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I know you have a lot of questions roaming in your head about dye-sublimation printers.
Is it good for the fabric?
Is it a better option than inject printers?
There are hundreds of models and thousands of features If you got lost in jargon and end up buying a model without any research you are screwed! It is a recipe for disaster.
Doing half-hour research can save you a ton of hours and thousands of dollars.
I spent hours on research and figuring out what is the best dye-sublimation prinrer. Let’s get started!
Best Sublimation Printers
|Printer Name||Tray Capacity||LCD Display||Price|
|1. Canon Wireless Compact||Wireless Compact||3.2 Inches|
|2. Epson Workforce WF-7710||Color Inkjet||4.3 Inches|
|3.. Epson Workforce WF 7210||Wide-format||2.2 Inches|
|4. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400||Sawgrass Sublijet||NA|
|5. Epson HD XP-15000||Color Wide-Format||2.4 Inches|
|6. Epson stylus C88+||Inkjet Printer||NA|
|7. Brother MFC-J995DW||Best All-in-One||2.7 Inches|
|8. HP OfficeJet Pro 9015||HP Instant Ink||2.6 Inches|
|9. HP OfficeJet 9025||2 Paper Trays||2.6 Inches|
|10. Epson Artison 1430||Wide-Format Inkjet||4.3 Inches|
If you are in a hurry, our comparison table can help you make a quick buying decision.
But if you have time to dig deeper into research and go into the nitty-gritty fo each product to see if it is worth spending the money based on your circumstances, read individual product reviews to get a good handle on what exactly you need how these feature means to end-user.
1. Canon Wireless Compact
- Framing personal photos of treasured...
- Built-in wireless (802.11b/g) connection...
- Compact photo printer creates photos up...
- Prints a 4" x 6" photo in approximately...
- Resolution of up to 300 x 300 dpi helps...
Besides being a top-notch camera manufacturer, Canon also has experience with making comely sublimation printers such as the Selphy CP1300. It is a portable, wireless image printer that can help you create collages through a party shuffle print.
This machine is particularly focused on producing high-quality images with a handy heat transfer setup.
Photos come out fully dry and water-resistant after being printed and can last up to 100 years. Best suitable for both daily use and on the go.
A printout can be readied through a smartphone as a USB connection on the printer.
This model is a pretty standard one as you can imagine from my headline.
You can also link the memory devices or memory card on your camera directly to the printer, which comes in handy when you require a printout to be ready as soon as possible.
This product is reviewed by Top-500 Amazon reviewer which is pretty good. This product is highly rated for photographers. So if you are printing out some photos, this is a great sublimation printing option.
You can always use AirPrint for printing or print through Instagram and Facebook with the Canon app. It has 2” x 6” photo booth layout prints or Party Shuffle.
This machine has an optional battery pack too. This is modern sublimation print technology that enables you to print in various sizes ranging from square label to L size, card size and postcard. It has a 3.2” tilt-up LCD.
2. Epson Workforce WF-7710
- Storage Dimensions: 22.3" W x 19.1" D x...
- Epson all-in-one printer can print,...
- PrecisionCore technology lets you create...
- 250-sheet paper tray can also hold up to...
- Automatic 2-sided print speeds of 8.7...
With a smart, convenient design, this option is of an indispensable nature for sublimation printer buyers.
This machine is powered by Precision Core and can produce shop quality borderless images up to 13” x 19” in size.
It has a versatile paper handling 250-sheet tray that provides you with enough capacity for more paper in printer for large tasks, thus limiting the need for you to halt your work to fetch more paper time and again. Seet tray is more than enough even for heavy users.
There is a rear feed port for any specialty paper forms that you might require as a medium for transferring the graphics onto a surface other than paper- fabrics, plastics, etc. and a 125 sheet output tray.
it can notif you are putting cardstock paper instead of heavy photo paper! Which is pretty neat actually.
Even though it can print on both papers, but if there are printers specifically designed for cardstock printing.
