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Clamshell Heat Press Review

Clamshell Heat Press Review: To Buy Or Not

In this clamshell heat press review, you will find more details about this brand and enjoy using these machines.

First of all, the clamshell heat press owns that name because it closes and opens like a clamshell. It also has a hinge between its lower and upper platen.

It’s the least expensive brand and wouldn’t be bad for someone starting out. It has a large surface area for working on projects which gives you enough space.

You can use clamshell heat presses if you are a beginner trying to learn more about making crafts. These machines could also be your choice if you are planning to start a T-shirt business, or you are looking for a portable device to do some heat press work.

If you also have little space on your heat-press station, a clamshell could be the best fit for you. With its small size, you will be glad to have it take just a little space in your working area.

Being a lightweight machine, you won’t have trouble moving around.

Common Features of Clamshell Heat Press Machines

Clamshell Heat Press Review

Clamshell heat press machines have special features that help them stand out. Here are some of them.

  • Versatility

You will definitely be working on more than one material. You need a machine that is flexible enough to handle that.

Clamshell heat presses can deal with both soft and tough materials like wood, metal, fabric, glass, ceramic and more. You can use these machines to put designs on any flat surface.

  • Digital LCD Display

Sometimes each material may need a certain amount of temperature and time to design. You can control temperature and time using the automatic alarm.

  • Heavy duty

Do you plan to start a business using this machine? Congratulations because it can handle heavy duties without breaking down. It’s therefore suitable for commercial use.

  • Ease of Use

If you have never used a clamshell heat press machine before, or you are a beginner, don’t worry. It’s easy to use. It already assembled fully the moment it arrives.

  • Durable

These machines are able to handle heavy-duty tasks and are used commercially because they last long. Being made from an aluminum board, they are not prone to wear and tear.

 No worries of scorching too because of the high-density board that has a nonstick surface.

  • Adjustment Knob

You will also need to adjust pressure when working on different materials and designs. The full-range pressure-adjustment knob helps you adjust pressure.

Remember pressure depends on the thickness of the material you are transferring.

The Best Clamshell Heat Press Machines

There are various clamshell heat press machines. Some of them are Geo Knight DK20 16” X 20”, Geo Knight DK16 14” X 16”, Hix N-880 16 ”X 20” and the Swing-away Heat Press. Let’s briefly have a look at each of them.

1. Geo Knight DK20 16” X 20”

This is the largest and most portable clamshell heat press out there that you can use at home and on events as well. With the frame support it has, you can slide t-shirts on your working space.

You can control the temperature with the Supercoil-Micro-winding heater technology feature on this machine. This would be an excellent investment if you have just started a small business that specializes in apparel.

2. Geo Knight DK16 14” x 16”

Here is another easy to use machine in the heat press brand you can’t resist. The GEO Knight DK 16 X 14” is not only portable but also saves your space.

It’s affordable and you can use it for commercial purposes. Due to the small size, it’s suitable for small business starters in various apparel and T-shirts.

Like the above model, you can control the temperature using the Supercoil-Micro-winding heater technology.

3. Hix N-880 16” x 20”

If you are looking for a heavy-duty machine to handle your artwork, this is the real deal. Let’s just say you started a business and are looking for something to use on a large project.

The Hix N-880 16” x 20” can handle a higher volume of work, unlike other machines. This is an automatic air operated machine that speeds up your work as it increases the output.

It is strong enough to handle materials with a thickness of up to 0.75”. It is flexible enough to handle various materials.

4. Swing Away Heat Press

Are you looking for a machine that you can use without reaching near the hot upper platen? This machine has a lower platen that can pull towards you.

It was designed for three main reasons. First, it was made to put away the heating platen from your hands to protect you from burns.

Secondly, it was designed to make even and flat heating elements against the garment/object being imprinted regardless of the thickness. Thirdly, it was designed to easily layout the lower working region to place what you want to heat press.

Generally, every clamshell heat press machine can perform various tasks. Some of them can be for small projects while some for big projects as discussed above.

The clamshell heat press machines have many advantages and disadvantages as well. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons.

  • Distributes pressure evenly
  • Some of them like the Swing-away is bulky
  • Safe to use
  • Versatile
  • Uses less space
  • Has few moving parts
  • Easy to use


Clamshell heat press machines have great features that can help you design beautiful crafts. The best thing about all of them is that they are versatile and long-lasting.

If you need something for a heavy-duty business, you should try the Hix N-880 16” x 20”. The other clamshell heat press machines work for small duty tasks if you are just starting out.

James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.