Are you someone who is constantly involved in printing and image processing? Well, then you already know how important a sublimation printer is for you.
A sublimation printer uses heat to apply the dye on a range of materials. Board, cloth, plastic, paper, you name it. The whole principle of sublimation lies in the transition from the solid-state to the gas state, minus the liquid state. This process ensures a solid design without any kind of smearing or overheating.
If you are into the printing business or just love printing things at home as a hobby, you must get yourself the best sublimation printer. The invention of this equipment has made printing easier and faster, not to mention opened up to a variety of designs too.
However, with the market jam-packed with numerous sublimation printers that come with different features, it is essential you get your hands on the right one.
We have done thorough research and have penned down some of the best sublimation printers for you. Read on to choose the best you like.
Comparison Table of the Best Sublimation Printers
|1. Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Dye-Sub Photo Printer
|2. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
|3. Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
|4. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer
|5. Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer
|6. Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer
|7. Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer
The Best Sublimation Printers Reviewed
1. Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Dye-Sub Photo Printer
An eco-value dye-sublimation printer, the Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S stands out because it can produce two print sizes from only one media paper. This sublimation printer can switch between 4×6 “and 6×8” prints automatically without the need to swap the paper roll or ribbon ink. This not only helps save time but also reduces stock references, and makes it easy to use and maintain.
Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S is a compact and lightweight printer that comes with all the latest developments and doesn’t need a lot of space to install. Not to mention, one of its latest addition is the newly developed image processing method which ensures its reproduces smooth edges and natural images at 300DPI. You can also use the CP-K60DW-S with an aspect ratio of 1:1 for printing Instagram images. Besides, it comes with a speed of 11.2 seconds for a 4 x 6 inches print, and it can also be used to print wide formats. Also, the paper tray has the capacity to handle paper rolls of up to 5 to 6 inches.
Consuming over 0.05W of power when on standby, the Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S is designed to reduce the consumption of power in sleep mode by up to 96%. With a USB 2.0 port, this printer can connect to all computers which include Macbooks as well.
Moreover, this eco-value dye-sub photo printer comes with an ink cassette, paper strip bin, paper flange spacer, CD-ROM, AC power cord, screws, cable ties, washer, 2 securing bands, and most importantly a 1-year warranty.
What We Like About Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Dye-Sub Photo Printer
Besides, one of the best features of this printer is its matt finish prints, very similar to a satin finish but much duller and highly preferred by photographers due to the high demands in the market.
What We Don’t Like About Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Dye-Sub Photo Printer
One of the issues that most face is that some of its features are difficult to set up as it has a lot of technicalities. You may have to call a professional to help you set it up.
- Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
- Attractive finish
- Fast printing
- Easy to operate
- Produces two print sizes from only one media paper
- Difficult to set up duet to its technicalities
- Bulky printer
2. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
One of the topmost compact sublimation printers, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 is simple, comprehensible, easy to use, and lightweight. Moreover, it makes for an excellent choice if you want to print photos at home. It is also portable.
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A wireless compact printer, the SELPHY CP1300 can print around 55 prints on a single battery charge; quite a jump from the 35 pages its previous model printed.
With its 3.2 inches LCD screen, it edits and prints photos with ease. Not to mention, you can connect your smartphone or tablet easily with the help of the Canon PRINT App3, as well as your camera’s memory card, a USB, or a wireless LAN. These water-resistant photos that you print dry instantly and they look great for years to come.
Moreover, you can print collages with the 2″ x 6″ photo booth layout prints or the Party Shuffle Print 3. Also, since it operates by a thermal method, it comes as no surprise that the Canon SELPHY CP1300 with a dedicated ink cartridge can use 256 shades per color. It can print various sizes such as postcard (4.0” x 6.0”), L Size (3.5” x 4.7”), Card Size (2.1” x 3.4”), square Label (2.1” x 2.1”).
What We Like About Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
Besides its sleek design and portability, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer comes with an optional battery back. This feature ensures you share your memories from any part of the world and don’t miss out on capturing the best memories in print.
What We Don’t Like About Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
One common problem that most of the users complain about is that it is slower than other average portable printers. Plus, the maximum size it can print is 4 x 6 inches.
- Compact power adapter
- Wireless connectivity
- Great print quality
- Prints a variety of sizes
- Slower than the average portable printer
- The maximum size it can print is 4 x 6 inches
3. Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
The all-in-one inkjet Brother MFCJ995DW INKvestment Tank color printer with its tank technology makes for a perfect choice when it comes to your home or small business needs. Besides, its re-engineered INKvestment Tank cartridges along with an internal ink storage tank ensure uninterrupted printing for up to 1 year without the need of buying more ink.