This model has a lot of paper settings you can play with. You can select priority paper you usually use to print and it will warn you if you are printing on wrong type of paper.
If you are buying this printer for home use and there are going to be more than one user, this feature can be pretty handy.
This is an automatic two-sided printer and scanner that assists you in reading documents in an efficient way where you can save paper and your time by printing more items on the same page.
The scanner can work on surfaces of up to 11” x 17”.
The Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet and NFC connections ensure the connectivity of the printer with the various items that you want to print off of.
It is very economical because it saves 80% more power as compared to other color printers.
One important thing to keep in mind before buying this sublimation printer is that it is made only for use with Epson cartridges. WF-7710 also allows 2-sided print, fax, copy, scan and has a 35-page auto document feeder.
With a 4.3-inch color easy-to-use touch screen, you can use this device from your smartphones and devices via Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet and NFC connections.
It comes with an instruction manual, a power cord, and 4x durable ultra ink cartridges of four colors.
Plus it comes with Amazon Dash Replenishment, which means you don’t have to worry about ink stock, It will automatically order it for you when you need it.
3. Epson Workforce WF 7210
“Best For Heat Transfer”
- Epson printing system is specifically...
- Get Performance Beyond Laser — the...
- Print shop quality color graphics and...
- Economical — uses upto 80 percent less...
- Never run out of ink again Printer...
One of the major positives of this sublimation printer (also powered by PrecisionCore) is that it can handle hefty volumes of intermediary fabric through a specialized paper tray that can handle several cotton-based surfaces.
It has the same high-quality printing as the Epson WorkForce WF-7710 and shares some of the most important features such as power-saving capacity and print-field sizes with it.
This model use dye-sublimation technology which goes without saying since you are reviewing looking for printers with dye-sub technology.
Other than the Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet connections that ensure connectivity of this printer to all the computers in your office, it also has the ability to be operated to print via a tablet or a smartphone.
It lets you print 13” x 19” attractive borderless images and shots for transfer use as well. Automatic, two-sided, 11” x 17” scanner only adds to the pros of this device.
One differentiating feature of this sublimation printer is dash replenishment, wherein the printer itself keeps track of your ink and reorders it when you are running low.
With a 500-sheet capacity, dual trays, output tray with a 125-sheet capacity and a rear feed for specialty paper, this machine is another indispensable option for the sublimation enthusiasts and users.
The only downside I can think of its the ability to only use only Epson use which can turn a lot of people off. It is like these big giant companies want to control everything from manufacturing to repair and refilling! You can’t do anything about it.
But you have to agree, Epson is one of the most famous brand for printers and they make fabulous printers which might need fewer repair calls so you can’t complain
This printer is built to use specific type of ink which you might not find some time and it can be really stressful. but if you can sacrifice the quality of printing, I think it is totally worth it.
Think about iPhone, they are always not compatible with other devices but it people still like them.
This printer as well is meant to use specialized Epson ink cartridges only and has a 2.2 ” easy-to-use LCD. It also comes with a user manual, a power cord and four 4-colored ink cartridges
4. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400
- Sublimation Printer SAWGRASS VIRTUOSO...
- COMES WITH COMPLETE SET OF SUBLIJET-HD...
- CREATIVE STUDIO SOFTWARE INCLUDED!!!...
- Buy with CONFIDENCE from EVENTPRINTERS!...
- ATTENTION - This is NOT for cotton...
One of the most popular sublimation printers in the market is Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400.
There is a set of sublijet-HD inks, 110 sublimation sheets (made in Japan) and standard size cartridges in the package. This printer gives you easy-to-use download access to creative studio software.
When it comes to crafting your own things, this printer is the one for you at is specifically created for sublimation purposes.
You can decorate various polymer-coated rigid items and polyester fabrics such as aluminum panels, glass, tile, acrylics, mugs and phone cases, plaques, cardboard and more.
