a remarkable increase due to the degree of quality they offer at an affordable price.

Once the printer reproduces an image, it’s further transferred to a cotton material or fabric. This feature makes the device an essential tool used in most photo booths and small businesses.

This product review provides you with all you need to know before making up your mind on a particular sublimation printer. We’ve cherry-picked some of the best sublimation printers out there known for efficiency, durability, and all the essential features you need to get the best printing result on t-shirts, mugs, and other printable materials. So without further ado, let’s dive right into this.

Our Ultimate Picks for Best Sublimation Printers in 2021

EPSON Series:

Epson has three major similar designed printers crafted for architects, creative professionals, engineers, and small businesses. All the printers produce shop-quality graphics. So, In this section, we reviewed the best-picked models from the Epson sublimation printers to help save time and cost in terms of color and power.

The models we reviewed produce quick two auto-sided prints. So, Let’s take an in-depth review of each of these printers and see what they have to offer.

1 . WorkForce WF-7710 Wireless Printer Best Printer for Sublimation

Global Customer Ratings
4.4/5

The is a perfect go-to for fellows who keen only on quality and nothing else! This printer works with pigment ink; this means you can be assured of high-quality and long-lasting prints. Moreover, the device produces high-quality borderless images in no time and has a rare feed meant for special papers, which gives you more room for productivity.

The printer features a 35-page auto document feeder; it is also used for fax, scan, 2 sided auto print and photocopy. The color touch screen makes navigation pretty easy. Although the device is not compatible with third-party inks, so for optimum results, it’s best to go for inks that are specifically meant for the brand.

One of the mind-blowing features we find interesting here is that you can easily spot the ink level in advance and make provisions ahead of time. In addition to this, it helps to ensure continuity and avoid been cut off in the middle of a project. This device can either be used as a regular printer or a heat transfer printer.

Pros

  • Better performance
  • Versatile paper handling
  • Easy functionality
  • High resolution and longevity
  • Multifunctional feature
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive

Bottom line

Although this gadget is a bit pricier, compare to some of the printers we outline and reviewed on this list, but the features and durability offer you a choice that is worth the price. We recommend this for fellows who give more attention to quality in spite of quantity. If this sounds like you, we suggest you might check this product out.

2. WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Printer Low Ink Consumption

Global Customer Ratings
4.3/5

This printer will only work with an Original Epson Cartridge; using third-party cartridges are not advisable since they tend to limit the overall function and lead to damage with time. However, it’s essential to note that damages that result from the use of third-party links are not covered by the warranty.

The brand provided all the necessary information you need for usability and maintenance in the manual. In fact, Epson designs the device with unique precision and it produces borderless prints in shop quality black text and color graphics.

One of the significant features we find interesting in our review is that it is pretty economical in terms of power consumption. It keeps track of the ink level, so you don’t have to run out of ink. In addition to it, the versatile paper handling feature handles up to 500 sheets; it also comes with an additional rear feed that can carry up to 125 sheets in an output tray.

Pros

  • Versatile paper handling
  • Durable
  • A great deal for its price
  • Fast
  • Two tray
  • Low consumable cost
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Not compatible with third-party Cartridge

Bottom Line

The WF -7210 is not only fast but the overall performance and rich feature rate it as one of the top model super tabloid printers for a single function and low, medium volume output. It is suitable when used in small offices and at home.

3. Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Wireless Printer Versatility Defined

Global Customer Ratings
4.4/5

This all-in-one printer produces/ reproduces print-shop-quality images that are up to 13 x19 inches. Furthermore, this device can hold up to 500 sheet capacity and has an additional dual tray and rear feed made for special paper.

With these unique features, we consider the printer a must-have gadget in an office due to its degree of versatility. In addition to this, it comes with a two-sided auto scan, fax, print, copy, an auto document feeder, and a 4.3 inches touchscreen for control and navigation. You can easily print on this device using a smartphone or tablet due to the wireless and wired network.

