Given the current demands of work and personal indulgence, screen printing is quite popular. A process that uses pressed ink through a stencil mesh to create a design on multiple fabrics. It is used by different industries and is also known as silkscreen printing.
Screen Printing Machines Comparison Table
|2. TECHTONGDA 1
|3. INTSUPERMAI 4
|4. SPM Screen Printing Press 4
|5. Hanchen PCB
To create effective designs you must invest in a machine that can create bold canvasses, posters, artwork on fabrics, and textiles. Now take a pick from the best screen printing machines for commercial and personal uses.
The Best Screen Printing Machines Reviewed
This new, simple, and efficient screen printing machine is a manual press machine from INTBUYING and comes with one station, which can be used for single-color design creations.
It can serve various purposes like printing self-made quotes on T-shirts, names or logos on your knapsack or tote bags, and personalizing other belongings.
It is also quite ideal for starting a home-based screen printing business specifically if, on a larger scale, this machine from INTBUYING is the perfect place to start or practice.
In terms of appearance, this machine is small and compact. It is easy to set up on any table and operate using minimum physical strength. It is a one-station machine that does not come with a bracket. Instead, it comes with screws that you can use to fix the platen and the frames to the machine.
There are four built-in screws in this machine – two on the bottom for the platen and two on the top part of the frame. The frames and the platens have to be separately purchased for this model. Additionally, the attached printing the top part of the machine which holds the attached screen printing frame can be moved up and down, but sideways, or rotated.
This machine is mainly for single color design, or multiple colors if you can quickly change the top frame. The screen clamp can hold frames up to 5 cm. thick. You also have the option of adjusting the pallet up to 12 cm. However it should be noted here that it does not come with platens or frames. You may need to purchase them separately.
The assembly is quite convenient. The two springs adjust the tension and keep the screen printing frame in balance. Another useful feature of this machine is that it comes with a full set of hand tools that will enable the installation of this screen-printer.
The body is heavy-duty and rusty proof which adds durability and longevity as it is made from high-grade steel. The surface is treated with electrostatic spraying. As far as the dimensions go the printing area measures 22*18 inches, while the size of the machine is 35*18*13 inches and the net weight is 16.5 lbs.
What We Like About INTBUYING
This screen printing machine has a large printing area, 55 x 45 cm on which you can print plane substrates with large areas much more suitably. Since it is already in a semi-finished state you can just put the rest together easily.
What We Don’t Like About INTBUYING
Certain customers have found that detailed instructions are missing and all that is a present is a basic layout which makes it difficult to set up the machine.
- Easy to Set-Up
- High-Grade Steel
- Easy Operation
- Not Portable
2. TECHTONGDA 1
This simple to operate color screen printer comes with attractive features. It is ideal for single color T-shirt printing. If your needs are commercial and you want to print out big quantities of goods then this is the one for you. However, if you are a hobbyist then it also serves the purpose.
Easy to set-up and install the Techtonga 1 features an adjustable screen frame clamp that can move up to 5cm up and down. While most ordinary brands do not provide brackets the Techtonga 1 does. This is useful for fixing the platen on the pallet. The pallet on the other hand has an adjustment range of up to 12 cm.
The pair of adjustable springs ensures that your screen is balanced carefully. While the frame is easy to install the complete set of tools and accessories included in the package ensures that you set up your machine without any hassle.
It also includes a press that comes with a bracket for you to fix the platen onto the pallet. Depending on the thickness you require, the screen frame clamp could be adjusted up and down within a range of 5 cm. The pallet is also adjustable, back and forth within a range of 12 cm. The two given springs adjust the tension and maintain the screen frame balance.
The printing area measures 22×18 inches, while the size of the machine is 35x18x13 inches. The net weight 16.5lbs and the gross weight is 18.7lbs. The machine itself is quite durable since it is made of heavy-duty steel which makes it durable while the surface treatment includes Electrostatic spraying that maintains longevity.
Read Related Topic: Amazing Block Printing Ideas
What We Like About TECHTONGDA 1
It is a good long-lasting machine and can be used for large scale production.
What We Don’t Like About TECHTONGDA 1
Some customers have faced difficulty in installing the machine stating that the wooden part that holds the materials was not very durable.
- Simple to operate
- Bracket enhances platen to pallet fixing
- Adjustable screen frame clamp and pallet
- Dual springs for stabilizing the screen frame
- Missing instructions
- Certain parts were unstable
3. INTSUPERMAI 4
One of the most popular products on the market the Intsupermai 4 serves its purpose efficiently and effectively. It is used manually as screen-printing equipment that needs to be fixed on the table.
