How do I pick the right screen printing press?
If you search online, you'll find a ton of different brands and types of screen printing machines. How in the world do you select the right one? When buying your first press, you should consider the following five factors:
- Space: What are your space limitations? Most manual shops start off in spare bedrooms, basements, garages, where space is limited. Take in account what your space looks like, including other equipment that will be in there.
- Budget: Your budget has a big impact on what will be the best press for your shop. If you're just starting out, you'll also have to get other supplies and equipment like a flash dryer, squeegees, inks, screens, etc. Don't overspend when buying a press. You can always upgrade later on. Find something that fits your budget so you can start your business.
- Versatility: What do you want to print on? Is it only t-shirts? Do you also want to print on sleeves, neck labels, koozies? You'll want a press with different platen capabilities. Do you plan to print oversized designs? You'll need a press that can handle larger screens. Planning to print multicolor jobs? You'll need a press with multiple printheads, and consider finding one with micros (if it fits your budget). Reflect on what you plan to do when you screen print to help you decide what you need out of your press.
- Consistency and Durability: You're investing your hard-earned cash into this equipment. You want something that'll last. Not all presses are made equal. Research different brands to see which have proven to stand the test of time. When the day comes you need a larger press, you could keep your original press for smaller orders or one-color jobs.
- Portability: This factor may not apply to you, but it's still important to consider. Do you plan on live printing? If so, you'll want a press that's easy to bring to events.
If you'd like to learn more about the factors you should consider when buying a press, please read this blog.