Have you been looking for a printer that can efficiently transfer dye using heat onto different materials such as fabric or plastic? Then what you need is a good sublimation printer.
Sublimation is often used in the making of t-shirts, ID cards, and photo printing. You need the right type of printer for sublimation to get the job done properly.
As is so often the case, not all printers will do well for sublimation work. Here is a review of the best sublimation ready printers in the market for your consideration.
Epson Workforce WF-7710
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Canon Selphy CP1300
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Epson Stylus C88+
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HP OfficeJet 9025
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Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
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Epson Workforce WF-7210
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Epson SureColor T5170
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Epson Workforce WF-7710 – Low Power Consumption Option
Let’s be honest, most businesses and people look for ways to save money on overhead costs. So, if you can find a machine, say a printer that can perform multiple purposes for a reasonable price, then you should grab that opportunity with both hands. That is exactly what this Epson Workforce WF-7710 offers you. This is not only a sublimation printer but also a regular printer as well as a document scanner.
This printer supports the use of sublimation ink on thick print material (up to 13×19 inches) and has double-sided printing capabilities. Apart from that, it uses up to 80% less power than most sublimation printers, has a 250-sheet capacity tray as well as a rear feed that can take on different types of printing material. When you are not printing and scanning your regular office documents, then you are doing a little sublimation printing on the side.
This is the kind of printer you get when you want something that is an all-in-one printer that can take on your regular office printing jobs as well as sublimation printing.
- Uses 80% less power
- It’s a multipurpose printer that supports sublimation ink as well as regular printing
- Has an easy to use touchscreen
- Works with various printing materials
- The cartridges can be quite difficult to align
- Tends to use too much ink during wider projects
Mitsubishi CP-D90DW – Feature-rich Option
The Mitsubishi CP-D90DW is a feature-rich sublimation printer option that makes it one of the best overall sublimation printers on this list. One of its biggest selling points is speed. While sublimation printers tend to be slow, this machine is just a tad faster, all the while printing at a reasonable 300 dots-per-inch (dpi).
While that isn’t a world-class resolution, it is adequate and very suitable for a vast majority of users. With a 256 color gradation, this printer allows to recreate up to 16.7 million colors, which very much gives you endless printing possibilities. Couple that with a large paper size selection, and you have a wonderful, feature-rich sublimation printer.
- It is much faster than most sublimation printers
- Has 256 color degradation
- Very easy to set up and use
- Prints at 300 dpi which isn’t a very high resolution but adequate
Canon Selphy CP1300 – Wireless Compact Sublimation Printer
Granted, Canon is a brand that is well known for its camera production prowess, and as such, you would expect them to transfer that meticulous care onto their sublimation printers as well. Which they have – this Canon Selphy CP1300 is a beautiful machine. Designed with a sleek look and portability in mind, this printer focuses on producing excellent high-quality photo prints. These photos are fully dry and water-resistant too.
Apart from being sleek and portable, this printer has a host of connectivity options and pairs well with your smartphone, tablet, camera memory card, and USB. The tilting 3.2-inch LCD screen, as well as the control buttons on top of the printer, make it very user-friendly.
This is something sleek and highly portable. It is the kind of printer that a professional photographer would appreciate for the price.
- Extremely user-friendly
- Produces high-quality photo prints that are dry and water-resistant
- Works with a host of paper sized including postcards
- There is an Instagram print feature on the printer that isn’t always aligned that well
Epson Stylus C88+ – Best Small Business Sublimation Printer
Granted, the Epson Stylus C88+ sublimation printer was designed for typical home use, but it can work for small businesses that do not have heavy printing needs. With a small body, this printer has the capability of producing high-resolution prints at 5760×1440 dpi. That makes it one of the best sublimation printers for people who want something small and compact yet powerful enough to give them high-resolution results.
However, it’s not just about the size; this printer offers you a host of convenience features that make it a joy to use. It comes with parallel ports and USB options for easy connectivity. It is easy enough to install and update as required. Furthermore, it comes with a photo editing software that is a breeze to use and allows you to produce excellent designs for your sublimation printing. Producing 42 dB(A) of sound, this printer won’t be that much of a distraction in any office setting.
Do you have a small home office with minimal sublimation printing needs? Have you been looking for a sublimation printer that gives you excellent quality print jobs at a fair price? This is the sublimation printer for you.
