A high-tech sublimation printer is a must if you want to open a business and deliver excellent results to your clients. This device helps you add dye on a surface with added pressure and low temperature. This method offers a firm design on paper without the risk of overheating or smearing – just as easy as that.
After, you can start transferring what is made onto a garment. Finding the best sublimation printer with all the necessary features that will meet your needs, is hard. However, that is why I am here. Today, I am going to present and review some of the best sublimation printing units for both beginners and experts.
- Which Sublimation Printers are Best?
- Where to Buy Sublimation Printer?
- Best Sublimation Printer Comparison Chart 2019
- Top 20 Best Sublimation Printer Reviews 2o19
- Canon SELPHY CP1300
- Epson Workforce WF-7710
- Epson Workforce WF-7210
- SAWGRASS VIRTUOSO SG400
- Epson Stylus C88 sublimation
- Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S
- Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
- Brother MFC-J995DW
- PC Universal Sublimation Printer
- HP OfficeJet Pro 9025
- Sawgrass Virtuoso SG800
- Epson Artisan 1430
- Canon MX492 BLACK
- Kodak PD - 450
- DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS
- Xerox Phase 3260DI
- EPSON WorkForce WF-7610
- Mitsubishi CP-D70DW
- HiTi P525L
- Epson WorkForce WF-2630
- Sublimation Printer Buying Guide
- What Printer Do I Need for Sublimation?
- Can You Use Any Printer for Sublimation?
- Do You Have to Have a Special Printer for Sublimation?
- How Much Does a Sublimation Printer Cost?
- Does HP Have a Sublimation Printer?
- Can You Do Sublimation on Dark Shirts?
- Can I Print on Vinyl with a Sublimation Printer?
- What Material Can I Sublimate on?
- Is Sublimation Printing Durable?
- What is a Dye-Sublimation Printer Used for?
- What Does Sublimation Printer Do?
- How to Use a Sublimation Printer?
- How to Clean a Sublimation Printer?
- Sublimation Printer Types
Which Sublimation Printers are Best?
Every person has certain needs and requirements when it comes to buying a sublimation printer. That is why I highlighted these printers for different purposes that will hopefully match your printing standards.
- Best Overall: Canon SELPHY CP1300
“Wireless printer, compact, best quality sublimation printing, 3.2 LCD screen, water-resistant prints.”
- Runner Up: Epson Workforce WF-7710
“Two-sided printing, auto-duplexing ADF and scanner, easy to set up, simple control panel, versatile.”
- Best for T-Shirts: Epson Workforce WF-7210
“Great quality, 2 large paper trays, prints without border up to 13’x19’’, supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC.”
- Best for Heat Transfer: Epson Stylus C88 sublimation
“Versatile, waterproof, scratch-proof, supports different inks, 140 sheet capacity tray, perfect for paper.”
- Best Lightweight: Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
“Wireless printing, good photo quality, supports Clara photo HD inks, lightweight, compact, versatile.”
- Best for Mugs: PC Universal Sublimation Printer
“Easy to set up, delivers firm images, best sublimation printer for mugs, amazing customer support.”
- Best for Schools: Kodak PD - 450
“Quality results, easy to set up, ability to adjust images manually, supports Wi-Fi and USB, cheap refills.”
- Best for Small Business: DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS
“Fast printing speed,2 catch trays, affordable, perfect for small shops, high-volume printing, cheap ink.”
- Best Wide Format: EPSON WorkForce WF-7610
“Scans at up 11’’x17’’ to tabloid size, prints at up to 13’’x17’’, panel SD and PictBridge sockets, stylish.”
- Best for Beginners: Mitsubishi CP-D70DW
“Supports 16.7 million colors, energy-saving mode, durable, jam-free design, lightweight, fast printing.”
- Best Budget: Epson WorkForce WF-2630
“Well-built, wireless printing technology, versatile, high power consumption, affordable, feature-rich.”
Where to Buy Sublimation Printer?
Not a fan of online shopping? Open your browser. Type something like “sublimation printer near me”.
Write down the addresses of local shops. Visit when you can. I am sure that you will find a good printer. Refer to this map and consider online shopping one more time since it has more options to choose from.
