Top 7 Best Sublimation Printers for Heat Transfer: 2023 Guide

Top 7 Best Sublimation Printers for Heat Transfer: 2023 Guide

Unsatisfied with heat transfer quality or sublimation printers that don’t deliver vibrant, long-lasting prints? You’re not alone. The search for the ideal sublimation printer can be overwhelming, with numerous options available. Selecting the wrong printer can lead to wasted resources, disappointment, and frustration. However, there is a solution.

Our team of printing sublimation printing enthusiasts has conducted thorough research and testing to present an unbiased list of the best sublimation printers for heat transfer. This list comprises only high-performing printers that easily yield vibrant, durable prints. We’ve assessed each printer on features, durability, speed, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness, ensuring our list is accurate and reliable. With our comprehensive selection of top sublimation printers, you can confidently invest, saving time, money, and effort.

NOTE: The Epson printers mentioned in the list are inkjet printers that need to be converted for sublimation which voids the warranty. When converted for sublimation, the printers render high-quality prints ideal for heat transfer.

Comparison Table

Check out the provided table for a quick comparison of crucial aspects.

image product shop
9.8
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500
Sawgrass SG500
Editor’s Choice
Media Size: 8.5″ x 14″
Printing Speed: 100 ppm (Color)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
Size and Portability: 22 x 21.6 x 13.2 inches, 11 pounds
9.7
Epson Workforce 7710
Epson Workforce 7710
Best for t-Shirts
Media Size: 13″ x 19
Printing Speed: 10 ppm (Color), 18 ppm Monochrome
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB
Resolution: 4800 x 2400 dpi
Size and Portability: 32.2 x 22.3 x 13.4 inches, 40.8 pounds
9.6
Epson Artisan 1430
Epson Artisan 1430
Perfect for Cricut
Media Size: 13″ x 19″
Printing Speed: 2.8 ppm (Color), 2.8 ppm Monochrome
Connectivity: Wireless, Mobile, USB
Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
Size and Portability: 17.3 x 27.8 x 12.5 inches, 35.3 pounds
9.7
The EcoTank ET-2720
Epson EcoTank ET-2720
Best for Beginners
Media Size: 8.5″ x 14″
Printing Speed: 5 ppm (Color),10 ppm Monochrome
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Resolution: 5760 x 1440dpi
Size and Portability: 13.7 x 14.8 x 8.7 inches, 12.82 pounds
9.8
Epson WorkForce WF-7720
Epson WorkForce WF-7720
Best Affordable
Media Size: 13″ X 19″
Printing Speed: 10 ppm (Color), 18 ppm Monochrome
Connectivity: WiFi, USB, Ethernet
Resolution: 4800 x 2400 dpi
Size and Portability: 32.2 x 22.3 x 13.4 inches, 40.8 pounds
9.6
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000
Best for Small Business
Media Size: 11 x 17
Printing Speed: 19 ppm (Color)
Connectivity: WiFi, USB, Ethernet
Resolution: 4880×1200  dpi
Size and Portability: 21″x14,  25″x8. 5″inches38 pounds
9.7
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Epson Expression-15000
Best for Large Prints
Media Size: 13″ x 18″
Printing Speed: 20 ppm (Color), 20 ppm Monochrome
Connectivity: Wireless, Ethernet
Resolution: 4880×1200 dpi
Size and Portability: 18.7 x 30.9 x 16.2 inches, 18.7 pounds

Top Sublimation Printers for Heat Transfer

Below is the list of the best sublimation printers for heat transfer. Each product is specified for its area of expertise. So you can choose any printer according to your needs.

Let us get to review each printer without further ado.

1. Sawgrass SG500 – Editor’s Choice

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

Having tried and tested various sublimation printers, the Sawgrass SG500 stood out as the Editor’s Choice for the best heat transfer sublimation printer. This printer is a game-changer, and its ability to handle wide-format materials is just one of the many features that make it a cut above the rest.

This printer is perfect for business and personal use thanks to its affordability and ease of use. It is a great alternative to high-end units in the market today. With its SubliJet UHD 4-color ink set, the Sawgrass SG500 produces high-quality prints that are second to none. It works well on hard and soft surfaces like polyester and vinyl, making it a versatile tool for sublimation.

Although the printer’s proprietary cartridges and parts can only be purchased from Sawgrass, this is a small price to pay for the incredible capabilities it offers.