This printer is about 40 pounds in weight which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you ask. it is made in japan so it goes without saying.
This printer is pretty heavy-duty and can be used commercially all day long.
Although it is compatible with both Mac and Windows, it specifies their versions for its operations.
You must have Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X 10.6 or later versions. It can print images up to 8.5” x 51” in size.
While purchasing this device or using it after, please bear in mind that the inks in this printer are not suited for cotton T-shirt transfers as they only work on polymer-coated surfaces and polyester.
This is very important. Before you buy any printer, you must decide what type of material you want to print to avoid back and forth communication with the seller and return the item in the worst case.
Doing a couple of hours of research can save you a ton of time.
5. Epson Expression HD XP-15000
- Epson printing system is designed to be...
- Professional ultra HD photo quality get...
- Individual 6 color Claria photo HD ink...
- Professional projects: Made easy...
- Ultra compact wide format A3 plus...
This sublimation printer by Epson is good for large-sized images on bigger fabrics.
It can produce attractive, borderless prints up to 13” x 19” in size and features inks in 6 colors to produce more distinct, subtle mixes that can add a brilliant style to the fabric when printed and used well.
The 6 color Claria photo HD ink with gray and red inks provide a super wide gamut and boosted black and white prints.
You can use the 2.4” color LCD screen to control setups that you wish to use. It can be very handy if you don’t want to sit behind a computer and give instructions using a keyboard all day long.
This printer LCD is pretty interactive and user-friendly. Which is a plus point if you want to print a lot of documents without touching your computer. LCD Screen also comes handy for photocopies.
You can control the entire printing process using a small 2.4″ LCD touch screen.
It has a simple, easy-to-use design that gives you extra control over your experiences and you can produce the most accurate shots.
Wireless printing functionality helps you connect the printer to any device of your choosing and get your prints readied in a matter of moments.
From what I have seen, this printer can be perfect for commercial accounts, because usually in a short or in your office, you don’t want a lot of wires and there is influx of new people and costumers want to use the printer, wireless technology becomes very handy in this situation.
It only incorporates Epson cartridges and is absolutely great for professional projects which can be a bad or good thing as I said before.
External low-quality ink sometimes damages the mechanics of these printers so the companies only allow you to use ink they produce which seems pretty selfish but it does work.
Because they control both printer manufacturing and ink and they focus on providing good printing experience to the customer and ultimately get fewer complaints which is a win-win.
And you shouldn’t use low-quality ink anyway!
XP-15000 has a rear tray for specialty media and cardstock with a capacity of 50 sheets and can accommodate many types of paper finishes and borderless sizes up to 13” x 19” in size.
The best part about this printer is that it is very compact/lightweight. It’s 200-sheets front tray can be used for heavy-duty printing.
It also comes with amazon dash replenishment which means it can auto-order more ink automatically.
6. Epson stylus C88+
- Product Type: Inkjet Printer,...
- Number of Colors: 4, Parallel Port: Yes,...
- Media Handling: 1 x Input Tray 120...
- Power Source: AC Supply, Input Voltage:...
- Sound Level: 42 dB(A)
It is quite conspicuous that Epson has some of the best printers in the market. This Epson model is good for smaller tasks as it is designed for basic home use.
This is the perfect printer for you if you are looking for something smaller in size but high in resolution.
USB and parallel ports and networking options can be used for connections and you won’t require extensive installation processes to ready the printer. It isn’t even close to wireless printing but you can classify is as plug and play printer.
If you are looking for non-sublimation wireless, you can get a pretty good wireless printer under $100. You can get a basic printer in this range. Obviously, you have a lot of options if you want to go up and buy an expensive one with more features.
It is a perfect choice for both Windows and Macintosh computers. With easy download access to setup drivers, Stylus C88+ is a very helpful choice when you need to get the work done quickly.
The printer also features photo editing software for user convenience which can be used for basic photo editing. If you are the guy or gal who don’t care about how they look in their photo and want to take a print ( like me) this is a great feature.