Best Sublimation Printer Comparison Chart 2019
These include models by some of the most popular brands. I took the responsibility to review each and every one of these products in detail, in order to present their best features, pros, & cons to you. I hope that this chart along with my detailed reviews will help you choose the right sublimation printer for you.[ninja_tables id="7651"]
Top 20 Best Sublimation Printer Reviews 2o19
Let’s dive into the most detailed sublimation printer reviews that you have ever seen. I spent hours and hours researching these machines. Make sure to check their pros and cons before you make a purchase.
Canon SELPHY CP1300
If you want a portable, wireless photo printer that will help you create fun collages with a party shuffle print, Canon SELPHY CP1300 is perfect for you. It is suitable for both home use and on the go. Just print with your camera’s memory card, AirPrint or from Instagram TM and Facebook TM with the Canon app.
You can even print fun things with your pals from different devices with 2 inches x 6 inches photo booth layout prints or Party Shuffle. Just pick the correct size for the photo and even sticker paper, all created to last up to 100 years. They are water-resistant as well. This machine has an optional battery pack too.
If you buy it, you will get a modern dye-sublimation print technology that allows you to print in various sizes including square label, L size, card size, and postcard. It also has a 3.2’’ tilt-up touch LCD. However, make sure to check the main pros and cons of this wonderful printer before you make a final purchase.
- Compact and lightweight
- Best quality sublimation printing
- Optional battery for printing and sharing your photos despite the location
- 2 LCD screen that is easy for you to navigate through different settings
- Supports multiple connectivity options
- You can use any mobile devices and tablets
- It delivers great-looking and water-resistant photos
- Allows you to print directly from your camera’s memory card or USB flash drives
- Prints with a bumpy perforated edge if working with proprietary photo paper from Canon
- Not include optional battery
Epson Workforce WF-7710
Next, I have the Epson Workforce WF-7710 printer powered by Precision Core. If you want to print shop quality borderless prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches, this is the printer for you. It is an economical device that saves you 80% more power than other color printers with a versatile paper handling 250 sheet tray.
Also, it features a rear feed for specialty paper – 125 sheet output tray. However, before ordering, keep in mind that this printer is made for use with Epson cartridges only. It allows auto 2-sided print, fax, copy and scan, and 35-page auto document feeder. It also has a 4.3-inch color touchscreen that is easy to use.
You can use this baby from your iPhone, iPad or Android device. It includes wifi direct, ethernet & NFC. Workforce WF-7710 allows you to scan large things up to 11 inches x 17 inches. The instruction manual and a power cord are also included in your order. You also get 4 x durable ultra ink cartridges in 4 colors.
- Prints up to 13-by-19-inch pages
- Ability to scan, copy and fax multipage
- Two-sided printing
- Auto-duplexing ADF and scanner
- Easy to setup
- Simple control panel
- Overall print quality
- High cost per page
- Graphics printing could be better
- Contains only one paper cassette
Epson Workforce WF-7210
(Best Sublimation Printer for Shirts)
Another great printer by Epson is their Workforce WF-7210 powered by Precision Core. It provides the same high-quality printing as the previous model. It shares some of the most important features such as 80% power saving, printing borderless printing and nice marketing materials up to 13 inches x 19 inches.
This unit will make sure that you will never run out of ink again thanks to the dash replenishment that is keeping track of your ink and orders more when you are running low. This is why I love this device. It has a 500-sheet capacity, dual trays, rear feed for specialty paper and a 125-sheet output tray which is great.
However, keep in mind that this printer is meant for use with Epson cartridges only. You can scan larger prints up to 11 inches x 17 inches. It has wifi direct, NFC, Ethernet and a 2.2-inch LCD that is easy to use. Manual, power cord and 4 x durable ultra ink cartridges in four colors are also included in your package.
- Good overall output quality
- Best sublimation printer for t-shirts
- Prints without border up to 13” by 19”
- Ability to auto-duplex up to tabloid-size
- Supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC mobile networking
- 2 large paper trays
- Cost a little bit higher per page
- Not support USB thumb drive
SAWGRASS VIRTUOSO SG400
(Best Sublimation Printer for Phone Cases)
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 is one of the most popular sublimation printers on the market. It comes with a set of sublijet-HD inks standard size cartridges and 110 sheets of sublimation paper produced in Japan. If you want a device with download access to creative studio software that is simple to use, this is the one.