Since this printer is a product of Epson, we recommend using inks specifically meant for the device. Using inks that are not recommended will lead to damages that are not covered by the product warranty.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Fast
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Wireless printing and network
  • Compatible with iPad, Android, iPhone, and smartphones
  • Easy scan

Cons

  • Not compatible with third-party ink

Bottom line

If you’re out to get a sublimation printer that is economical and prints images with high quality for large projects, this device is a no-brainer. It’s compatible with windows 7 (32-64 bit), windows (8/8. 32 -64 bit), Windows 10 (32- 64 bit), Windows Server 20167, Windows Vista (32-64 bit), Mac OS X 10.6.8 – macOS 10.12.x8 Windows Server 2003 (SP2), so this printer got you covered regardless of the type of window you’re using.

WorkForce WF-7710 WorkForce WF-7210 WorkForce WF-7720
4.3" Touchscreen
2.2" LCD
4.3" Color Touchscreen
Can carry up to 250 sheets
Can carry up to 500 sheets (two 250-sheet trays)
Can carry up to 500 sheets (two 250-sheet trays)
Borderless Print quality
Borderless Print quality
Borderless Print quality
Touch screen control and navigation
Absence of touch screen navigation
Touch screen control and navigation
Size: 22.3 x 17.8 x 16.5 inches
Size: 567‎ x 424 x 304 mm
Size: 32.2 x 22.3 x 13.4 inches
Connection: Wireless, Ethernet, USB, Smartphone, Tablet
Connection: Wireless, Ethernet, USB, Smartphone, Tablet
Connection: Wireless, Ethernet, USB, Smartphone, Tablet
Product weight 18.7 kg
Product weight 15.5
Product weight 18.5kg
Print, Copy, Scan, and Fax
Print
Print, Copy, Scan, and Fax

4. Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer Best Print Quality

Global Customer Ratings
4.2/5

This printer is a formidable gadget for anyone that’s out to get an inexpensive, robust, and efficient machine. Besides this, the device is designed with inbuilt software that helps filter and increases the image you intend to print.

The CISS feature makes it suitable for sublimation and pigment-based inks. This product is known to deliver an amazing performance in terms of durability and speed. Whether you intend to use it to print proposals or results, you can be assured of a flawless outcome.

The convenient networking and parallel connectivity make it an ideal option for Macintosh computers and Windows. And of course, you can freely work on the project after project and still get exceptional results due to the unique performance.

The DURABrite formulation provides fade-resistant properties. So you can choose to print an image on water resistance, and the ink particles will not dissolve when exposed to water. This is crafted to speed through critical projects and reports and repeatedly gives off amazing quality whether you intend to print an image on a proposal or photo.

Pros

  • It has a connectivity option.
  • Pigment-based Ink
  • Borderless printing is an added advantage.
  • Replacing the Cartridge is super easy.
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Use excess ink

Bottom Line

From our perspective, we recommend this printer for small businesses and homeowners. The printer supports high-quality resolutions of up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dip. In conclusion, this printer comes with an easy-to-use photo editing tool that makes it perfect for inexperienced users.

5. DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS 6″ A True Definition of Durability

Global Customer Ratings
4.5/5

We recommend this product for fellows working on massive projects! The printer can produce 290 4×6 prints within the space of an hour. This printer can work with high-end capabilities using expensive parts to produce full-colored photos within the shortest time frame.

You can use this device to produce a print size of 2×6 inches, 4×6 inches, and 6×8 inches. Some of the additional features are improved operational support with a USB serial function that promotes flawless connectivity when used on PC and Mac computers. DNP Photo printer offers other utility software you can use to make photo printing super easy and quick.

This printer is known for its unique speed output, rugged and class printing capacity with a durable design that will stand the rest of the time. It is perfect for both remote or local photo printing venues.

Pros

  • It is used to print2x6 inches, 4×6 inches, and 6×8 inches image size.
  • Durable
  • Artistic design
  • Superfast
  • Perfect for massive projects

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive

Bottom line

This printer comes at a reasonable price tag, and it’s a perfect example of low price thermal sublimation dye printer that works with high volume. It produces quality prints, although it gives off little or no difference when you’re printing on different resolutions.