- Works well with every type of printing materials including airmail paper
- Does a good job of producing smudge resistant surfaces which makes transferring a breeze
- Prints at a reasonably high-resolution
- Doesn’t go well with cheap third party ink cartridges which can make running it a bit pricey
HP OfficeJet 9025 – The Best Self-Healing Wi-Fi Printer
Every printer worth its salts connects to your Wi-Fi connection nowadays. Despite that being an extreme convenience as far as usability and efficiency are concerned, it can also be a little problematic, especially when the printer and Wi-Fi pairing develops an issue. That is what sets this HP OfficeJet 9025 apart from the rest of the competition. It has self-healing Wi-Fi capabilities, which renders this problem null and void.
This means that you can easily print your projects from the cloud network without worrying about a breakdown in communication with the printer. It also has an added Wi-Fi security, which ensures that your documents are protected.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the printer has a dual paper tray, which allows it to hold up to 500-sheets of printing material, which is quite a feat. Couple all that with fast scanning speeds, and you have a sublimation printer that is well suited for a small office setting.
If you have been looking for a high capacity sublimation printer that scans at reasonably high speeds and has a high capacity dual tray, then this is the machine for you.
- High capacity dual paper tray
- Relatively high scanning speeds of 8 ipm
- A colored display screen that makes it very user-friendly
- It has a smaller capacity output tray that can only handle about 100 sheets at a time
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Best for Wide Format Printing
This is the kind of sublimation printer you want to get when you are looking to get wider images produced using thick fabrics. The Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 has the ability to produce beautiful borderless prints that go up to 13×19 inches in size. Couple that with the fact that it has the six-color ink feature, which gives you the ability to produce far more distinct color mixes, and you have a printer that can match your style as well as work with almost any fabric you want to use.
As far as functionality is concerned, this printer comes with a 2.4-inch LCD screen (color) that has intuitive controls making it very easy to use. It also features a simple and compact design that is rather efficient. It has a 50-sheet rear tray that allows for specialty media, which includes things like cardstock as well as a wide variety of borderless paper material. It also supports auto 2 sided printing and has a 200 –sheet front tray.
This is an excellent sublimation printer that works well with thick printing material. It is easy to use and generally very compact as well as efficient.
- Offers draft mode reviews for your designs and images
- It is compact and efficient
- Can easily handle materials that are up to 23mm thick
- Only works with Epson ink
- The ink screen tends to get rather dirty
Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S – Best Photo Booth Sublimation Printer
The very first feature of note in this impressive Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S is the fact that it can carry out a two print format on one media printing. This means that you can easily produce two different print sizes from just one media, thus saving you quite a bit of time.
Other than that, the printer does a good job of producing high-resolution printouts (300 dpi). Furthermore, it has a standby function that helps you save up to 96% of your power consumption. It does this by incorporating a power-saving mode whenever the machine is not in use.
One of the many different finishes that this printer offers is “matte” finish, which is a much duller finish that is closer to satin. This kind of finish doesn’t reflect light and is preferred by many professional photographs for the beautiful look that it offers. Couple all that with a 1-year warranty from Mitsubishi, and you have a sublimation printer worth consideration.
If you are thinking of opening up a photo booth or going into photography at a professional level, then this is the sublimation printer you should consider buying.
- Several different finishes on offer including matte finish
- Power-saving standby mode that saves up to 96% power consumption
- 1-year warranty
- The printer is a bit technical and therefore not very suitable for beginners
Epson Workforce WF-7210 – Best Heat Transfer Printer
The Epson Workforce WF-7210 is a sublimation printer that can handle a wide variety of intermediary fabric, including cotton-based surfaces. It has Wi-Fi Direct as well as Ethernet connectivity capabilities and pairs well with a wide variety of cellphones plus computers within the same network. This gives you the added convenience of being able to print directly from your handheld devices.
It also has an automatic two-sided scanner that can take up to 11×17 inches of paper and scan rather quickly. With the 2.2-inch LCD screen, this printer is easy to use and an excellent addition to any office setting where professional-grade print jobs are a necessity.
This is a printer that works well with a wide variety of intermediary material. The ability to pair with all mobile operating systems make it easy to use and gives an efficiency edge that most other printers don’t offer.
