After a while, all of us need to replenish our wardrobes with new clothes, and a convenient way to do that is by online shopping.
But the problem is that your unique style often gets lost as thousands of people buy the same perfect item. An easy solution would be to order custom shirts, whereby you can choose the design and colors to own a clothing line that no one else has.
That said, you might be hesitant about the cost of ordering custom shirts frequently and would much rather prefer a more pocket-friendly option with greater accessibility. Thanks to screen printing machines, you can now design shirts at home with only a handful of materials.
Even if you haven’t operated screen printers previously, they are easy to use; the challenging part is choosing the right screen printing equipment and knowing how to do the printing properly. Today’s guide reviews the top 8 presses on the market for your printing needs.
Best Screen Printing Machine – Find the Best Screen Printing Equipment
To make it easier for you to find the perfect machine for your needs, here’s the list of the 5 best screen printing machines.
1. Vevor Silk Screen Printing Machine – Best for Versatile, Multi-Color Designs
Who wouldn’t love to wear custom t-shirts with unique patterns that no one else owns? It might sound too good to be true, but this silk screen printing machine comes with 4 color options to design pillows, bags, shirts, and more. Even more pleasing is that the screen printing machine hardly takes up any space and is easy to clean.
This screen printing unit is regarded by many as the best screen printing machine because it features a durable design, thanks to many premium-quality materials that prevent rusting. But the biggest advantage of this machine is that it’s easy to clean, and the manufacturers have used electroplating to install an electrostatic spraying mechanism.
We loved the table design of this device, proving a great space saver and allowing you to carry it to any suitable spot. Once you set the press down, use the mechanical stress parts to secure the unit firmly to the ground to guarantee a stable screen printing process. And since these parts come pre-assembled with precision positioning, you won’t face any issues assembling the stations.
Depending on the type of t-shirt printing, you can use the adjustable springs on the press to change the tension so that they can support various weights. This ensures that the screen frame stays balanced, which makes it suitable for designing ceramics, glass, leather, etc.
The Vevor screen printing machine requires regular maintenance, and we found that paint clogs the threaded holes quite frequently. If you don’t clean the paint residue off the press, the screw will try to cross the thread, which will affect the screen printing process. You can use a Dremel tool to clean the holes and enhance the efficiency of color screen printing.
What We Like
- Large printing surface
- Portable and space-saving
- Durable metal construction
- All components included
What We Don’t Like
2. Commercial Bargains Inc. Single Color Station – Best for Precision and Portability
Don’t you hate it when a beautiful cotton t-shirt is ruined by using too many colors, so much so that the design appears forced and out of place? Instead, you can opt for a single-color elegant pattern with this t-shirt printer, thanks to its dedicated pallet that guarantees accuracy. This single-color screen printing machine is great for making a label or precise design.
If you’re looking for screen printers with a simple yet practical design, this press won’t disappoint. This printing machine screen is very easy to use, and with the table-like construction, you’ll get much-needed stability while making intricate, precise patterns on a t-shirt. Moreover, the combination design acts as a major space saver, and you can even transport it conveniently to a bigger or smaller design.
Coming to the materials, you’ll find that this screen printing machine features a full metal structure with various components made of stainless steel. This helps in electrostatic spraying to deliver an elegant appearance without creating a mess at the printing stations. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry too much about rusting or maintenance for the press, as with the Shzond screen printing press, due to its durable design.
With the screen clamp, you can keep the screen from moving, so greater stability will allow you to achieve an eye-catching pattern, despite using a single color. You can also change the pallet based on the type of substrate or printing technique.
The tension in the springs might be a bit too much, which makes it challenging to keep the screen flat and the colors precise. While it prevents ink splashes and squeegees, even the adjustable arm cannot ensure that the screen stays flat consistently. You’ll need to purchase a flat wood panel to keep the screen rooted to one spot at your station screen printing.
What We Like
- Portable and compact
- Vibrant single-color printing
- Durable design
- Versatile application
What We Don’t Like
3. Intbuying Silk Screen Printing Machine – Best for Beginners and Adjustability
Another great single-color option in the screen printing business is this model, which comes with one color station to deliver premium-quality prints. You can print on different materials and use the adjustable screen and its user-friendly joystick to get accurate results. In short, it’s ideal for people new to heat and screen printing.