You can use it for business ventures as it uses more than one color. If you are a hobbyist or someone who vlogs about their work then this machine is certainly useful and will enable you to produce some good prints. It can be mainly used for 4 colors T-shirt overprinting.
The specifications of the Intsupermai 4 screen printing machine include the width of the screen frame which is 7.8″ (20cm). Its maximum external size is 24″ (60cm) and the maximum thickness is 1.6″ (4cm). The screen frame check is adjustable up and down within a range of 1.6″ (4cm). The t-shirt platen size is 22x18x0.7 inches or 55x45x1.8cm.
This machine does not include a bracket. However, it does come with some small screws so that you can fix the platen onto the pallet. Each platen requires four screws and that is also included. If you are used to scraping the pallet glue then this is suitable for you as the surface of the platen is slightly pitting.
The easy installation feature makes it much more useful. It has a combination structure, which makes express transportation convenient. Along with it, you will find a set of installation tools, so you can refer to the instruction manual to install this machine.
The design of this machine is simple and thoughtful. The screen frame holder is rotatable at 360 degrees. To ensure that the plate is exact each screen frame holder has a locating detent which is put closely in the locating wheel.
When you want to adjust the spring tension according to the weight of the screen frame then the screws can achieve a balance. You can also adjust the knobs on the chuck, which will clamp the screen frame tightly. As far as the platen is concerned it can be mounted directly on the printer arm with a self-tapping screw.
What We Like About Product Name
This is a machine that serves you best since it is effective and durable.
What We Don’t Like About Product Name
This machine is averagely built and might not be as effective as others.
- Easy to Use
- Easy to install
- 360 rotatable screen frame holder
- Not for beginners
- Not portable
4. SPM Screen Printing Press 4
One of the most renowned brands in the screen printing machines category the SPM Screen Printing Press 4 comes with some good features. It is easy to install and suitable for commercial as well as hobby creations.
You can be innovative and create many designs mainly for t-shirts. However, if you like personalizing things or making other creative pieces you can also use it on metal, paper, woven fabric, circuit board, copybook, plastic, wood, glass, ceramic tile, leather, and others.
The machine is quite decently sized. The width of the screen frame check is 7.8″ inches (20 cm). The maximum external size is 24″ inches (60 cm). and the maximum thickness is 1.6″ inches (4 cm). The screen frame check is adjustable up and down within a range of 1.6″ inches (4 cm). As far as the t-shirt platen size goes it is 22x18x0.7 inches or 55x45x1.8 cm.
This machine consists of a rotatable pallet part and a screen frame that can rotate independently at 360 degrees. Since this is a manual registration screen printing equipment it needs to be fixed on the table. Users can operate this at any station. Each of the screw holes is very precisely docked. The platen size is 21.7 x 17.7 inches.
The other noticeable thing is that since the spring devices have a special design which makes adjusting up and down much easier, according to the sizes and weight of the screens. This guarantees proper spring intensity and prevents expelling and inks splashing in higher intensity.
It also prevents screen unfixing because of the higher weight of screen frames and squeegees in loose intensity. On the other hand, the screen clamp is adjustable and can be moved up and down, and this makes it quite convenient for screen frames within the range of 1.8 inches or 4.5cm. thickness.
What We Like About SPM Screen Printing Press 4
If you are a regular user of screen printing machines then this is ideal for you as it provides a lifetime warranty providing 100% satisfaction guarantee.
What We Don’t Like About SPM Screen Printing Press 4
In a lot of cases, people have not found a set of instructions to set up the product making it a challenging process.
- Ideal for beginners
- Value for Money
- Missing instructions
- Improper packaging
5. Hanchen PCB
The Hanchen PCB is a unique machine that is designed to specifically work for stencil-based screen printing. It is durable and reliable and can be used both for commercial and hobby purposes.
The Hanchen PCB measures 63.75×50.8×20.32 cm in terms of LBW while it weighs a decent 12.47 kilograms. The table size is 320×440 mm and you can use printed materials whose thickness is between 5-18 cm.
This strong and stable machine has a very durable base made from thick steel plates and therefore cannot be easily deformed. It also has fixed screen clamps which adopt double bearing, ensuring that the stencil does not swing left or right. It can be used in three directions or as we call it the XYZ Axis. Here the height and aluminum print table position are adjustable slightly making it more precise.
As far as the application goes then it can be used for small-area precision printing either for designing products for your home or small business. So if you want to give a new touch to your mobile phone gadgets, electronic products, keyboards, etc. then you can conveniently create any design.