You can do light editing using built-in software and get a quality photo pretty quickly.
You can also export photos from other programs like photoshop etc. It has a fairly simple arrangement that ensures that you have more control over the printing experience and your efforts.
The best part about this printer is that it can speed through critical/difficult reports and tasks and delivers exceptional quality along with durability for a long period of time thanks to the DURABrite inks.
It has a pretty good speed of 23 ppm for black text print which is not that great but if you aren’t in a rush it can get the job done pretty quickly. Looking for printing speed makes more sense when you are buying it for your office or maybe for heavy use.
it comes with a magnificent resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi and ink droplets as small as 3 picoliters that can ensure garments with lasting impressions.
It can produce frame-ready borderless images and its high-capacity input tray can be used to create handouts and even charts.
It is great for kids’ assignments and some fun. I have seen some people are using it commercially which isn’t surprising.
7. Brother MFC-J995DW
- Up to 1 year of ink in box: Using the...
- Inkvestment tank system: Reengineered...
- Eliminate ink replacement guesswork:...
- Mobile device printing: Desktop and...
- For use with brother genuine inks:...
Brother is another sublimation printer manufacturer that produces this decent printer that is perfect for fabric printing and is a smart investment in that it saves you time and money because it comes with cartridges that will provide unlimited printing for over a year.
This is a great option if you worry about ink cost.
Even though, it seems expensive right off the bat. But when you consider you don’t have to pay for ink for the entire year, it does make sense to pay a little extra.
It won’t’ be a good option if you are an ordinary user. It can get pretty cheap if you use a printer on a daily basis and can save you a lot of money on ink.
This printer also eliminates the ink replacement guesswork as it features an intelligent page gauge that keeps notifying you of the ink usage and the remaining resource.
As with all fabric sublimation printers, it works with an intermediary fabric printing process. MFC-J995DW has an automatic two-sided printing feature and works with wireless connections as well as with Ethernet or NFC connections.
You can print with Google Cloud Print, Wi-Fi Direct, and AirPrint. It has a 2.7” color touch screen to manage setups and functions.
The member feature allows you to confirm the types of materials that you are printing. MFC-J995DW sublimation printer supports many brothers who produced inks and many network protocols.
8. HP OfficeJet Pro 9015
- Upgrade your office – Replacing the...
- Organize documents 50% faster –...
- Genuine HP 962 ink delivered to your...
- Print remotely using HP Smart app:...
- Self-healing Wi-fi: Ensures you stay...
HP is also one of the top printer manufacturers. This particular HP OfficeJet model allows for many special printing tasks such as scanning, copying and faxing items.
You might be thinking that the fax is pretty much outdated but you’ll be surprised, a lot of companies still use a fax.
I personally don’t like all-in-one models but I know there are a lot of people who do. If you are the one who likes the all-in-one printer model, consider buying this model.
But the best part of this model is that it uses the sublimation process to apply ink on intermediary fabrics in moments. Which is pretty new technology and it is pretty rare in all-in-one models.
It can be operated to print from a tablet or a smartphone and its Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity ensure that you can go about managing all your printing needs as they arise.
I liked the fact that it can be connected via ethernet and it can work wireless as well. This is pretty clever, if wireless system is out of order, you can still connect it with ethernet and use it without any hassle.
9. HP OfficeJet 9025
- Upgrade your office – Replacing the...
- Organize documents 50% faster –...
- Genuine HP 962 ink delivered to your...
- Print remotely using HP Smart app:...
- Self-healing WI-FI: Ensures you stay...
This HP sublimation printer model is perfect for when you want to print images off of a cloud network for sublimation tasks by loading the cloud document on a mobile device and then forwarding it to the printer via WI-Fi connection.
It is perfect for you if you are looking for something compact and that can perfectly embellish your office. It has a sturdy printer tray that makes transfer medium application a lot easier and simpler.