Compatible with PC-Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 Mac-OS X v10.11.6, 10.12.x, 10.13.x, the MFCJ995DW is a valuable choice for many tasks.
Working with an intermediary fabric printing process, yet it provides the most useful printing solution, giving you that coverage when you need it. Operating on a temperature of 50-95° F, the Brother MFC-J995DW can work with both wireless connections and Ethernet or NFC link. Moreover, mobile or desktop wireless printing can be done with the help of Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, and Brother and Wi-Fi Direct.
Besides, its 2.7-inch touchscreen ensures easy control of the unit while helping you differentiate among its features through a full-color body. Moreover, you can even go on to use its member feature to confirm the kind of material you are using to print at that moment. This feature ensures a flexible design for your printing needs.
Brother INKvestment Tank all-in-ones help you to figure out when to replace ink by using the Brother Intelligent Page Gauge, a visual, numerical way to know how much ink you’ve used and how much you’ve left. You will no longer run out of ink amid an important printing, as the INKvestment tank model monitors your ink constantly. So now you can print confidently and virtually without interruption!
What We Like About Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
The automatic two-sided printing feature included in the model gives you additional help in how well you print.
What We Don’t Like About Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
It is difficult to align cartridges as well as the cartridge capacity is not always correct.
- Re-engineered INKvestment Tank cartridges with an internal ink storage tank
- Wireless mobile printing works with all major devices
- Paper tray can be adjusted to fit numerous paper types
- The setup is controlled by the automatic duplex printing feature
- Cartridges are difficult to align
- Doesn’t ensure an accurate cartridge capacity gauge always
4. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer assures you Ultra HD photo quality and you get brilliant borderless prints up to 13 x 19 inches.
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The Epson Expression printer comes with a 2.4-inch color LCD screen that helps you manage the setups. This additional help provides you that extra control over your experience with materials. Particularly, the simple design ensures that you produce accurate prints with your work.
Besides, this printer can be linked to a wireless device of your choice. Additionally, supports auto 2 sided document printing and can handle items up to 23 mm thick.
Taking photo printing to new levels, this wide format printer comes with an individual 6-color Claria Photo HD Ink (with the all-new red and grey inks) that assures a wide range of colors and improved black and white photo printing. Also, this printer features Dash Replenishment which after activation keeps track of how much ink you are using and when you run low its orders more.
Moreover, Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000’s large, 50 sheet rear specialty tray makes printing pro-quality projects much easier, even on cardstock.
What We Like About Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer
Its 6-color feature works with more color features and goes on to produce distinct mixes, which adds an excellent style to the fabric when used aptly.
What We Don’t Like About Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer
If you are thinking of using any cartridge in this printer, well, then you would be disappointed. The Epson printer is designed to be used only with an Epson brand cartridge. Ink cartridges and ink supplies of other brands are not compatible with this printer. Even if you find any ink cartridge or ink supplies that say it is compatible with, then let us tell you, it may not function well at all.
- Assures Ultra HD photo quality
- Small footprint of the printer body
- Handles items up to 23 mm thick
- Features Dash Replenishment
- Brilliant borderless prints
- Compatible only with the Epson brand cartridges and ink supplies
- Does not work that well on some screen film surfaces
- If not handled well, the ink screens can become dirty
5. Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer
A sublimation printer, WorkForce WF-7210 can handle bulky intermediary fabric. This is possible because of its paper tray that can handle numerous cotton-based surfaces.
Powered by Precision Core, Epson Workforce WF 7210 delivers borderless prints up to 13×19 inches and print-shop-quality color graphics. Moreover, this high-performance printer comes with a 2.2 LCD and an auto 2-sided printing up to 11×17 inches, assuring an easy setup and navigation.
WorkForce WF-7210 allows the creation of attractive shots with borderless bodies that goes up to 13×19 inches for transfer use. Paper is taken in up to 11×17 inches by the automatic two-sided scanner and rapidly scanned for a printing project.
Using up to 80 percent less power, this wide-format color inkjet printer offers wireless printing and networking. With the Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet support, all computers at your workspace can easily connect with the WF-7210 printer. Additionally, it makes printing from smartphones and tablets directly, easy as well.
What We Like About Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer
From a 500 sheet capacity to a 125 sheet output tray, dual trays to a rear feed for specialty paper, this inkjet printer offers speed and versatility.
What We Don’t Like About Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer
This printer is designed only for use with Epson cartridges. No third-party cartridges or ink can be used. Using non-Epson inks and inks not formulated for this particular printer can cause damage, which is not covered by the Epson warranty.