In addition to this, you can also use it to print on plastics, scale plates, acrylic, glasses, metal plates, leather, paper, cosmetics bags, packaging boxes, household goods, t-shirts, stickers, cups, barrels, and baseball bats. It also comes with a one year warranty for customers.
What We Like About Hanchen PCB
The best thing about the Hanchen PCB is that it is capable of printing on anything giving you the chance to explore or sell a wide variety of products.
What We Don’t Like About Hanchen PCB
It cannot be used for large productions as the components are less consistent.
- Fixed clamps prevent shifting
- Multiple Use
- Well built
- Limited Use
While all these machines serve the purpose of screen printing the best one would be the Techtongda 1. It is coming from a renowned brand that has been known for manufacturing some of the best quality machines. Whether it is quality, durability, features, or results, you name it and they have it.
The Techtonga 1 is easy to install as well as use. It comes with brackets that are absent in most other brands making it an added value. This well-adjusted machine works smoothly and efficiently and can serve you well for both personal and professional purposes. Having said that, the other machines listed in this blog are also quite good and come with different features that deliver good results.
While screen machines do not have a wide variety of features and are mostly similar their size and the capability can vary. Also, you must take into consideration the reasons you want to buy one i.e. whether it is for personal use or a business. Here are some aspects to consider before investing in one.
- Size and station
Most screen printing machines, are small and compact and can be installed on any tabletop. They may come with one or two stations or even more. To clarify stations are present to place the material which can range from t-shirts, pillowcases, tote bags, etc.
More stations mean more products can be designed simultaneously. This is ideal for commercial purposes therefore it is better to go for a four-station machine or a six-station machine. This saves a lot of paint and ink. However, if you are a hobbyist then it is best to go for the one station machine.
- Color Options
If you are going to a smaller screen printing machine, you usually get a single color option. These single-colored devices are perfect for printing names or logos on your t-shirt, tote bags, or some other surface, as well as quotations, celebratory notes, and basic designs.
You will often find multiple plates or station options at the bottom, but only one screen frame at the top. You do have the option of changing the top screen frames for additional color usage, but it will take too long and you might waste a lot of ink. On the other hand, a four or six-station machine will provide the option of putting multiple colors on products.
In a lot of cases single color 1 station screen printing machines do not provide much flexibility. This is because the screen filter that is usually present in the top part of the machine can be moved up and down, but not sideways. For personal or smaller productions this is fine but not for producing commercially or different color options. Models that give you multiple color and station options, usually have a flexible top part that can be rotated 360-degrees giving you more flexibility in your work.
You can apply four to six different colors and patterns to the items at the same time, without having to delete or adjust any of the filters. This is only possible because the top section of these devices carrying screen filtres can be rotated as needed, making your work quicker and easier. You need this kind of pace and versatility when you’re working on a big production and not just a small one.
- Convenient Usage
Most screen printing machines are very portable, lightweight, and easy to use. The installation is also very simple since most of them come with an instructional DVD. In addition to this, both of these screen printers, be they small 1-station or larger 6-station printers, can be conveniently set up on any form of the tabletop.
However, if you are preoccupied with the size and ease of use, smaller printers that come with just 1 station and 1 color options are safer for you, as most of them come within a close price range as that of the standard printer.
Some machines are standalone products whose parts have to be bought separately while others include sets. So at times, you could find a machine, with ink, a t-shirt platen, multiple emulsion sheets, a mesh screen, a squeegee, as well as adhesive sheets for your platens. For your first few designs, these could be good accessories.
They could also include emulsion paint, a coater to apply that paint, and emulsion remover. This ensures that you have the required material for the first few designs.
Especially suited if you are a beginner in this field.
- Important Features
Some important features also include:
- Platens are sometimes included or else need to be bought separately
- Screen clamps are given to accommodate filters of different sizes and weight as well as circumferences
- A lot of machines have a flexible upper part that can be rotated, moved, and swiveled around
- Wide platens provide more area for experimentation
- They are usually easy to install or assemble
- Can be used on multiple surfaces and not just fabric
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are a first-time user or a professional it is always good to be informed about screen printing machines. So here are a few answers to some of the most common queries a user or a potential buyer might have.
How much space is needed for a screen printing machine?
Most machines are the size of a regular printer, although some might be quite big. Screen printers with one station and one color choice are typically smaller in size, while larger machines have 4 or 6 stations and allow you to work with several colors at the same time.
If you need a multi-station machine and color choices for a home-based company, you would need wide space. If you are aiming to work with a single color and only a few t-shirts at one time, you will need a small machine.