It is specifically created for sublimation and will help you craft your own things like no other printer out there. It allows you to decorate various items made of polymer-coated rigid media and polyester fabrics like aluminum panels, inserts, tile, glass, acrylic, phone cases mugs, wood plagues, hardboard and more.
It is compatible with both windows and mac. However, you must have Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X 10.6 or later. You can print up to 8.5 inches x 51 inches. Keep in mind that the inks included with this printer are not suitable for cotton t-shirt transfers. They work on polymer-coated hard substrates or polyester only.
- Amazing printing resolution
- Sublimation printer on wood
- Best sublimation printer for clothing
- Aided with Creative Studio Software
- Perfect for transfer to merchandise and polyester apparel
- Prints on a wide array of materials
- Large print sizes
- Ink is too expensive
- Very short warranty
- Some people complain about customer support issues
Epson Stylus C88 sublimation
(Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer)
As you can notice, Epson has some of the best printers on the market. And their Stylus C88 sublimation printer is one of them. The best part about this device is that is speeds through critical reports and tasks. It delivers impressive quality and durability that lasts for a very long time thanks to the DURABrite inks.
It speeds up to 23 ppm for black text print. It has 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi, plus ink droplets as small as 3 picoliters. These features ensure garments with lasting impressions. You can print frame-ready images in common borderless sizes. You can also use the high-capacity input tray to create handouts and charts.
The USB and parallel connectivity and networking options make this printer appealing to customers and a perfect choice for both Macintosh and Windows computers. Now, let’s summarize the pros and cons.
- Works perfectly with all types of paper materials
- Good support for borderless printing
- Produces smudge resistant surfaces
- The tray has 140 sheet capacity
- Automated printing feature
- Best sublimation printer for fabric
- Can print up to 19 pages per minute
- Heat transfer technology works with many types of ink
- Best printer for heat transfers
- Resistant to scratching
- Does not produce larger items
- Not work well with cheap ink cartridges
- A bit sluggish while printing many photos at the same time
If you buy the Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S, you will get a dye-sub photo printer, ink cassette, paper strip bin, AC power cord, paper flange spacer, two security bands, washer, screws, cable ties, and a year warranty. This printer has two print formats, high resolution and reduces power consumption when in sleep mode.
It delivers a matte finish similar to that of a satin finish. It does not reflect light and is much duller. Users are thrilled by this printer. If you want a printer that will save you time, money and turn your business or hobby into a fun experience, this is the printer that you need. However, first, let’s check the pros & cons.
- The firm body of the printer works in moments
- Creates printouts in many sizes
- Can create various finish styles
- It prints good quality photos for the events
- It provides the ability to print in different sizes
- It provides great features and portability as compared to its price
- It has a maximum resolution of 300 x 300 dpi
- Fast printing results and simple operation
- Technical difficulties for some users
- It is hard to set up some of the features
- Sometimes can have issues with colors while printing
- Issues occurred while printing the contrast colors like silver and white
- Sometimes, can be stuck under the sleep mode
- Heavier than other printers
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
(Best Lightweight Sublimation Printer)
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is made for using Epson cartridges only. It offers quality prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches. If you order this baby, you will get 6 color Claria photo HD ink with gray and red inks for a super wide gamut and boosted black and white prints. It is just great for professional projects.
This baby has a 50 sheet rear tray for specialty media, including cardstock. It accommodates many types of paper finishes and borderless sizes from 4 inches x 6 inches and 13 inches x 19 inches. The best part? I would say that it is the compactness. It is stated that this printer is 30% smaller than the previous model.
Other highlighted features include 200 sheets front tray, 2-sided printing and dash replenishment which is taking care after your inks. Meaning, if you run low on ink, this feature will order more. However, let’s summarize the most important pros and cons of this best-selling printer before you make your decision.
- Can print through wireless
- Incredible performance on photo paper
- Good photo quality
- Can print borderless images up to 13 by 19 inches
- Support new Claria Photo HD inks
- Lightweight and portable
- Does not have memory card slots
- Not cheap to run
- Prints speeds are slower than some other printers
If you want to make a smart investment, I highly recommend that you buy the Brother MFC-J995DW. It will save you time and money thanks to the cartridges provided. They will deliver uninterrupted printing for over a year. However, that is not the best part. This baby eliminates ink replacement guesswork too.