- The rear feed provides additional help with specialty paper
- Can handle bulky intermediary fabric
- Easy access for all printing demands with the output tray
- Works with all mobile operating systems
- Requires added software for NFC function
- 2.2 inch LCD is difficult to use
6. Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer
The Epson WorkForce WF-7610 comes with a 4.3 inches color touchscreen as well as a 250 sheet paper capacity and rear tray that offers enhanced productivity.
Powered by Precision Core, Workforce WF-7610 delivers performance beyond laser. It brings to your small offices’ wide-format printing and better productivity as well.
Saving up to 40 percent lower printing cost, this inkjet sublimation printer assures quality prints with a speed of 18 ppm for black and 10 ppm for color. Apart from the 13×19 inches print-shop-quality borderless printing, it also includes wide-format scanning up to 11×17 inches.
This printer also comes with a 2-sides automatic document feeder and an auto 2-sided print/scan/fax/copy too. Moreover, the Workforce WF-7610 includes wireless and Wi-Fi Direct and can print anytime, anywhere from tablets, smartphones, iPads, and iPhones.
Adding to its features is the Amazon Dash Replenishment which it comes with. On activation, your ink usage is tracked and when you begin to run low, it helps place orders from Amazon.
What We Like About Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer
With the Epson WorkForce WF-7610 you can get 13×19 inches print-shop-quality borderless prints, not to mention, laser-sharp color and black text.
What We Don’t Like About Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer
The usage of non-Epson cartridges and ink may cause damage to the printer and is also not covered by the Epson warranty.
- Amazon Dash Replenishment
- Fast printing
- Good quality for the price
- The cartridge has to be replaced frequently
- Driver software not great
7. Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer
The Canon Pixma MG3620 comes with enhanced features such as the Auto duplex printing which cuts down paper usage by 50 percent, which in turn helps you save a lot of time and money.
With a quick and easy wireless setup, the Canon Pixma MG3620 is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, and more.
Moreover, with its mobile device printing feature, you can easily print from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with AirPrint and Android devices with Mopria and Google Cloud Print.
Besides, with a 9.9 IPM for Black and 5.7 IPM for color, this printer comes with a compact and space-saving design. In addition to these features, it includes an auto 2-sided print that helps print on both sides of the page.
Overall, the Canon Pixma MG3620 is a convenient and simple printer that caters to all your printing needs.
What We Like About Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer
This is a budget-friendly printer. So, if you are looking to use it at home, then the Canon Pixma MG3620 is worth the buy.
What We Don’t Like About Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer
Not suitable for official purposes. Moreover, instructions are not very user-friendly; so for low-tech people, operating this device may be a bit frustrating.
- Good for a student
- Quick and easy wireless setup
- Instructions not user-friendly
- Not suitable for the office
Finding the best sublimation printer is not always easy as choosing one also depends on your needs. You could either be looking for a printer for business or home. Or you could be looking for a beginner level printer or a budget-friendly one. Choices and needs can vary from person to person.
If we have to suggest, we would say one of the best sublimation printers that you can opt for is the Canon Selphy CP1300. This printer is budget-friendly and offers fast production. The layout of the printer is capable of handling high-resolution images and makes loading up images easy in a short span of time. It can even do well for basic t-shirt designs. Also, since it’s portable, you can carry it anywhere, to gatherings or holidays.
However, before you settle down on one, do consider what you need it for, how often are you going to be using it, your budget, and more. We hope our list helps you settle down on one that best suits your needs and requirements.
Buying the right sublimation printer for yourself is a big decision. You cannot just go and pick anything you find in the market because it’s an investment for your company or personal projects in the long run. Today, the market is flooded with options, and before you pick one you have to consider the budget, size, performance, and more. These various options could confuse, hence, we have come up with a detailed buying guide to help you buy the best sublimation printer according to your needs.
Use of the Printer
Knowing why you need a printer or what use of it you have is essential before buying one. While most of you may be aware of a sublimation printer, some may not know the different kinds. Some are solely for r-shirts, mugs, or plaque and some for photos. So make sure you know what you are going to do with the sublimation printer you buy. Besides, you will find two kinds: professional ones for all kinds of commercial work and budget-friendly printers to cater to all your craft and hobbies.
The ones that are expensive and come with enhanced features are used for business purposes. They are used for offices, photo booths, digital labs, printing centers, and more. Precise and accurate, these sublimation printers are best for businesses where massive volumes of printing are done every day.
