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The 5 Best Heat Transfer Printers in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Not all printers are suitable for heat transfer prints. While some might accept heat transfer materials, that doesn’t guarantee that the printing will be of high-quality.

Heat transfer is a serious door-opener that allows you to express your artistic self on different materials, and at the comfort of your own home.

We believe that finding the best heat transfer printer is the hardest part of heat transfer printings; once you get that done, it’s smooth sailing.

This is why we’ve decided to gather a list of our top picks for the best printer for heat transfers. So, without further delay, here’s everything we’ve got.

List of the Best Heat Transfer Printers:

  • Epson WorkForce WF-7710 – Best Overall
  • Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer – Runner Up
  • Canon MX492 – Best Canon Printer for Heat Transfers
  • HP LaserJet Pro M454dw – Best HP Printer for Heat Transfers
  • Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Best Home Printer for Heat Transfers

Our Top Picks:

PrinterPrinting TechnologyPrinting Resolution(dpi)Maximum Printing SizePrice
Epson WorkForce WF-7710Inkjet4800 x 240013 x 19”CHECK PRICE
Brother HL-L2320DLaser2400 x 6008.5 x 14”CHECK PRICE
Canon MX492Inkjet4800 x 12008.5 x 14”CHECK PRICE
HP LaserJet Pro M454dwLaser600 x 6008.5 x 14”CHECK PRICE
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000Inkjet5760 x 144013 x 19”CHECK PRICE

The 5 Best Heat Transfer Printers in 2020

1. Epson WorkForce WF-7710 – Best Overall

Epson WorkForce WF-7710

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Our top pick for the best printer for heat transfer on the market is the Epson WorkForce WF-7710. Epson is known for having high-quality printers, and the WF-7710 is no exception.

With a printing resolution of 4800×2400 dpi, expect high-quality printings with vivid colors, especially considering that it is an inkjet printer.

It comes with four ink cartridges of DURABrite ultra-pigment ink that resists smudge, fade, and water. Also, it can print up to 13×19” in size, making it a wide-format printer. Wide-format printers are not easy to find, especially with such high-quality.

Moreover, the printer also supports auto-duplex printing and comes with an auto-feeder, but with a maximum size of 11.7×17”, which is not the biggest issue in the world. However, if you’re planning to print wide-format in high-volumes, this could really be a set-back.

Furthermore, the printer is also capable of copying, scanning, and fax so that you could use it for everyday printings as well, not just heat transfer. Also, the printer provides USB, wireless, ethernet, and NFC connections that can suit any device.

Lastly, the printer can print borderless pictures, which adds a whole new level to creative heat transfer printings. In addition, its printing speed in black is 18 pages-per-minute(ppm), which is quite fast, so you wouldn’t need to worry about wasting too much time.

Pros:

  • High printing resolution
  • Wide-format printing
  • Borderless printing
  • Easy to set-up
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Bulky size
  • Feeder jams often
  • Ink runs out quite fast

Final Verdict

The WF-7710 is our top pick for multiple reasons. Starting with its high printing resolution that will allow you to print high-quality pictures, all the way to its wide-format printing that gives you all the freedom you might need when heat transfer printing.

Check Also: The 5 Best Sublimation Printers 2020

2. Brother HL-L2320D – Mono Laser Printer – Runner Up

Brother HL-L2320D

In second place is the Brother HL-L2320D, which is a monochrome printer, meaning it only prints in black and white.

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It has a printing resolution of 2400×600 dpi, which is more than enough to print high-quality black and white images.

The HL-L2320D is the best printer for you if you’ll only be printing in black and white, as its initial cost is low. In addition, you can choose to purchase high-yield toner cartridges that can print up to 2,600 pages.

It can print up to legal-sized paper(8.5×14”); besides, it offers auto-duplex printing that will save you a lot of time and paper. Moreover, it accepts USB connectivity, but it doesn’t provide wireless connections, which is a huge let-down.

With a printing speed of 30 ppm, this is the fastest printer on the list, not to mention it is a laser printer, which makes it a perfect printer for high-volumes or if you’ll be heat transfer printing for commercial purposes.

Unfortunately, it cannot print borderless pictures, which can be a set-back for heat transfer, but it depends on what you’ll be printing. Also, beware that the cable used to connect the printer to your computer is not included in the box.