Since it’s the best screen printing machine for beginners, it’s no surprise you’ll find the press easy to use. On that note, the screen frame clamp proves useful and allows you to secure the screen depending on the type of substrate. You’ll even find a metal plate under the clamp, which ensures you can set the height accurately.
Then with the handgrip, it’s possible to move the screen frame horizontally to a maximum distance of 5.5 inches, provided that the frame isn’t more than 23.6 inches. You need to use the handgrip with the lever mechanism to lift the screen frame and hook it securely. This will allow you to adjust it up to 30-45 degrees for the best image results.
The best part is that you can use this screen printing kit to print over various substrates, such as bags, non-woven materials, and pillowcases. All you need to do is change or remove the pallet based on the printing technique, and you’re good to go.
The package doesn’t come with mounting brackets, and you’ll have a tough time putting a large number of different parts together. Most consumers agree that installation is a hassle and that the user manual needs to have better instructions. But the good news is that it’s easy to use once you assemble the press.
What We Like
- Highly flexible and easy to use
- Stable screen and accurate results
- One color and one station
- Suitable for a small business
What We Don’t Like
Since it’s from the same brand, this press is quite similar to our previous model, but it’s among the latest screen printers. Best of all is that it’s available at a very reasonable price and you can use the t-shirt pallet for creating attractive and precise designs.
The most noticeable about this model is that it’s ideal for single-color t-shirt printing whether you own a small business or pursue a hobby. Irrespective of the use case, the manufacturers have learned from customers’ experiences and provided brackets so that you can attach the platen to the printing press.
You’ll find that all the parts, including the pallet and the screen frames, are adjustable. The former goes back and forth at least 10 cm while the latter can move up and down up to 5 cm. And further adding to the convenience is the durable design, as it has a rust-proof and heavy-duty construction.
Thanks to the premium-quality steel plate, you can enjoy electrostatic spraying to print over an area of 22 x 18 inches. Moreover, it doesn’t take much time to assemble the press since it comes with most accessories. There are dual springs to maintain the tension and balance the screen, while the hand tools provide greater convenience.
It doesn’t come with screen frames, and you’ll have to purchase them separately. While this isn’t a major drawback, you’ll have to buy units compatible with the screen clamps and pallet for easy adjustment. Another thing to note is that this screen printing machine is slightly heavy and not very portable.
What We Like
- Easy assembly
- Durable build quality
- Stable spring system
- Large printing area
What We Don’t Like
One of the most versatile units on the market is the Techtongda screen printing machine, suitable for advanced users. As you may have guessed, it’s equipped for printing on conical and cylindrical products, not to forget flat surfaces. For that, you’ll find three different holders to hold the items securely.
The most noticeable thing about this press is the clarity of the prints because it can keep printing multiple colors continuously, thanks to the dual posts. These posts secure the various items and ensure that you won’t have to make frequent adjustments even when replacing different objects.
We found that the mainframe has a thickness of 1.6 inches and measures 10 x 18 inches for smooth printing. You can adjust the sliding distance of the screen, and with the locking rings, it’s possible to fix it in a suitable position. Consumers can also change the height of the screen and use the holders to hold both conical and cylindrical items.
Based on the weight of the screen, the gravity plates prove useful for tilting the screen to the correct angle and keeping it from falling. This ensures that it remains stable while printing intricate patterns.
We feel that it’s slightly challenging to use this screen printing machine, especially for beginners and it’s best operated when you have another person to help you. It will take time to get accustomed to the functions, but it’s not something impossible at the end of the day, even though a simpler unit would’ve been better.
