What type of heat press is ideal for a small work space?
The clam style heat press is the most popular on the market. This model has a hinge between the upper and lower platen and opens like a clamshell. This type is ideal when space is limited. They come in a variety of sizes. The most common are 16” X 20”, 16” X 16”, and 11” X 15”. Which size you need depends on what types of products you will decorate.
There are solely manual clamshells where the operator must physically pull down the handle to activate the press and then release it and lift it up when the time is finished. A semi-automatic style is called an auto pop up. Once the correct dwell time has expired, the top platen pops up, and the substrate is removed. The auto pop up eliminates the possibility of someone forgetting to release the top platen once the job is done and cooking the shirt.
One of the newest innovations in clamshell heat presses is the availability of a heated bottom platen. Bottom platen heat allows for a lower application temperature on the top platen, which can reduce scorching on heat-sensitive fabrics like polyester and performance wear. It also helps melt adhesive from the bottom, reducing production time.