Best Screen Printing Machine for Small Business
Custom tee shirts have been a fashion staple for years. From designers screen prints to simple text based novelty tee shirts, it’s never been easier to start a screen printing business. There are a ton of options to consider when selecting your first screen printing machine. Below I’ve reviewed 5 of the best screen printing machines for small business. These would also be great for home based businesses or anyone looking to get started making their own shirts.
Screen Printing Machine Value Guide:
Before getting started with the actual reviews, I wanted to take you through some of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a machine. It can be overwhelming at first, but I’ll help you get up to speed fast.
When trying to find the best printing press available, you’re going to need a solid understanding of the basics. That’s what this guide is intended to do. You are going to want to familiarize yourself with what the most desirable features in a screen printing machine.
What is a Printing Press?
A screen printing press or screen printing machine, is a piece of specialty hardware designed to imprint designs and patterns onto fabric and similar objects. Essentially, a screen printing press is designed to hold a screen in place over a piece of clothing (or other object) while ink is pressed through the screen in the shape of the design.
The press allows for precise placement of the screen and each screen is used to apply only one color of your design. So you could select a press for a given number of colors and screen print over your previous colors to create more complex designs.
Adding additional colors adds complexity and screen printing machines designed to apply multiple colors are larger and will take up more space.
Screen printing presses are also available with multiple stations. This allows you to work on multiple shirts at a time and speeds up the process as you won’t have to re-order your equipment between shirts. You also won’t need to worry about your ink drying while you switch blanks on your equipment. This is great if you plan to do a large volume.
Screen printing has been utilized in fashion, home design, and artistic spaces for decades to create products and pieces that are both long-lasting and visually appealing. What used to be a specialty piece of equipment is now cheap and readily available to anyone wanting to start creating their own apparel.
The costs have come down so much that it’s no possible for home-based entrepreneurs and hobbyists to produce professional results.
How should I choose a Screen Printing Machine?
This might just be the most important question of them all: How do you choose a Printing Kit? There are many different kinds of machines, each of them catered to a different kind of individual.
First you have to ask yourself what kinds of things do you want to print on and in what quantity. Selecting the wrong press for what you want to accomplish can make it hard to get the results you want. Before you start seriously considering a press, ask yourself what you want to use your machine for.
I use my press for my home business — custom tee shirt design. A quality screen printing machine is especially important in my case, as its what allows me to operate my business from my home. But I also needed something compact and I print in small quantities or even one at a time.
When choosing a screen printing machine, you’re going to want to make sure that its made with high-quality material. That means no plastic or hybrid materials: Steel or aluminum construction will ensure your equipment has a long life. Composite or plastic has a tendency to warp or break down with repeated use.
Some weaker materials are alright in less important areas of the device, but you’re going to want the bulk of your kit to be sturdy. A well built press should last you years. If you pick the right press you should only need to upgrade if you move to a larger space or want to expand your business with more stations.
And that’s it! Now that we’ve gone over the basics, we’re ready to dive into my top choices for the best Printing Kits available! Keep what we’ve just gone over in mind you and you’re sure to find a Machine that’s a tailor-made fit for you and your business.
Now that you have reviewed our buyer’s guide, we can get into the meat of things: What is the best Screen Printing Machine for small business? And what about the best Screen Printing Press overall? To be a contender for the best Screen Printing Press, a product must have an astounding selection of features and benefits. Without further delay, here are our choices for the best in the space.
USA Stock 4 Color 2 Station Screen Printing Press
I chose this as the first option because it’s a great starting place. It has the versatility to print 4 colors and comes in both 1 and two station varieties. To be a truly great Screen Printing Press, a product needs to be well-rounded, and that describes this option from USA Stock perfectly. It’s durable, sturdy, and produces great results.
This machine is a great example of a starter screen printing machine. It’ll allow you to do 4 colors, 2 stations will give you the ability to speed up production if you need to do larger volumes.
The construction is steel and should last a long time. It doesn’t come assembled though, so expect to spend a couple hours putting it together when it arrives.
This is just the machine, it isn’t a kit. So it doesn’t come with screens, emulsion, a squeegee or inks.
If you want to start a home business, and you are interested in getting started in the space with the ability to do some decent volume, the USA Stock kit is a potentially good fit for you.
Next is the Vevor Printing press to consider. This kit is very similar to the OrangeA but comes in several additional sizes. If you started out with a 1 station kit or 1 color press then this press can help take your business to the next level.
The Vevor does come in a single station single color option. But this press is also available in 4 color 1 station, 4 color 2 station and 4 color 4 station.
Just like the USA Stock kit, the Vevor comes unassembled. The most common complaints we’ve heard about this kit are the complexity of the assembly and the quality of the instructions. That being said, the press itself once assembled is quite good for the money.
If you’ve been printing on a single station then you’ll be impressed with the efficiency you can achieve with a 4 station press. If you have the budget and want a press that can grow with you, this is a great first press.
The Vevor 1 color 1 Station Printing Machine may be the best beginner or hobbyist kit out there. Their single station single color press is relatively inexpensive and created from high quality steel components.
If your hobby turns into a serious business then you will probably outgrow this machine pretty quickly. Buf if you just want to make things for yourself or your family it may be the perfect option.
You’ll have to make sure your screen frames are not more than 2 inches in width to fit the press. Most professional screens meet this requirement just make sure to check when you order screens.
The pallet is removable so you could custom fabricate pallets for additional sizes of products like onesies or totes and swap them out. If you’re not sure you want to make screen printing a business but you do want to try it out as a hobby this is our number one recommendation.
Maxwolf 4 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Press
Next is the Maxwolf 4 Color. If you’ve read this far you probably realize that most of the presses in the beginner price range are pretty similar. All metal construction is standard, most offer a 4 color 1 and 2 station option. Maxwolf is no different and they offer all of these standard options.
Where they do set themselves apart are the guides that ensure your screen is positioned properly over the platten. The Maxwolf has a set of roller guides that lock your screen into perfect position every time.
The Maxwolf combines excellent precision, value and efficiency all into one and creates one of the most appealing options on this list as a result. It’s also very competitively priced, if I was replacing a single station press today this would probably by my pick.
And the winner is….
The Maxwolf 4 color 1 Station!
All things considered, I found the Maxwolf to be the best Screen Printing Machine for small business. It will yield high quality results time and again. The solid steel construction should hold up to continual use. The machine also has enough versatility to grow with your small business. It’s efficient, sturdy, and produces some jaw-dropping prints. The one down side is that assembly is required and can be a bit difficult. But you’ll only have to assemble it once!
I hope this write-up helps you pick a new machine for your small business. For any questions, or for more content like this, feel free to reach out. Happy printing!
Doug has been an entrepreneur for years, starting several businesses. Doug is a web developer, father of 2 great kids and husband to the best wife ever. I’ve been working on building my custom tee shirt business for 3 years.