Highlighted Features

  • Low start-up and running costs for affordable customization.
  • Vibrant HD images for high-quality products that stand out.
  • Minimizes ink and power consumption for low per-image cost and maximum efficiency.
  • WiFi connectivity for even greater ease of use.
  • A 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution offers exceptional image clarity and detail, providing superior print quality.
  • The automatic maintenance cycle lets you print without any problems.
  • With a 2-year warranty and free tech support, you don’t have to worry about anything.
Pros
  • HD print quality
  • Accepts various wide-format materials
  • Free design software
  • 2 years full warranty + free support
Cons
  • Can be expensive on purchase

The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is an excellent investment for anyone looking for a reliable and efficient sublimation printer for their home or business.

2. Epson Workforce 7710 – Best for T-Shirts

Epson Workforce 7710

As someone who enjoys creating personalized T-shirts, I can confidently say that the Epson Workforce 7710 is the best printer for heat transfer. With its PrecisionCore technology, this all-in-one printer can produce high-quality and borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″ in size with precision and detail. Because of this, it is the ideal option for t-shirt printing.

The large 250-sheet paper tray with additional capacity for photo paper or envelopes is a convenient feature, allowing me to switch between different paper types easily. The 4.3-inch color touch screen also facilitates navigation and control of printer features.

Wireless printing and networking capabilities make printing a hassle-free experience, and the printer’s low power consumption makes it an eco-friendly choice. Moreover, the Epson Workforce 7710 can print on different materials, making it a versatile tool for all your printing needs.

Highlighted Features

  • All-in-one printer with print, scan, copy, and fax capabilities for versatile use.
  • PrecisionCore technology for creating borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″ in size with precision and detail.
  • Large 250-sheet paper tray with additional capacity for photo paper or envelopes for convenience and efficiency.
  • 4.3 color touch screen for simple navigation and easy control of printer functions.
  • Wireless printing capabilities for convenient printing.
  • Achieve remarkably sharp text, vibrant colors, and lifelike images with 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution.
Pros
  • Low power consumption
  • Accessible touchscreen
  • Effective print transfer under heat
  • Borderless printing
Cons
  • Migh consume more ink

The Epson Workforce 7710 is an excellent investment for anyone looking for a high-quality printer for heat transfer. Its borderless printing capabilities, accessible touchscreen, and ability to print on different surfaces make it the best choice for T-shirt printing.

3. Epson Artisan 1430 – Best for Tumblers

Epson Artisan 1430

As someone who has extensively used sublimation printers for tumbler printing, I can confidently say that the Epson Artisan 1430 is the best choice. This printer delivers professional-quality results with borderless, high-definition photo printing up to 13″ x 19″.

The wireless printing capabilities of the Epson Artisan 1430 allow for convenient printing from anywhere in the home or office. This feature is perfect for those who like to work on the go or have limited space in their workspace. CD/DVD printing is also convenient for easily creating custom discs.

This printer makes mobile printing and sharing from smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and other mobile devices easy. It does not require a computer, making it an excellent option for those who prefer a more streamlined printing process.

Highlighted Features

  • Borderless, high-definition photo printing up to 13″ x 19″ for professional-quality results.
  • Wireless printing with Wi-Fi for convenient printing from anywhere.
  • A 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution delivers outstanding image quality with strikingly accurate colors and sharp text.
  • CD/DVD printing for creating custom discs with ease.
  • Easy mobile printing and sharing from smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and other mobile devices without a computer.
Pros
  • Easy to operate
  • Borderless printing
  • Best quality, smooth, and sharp pictures
  • High resolution prints
Cons
  • Printing speed might be slow

The Epson Artisan 1430 printer is an excellent investment for anyone looking for a high-quality sublimation printer that delivers professional-grade results on tumblers.

4. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 – Best for Beginners

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the ideal printer for beginners in heat transfer printing. Its high-capacity ink tanks eliminate the need for tiny, expensive ink cartridges, and EcoFit ink bottles make filling the tanks easy and worry-free. This feature results in cost-effective printing and saves up to 90% on replacement ink compared to cartridges.

Read our step-by-step guide to learn converting ET-2720 for sublimation.

With EcoTank printers, there is zero cartridge waste, which reduces the amount of cartridge waste that ends up in landfills, promoting eco-friendliness. Additionally, the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is easy to convert for sublimation printing, produces speedy and high-quality prints, and features a built-in scanner and copier, making it a versatile tool for all your printing needs.

Furthermore, this printer is an affordable option, which makes it an excellent investment for beginners looking for a high-quality printer without breaking the bank.