It has an intelligent page gauge that notifies you of how much ink you need to use & the remaining ink. Also, if you buy this model, you will enjoy mobile device printing because it allows wireless printing with Google Cloud Print, Wifi direct and AirPrint. It supports many Brother inks and many network protocols.
- Good output quality
- Easy to use control panel and color display
- Supports USB thumb drive & SD card
- Includes Ethernet connectivity
- 20-sheet ADF
- Portable design
- Ink is very cheap for this model
- ADF not auto-duplexing
- Input and output capacities are low
- A bit sluggish printing
PC Universal Sublimation Printer
(Best Sublimation Printer for Mugs)
PC Universal Sublimation Printer will help you make impressive gift ideas. You can easily make your own mugs thanks to the system that is easy to use and has everything you need to get started. You will get 5 assorted ready to sublimate mugs and a nice heat press machine. What more could you possibly ask for?
PC Universal 220XL sublimation ink cartridges that are easy to use and set up are also included. You will get heat transfer sheets as well. If you are looking for the perfect Christmas or birthday gift for someone you love, this sublimation printer is the right choice. Now, let’s summarize the important pros and cons.
- Easy to setup
- Works great with producing firm images
- Best sublimation printer for coffee mugs
- Ability to adjust the printer resolution in different forms
- Amazing customer service
- Has difficulties to clean off the cartridges for use
- Very technical design and requires extreme precision for use
- No print sublimation instructions
- Sometimes will not print proper colors
HP OfficeJet Pro 9025
If you want a compact printer that will not only deliver quality results but also embellish your office, HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 is for you. It prints up to 24 pages per minute and has a 35-page automatic document feeder. This baby is 39% smaller than the previous model and scans up to two times faster than others.
If you wonder why to choose this printer over others, I would say because it saves time with smart tasks, you can print remotely using HP smart app and enjoy the built-in security essentials that will protect the sensitive data. This unit provides basic encryption, wifi security, stable connection, and password safety.
However, the best part about this printer is the ink replenishment service that monitors your ink levels and notifies you when running low on ink. Now, let’s take a look at the main pros & cons of this printer.
- Good text print quality
- Very fast printing
- Competitive running costs
- Borderless printing
- Compact design
- Contain duplex tray
- A bit pricey
- The display speed has a small body
- It is bigger than other home printers
- The output tray only handles about 100 sheets at a time
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG800
Another Sawgrass Virtuoso that is worth your time and money is the SG800 model. It is a turnkey great solution that has everything you need to get started. If you buy this printer, you will not only get one of the best printers out there but also ink, print & design software, as well as technical/marketing support.
No matter if you want to develop a new business or boost your current sales, this printer has your back. This company is passionate about producing high-tech machines and helping you grow as a professional. However, let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of this exquisite printer before your purchase.
- Ideal for mugs and other hard surface types
- Comes with lots of starting supplies
- Backed by a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Fast and quality print
- Easy to setup
- Not suitable for cotton items
- Bad customer service
- Issues while using other ink except for sawgrass
Epson Artisan 1430
Epson Artisan 1430 is one of the best sublimation printers by this brand. It will take your skills to a new level and increase your profits for sure. If you want impressive, ultra-high-definition prints as large as 13 inches x 19 inches, do not hesitate to purchase this incredible unit with convenient wireless networking.
You can share your printer with other people and create gallery-worthy prints of large sizes together. It is ideal for office & home use. You can even make professional-looking DVDs and CDs. This baby includes lighting correction and advanced color for creations that are water, scratch, smudge, and fade-resistant.
This is because of Clara's high-definition ink. Another interesting fact about this machine and its work is that the prints last 4 times longer than lab prints. Also, this printer is a first-choice among professionals. A power cord, instruction manual, software and drivers, and six cartridges are included in your purchase.
- Very good photo, text quality
- Contain six color inks
- Able to print up to 13 by 44 inches
- Supports wireless printing
- Free Photoshop software and other extras
- Affordable price
- High print resolution
- Color cast while black and white photo prints
- Ink cartridges are tiny
- Not include media card slots
- Has Poor output quality on plain paper
- A bit slow
- It is pretty expensive for high-volume production
- Big and heavy
Canon MX492 BLACK
Looking for a wireless all-in-one color printer? If yes, look no further than Canon MX492 black. It can fax, scan, copy and print wirelessly, no matter your location. However, what I like most about this unit is the compactness. Apparently, this amazing printer is around 30% smaller than the previous Canon MX units.