What We Like
- Can print on flat, conical, and cylindrical surfaces
- 2 locking rings and double holders
- Repeated printing
- Gravity balance plates for smooth screen adjustments
What We Don’t Like
Best Screen Printing Machines Comparison Tables
|Product||Type of Machine||Number of Colors||Maximum Printing Size||Suitable Substrates||Adjustable Printing Speed||Automatic Ink Squeegee System|
|Vevor Silk Screen Printing Machine||Flat Screen Printing Machine||4||17.7 x 21.7 in||Fabric, Metal, Plastic, etc.||Yes||Yes|
|Commercial Bargains Inc. Single Color Station||Flat Screen Printing Machine||1||16 x 20 in||Fabric, Metal, Plastic, etc.||No||No|
|Intbuying Silk Screen Printing Machine||Flat Screen Printing Machine||1||Not specified||T-shirts and other fabric materials||No||No|
|Intbuying T-Shirt Screen Printing Machine||Flat Screen Printing Machine||1||16 x 20 in||T-shirts and other fabric materials||No||No|
|Techtongda Cylindrical Screen Printing Machine||Cylindrical Screen Printing Machine||1||3.15 in diameter||Cylindrical objects such as cups, bottles, etc.||Yes||No|
Screen Printing Machine Buying Guide for Choosing the Perfect Printer
After going through our reviews of the best screen printing machines, you’re likely to feel that you can make an informed decision. Although that’s not entirely untrue, you need to gather more information to choose the best screen printing machine among the many options available out there.
That’s where this buyer’s guide comes in handy, as it discusses the key features of the top models to help distinguish them from cheap products. These are the same points we used to make this guide, and we have also included an FAQ section about screen printing machines to clear any doubts you might have.
A. Screen Printer Durability
Now that you have gone through the faqs, we will tell you about the important factors to consider before purchasing, starting with durability. If you recall, all the models on this list feature sturdy metal construction, with various components made of stainless steel. This ensures that a printer should last for several years with regular maintenance.
It should also be easy to repair when the time comes, but most importantly, the machine should withstand the high volume of printing. And make sure that it’s resistant to ink splashes, so it doesn’t deteriorate anytime soon.
As with most machines, regular maintenance is key for ensuring that it won’t break down easily so that you get your money’s worth. And a crucial part of maintenance is the warranty of any screen printer to fix any issues that may crop up quickly.
Some brands offer a lifetime warranty and guarantee customer satisfaction, and you won’t need to worry about expensive repairs. But to prevent issues in the first place, it would be best to clear out a dedicated space for printing and clean the machine regularly.
There are many commercial printer cleaners available online that will prove quite handy.
The next thing you should consider is the size of the product based on the scale of the business. Are you printing professionally, or do you own a small business? In the former instance, you’ll need heavy-duty models that can deliver multiple color prints quickly.
But for small-scale projects, there’s no need to spend big bucks on a unit for advanced users. You can opt for a smaller unit that doesn’t require too much space and is easier to store while offering greater portability due to its lightweight design.
Also, before the package arrives, ensure that you clear out a suitable space to place the printer, leaving sufficient room on each side.
D. Screen Printing Machine Ease Of Use
Most screen printers are easy to use, and you just need to follow the instructions to get the desired results. Even then, some models are more suitable for advanced users, and beginners may have trouble getting to grips with the functions.
A good way to determine how the unit performs is to check customer reviews and note people’s experiences. You can even look at online videos explaining the various installation stages right up to printing.
We have seen machines that print multiple colors and usually have a rotational design. Also, the manufacturers should provide an easy-to-follow instruction manual for smooth printing.
E. Printing Machine Versatility
To get the best results while screen printing, it’s essential to opt for a versatile model that can print on various fabrics. There are other printable substrates, including wood, glass, ceramic, conical, and cylindrical surfaces, paper, circuit boards, and copybooks.
Some models have a single color and station, and you get one solid color for printing the shirt. But for more creative ventures, the market has products that print multiple colors, such as eight-color, four-color, or six-color printers.
Adding to the versatility is the presence of adjustable features, like screen plates, clamps, holders, and a removable pallet.
F. Screen Printing Machine Cost
If you find a model that satisfies the above criteria, the last thing to check is the price of the product. There are low-end and high-end screen printers with prices ranging from $100 to $300.
Keeping aside your budget, you need to determine the scale of the business venture to invest in a suitable unit. When you have to handle large-scale printing projects, it will help to buy a slightly pricey unit with more features. Similarly, a machine that beginners can operate should be good enough for a small enterprise.
All things considered, never compromise on quality, even if you have to spend a little extra to buy a screen-printer. This will deliver better results in the long run.
What kind of machine is used for screen printing?
There are various machines for screen printing, and it all comes down to the type of finish you wish to accomplish. We have found both manual and automatic machines, and even though using the latter might seem more convenient, some people like to be physically involved in the printing process.
