While shopping for a quality heat press for your printing business, you may come across machines equipped with auto-open functionality. If you’re not well acquainted with different types of heat press, you may not be aware of this unique feature. However, most of the professional printers and designers know that only the clamshell-style heat presses feature the auto-open system.
So what exactly is an auto-open heat press machine? How can you benefit from using a heat press that comes with this feature? Are what the drawbacks of the auto-open technique are, if any? Is a heat press integrated with this feature indispensable for your business, or can you manage with a manually operated machine?
We will try to answer these questions in this review on popular auto-open heat press machines in the best possible manner.
What exactly is an auto-open heat press?
An auto-open heat-press, as the name indicates, is a machine whose heat platen opens automatically when the timer goes off. This feature is available only in digital heat presses, and that too exclusively in clamshell-style heat press machines. When you set the time or the duration for which the heat transfer process will continue, the timer goes off after the expiry of the time interval.
And the moment the timer sounds the alarm, a heat press featuring auto-open functionality will open up on its own. A digital heat press machine tends to be quite expensive just because it comes equipped with the auto-open functionality.
Differentiating between fully auto open and semi-auto heat presses
A fully automatic or automatic heat press opens when the timer goes off and closes when you press a knob. On the other hand, a semi-auto heat press opens up automatically with the beeping of the timer but has to be closed manually. Another significant advantage of using an automatic heat press is that it is also capable of programming the pressure level.
The fully automatic heat press adjusts and sets the pressure mechanically that is suitable for the substrate. So the machine programs the appropriate pressure level each time you place a different or new substrate (the material or fabric). Fully automatic heat presses happen to be way more costly than the semi-auto heat presses.
Automatic heat press machines are, by and large, designed and manufactured for large-scale commercial businesses or industrial units. You’ll need to invest separately for an air compressor to operate a fully automatic heat press.
Auto-opening feature is exclusive to clamshell-type heat presses
Talking about the different types of heat press machines, there are three distinct styles-swing-away, draw out, and clamshell heat presses. When it comes to equipping heat presses with the auto-open mechanism, only the clamshell type can accommodate the feature, thanks to its distinctive design. Clamshell heat presses tend to be relatively compact, compared to the swing-away or the pull-out style, and convenient to use.
Benefits and drawbacks of auto-open mechanism
- Frees you from the worry of having to open and close the machine
- You can focus on how to complete your project quickly and effectively
- Chances of heat transfer material getting overheated or scorched are minimal
- You’ll have to make less effort to complete heat transfers in bulk
- Auto open heat presses, especially the automatic ones are costly
- Your investments would go down the drain if an extended warranty does not cover your machine
- You’ll not have the option of choosing a swing-away or draw-out style machine
Product Reviews of The Besy Auto Open Heat Press Machines
The 16” x 20” Auto Open Heat Press Machine from Ving is one of the best clamshell-style heat presses out there. You can make optimum use of this auto-open clamshell heat press for transferring your personalized and standardized designs on t-shirts, tops, mousepads, pillowcases, and so on. The auto-open mechanism ensures that your heat transfer materials like t-shirts and jigsaw puzzles, remain protected from scorching or overheating.
The upper or the top plate of the machine goes up on its own when the timer alarm goes off. So you don’t need to worry about when the machine will be ready for heat transfer, thereby offering you peace of mind. This Ving auto-open heat press machine makes optimum use of superior air springs for delivering precision transfers on different flat surfaces.
- Premium quality auto-open heat press: CE certified
- Compact design: takes up minimal installation space
- 16” x 20” upper heat platen coated with Teflon
- Electronic timer and temperature controllers
- Magnetic auto open and lockdown feature ensures easy and safe operation
- Focal pressure control
- Can be used conveniently by professional as well as novices
- Ideal for passing on images and graphics on t-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, and pillowcases
- At 66 pounds, the heat press is quite hefty
- The magnetic auto open and lockdown feature may not always function
If you’re looking for a versatile auto-open heat press for your commercial printing unit, then you can bank on the STAHLS Hotronix Auto Open Clam 16” x 20” Heat Press. Digital controls, auto-open mechanism, and magnetically aided lockdown are some exclusive features of this heat press that you exploit optimally. Also, this upgraded auto-open clamshell heat press features the unique Lightning Latch, which enables you to replace the lower plate in a jiffy.