You can use AirPrint and Google Cloud Print from your compatible tablet or smartphone and work freely anywhere. This baby features time-saving features such as a fully-integrated automatic document holder which can keep up to 20 sheets. Also, the optional XL cartridges ensure a longer uninterrupted printing.
- The Canon MX492 all-in-one printer has a compact and space-saving design
- he printer excellently stands out in mobile printing with numerous print apps support
- Print borderless images and content
- Includes high-speed fax which comes with 19 coded speed dials
- Has a small control panel with buttons
- This printer no need installing drivers for print or scan wirelessly
- Does not include a touchscreen display
- Has only one-year limited hardware warranty and support
- Does not support auto duplex scan and two-sided printing
- Has weak paper trays
Kodak PD - 450
(Best Sublimation Printer for Schools)
Print photos directly from your smartphone with Kodak PD-450 that includes an android dock pin and free Ios lighting adapter. This workhorse delivers high-quality photos thanks to the fast and easy system that prints a standard 4 inches x 6 inches photos in amazing color and stunning detail that does not fade.
This printer has maximum device compatibility. Meaning, you can use your iPad, iPhone, digital camera or USB memory stick. But here is the kicker. This baby provides simultaneous charging, so you can power up to 2 smart devices while waiting. It is the perfect solution for office, business, home or school usage.
- Delivers best quality prints
- Easy to set up
- Able to print through USB automatically
- Images can be adjusted manually
- Ability to add text and stickers
- Supports Wi-Fi & USB connectivity
- Perfect for mobile printing
- Small footprint
- Cheap refills
- Printer cost a little bit high than others
- Limited capacity
- Complicated while connecting the printer to mobile through WiFi
- Pricey cartridges and ink
DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS
(Best Sublimation Printer for Small Business)
DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS is super fast and delivers every single promise described at Amazon. Yes, it is a bit bulky, however, it is definitely worth your investment. Sometimes, bulky printers complete tasks better than modern, compact models and this is one of those cases. It is amazing for photo booths.
If you want a quality printer that is fast and saves you money, this one is perfect for you. It is easy to use and prints are stunning. Satisfied customers describe this unit as a work solid horse. However, others do not like the fact that it is a bit heavy. Keep in mind that you will have to bend your knees when you lift it.
- Fast printing speed
- Comes with two catch trays
- Sublimation printer affordable for small business
- Good print quality
- High volume printing
- Ink is cheap for this model
- High running cost
- Slower than others
- A bit heavier than others
- Limited media sizes
Xerox Phase 3260DI
Searching for a reliable printer that will not break your bank account but deliver high-quality results? If yes, Xerox Phase 3260DI is perfect for you. It is suitable for both single users and small teams. It can be connected with other wifi-enabled devices without needing an existing wireless network which is nice.
It is perfect for beginners because it is not complicated to use and set up. Another benefit that you get with this unit is the quiet operation. This baby has a compact design and offers a worry-free experience thanks to the one-year warranty. However, make sure to check the main pros and cons before you buy.
- Duplex printing ability
- 4800 x 600 dpi enhanced image quality
- Support Apple AirPrint
- Built-in wi-fi connection
- Good output quality
- Support Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct
- Has Duplexer, 250-sheet tray
- The design is outdated
- Does not supports Ethernet
- High running cost
EPSON WorkForce WF-7610
(Best Wide Format Sublimation Printer)
If you want a wide-format printing and boosted productivity, this model by Epson is just perfect for you. It is ideal for small businesses and home use. Backed by Epson’s modern precision core printing method, this model delivers excellent performance. You can create borderless prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches.
Also, you can make laser-sharp black and color text. But here is the kicker. This machine saves ink. It will lower your printing cost up to 40% which is quite impressive. You can scan up to 11 inches x 17 inches & 2-sided fax, scan, copy and print with a 35-page, two-sided automatic document feeder. There is more.
This printer features a 4.3-inch color touchscreen and 250-sheet paper capacity, a rear tray for increased productivity and more. You may be wondering, what are the cons of this machine? Let’s check them out.