Highlighted Features

  • High-capacity ink tanks for no more tiny, expensive ink cartridges and easy, worry-free filling with EcoFit ink bottles.
  • Ink bottles save up to 90% on replacing ink compared to cartridges for cost-effective printing.
  • Zero cartridge waste using EcoTank printers to limit the amount of cartridge waste.
  • 5760 x 1440 dpi allows for stunningly realistic photo reproductions and impressive graphics.
  • Connectivity through Wi-Fi offers the convenience of wireless printing from multiple devices.
Pros
  • Easy to convert for sublimation
  • Speedy printing
  • Built-in scanner and copier
  • Low cost
Cons
  • Limited media handling

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is an excellent choice for those seeking a cost-effective, eco-friendly printing solution. It delivers excellent value for its price and is the best choice for beginners in heat transfer printing.

5. Epson WorkForce WF-7720 – Best Affordable

Epson WorkForce WF-7720

The Epson WorkForce WF-7720 is an affordable printer low cost as the winning aspect. The printer uses up to 80% less power than color laser printers, making it an economical choice for those conscious of their electricity bills.

Because of its high-quality prints, the Epson WF-7720 is perfect for personal and business use. The printer’s Precision Core technology allows for faster and more precise printing, making it the perfect option for those who require high-quality prints with a fast turnaround time. The printer also boasts print-shop quality borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″, providing professional-grade results.

The WF-7720 also has an intuitive 4.3″ color touchscreen, making navigating and controlling printer functions a breeze. The printer’s ultimate wireless printing and networking capabilities allow for easy connectivity to various devices, making it an ideal choice for remote workers or those who frequently work on the go.

Highlighted Features

  • Performance beyond laser printing with Precision Core technology for faster, more precise printing.
  • Economical printing with up to 80% less power usage than color laser printers for cost savings.
  • High-volume printing with 500-sheet capacity, dual trays, rear feed for specialty paper, plus a 125-sheet output tray for fewer interruptions.
  • 35-page auto document feeder for faster, more efficient use.
  • Intuitive 4.3″ color touchscreen for simple printer navigation and easy control.
  • Ultimate wireless printing and networking capabilities.
  • A printing speed of 10 ppm enables efficient document production for personal and small business use.
Pros
  • High-resolution borderless printing
  • Budget-friendly
  • Touch display
Cons
  • Might not be durable

The Epson WorkForce WF-7720 is an impressive printer that offers exceptional performance at an affordable price. Its Precision Core technology, high-volume printing capabilities, and intuitive touch display make it an ideal choice for personal and professional use. Its cost-effectiveness and high-quality results make it a top contender in the printer market.

6. Sawgrass SG1000 – Best for Small Business

Sawgrass SG1000

The Sawgrass SG1000 is a top-of-the-line printer perfect for small businesses. Its ability to print high-quality designs on cotton and polyester shirts makes it versatile and economical. With its advanced Sublijet HD ink set and Chromablast ink, the SG1000 produces consistent, professional-level prints that will impress customers.

The SG1000 is designed with the needs of small businesses in mind. Its energy-efficient operation and improved resolution make it a cost-effective option, while its Wi-Fi connectivity ensures easy integration with other devices. The printer’s automated maintenance procedure ensures that it operates smoothly and without interruption, giving business owners peace of mind.

In addition, the SG1000 is covered by a 2-year warranty and unlimited technical assistance for the product’s life, making it a reliable choice for businesses that depend on high-quality printing capabilities.

Highlighted Features

  • Prints on media up to 11″x17″ with the standard tray or up to 13″x 51″.
  • Includes a sample of substrates and paper for easy start-up and experimentation.
  • More energy-efficient and higher resolution printing with WiFi connectivity for greater ease of use.
  • Works with a variety of operating systems for compatibility with various devices.
  • Expert Color Management Software, SawGrass Print Manager, for enhanced features and efficient color management.
  • Includes CreativeStudio Online Designer Software for added customization options.
  • 2-year product warranty and lifetime tech support for peace of mind.
  • A printing speed of 19 ppm for color documents ensures faster and more efficient production.
Pros
  • Free Sawgrass CreativeStudio Software
  • Self-maintenance cleaning
  • Low operating costs
  • 2 years full warranty + free support
Cons
  • Little expensive for those on a tight budget

The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000 is the best sublimation printer for small businesses, offering a perfect blend of quality, affordability, and ease of use. The Sawgrass SG1000 has a higher resolution and more energy-efficient design, offering improved print consistency and Wi-Fi connectivity.

7. Epson Expression 15000 – Best for Large Prints

Epson Expression 15000

The Epson Expression 15000 is the best printer for large prints and heat transfer with its impressive ultra-high resolution and color accuracy. It is an excellent choice for printing large images, including borderless images up to 13″ x 19″. The printer’s LCD allows for complete control over the printer, making it easy to use and access.

The Epson Expression 15000 is a versatile printer that can print on various materials, including mugs, canvas, and t-shirts, through heat transfer. It offers an impressive printing speed for color and black & white images, with easy access to a USB for direct printing.

