Heat press machine, as the name suggests, is a machine that uses a heating plate to transfer the pattern to the desired object. Generally speaking, the heat press on the market is mainly divided into two categories---swing-away press machine and clamshell press machine. According to the authoritative explanation of Wikipedia, in the 'clamshell' design, the upper heat element in the press opens like a clamshell, which can move up and down. On the contrary, in the 'swing-away' design, the heat platen swings away from the lower platen and are able to rotate 180-360 degrees. Therefore, for DIY lovers and newbies, I recommend buying a Swing-Away Heat Press machine. In the following articles, I will explain in several parts why we need a Swing-Away Press more than the Clamshell one.
With the Swing-Away machine, you can just simply place the substrate on the bottom panel, move the handle left or right to the right position, and then press down on the bottom panel to finish the whole process. The operator's hands are kept away from the hot panel throughout the process, so even beginners will not fumble even when use it for the first time. The convenient design of Swing-Away machine provides plenty of space to work without risking a burn, which greatly improves the safety during DIY items process.
The swing-away press is usually heavier than the clamshell press machine. Correspondingly, increasing part of the weight also brings a more stable structure, allowing you to focus on the current substrate and printing pattern during operation instead of distracting from the wobbly and unstable machine. Since swing-aways heat presses give you even and level pressure, it will give you a better print for items with large surface areas. This also improves the success rate of heat press to a certain extent and reduces the occurrence of failures.
In addition to the two characteristics of high safety and strong stability, compared with the clamshell press, swing-away press has a unique advantage: it has a wider range of applicability.
The rocker design that swings from side to side not only increases the movable space range, but also enables thicker substrates to be easily placed on the platen. This feature is extremely convenient and practical for beginners or small businesses who are not limited to t-shirt hot stamping.
Of cause, there is no best but most appropriate of heat-press machine. Large work space and complex parts are considered to be the inevitable disadvantage of swing-away machines. However, when I need a heat press machine, I'm inclined to put Swing-away press machine down as my first selection. Because from many aspects of comparison, its advantages are far greater than the disadvantages, we have to admit that it is more suitable for beginners and can maximize the value of the first choice of heat press machine.