- Prints at up to 13 by 19 inches
- Scans at up 11” by 17” to tabloid size
- Convenient paper tray
- Supports Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi-Direct
- Has panel SD and PictBridge sockets
- High cost per page
- Contains only one paper tray
- Noisy while working
- heads needed cleaning every time it was used
(Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners)
As you probably have noticed, Mitsubishi has some of the best printers on the market. And this model is one of them. If you are searching for a professional digital dye-sublimation printer, look no further than CP-D70DW. It is a compact printer with 2 power cords included, washer, paper tray, 2 spacers and more.
If you order this unit, you will get 2 cable ties, screws for securing band, 1 set paper flanges, cassette, 2 ink ribbons, 2 Mitsubishi 4 inches x 6 inches wide paper rolls, and a quick setup guide for beginners. It is a great bargain for the price. It delivers glossy and matte finish and executes high capacity printing tasks.
The dust-proof design, advanced cooling system, Mac and PC compatible software, high-speed USB 2.0 interface are just some of the features that you will be enjoying. Now, let’s take a look at the main cons.
- Support 16.7 million colors
- Matte or glossy on the same media
- Has energy-saving mode
- Great for beginners
- Good Durability
- Small size
- Fast printing
- Very easy to use
- Compact and lightweight
- Jam-free design
- Less cost per print for the 4×6
- It has big Length
- Has no interface
- High cost
- Take a little bit more time to install drivers
HiTi P524L is perfect for both on-location event photography and photo booth applications. It delivers a high-quality image and boosts profits. If you want a compact printer that weighs around 39 pounds, look no further than this model. It is ideal for capturing theme parks, fairs, scenic places or important events.
If you want a device that produces vivid photos without waiting that is reasonably-priced, this is the one that you should buy. It is the first unit to use RFID technology for recognizing and identifying RFID media chips. Changing the media key is no longer necessary for replacing the media. it has an integrated LCD.
It has 5 hard-keys to observe the status of the printer. You can check this by downloading its software. Economical, high-resolution, versatile, fast – what more could you possibly ask for in a printer? Showing interest? Let’s take a look at the main benefits and downfalls of this printer before you make your order.
- It is the best machine for heavy-duty jobs
- Compact and high-speed printing
- Good and Affordable
- Easy to use
- Has Optional Wi-Fi dongle for mobiles
- Has only three print sizes available
- A bit heavier than other models
- Not ideal with iPad
Epson WorkForce WF-2630
(The Cheapest Sublimation Printer)
Last but not least, I will review another best-selling model by Epson – Workforce WF-2630. It is a space-saving, combo machine that has everything you need to start your own business or increase your profits.
You can use your tablet or smartphone to print with this baby. It has affordable individual ink cartridges. Customers love that this printer can work wirelessly. All you need to do is just download the Epson print plugin for android devices and print. However, make sure that you are connected to the same network.
I personally recommend this printer because it has a great price, offers stability and durability, and you can use it at home or work. It is super fast and easy to use. Now, let’s summarize the main pros & cons.
- Good designed and quality machine
- Wireless printing technology
- Ability to copy, scan, fax
- High power consumption
- Sublimation printer cheap
- A good amount of built-in features
- Pricey running costs
- Slow scanning speed
- Supports Epson cartridges only
Sublimation Printer Buying Guide
I will answer every frequently asked question about sublimation printers and point out everything you need to pay attention to when buying one. Hopefully, I will help you find a sublimation printer for you.
What Printer Do I Need for Sublimation?
Shopping for a sublimation printer is easy if you know what to pay attention to. Let’s review some of the features you need to consider when buying a sublimation printer for starting your business or home use.
The resolution represents the measure of how dense your images will be. It can be measured in dots per inch also known as ‘dpi’. If you want to make something a bit larger, a more detailed image looks better.
Versatility and Connections
Your printer is supposed to work with different materials. Also, pay attention to the connections. Make sure that your printer includes connections like ethernet link or wifi in order to provide wireless printing.
Always read customer reviews at Amazon or other shopping websites before you purchase something. I recommend that you look for reviews that describe the performance and longevity of something, so you can choose a high-quality machine that will serve you well for a long time. Search for printers with great performance and fast results. Make sure that your sublimation printer is compatible with many devices.
Can You Use Any Printer for Sublimation?