6. Brother MFC-J995DW Printer Best Solution for ink

Global Customer Ratings
4.4/5

If you’re running a small business or need a printer you can use at home then this sublimation printer will serve you best. It comes with a Re-engineered Tank Cartridge with an additional ink storage tank that supports uninterrupted printing with an ink that can serve up to twelve months before opting for a replacement.

The device comes with a 2.7 inches touch screen; this print will help profile solutions to two major problems:

  1. It controls the unexpected shortage of ink.
  2. It limits the need for replacing inks unnecessarily.

With this printer, you don’t get cut off in the middle of projects. The Gauge value presents a numerical display that helps you spot the amount of ink remaining in the Cartridge.

This device can print up to 150 pages with a ratio of 40% color pages and 60% black pages based on the print volumes. You can use this with a wireless network; however, the mobile device used must have an Android, iOS 4, or have NFC capability.

Pros

  • The ink can last up to a year.
  • Durable
  • Perfect for small business and home use
  • Compatible with PC-Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7

Cons

  • It is not recommended for huge projects.

Bottom line

this device creates duplex prints of similar documents at 3ppm. It reproduces images in less time, and it’s faster than the most average printer. We recommend this device for schools, family use, and small business owners.

7. Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Printer Less Power Consumption

Global Customer Ratings
3.8/5

This is a lightweight and compact Sublimation Color printer that comes with the latest software for generating high-resolution print. It’s a perfect go-to for fellows running a retail store or event/ social photography.

It can automatically switch from 4×6 inches to 6×8 inches depending on your project demands; the good news is that you don’t need to exchange the ink ribbon or paper roll. This feature presents you with a printing device that is super easy to use and also saves time.

The CP K60DW-s use the two-in-one principle, and it is super easy to use and operates at high speed. It also has special rewind use and consumes 0.05 watts of power when it’s on standby mode. It comes with a year warranty; this makes it a sure deal for those who want to be on the safer side.

Pros

  • Less power consumption
  • Reproduce High-resolution image
  • Durable
  • Fast
  • Economical

Cons

  • Nile

Bottom line

The dual print format produces two printed images on a single media paper, saves more time, and decreases stock references and maintenance costs. In addition, the inbuilt image processor helps to reproduce smooth edges with a resolution of 300DPI.

8. Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer A Rugged and Reliable Choice

Global Customer Ratings
4.2/5

Launch your startup with the Sawgrass SG500, a unique desktop sublimation printer that is durable enough to withstand abuse, overuse, and requires less maintenance. This printer is the only desktop printer we reviewed that is built for sublimation.

This device offers a low running cost and creates unique high-resolution images within the shortest frame of time. The product has a two-year warranty and comes with an inbuilt supportive design that reduces power and ink consumption while maintaining real quality and efficiency.

We recommend this for folks that want the peak of high-resolution images at a reasonable price. The SG500 comes with the rugged reliability of SG400, but this time it’s updated internally. As a result, It is more energy-efficient and produces high-resolution images, and has WiFi connectivity.

These features present you with a higher and more excellent product that is easy to use than most sublimation printers. However, the product comes with a two-year warranty, and you have unlimited access to tech support in terms of maintenance and inquiries.

Pros

  • Two-year product warranty
  • A Product from a reputable brand
  • Sawgrass print manager
  • Durable
  • Perfect for large projects

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive

Bottom line

This device is an updated version of the SG400; for this reason, the rugged reliability and compact footprint are similar to the SG400. In addition to the overall improvement, the SG 500 appears to be more energy-efficient, offers WiFi connectivity, and produces high-resolution images.

9. Canon 9856B002AA imagePROGRAF iPF770 A Product from a Reputable Brand

Global Customer Ratings
4.8/5

The Canon 9856B002AA is not only perfect for printing large format images but this simple gadget is also perfect for users with entry-level experience. This printer is suitable for signage and poster projects; it comes with magenta ink that produces impactful images.

Canon is a brand known to produce top-notch electronic gadgets and has been at the forefront of production for the past two decades. The company understands what it means to have a printer that works with speed, so they design this machine with the ability to produce A1 (23.39″ x 33.11″) within the space of 25 seconds using a little amount of ink.