As for models used by an average consumer, they are not high-end but are capable of printing good quality photos. These models most often require specialized ink and medium for printing, not to mention, Wi-Fi connection too. However, the consumer models can be expensive if you are looking to operate it in the longer run. This is because the dye is expensive and can finish quickly, thereby, enabling you to constantly bye them.
Medium of Printing
A special kind of paper is used with sublimation printers. Paper for business models comes in huge rolls and for consumer models, you get rolls or paper packs or even sticky papers. Standard paper sizes include 2 x 6 inches, 3.5 x 5 inches, while the most used is 4 x 6 inches. Moreover, advanced professional models can handle larger sizes such as 5 x 7 inches and 6 x 8 inches. Besides paper, you can also go on to print on mugs, cups, t-shirts, shirts, glasses, CDs, and more.
Types of Ink
All printers use special ink, either a ribbon or a cartridge kind. Both need paper and ink to print. You have to ensure that you have the best quality of ink and paper without which the performance, speed, and efficiency of the units are compromised. Printers with cartridge or ribbon ink come with specialized papers.
Buying a combo will ensure the ink remains intact and doesn’t fade away. However, for professionals ribbon ink so be apt as for hobbyists both are good options if budget is not a major concern. Whatever be your choice or printer, make sure you order for paper and ink is done well in advance as most printers come without them.
Working of the Cartridge
It’s essential to check whether the cartridges that you will use in your printer can handle the dye sublimation process. Specialized cartridges focusing on single colors will be needed. These cartridges include yellow, magenta, and cyan that go alongside black cartridges for all your printing needs.
Windows or MAC, high-end sublimation printers work with all advanced operating systems. From a MAC device to a PC, laptop to a USB port, sublimation printers can be connected to any of the devices we use today. Also, though there are various to transfer photos to printers, Memory cards are an ideal option too. Some printers are also compatible with Android and iOS via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. So when you are choosing the best sublimation printer for your needs, do make a wise choice.
Resolution or DPI
When you are looking to print something, sharpness, brightness, and clarity of the photo are what you need. DPI does just that, it tells you about the resolution. We all are aware of the higher the resolution, the clearer, and sharper the image is. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need a printer with a 1200 DPI. For you can opt for a 300 DPI printer as most advanced and consumer models come in this size.
If extra clarity is your goal, then opt for 600 DPI. So, before you scroll through Amazon for a sublimation printer, keep in mind what you’re going to print and what kind of media you require for printing.
It is really essential that you check for the warranty for any product you choose. Most of these sublimation printers come with a warranty that ranges from months to years. The longer warranty you get for the printer, the better. However, most come with a one-year warranty.
Also, make sure when buying a printer you looking for a warranty on replacement parts as well. Generally, these units do not require repair for years, but since this is going to be an investment for a long time, ensure you have the warranty for everything.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Can any printer be used for sublimation?
Only those that support sublimation ink can be used as some printers are incapable of supporting the distinct substrates in the ink. Traditional ink cannot enter certain things you print on.
2. What materials can you sublimate on?
You can sublimate on numerous things – apparel, signage, photo paper, rigid products. Knit materials for your indoor purposes can be sublimated on. You can even sublimate on woven materials that are thicker. Rigid substrates like plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum can also be used, even ceramic tiles as well. The only thing you have to makes sure is the substrate can handle the material.
3. How long can sublimation ink last?
On average, sublimation ink can last up to four to six months. And the ink tends to dry out if not used regularly too, thus raising issues of color shifting or printer head clog. So when you are purchasing sublimation ink, make sure it includes a ‘use by’ date, stating how long can the ink be used. Don’t use ink if the date has passed, as it would not be of any use and just harm other inks. There can be substantial damage if not handled well.
4. What is the difference between sublimation printing and vinyl printing?
The process of vinyl printing involves the application of a layer of ink on the top part of the garment. The ink solidifies over the material for full coverage. Sublimation is different as here the ink becomes a part of the material. The ink absorbs into the material and doesn’t just stay on the top. When heat and pressure are applied, the ink becomes gas, thereby, fusing the design into the material.
5. Can sublimation be done on dark shirts?
Yes, sublimation can be done on black shirts but most often the results aren’t that strong. Since sublimation is a dye-based process, it does not produce white colors.
6. Can you sublimate on cotton?
Chemically speaking, sublimation bonds to polymers and polyester and not cotton! However, you can always go ahead and try it on cotton. Conventional cotton décor such as on screens and direct-to-garment printing still have the same tendency.
After thorough research, we have come up with the best sublimation printers on the market today. We hope our list of products, buyers guide, and FAQs help you make the right choice according to your needs and budget.