Lastly, the printer cannot copy, scan, or fax, and has a manual feeder instead of an auto feeder for envelope printing.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Small size
  • High printing speed
  • Suitable for high-volumes

Cons:

  • No wireless connection
  • No borderless printing
  • USB not included in the box

Final Verdict

The HL-L2320D is the perfect printer for you if you’re only printing in black and white. It is an affordable laser printer that can take a beating. We strongly recommend this product if you’ll be printing for commercial reasons and you want a printer that can handle high-volumes.

3. Canon MX492 – Best Canon Printer for Heat Transfers

Canon MX492

The Canon MX492 is one of the best printers for heat transfer if you’re not planning to use it commercially.

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Its printing resolution is 4800×1200 dpi, which is a high resolution that guarantees high-quality printings. In addition, it is an inkjet printer, which provides vivid and vibrant colors.

You could always go for XL ink cartridges for the best value rather than having to change your cartridges often.

Its maximum printing size is legal; however, it does not provide auto-duplex printing, which is a let-down, to be honest. The printer accepts USB and wireless connections, so you wouldn’t have to worry about that.

The reason we mostly recommend this printer for home usage is that its printing speed is quite low at only 8.8 ppm in black, in addition to the lack of auto-duplex, it’s not really the best printer for high-volumes.

However, it can print borderless, and it’s quite small in size, so it’s perfect for home-usage. Not to mention, it can also copy, scan, and fax.

Pros:

  • Easy to set-up
  • Borderless printing
  • High printing resolution
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Low printing speed
  • No auto-duplex printing
  • Cable not included
  • Paper jams are quite often

Final Verdict

The Canon MX492 is one for you if you’re looking for an at-home printer that produces high-quality images. It’s quite small in size, and it’s not that expensive to start with. However, it is quite slow, and it doesn’t feature auto-duplex printing.

Check this video to see how to setup it:

4. HP LaserJet Pro M454dw – Best HP Printer for Heat Transfers

HP LaserJet Pro M454dw

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In fourth place is the HP LaserJet Pro M454dw, which is another printer that is suitable for high-volumes.

The printer comes with four toner cartridges and a printing resolution of 600×600 dpi, while that resolution might seem a little low, the printer still produces high-quality images with vivid and sharp colors.

Its maximum printing size is legal, and it features auto-duplex printing. Moreover, you can print via USB or wirelessly via WiFi-Direct.

When combining auto-duplex with this printer’s exceptional printing speed of 28 ppm, you get one of the best printers for high-volumes, not to mention the fact that it is a laser printer.

A unique feature that we really love about this product is its security, as it detects and stops any attacks on your printer, which is an essential feature that more printers should have, to be honest.

Lastly, it can print borderless pictures. However, it is strictly a printer; it cannot copy, scan, or fax.

Pros:

  • Secure
  • High printing speed
  • High-quality printings

Cons:

  • Bulky size
  • Heavyweight
  • Quite noisy

Final Verdict

The laser printer M454dw is the optimum printer if you’ll be printing in high volumes. It has a high printing speed, and its pictures are high-quality with vivid colors. Moreover, it can also copy, scan, and fax so that you could use your printer for much more than heat transfer.

5. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Best Home Printer for Heat Transfers

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000

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The Epson XP-15000 means business when it comes to high-quality printings.

It has an unmatched printing resolution of 5760×1440 dpi. Moreover, the inkjet printer has six ink cartridges that guarantee rich and vibrant colors.

It is also a wide-format printer, meaning it can print up to 13×19”. It also features auto-duplex printing, and you can connect to your printer wirelessly or via USB.

Its printing speed is 9.2 ppm in black, which is not the highest speed out there, but the printing quality makes up for it.

Furthermore, it allows borderless printing even at 13×19” size, which is a huge advantage that not all printers can offer. Unfortunately, though, it cannot copy, scan, or fax.

On the downside, multiple users have reported that its wireless connection glitches, and you’d have to reconnect to your printer quite often.