- Pairs well with handheld devices
- Works with all mobile operating systems
- It has a 500-sheet capacity tray with an easy access output tray
- Set up may require additional software installations
Epson SureColor T5170 – Best Large-Format Sublimation Printer
The Epson SureColor T5170 is an incredibly fast machine with the capability of printing accurate A1/D-size prints in just 31 seconds. With its compact design, this machine is a wonderful addition to any office setting, as it leaves a very small footprint, all the while enhancing your workspace with its efficiency.
Moreover, it is very easy to operate. Using the 4.3-inch LCD color touchscreen, your printing tasks can now be intuitively set up without much complication. It even offers you easy connectivity through Wireless Direct which means you can print from pretty much anywhere within the office network.
As far a technical capabilities go, this printer is up there with the best of them. It has the ability to handle large-format printing as it can use print media of up to 11×17 inches in size and offers you a maximum resolution of 2400×1200 dpi while at it.
This is the printer you want in your office if you are all about high resolution, large-format prints. It is easy to use and allows you to connect to it from anywhere in the office.
- Perfectly capable of handling large-format printing
- Produces a maximum resolution of 2400×1200 dpi
- Easy to use
- It’s a bit pricey
Kodak Dock – Best Compact Photo Printer
The very first thing that should be mentioned is that the Kodak Dock is the smallest sublimation printer on this list. It’s so compact that it qualifies as a personal printer for people who want to produce their own high-quality photos at home from their mobile devices. That being said, this printer packs quite a punch for its size.
With one-touch printing capabilities, all you have to do is dock your iPhone (it also includes an Android dock pin) and print your images directly from your phone. It can give you standard 4×6 inch photos in amazingly brilliant color and exceptionally stunning detail. It features a D2T2 Thermal Transfer Technology that doesn’t bleed or even fade.
Furthermore, it offers you maximum device compatibility as the dock features five-pin USB hosts for Android, iPhone, digital cameras, iPad, and a memory stick. You can even use the simultaneous charging feature to power up to two devices at the same time. The printer even has a free companion app that allows for filters, card templates, stickers, and so much more.
Do you want to save the pictures you take with your cellphone on hard copies as well as in the cloud? If so, this is the perfect sublimation printer to have at home. You can easily print your favorite photos using it’s one-touch printing feature.
- Easy one-touch printing
- Simultaneous charging
- Maximum device compatibility
- Not big enough for office settings but excellent for home use
Sublimation Printers Buying Guide
Whether you are new to sublimation printing or are a veteran in the field, there are several frequently asked questions that can often help you make the right choice when it comes to buying the best sublimation printer. Here are some sublimation printer FAQs to help clarify a few things:
What products are best for sublimation?
You can sublimate on a variety of products and materials including hardwood, cotton fabric, ceramic, glass cutting boards, special types of plastics as well as polyester garments.
Which is better, an Epson or a Sawgrass sublimation printer?
The answer to this question is, “it depends.” The logic behind choosing a sublimation printer is to find one that works for your specific needs. While both brands have an outstanding track record when it comes to the production of sublimation printers, the truth is that Sawgrass sublimation printers tend to be a bit more expensive, but they are also made specifically for sublimation which gives them some kind of edge in the market. Epson printers are quite capable and a little cheaper. So it all comes down to what you want the printer to do and how much you have to spend on buying one.
Apart from a dedicated sublimation printer, what else will I need to go into the sublimation business?
Let’s start by first saying that if you intend to go into the sublimation business full time, then you will need an excellent sublimation printer that can handle the volume without running up the energy and ink bills too high. There are several printers on this list that can do that very well. Apart from that, you will also need a reliable heat-press, a computer, or a tablet where you can do your designing, sublimation paper, Adhesive sublimation spray, parchment paper, butcher paper, and Teflon sheets as well as pillows.
What’s the best overall graphic design software for excellent sublimation?
Technically speaking, you can use Photoshop or Corel Draw, but the learning curve on this software can be huge and frustrating. The beauty of sublimation is that it doesn’t lock you in on any specific design software. So if you already have specific software that you know how to use, then you are better off sticking with that one for a start. You can slowly learn how to use Corel Draw and Photoshop as you get more advanced in your sublimation process.
Sublimation can be a lot of fun if you have the right tools and skillset for it. As far as tools go, having the best printer for sublimation is one of the best ways to get started in the right direction. All the printers on this list can get the job done well. It is all about what you need it to do and how much you want to spend on one.