The inbuilt sub-ink tank helps to retain inks in the tank before a replacement and allows you to replenish an empty tank in the middle of your project without interrupting the process or the overall print quality.

Pros

  • High-quality prints
  • Durable
  • Economize Ink
  • Come with internal software.

Cons

  • Nile

Bottom line

In terms of software, this printer comes with an inbuilt user-friendly software designed to accommodate all your printing needs. Hence, the software allows you to keep track of the total cost of a project and has a configuration tool that helps you explore the best from printing.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Sublimation Printer – Buying Guide

For the majority of people, buying a sublimation printer can be like walking through an endless maze. There are so many brands with different prices and features that it’s hard to know which one will work best. Luckily, this article will help make your decision easier by providing some helpful tips on what you should consider before making any purchases!

1. Print Media Size

It’s important to remember the size of your printing project when you’re considering a printer. If, for example, you need to work on handles t-shirts or other large prints, then it’s best to get something with more than an 8.5″ x 14.”

2. Print Speed

The first thing you should consider when buying a printer is the speed. The faster, the better because it saves time and increases productivity in limited periods! You also have to look for fast but efficient printers, not just speedy machines with lower-quality print jobs.

3. Print Volume

If you are in printing and need to print on a schedule, speed is vital. You should invest your money wisely into printers that can handle more than one job at once or go for sublimation printers with long life cycles, which will save you time and cost less over their lifetime.

4. The Number of Ink Colors

Different printers are used for different tasks. The most common type of printer is a four-color; they’re equally competent at basic jobs like printing documents, but if you want to do complex projects with finer detail, then you should invest in six or eight-color models as these provide more flexibility and are the professional choice when accomplishing work requiring higher quality resolution.

5. Print Resolution

Dots Per Inch or DPI refers to the clarity, density, and sharpness of a picture – we recommend printers with high resolution! Ideally, 300 DPI is sufficient for most consumers, but if you’re looking for a greater deal, 1200 DPI+ may be a viable option depending on your needs! Sublimation printers are expensive, and you don’t want to settle for one that delivers sub-par image resolution.

What Are The Types of Printer that Support Heat Transfer?

A wide range of printers are designed to use the heat transfer method; these are the inkjet printers, dye-sublimation printers, and laser printers.

Laser Printers

The laser printers are durable and easy to transfer prints. In addition, it is crafted to use heat and ink to create an image on the paper. Although this printer requires some measure of care and experience and using papers that are not recommended can lead to excess heating, jamming, or damage.

Inkjet Printers

This is one of the common printers used in most American homes. These printers are either designed to work with pigment or dye-based inks. Pigment-based ink, compared to the dye, is a bit pricier but tends to offer more value.

Although the printer requires a unique technique for printing on fabric using the usual heat transfer methods.

Dye Sublimation Printers

As compared to the inkjet printer; this device is pretty rare. Sublimation printers can easily print directly on fabric without employing the usual method of heat transfer. However, the printer tends to give off better results when used on specific types of fabric.

Types of Ink Used by Printers

The type of ink used on a printer is one of the major spots that strike a major difference between printers. These are designed to work with different ink, and this determines their overall performance.

Ink Used by Dye Sublimation Printers

Dye ink printers are one of the cheapest types of printers. However, the quality they offer is likely to wash off, bleed, or fade off with time. The presence of ultra-violent exposure is also alarming. We only recommend using this printer if you’re on a tight budget and will want to use it on small projects.

Compared to dye ink printers, sublimation-based ink tends to offer better options. However, it requires some level of expertise and experience to be handled effectively. One of the major effective products is pigment-based ink; it offers the best performance than the ink-based printer.

It produces prints that are waterproof and resistant to humid conditions. So you can be sure of prints that won’t fade away anytime soon. Although in terms of price, they are more expensive than dye and sublimation-based printers.

Ink Used by Laser Printers

Laser printers are designed to work with toner cartridges but they also work on heat transfer. Therefore it’s important to use recommended papers. Using papers that are not meant for the printer can lead to damage.