Pros:

  • High printing resolution
  • Small size
  • Wide-format printing
  • 6-ink cartridges

Cons:

  • Low printing speed
  • Wireless connection glitches often
  • Uses too much ink
  • Jams quite often

Final Verdict

Wide-format printers are hard to come by. The XP-15000 is a wide-format printer with six ink cartridges and an exceptional printing resolution that together guarantee one of the best printing qualities a printer can offer.

Read also: Best Photo Printer

How to Pick a Printer for Heat Transfer

1. Inkjet vs. Laser

Well, choosing between inkjet and laser will always fall back to personal preference. Each type has its pros and cons, and choosing between them depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice.

Generally, laser printers are recommended for commercial use or if you’ll be printing in high-volumes. In the long run, it’s much more budget-friendly to invest in a laser printer as toner is generally cheaper than ink.

On the other hand, inkjet printers offer more vivid and sharp colors that laser printers cannot achieve. If you’re choosing a printer for heat transfer as a hobby rather than as a career path, you should opt for an inkjet printer.

2. Choosing the Right Ink

There are three kinds of ink: dye-based, pigment-based, and sublimation ink. Before settling for one, you need to make sure that your printer is compatible with that kind of ink, as some printers do not accept third-party inks.

Dye-based inks are not recommended if you’re printing will be exposed to sunlight, as the ink can run and smudge from the sun or when exposed to water.

Pigment-based inks can withstand heat and water, unlike dye-based inks, but they’re also more expensive.

If neither of these types seems like the one for you, there’s also sublimation ink, which is durable against sun and water, and it’s not as expensive as pigment-based inks are. However, this kind of ink is not always compatible with all printers, and they might require their own printers.

3. Printing Speed

This is quite self-explanatory. Inkjet printers are generally slower than laser printers.

If you’re printing in high-volumes and you cannot afford any delay, you need to go for a laser printer or any printer with high printing speed.

However, if you’re in no hurry, printing speed shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

4. Printing Resolution

Printing resolution is measured by dpi(dots-per-inch). The higher the printing resolution is, the better and sharper your printed image will be.

Anything higher than 600 dpi should be more than enough to get the task done. However, if you’re printing images with small details that you can’t afford to lose, you definitely need to go for a higher resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Use any Printer for Heat Transfer?

The short answer is no.

However, most inkjet, laser, and dye-sublimation printers can be used for heat transfer, so if your printer is one of those three types, by all means, go for it. However, just because a printer can be used for heat transfer, doesn’t mean that it should.

Some printers can be too weak to handle thicker materials of heat transfer. Besides, not all printers will be able to print in a quality high-enough for your material.

Moreover, if you want to be extra safe, we recommend contacting the manufacturing company and double-checking that their product is compatible with heat transfer.

What Type of Ink Do You Use for Heat Transfer?

When it comes to heat transfer, the whole trick is in the paper rather than the ink. You can use any type of ink, the most common ink used, though, is inkjet printer’s ink.

Can I use a Laser Printer for Transfer Paper?

Different kinds of transfer paper are designed for different purposes.

Meaning, you cannot use inkjet transfer paper for a laser printer and vice versa. However, laser transfer paper is perfect for laser printers and works just as well as inkjet paper for inkjet printers.

Final Thoughts

Heat transfer opens up a whole new world of printing. From t-shirts to mugs and everything in between, the sky’s the limit, really.

That’s why choosing the right printer for heat transfer is not a task to be taken lightly; you need to choose the perfect printer that suits your printing techniques and volume.

After you’ve been through our top picks for the best printer for heat transfers, it’s time for a recap of our top 3 places and why we love them so much.

In first place is the Epson WorkForce WF-7710 that is the perfect combination of specs anyone could ever ask for. Being an inkjet printer means that it will provide you with vivid colors. In addition, it is also a wide-format printer with high printing speed. Whether you’re printing in high or low volumes, this printer can keep up.

In second place is the Brother HL-L2320D, which is a monochrome printer. We understand that monochrome printers aren’t for everyone, but if you’ll only be printing in black and white, it’s not worth spending extra money on the printer and the ink/toner. This printer is perfect for high-volumes, especially with its unmatched printing speed of 30 ppm.

In third place is the Canon MX492, which is our top pick for hobbyists or if you’ll only be printing in low volumes. It is small in size and quite affordable, which makes it perfect for home-usage.

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