Convenience is enhanced by a single-pass 2-sided document feeder, faster scanning speeds and a full-color display screen for your control needs.
Its printing speed is 24 pages per minute and features a 35-page automatic document feeder.
The differentiating points of this particular printer are in its smart tasks; printing remotely via HP smart app and built-in security essentials to protect sensitive data (basic encryption, Wi-Fi security, password safety etc.).
It also has a dash replenishment feature that notifies you whenever you are running low on ink.
10. Epson Artison 1430
- Borderless, Hi-Def photos up to 13 inch...
- Wireless printing with Wi-Fi
- 6-color Claria ink
- CD/DVD printing; Refer user manual under...
- Print and share from your smartphone,...
One of the best sublimation printers by Epson, Artisan 1430 will optimize your skill level and business profits for sure.
It gives you impressive ultra-high-definition prints up to 13” x 19” in size with convenient wireless networking.
Ideal for homes and offices, this printer can even make gallery-worthy professional-looking prints of large sizes, CDs and DVDs.
Features such as lighting corrections and advanced colors (Clara’s high definition ink) create amazing prints that are water, smudge, scratch and fade-resistant.
Another differentiating feature of this sublimation printer is that its prints last 4 times longer than lab prints and is professionals’ first choice.
When you buy an Epson Artison 1430, you get a power cord, user manual, software and drivers and 6 cartridges in the package.
Things to Consider Before Buying:
The way to choosing a sublimation printer that is ideal for you starts by understanding what you primarily want it for.
What do you want to produce with it? Are you printing large designs on fabrics and apparel? Are you making coasters, cell phone covers, DIY gift mugs, flip flops, bag tags, or plaques?
Want it for multi-color, High-Definition graphics and photography?
While the idea of buying a printer that has a prolific feature card that seems to you like “The One” is certainly exonerating and welcome.
It is almost always inevitable that at one point in time or another after your blunt “gut-feeling” purchase, the sore regret of what you have gotten yourself into will hit you.
So following a proactive rationale that says “An informed decision is always a better one” You must choose a printer that best fits your needs.
To do this properly, you will have to understand the fundamentals of sublimation printing.
Getting your grasp on the nitty-gritty and finer details of the actual uses and features of different types of printers will help you land an ideal pick.
Let us walk you through some of hand-picked details that we think demand your consideration before you go for the big purchase.
Resolution is a measure of how dense your print will turn out to be. Also it is always measured in dpi or dots/inch.
A larger image would require more detailing and hence more resolution/density, whereas a smaller size print will not require too much resolution.
Printing-field Sizes and Formats:
Desktop format: These small, office-style units that easily fit on top of a desk or table surface and print on individual sublimation paper sheets are perfect for startup operations, owing to their lesser cost and ease of use.
The paper sizes range from 8.5” x 11” to 13” x 19”.
Narrow format: Freestanding units that print onto sublimation paper of 24-44 inches in width are made for commercial use and are ideal for growing businesses that need to have a high-volume production and larger prints.
Wide-format: These are freestanding industrial-grade printers that print onto 24-44 inches wide sublimation paper rolls. They are best for specialized production facilities such as textile printing, allover garments, banners, etc.
Generally, you would want to consider the smallest printer that produces the largest size of prints that you need.
One important thing to keep in mind however, is that you have to check whether the print size is compatible with the size of the heat-press.
The size of the press should be slightly larger than the maximum print-field size by a minimum of 1 to 2 inches on all four sides; this will maximize your production.
Ink Colors & Cartridges:
Most printers generate hundreds and thousands of colors from mixes of four basic colors; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK) that are present in the ink cartridges.
A four-color printer will work just fine for most applications. But if you are a fine artist or do photographic work where subtle and profound color shades are of the utmost importance to you and your work, then you would want to go for a printer with six or eight colors.
If this in fact is the case with you, you should ask your equipment dealer to reproduce various images from different types of printers so you can compare the results and decide for yourself.