How Does Sublimation Printing Work?

The sublimation printing method is also known as the ‘all over printing’ because it allows an even printing that permits you to print your preferred design all over fabric.

It is the process of printing designs on a piece of fabric through sublimation paper. Essentially, heat and pressure of between 350-400 degrees are applied on fabric to transfer ink and design from the sublimation paper to a material. The solid particle of ink transforms into gas and permanently merges and blends with the piece of fabric.

However, in the sublimation process, a sublimation paper or a transfer paper is used so that your design can easily merge with the fabric. The heat turns it into gas, and the pressure merges the print with the material printed upon.

They are pretty easy and affordable; this makes it a popular fabric printing method used by both professionals and amateurs. Sublimation printing leaves a permanent imprint. It leaves a durable, crack, peel, and water-resistant, and sturdy full-color image on your T-shirts.

It can be likened to the effect of dry ice. The process immediately converts solid inks into a gas without it turning into liquid. The ink initiates the conversion, and the pressure controls the entire process. This printing method is becoming more and more popular because it is just as quick as it is effective, especially for small orders and specific designs that rely on details.

Although sublimation printing is a specialized technique used mainly to print T-shirts, people also use the method to print on ceramics, wood, and metal that have the perfect coating to receiving sublimation inks.

The Pros and Cons of Sublimation Printing

Pros

When making designs with this technique, you enjoy rare freedom in terms of creativity compared to other printing methods. You can go wild in design with this device, no range in size matters. If it fits on the fabric then, it can go on the fabric.

The design doesn’t fade easily, which makes the sublimation process the first and best choice for everyone. It doesn’t matter how long the material is used.

Cons

Sublimation printing is more suitable with polyester fabric. Though the sublimation can be made into materials like cotton, the design will not stay long enough because they are artificial fabrics. Generally, sublimation printing is not recommended for any material aside from Polyester.

Accidental creasing is yet another factor one has to look out for when printing. Places that are left untouched in the painting process will stay white. This is caused by accidental fold or moisture accumulating in the transfer paper.

FAQs

Ans. Emphatically Yes! Both the printers are built to offer borderless images on prints. However, this may require only inks that are Epson approved.

Ans. On average, both printers can produce 30 pages per minute, although this function could vary depending on the quality of what you’re printing.

Ans. WF 7720 printers can hold up to 500 sheets on a single load; it also comes with 125 sheet output for special paper.

Ans. To get your prints to stick properly on a sublimation paper, you will have to use sublimation ink and a printer compatible with the paper you’re using.

Ans. Dye-sublimation printers are crafted for professional and household use. These printers can cause around $300 and can go up to $600 depending on the size and production level.

Ans. No, regular printers don’t transfer. Sublimation ink is accomplished with a special ink easily converted into gas and directed to a substrate using pressure and temperature.

Ans. Fading on images results from excessive pressure, temperature, and exposure to sunlight. Therefore, it is best to double-check the settings from where you bought the sublimation blanks. Remember, heat press tend to be different; this is an important factor to bear in mind too.

Our Top Pick

The WF-7710 Wireless Printer gained our editor’s award based on the overall performance, remarkable features, and competitive price. Moreover, the printer is designed to withstand abuse and perform pretty well on massive projects. Whether you intend to use this in your office or home, this printer will serve you perfectly.

Conclusion

We have provided you with some of the most efficient and energy-saving printers that serve as the best bang for your investment. Adhering to the information we shared above is a sure way to get the best print form of quality and durability from your printing. So if you are keen on the best and want to avoid been burnt due to the wrong product, we recommend you make a selection from our list of best sublimation printers. One last detail that’s important before making any decisions is to take your time when shopping around as it can be expensive if you make an impulsive purchase without doing your research first. We hope this article has helped inform you on where to start looking next time so that nothing goes overlooked or forgotten!

About the author

Jemma Clinton is the Editor In Chief at Printer Wire. As a tech enthusiast, she always follows the latest technological trends especially those are related to printers. She is wired to write reviews and guides related to various kinds of printers.

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