Furthermore, this Hotronix clamshell opens up widely, facilitating easy layout of the substrate, proprietary magnetic auto open, auto-sleep mode, and so on. You’ll find the signature over-the-center pressure adjustable twin-timer (for setting two distinct times) also quite helpful. Other significant attributes of this Hotronix auto-open heat press include HRPO laser-cut steel framework, LED display of digital time,
- Comes with Lightning Latch feature
- Digital timer and temperature controls
- The center-over pressure adjustment knob
- Auto-open system
- Auto sleep mode
- ROHS/CE/ULC/UL certified
- Lifetime warranty on heat plates
- Space-saving design
- Auto-reset timer
- Integrated pressure sensor
- Heavy-duty scratch-resistant Teflon coated top platen
- The caps to keep the bolts in position are flimsy
- Very expensive
The Cap Heat Press Auto Open Heat Transfer Press from Hotronix is ideal for small-scale printing startups and novice designers. You’ll hardly need any effort to make the most of this digital heat-press, thanks to auto-open and magnetic assist lockdown features. The two-stage time and temperature settings, together with the digital display, ensure precise programming for optimal heat transfer without any chance of error.
The ergonomic design of this Hotronix heat press guarantees that the machine will remain steady while you work on it. On the other hand, the machine’s innovative design also ensures that you’ll be able to shift it from one place to another without much difficulty. The cast-in tubular heating element and the proprietary over-the-center pressure adjustment system makes this auto-open heat press machine extremely performance-driven.
- Compact design and quite portable
- Two-stage time and temperature settings
- Center-over pressure adjustment
- Ergonomic design facilitates stable positioning
- Five-year warranty on framework and casing
- Lifetime warranty and technical support on heating elements
- Compact profile ideal for small-scale business units
- Auto-open and assisted magnetic lockdown features means you need to give minimal efforts
- Digital time and temperature controls
- Hold-down caps may wear away soon exposing the bolts
Very few heat presses can match up to the HPN 16” x 20” High-Pressure Heat Press Machine in terms of craftsmanship and performance. This heat press is an out and the out commercial-grade machine that allows you to —. The powerful clamp mechanism ensures increased leverage and torque with minimal effort.
This heat press furnishes thorough uninterrupted even pressure and heating. Top class digital temperature and timer controls ensure precision readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. The HPN heat press comes handy for nearly every kind of heat press job, including vinyl prints, rhinestones, and heat transfer images onto flat surfaces.
- Full-scale heating coils for uniform and quicker heat transfer
- Automatic digital timer and temperature controls
- Suitable for both domestic and commercial settings
- Temperature range: 0°F-550°F
- Excellent customer support and extended warranty on components
- Hardwearing clamp mechanism offers enhanced torque and leverage with less effort
- Accurate readings in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit scales; digital controls
- Large 16” x 20” heat platen surface area
- Non-stick layer on platen checks overheating
- Weighing 92 pounds, this heat press is quite heavy
The Heat Press DK20 16” x 20” from Geo Knight opens up automatically, allowing thorough access to the bottom plate. Additionally, the upper heat platen rises up and away from the lower plate, thereby offering more access compared to other clamshell-style presses. You can easily replace the bottom plate with another smaller one for completing different kinds of heat transfer projects.
This Geo Knight Heat press machine is what you need if you have a small-scale printing or designing business. The “pop-up” upgrade allows you to transform your DK20 heat press into a fully automatic one.
- Ready heating indicator
- Displays temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit units
- Indicators for auto-open, timing, and closure
- Replaceable bottom plate
- Automatic digital pre-press timer
- Full-scale digital temperature control: 32°F-600°F
- Digital pressure bar graph
- Dual pre-press timer
- Automatic electronic timer
- High-pressure capacity
- Robust steel framework
- Using the heat press calls for having some previous experience
- The manufacturer does not state the warranty period
So, there you are-five of the best auto-open heat presses that can make your day-to-day work more convenient and comfortable. Any auto-open heat press you choose from the above will go a long way in enabling you to save on efforts and time. And you’ll simply like to watch your machine open up automatically without your having to lift a finger.
The Geo Knight and the two Hotronix models will offer excellent value for money in case you decide to choose any one of these machines.