No, you need a dedicated printer that functions with the available cartridges. Epson and Sawgrass make some of the best small & large format printers. See my chart for sublimation printer recommendations.
Do You Have to Have a Special Printer for Sublimation?
You will need a special printer for sublimation. Picking the best sublimation printer can be hard if you do not know where to search. Luckily, you have come to the right place. I have reviewed some of the best printers and exposed their cons in my sublimation printer reviews, so make sure to read before you buy.
How Much Does a Sublimation Printer Cost?
The price of sublimation printers depends on the maximum photo size. Usually, inkjet printers and inks cost between $600 for 8.5 inches x 14 inches and $1,600 for 13 inches x 19 inches. You can buy a quality printer for $200, however, expect to pay more for high-end sublimation printers with advanced options.
Does HP Have a Sublimation Printer?
Yes, I have reviewed their HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 compact printer that delivers quality results, It prints up to 24 pages per minute and has a 35-page automatic document feeder. I like it because it is compact and fast with good text print quality. It has a duplex tray and offers borderless printing, however, it is pricey.
Can You Do Sublimation on Dark Shirts?
No, sublimation is intended for polyester only. It represents a dye process, meaning it is made for white and light colors. During the process, the colors in your transfer will take on the color of your garments in order to alter your final color after pressing. Always remember that white sublimation ink does not exist.
There is no such thing as the best sublimation printer for cotton or the best sublimation printer for dark shirts. It can be done on polyester only. These limitations are the biggest disadvantages of this method.
Can I Print on Vinyl with a Sublimation Printer?
Yes, when the ink on your print is dry, cut out one of the prints. Cutting near the edges will help you line your print up to the vinyl. After, turn the sublimation print color side down and line it up with your vinyl.
What Material Can I Sublimate on?
PVC and polyester. You cannot sublimate on cotton fabrics. During the heat press process, the pores of these polymers open to let sublimation ink to enter in a gaseous state. Watch this video on how to do it.
Is Sublimation Printing Durable?
Not only that sublimation printing is durable but also highly-detailed and delivers fast excellent results. The durability and feel are unbeatable. However, it is costly and limited to light-colored garments only.
What is a Dye-Sublimation Printer Used for?
A dye-sublimation printer represents a computer printer that transfers dye onto the garment with heat. It can be used on fabric, paper, card, and plastic. The name comes from the turning of the dye into a gas.
What Does Sublimation Printer Do?
The sublimation method uses sublimation transfer papers in order to move the design to the garment. This results in a permanent design that becomes one with your t-shirt and will last for a very long time.
How to Use a Sublimation Printer?
Using a sublimation printer is not as hard as you think, even for beginners. You will need a few supplies including ink, a blank shirt or other apparel, sublimation paper and a heat press machine. First, you need to create your own design. Next, you should mirror your design and print it on your sublimation printer.
Line up your design. Press it with your heat press onto your t-shirt for about 35 seconds at 385 degrees. Remove the transfer paper and your masterpiece is done. It is that easy. Please follow this guideline for detailed instructions. You can also watch this short but useful video if you like visual instructions better.
How to Clean a Sublimation Printer?
You can use your own solution that will cost you little. However, you can also buy a commercial cleaning product if you want. I recommend that you make your own cleaning solution because it takes only a few minutes to make. Fill a glass ¾ of the way full with distilled clean and mix it with 15 milliliters of rubbing alcohol. You can also use isopropyl alcohol. Saturate a cotton swab with the solution and rub the heads.
Sublimation Printer Maintenance
I would like to share a few maintenance tips that you can apply in order to extend the life of your unit.
- Keep your printer’s firmware updated
- Clean your electrostatic belt at least twice per year
- Clean your capping station at least twice per year
- Make a print alignment at least once per year
- Keep your printer turned on (this does not count if you do not plan to use your printer for a long period of time)
Sublimation Printer Temperature
Usually, common sublimation dyes activate at 350 degrees F. It is recommended that you use around 380 – 420 degrees F for optimal color. You will get a permanent, full-color print with a high resolution.
Sublimation Without Printer
Sublimation without printer is not possible. Also, keep in mind that sublimation is possible on white and bright garments only. You cannot perform this technique on dark garments. White sublimation ink does not exist. Go through my sublimation printer comparison chart for finding a suitable sublimation printer.