Another equally important thing to consider is the capacity of the ink cartridges. Printers that have very small ink cartridges will run dry very frequently, thus halting the production process with them.
You will have to make sure that you have a spare set of cartridges stocked at all times just so to avoid unnecessary wastage of your valuable time in waiting for the new ones to arrive.
If you are concerned about the cost of ink, check my guide about Best Printers with cheap ink and you can get a pretty good idea which one you should buy.
While going for the fastest printer you can get your hands on implies more output and more profits and is the more obvious choice with everyone conscious of the limits of their time resource, it is not always worth the bother.
Regrettably, people often sacrifice quality for speed.
Such trade-offs will almost always be inevitable if speed is your main point of concern. Though, on a more optimistic note, printers are getting faster with the evolution of technology.
Nowadays, even the slowest printers exhibit speeds that were considered fast a few years back.
Make sure to pay careful attention to the details when buying a product. Firstly, make a point to focus on color printing, not black and white printing. Secondly, take a close look at the print size used for speed specifications.
Conspicuously, prints of a larger size will take much more time to be printed than those of a smaller size, so be sure to regard all the quantified data available to you and relate it with the printing speed specifications.
Take a look at what type of connections a printer can provide you to link up with different designs that you want to print out. These may be Wi-Fi Direct, NFC connections, Ethernet, etc. Make sure that these connections are available.
While the price is certainly a very important factor it should not hinder your way of buying the best printer for you out there.
Performance and productivity as long term considerations should be your priority over the short term consideration of the price factor.
Short-term thinking can mess with the growth potential of your business. Fortunately, even a very good quality sublimation printer, with a more convenient performance of sublimation printing is very reasonable in its price.
With all that being said, it is important to note that the price of a sublimation printer will mostly depend on the print head.
When deliberating a purchase for a sublimation printer, look for product specifications beyond size and speed and don’t get fixated on image size and print speed so that you are able to exploit the best possible matches for your work.
Focus on ink sets for better production and what benefits they hold for your specific operations.
More colors will result in better options and better sublimation opportunities for you, which will no-doubtedly lead to not only a better experience in printing but also more profitability and better rate of business growth.
So give careful consideration to all the quantified data features of the product that interests you, to know how far you can take your sublimation experience and your business and productivity.
Inform yourself through basic research and with the help of the equipment dealer and an open mind, decide better and achieve more.
Printing is the first step:
What you need to know if you are planning to use the sublimation printer for applications of soft signage, décor, and apparel, is that printing is only the first step in the sublimation process.
After the printing you will need heat and pressure. The successful sublimation process is a two-step process;
1. printing the graphics on special sublimation paper transfer sheets using the sublimation inks.
2. using a heat press to transfer the ink printed on transfer paper to the item you require or want to decorate.
You’ll also need the following essential items:
- A computer and RIP software: to design and process the digital graphics. Not all manufacturers provide software with the sublimation printers so you will have to search for compatible RIP software for your printer by yourself.
- Cutting devices: a rotary blade and a hot knife, or a digital flatbed cutter/plotter to be used for simple cutting and sealing of fabrics.
sublimation is a continuous tone technology, where each and every dot can be a color, as in contrast to traditional inkjets where printers can dislocate and vary the location and size of the droplets of ink on paper.
Consequently, sublimation printers can make prints appear more like chemical photographs.
One of the major advantages of sublimation printing is that prints are dry and ready to be handled and used as soon as they leave the printer.
The printing cycle is very clean as no liquid inks are there to be cleaned up and the thermal head doesn’t have to sweep back and forth over the print media making up the least of the moving parts that may be prone to breakdowns.
sublimation photo printing is very popular in photo booths and kiosks as well as event photography requiring high speeds, and on-demand printing.
Applied more popularly by social photographers in event photography, a desktop size stand-alone dye-sub image printer enables them to produce and sell lab quality prints almost immediately during the event of attention and with a minimum required amount of hardware.