With its exceptional color accuracy, wide-format printing capabilities, fast print speed, and high-quality printing, the Epson Expression 15000 is a reliable choice for professional projects. It’s a 200-sheet front tray and 50-sheet rear tray for specialty media, including cardstock, making it a convenient and efficient option for easily completing high-quality projects.

Highlighted Features

  • Excellent borderless prints measuring up to 13″ x 19″.
  • Accommodates a variety of paper finishes and borderless sizes for added versatility.
  • Front tray with 200 sheets for quick printing and less frequent paper refills.
  • Ultra-compact wide-format A3 plus printer for easy placement on a desk or workspace.
  • Features a 50-sheet back tray for specialty media, such as paper, making it simpler to finish professional projects with excellent results.
  • With a 20 ppm printing speed, you can enjoy enhanced productivity and reduced waiting times.
Pros
  • Exceptional color accuracy
  • Wide-format printing
  • Fast print speed
  • High-quality printing
Cons
  • Might cause paper jams with thick papers

The Epson Expression 15000 is great for large prints and heat transfer. Its ultra-high resolution, color accuracy, wide-format printing capabilities, and fast print speed make it a reliable choice for professional projects.

Conclusion

Finding the best sublimation printer for heat transfer can be a challenging task. Our comprehensive list of the top seven printers provides accurate and reliable information to help you make an informed decision.

The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is our top pick for its exceptional performance, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness. The Epson Workforce 7710 is an excellent option for printing on t-shirts, while the Epson Artisan 1430 is the best choice for tumblers. The Epson ET-2720 is perfect for beginners, offering high-quality prints at an affordable price. The Epson WF-7720 is the best affordable option with its precision core technology and high-volume printing capabilities.

The Sawgrass SG1000 is ideal for small businesses, and the Epson Expression 15000 is the best choice for large prints with its ultra-high resolution and color accuracy. Our list provides a range of options to suit different needs, ensuring that you can find the best sublimation printer for your heat transfer projects.

Buying Guide

Here are some important things to remember when looking for the best sublimation printer for heat transfer.

Speed

It’s essential to consider, especially when dealing with high-volume printing jobs. Faster printing reduces the time needed to complete a job, increasing productivity and efficiency. However, faster printing speeds can sometimes sacrifice print quality. When choosing a printer, consider the right balance between print speed and quality to ensure that your sublimation transfers are produced quickly and accurately.

Connectivity

When choosing a printer, consider the connectivity options available, such as USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Bluetooth. Wi-Fi connectivity is especially convenient, allowing you to print wirelessly from any device connected to the same network. Ethernet connectivity offers faster and more stable printing, while Bluetooth lets you print from your mobile device. Choosing a printer with suitable connectivity options ensures easy integration with your devices, making it convenient to print from anywhere.

When selecting a sublimation printer, look for one with high print quality, which can produce sharp and vivid images with accurate colors. The printer should also offer consistent ink saturation, preventing blotting or fading of the printed image. A printer with excellent print quality ensures that your sublimation transfers have a professional appearance and meet your color accuracy and image sharpness expectations.

Media Handling

Some printers can handle thicker media, such as fabric or vinyl, while others are more suitable for paper. Additionally, consider the printer’s maximum print size and ensure it can accommodate the media size you plan to use. Choosing a printer with suitable media handling capabilities ensures you can print on various materials for various applications.

Printer Size

It’s important to consider the printer size when choosing a sublimation printer, especially if you have a limited workspace. While having more features and capabilities, larger printers also occupy more space. Choosing a printer with suitable dimensions ensures it fits your workspace while meeting your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is sublimation heat transfer?

Heat transfer is the technique used to apply the sublimated dye onto the target material, such as fabric or ceramics. The heat turns the dye to gas, then bonds with the object’s surface to produce a long-lasting, vivid, and high-quality image.

What kind of ink is used in sublimation printing?

Specific sublimation inks containing dye particles are necessary to achieve sublimation printing. These inks are grounded and mixed into a liquid that can carry them without dissolving the particles. Inkjet printers utilize sublimation inks to print onto sublimation paper.

How does sublimation printing differ from other types of printing?

Instead of conventional inkjet or laser printing, sublimation printing employs heat to transfer colors onto materials. This results in more durable, vibrant, and fade-resistant images. Sublimation printing is ideal for customizing clothing, mugs, or phone cases.

Can I use an inkjet printer for sublimation?

Yes. Inkjet printers with piezo printing technology can be converted for sublimation. As with the Epson brand, converting the printer for sublimation voids the warranty.

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