You’ll also find table-top machines that offer more stability, while multipurpose machines are good for all printing methods, including rotary, flatbed, and cylindrical. You’ll have to purchase extra components in some cases, so look for models with an exposure unit, flash dryer, emulsion sheet, etc.
Is screen printing from home profitable?
Screen printing from home can be profitable, provided you’re ready to bear the initial expense of starting a business. It’s crucial to be patient and focus on the initial investment, develop a long-term business plan, and never lose motivation.
If you keep at it, it’s possible to make $1,00,000 a year or even $3,500 a day, provided the initial investment was $900-$1,000. People who are printing professionally can expect a profit of around $500 each month which can keep rising based on the quality of the work.
Is it cheaper to do your own screen printing?
Yes, it can prove cheaper to do your own screen printing, provided that you know the exact process and are ready to put in the effort. Apart from the small initial investment, you can learn about DIY screen-making with wooden or aluminum frames when you don’t have much money to spend.
DIY screen printing can be great for making branded items without spending a fortune. You’ll eventually break even but remember to use a high dpi screen for greater clarity. Also, you can ask someone to assist you while pulling the squeegee to get an even finish.
Can screen printing wash off surfaces?
Whether a screen printing will wash off depends on your level of proficiency. We have seen that professionals who heat press the fabric and use heat-treated washable ink guarantee that the color won’t fade.
The best part is that premium-quality screen prints last the lifetime of the shirt since the ink merges with the fabric and doesn’t sit on top of it.
It’s also important to let the ink cure properly to prevent cracking, fading, and washouts. You can use the latest gadgets to determine the temperature of the ink rather than simply relying on touch.
Will a machine always be able to give brightly colored printed fabrics?
There’s no guarantee that you’ll always get brightly colored printed fabrics as it depends on the quality of the material and other factors. One of the best ways to ensure that the t-shirts have a vibrant color is to opt for pigment printing compared to dye printing.
The former comprises a solid color dissolved in liquid, while pigment printing consists of tiny color particles suspended in a liquid. You can print on different fabrics, but the finishing techniques are complex.
Once you understand how it works, it’s convenient to print faster and at affordable prices without compromising the quality of the shirts.
What are the things to check in a screen printing machine when it arrives?
When the package arrives, you need to check for some basic stuff before printing, such as:
In some cases, you’ll have to purchase extra items for the best screen printing experience, like a spatula, digital thermometer, scrub brushes, and platen adhesive. And ensure that it has all the components for installation, including mounting brackets, as some companies leave them out.
It will also help if you check the heat press, conveyor dryer, or flash dryer so that the ink cures well. Most brands prefer conveyor dryers to deliver multiple prints since flash dryers are affected by the temperature conditions.
Can you assemble the product at home?
It’s possible to assemble screen printers at home, but you may need help at times. Once you open the package, read the user manual to make sure all the components are in the box, or you’ll have to call customer care to raise an issue.
Then read the instructions carefully to see whether you can understand the different steps. If not, you can always turn to YouTube to search for the assembly procedure of that particular model.
Many companies include an installation DVD with the package for quick assembly to save you the hassle.
Screen printing machines offer artists and businesses the ability to create customized designs on various materials, bringing their unique ideas to life. The market offers a diverse range of machines to cater to different needs, from single-color tabletop models to large multi-color commercial units. Selecting the right screen printing machine depends on factors such as the desired print size, material, and color options.
Out of these 5 screen printing machines, here are the top three expert recommendations. The Vevor Silk Screen Printing Machine is an ideal option for those looking for a durable, easy-to-clean model, offering four color options for versatile design possibilities. This machine takes up minimal space and is designed to prevent rusting, ensuring long-lasting performance.
The Commercial Bargains Inc. Single Color Station is a good option for artists who prefer simple, elegant designs or need precise pattern creation. This single-color printing machine features a dedicated pallet for accuracy and a portable, easy-to-use design.
Lastly, the Intbuying Silk Screen Printing Machine is the right choice for beginners entering the world of screen printing. With one color station for premium-quality prints, this machine enables users to print on various materials, adjust the screen as needed, and control the printing process with its user-friendly joystick.
While each of these top three screen printing machines excels in different aspects, they all guarantee quality results and user satisfaction. With the perfect screen printing machine in your corner, you can express your creativity and bring your unique designs to life.