Do the designs need to be devised on a computer?
Typically, drawings are made on a machine using a Picture Editing program, but if you’re an artist, you can still make them by hand. If you made your drawings by hand, the only thing you need to do is copy them to a vinyl medium and make the required cuts with the right knife.
The same method of cutting and weeding done on a computer can be repeated by hand if it is more convenient for you. You can also import any templates from the Internet that you want to replicate on your t-shirt, and print them on vinyl paper that you want to later print on cotton.
Is a manual press better or is an automatic press better?
The kind of press you need be it manual or an automatic press depends on the workload you have. If you just print a few t-shirts for yourself and a few selected friends, a manual press is what you need. On the other hand, if you’re going to print hundreds of t-shirts and other items, you can get an automated one.
What kind of color and station numbers should I choose?
You can decide on what type of material you want to print on and what exactly you want to print. If you are mainly looking forward to printing quotes or names on your T-shirts, you need only one station with one color selection. For a more cheerful style, you may select a computer that comes with two or three screen filters.
See Related Topic: All About Block Printing
How can screen printing be done at home?
Once you select your screen printer along with the right accessories you can put any kind of designs, logos, and quotes on the t-shirts and dresses that you wear. This can be done for tote bags, baby clothes, blankets, pillowcases, aprons, etc. for birthdays, anniversaries, picnics, group outings, and parties. You need the following things:
- Screen printer and required stations
- An inkjet printer
- A laptop for designing
- Screen and frame
- Latex gloves
- Photo emulsion paint
- Coater for emulsion paint
- Emulsion remover
- Single-color T-shirt;
- Fabric ink
- 250-watt bulb and a darkroom
What steps are to be followed?
- Create Design
You can either refer to ready sources from the internet or design one yourself. It could be anything from a logo, a name, quotes, or even an iconic symbol. You could use Adobe Photoshop and design something simple for the first time.
- Print the Design
Connect the inkjet printer to your laptop/computer to print your design on vinyl material.
- Prepare Design
Weed out the parts you want to be filled with ink on your t-shirt with tools or just print your design on a regular piece of vinyl material. Later on, use a blade to cut out portions of the design you want to fill with ink.
- Prepare the Screen Filter
Attach the mesh screen filter to the top part of the machine, screw the clamps tightly. Before that prepare it with emulsion paint. Mix the emulsion paint with a little water, paint it all over the mesh screen, in a slightly dark room, with no overhead light that can ruin the effect. Dry the mesh screen filter quickly with a fan, or keep it in a dark place overnight. Make sure the coat on the mesh screen is even and thin
- Place the Design
Once dry, place the design under a dim light set backward on the screen so that it comes out the right side in the final product. For single colors, the design, printed on transparent vinyl sheets, needs to be placed face down on the screen filter as the specific portions are weeded away.
When using a multiple color option machine make multiple prints of the same design with the color-specific parts weeded off. A tape or scotch tape van be used to attach the design to the screen filter.
- Placing the T-shirt
Place the t-shirt ends at the bottom of the screen frame. When printing the t-shirt, the screen filter comes down directly on this portion of the machine. Do not remove the t-shirt.
- Apply Ink
One color should be used per screen filter. For multiple colors use many filters as there are colors, as well as a machine that allows you to use that many filters at the same time. Place a small amount of ink on your screen filter, and evenly spread it into a horizontal line. Use a squeegee to spread it over the whole screen.
Now very gently lower your screen filter over the screen frame, right over your t-shirt. Once the screen filter touches the screen frame, use your squeegee to lightly spread the ink from the top lot to the bottom, and vice versa.
For multiple colors repeat the process in the other screen filters.
- Finishing the Design
Once you are done, dry it using a special dryer machine or iron your t-shirt. Your t-shirt is now ready for use. Clean out the screen filter with emulsion remover, wash it away under running water.
How should screen printing be removed from t-shirts?
- Without Chemical Solvents
This works on vinyl materials or rubber prints. Place the t-shirt on a flat surface, place a damp towel under it in between the two parts of the t-shirt. Place another wet towel directly above the design. Heat the iron place with slight pressure over the damp towel till the ink starts to melt. Once the towel begins to sizzle and dry remove the iron from the towel. Scrape off the ink with a knife or peel with your fingers.
- With Chemical Solvents
Chemical solvents like adhesive remover, rubbing alcohol, or nail polish remover work quite effectively for ink. removal. Pour it on to the back of the design instead of right on them, flip it over so that the chemical solvent is soaked up by the fabric and the ink will peel.