Sublimation Printer Types
You can choose between different sublimation printer types and brands. Which one you select depends on your needs and standards. What is suitable for you, might not be suitable for the next customer. I am suggesting that you read the differences between sublimation printers and other units before you order.
Sublimation Printer vs Vinyl Cutter
If you want quality results, buy a sublimation printer. However, keep in mind that sublimation units cost more than vinyl cutters and inkjet printers. Also, there is not much demand for sublimation shirts in the market because they cost a lot to buy and produce. However, this is how it is like in the fashion industry.
Also, sublimation printers clog if you do not use them often enough unlike vinyl machines. However, it is more than clear that vinyl is not an alternative for sublimation. This type of method delivers pretty cool garments. However, keep in mind that sublimation can be done on a polyester, bright/white shirts only.
Sublimation Printer vs Inkjet Printer
If you want to make your own creations and other graphical materials for your home-based business or individual shop, you can choose between dye-sublimation printer vs inkjet. Which one you pick depends on your own needs and requirements. Picking between the dye-sublimation printer versus inkjet is hard.
Best dye-sublimation printers specialize in graphics, while inkjets can print spreadsheets and standard text documents. When choosing between dye-sub printer vs inkjet, remember that their image quality is almost equal. However, sublimation units deliver more natural-looking shades and color combinations.
Dye-sublimation printers operate by heating a specific ribbon containing solid inks. The ink sublimates, in other words, turn to gas without passing the liquifying part. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, spray microscopic droplets of ink from the nozzles in the cartridge. As you can see, they work very differently.
Dye-sublimation photo printer vs inkjet? Which one sounds better? They both need software to work. It has to be installed in order to execute the process. If you choose a dye-sublimation, make sure to install the software for your printer. If you want to learn how to use inkjet printers, watch this detailed tutorial.
Sublimation Printer vs Dtg
People wonder what is the difference between sublimation printing vs silk screen. Inks used in silkscreen apply color to the top of your shirt’s surface. Sublimation dyes penetrate to recolor from the inside out.
This technique requires an inkjet printer with sublimation dyes. Screen printing places ink on top of your garment merely. Also, unlike dye-sublimation designs, screen printed things last longer and look better.
Sublimation Printer vs Heat Transfer
As I already mentioned, sublimation represents the process of transforming physical ink from a solid to gas while skipping the liquid phase. This printing method includes vaporizing ink with high temperatures.
Heat transfer, on the other hand, is performed with heat transfer paper available for both hard & textile surfaces. Which one you choose depends on the polymer used when making the paper. The textile ones use alternative types of polymers in order to make sure that they will adhere to the garment, properly.
Sublimation paper, on the other hand, can be used with different textiles and surfaces. For instance, you do not need a specific type of paper in order to sublimate t-shirts and a different type of paper for mugs. Sublimation printing vs heat press –choose the method that matches your needs and requirements best.
Sublimation Printer vs Cricut
Sublimation is a natural following process from using a Cricut. They have different purposes. However, they contribute to the same goal. If you want to learn more about Cricut units, please review my article.
Sublimation Printer vs Regular Printer
Sublimation printers need cards, specially coated paper, and other media. You can personalize t-shirts, mugs and other items. Regular printers work with labels, envelopes, copier paper & other office media.
Sublimation Printer vs Laser
A laser printer is a great choice for home use and hobbyists. However, according to my research, If you want professional-looking results that last longer and increase sales, you should choose sublimation. It has its limitations like the type of material you can work with (polyester) and colors (bright/white only).
However, it delivers better results than laser printers. A laser printer uses a photocopier technology. It prints on certain types of fabric. However, you cannot use a laser printer for thicker items. Sublimation offers better prints but costs more. The same goes for sublimation printing vs iron-on. Sublimation wins.
Hopefully, this short article can be your guide to buying the best sublimation printer for your needs. No matter if you need a printer for business or personal purposes, my product reviews have something for everyone. If you are on a budget, I personally recommend that you buy the Epson WorkForce WF-2630.
However, if you want a high-end printer no matter the price, choose between Canon SELPHY CP1300 or Epson Workforce WF-7710. They both deliver excellent results and fast-turnaround. Feel free to ask any questions related to the topic or share your experience (if any) with these amazing sublimation printers.