Crafting, Crafts & DIY

Best Sublimation Printer For Beginners (With Buying Guide)

Are you a total beginner who is looking for a sublimation printer, and you want something which is effective and efficient while still being affordable? Then this is the right place to be!

We will go over some basic information about sublimation printing and then give you multiple recommendations to work with, so you will be able to find the best sublimation printer for your needs!

Our number one pick is the Epson WorkForce due to its easy of use, versatility and high quality prints. For more information, check out the guide below!

Dimensions

Product 

Star Rating 

Amazon Link

32.2 x 22.3 x 13.4 inches

Epson WorkForce WF-7720

30 x 30 x 38.25 inches

Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless

40.75 x 29.25 x 28.75 inches

HP ENVY Photo 7855

The Best Sublimation Printers For Beginners?

Epson WorkForce WF-7720

Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Printer Overview

We love this printer by Epson because it has all the features you need included at an affordable price. Epson printers are also known for their top quality. One of the best features of this printer which we discovered while testing is the sublimation options.

You actually find some sellers using this printer for selling prints and vinyl stickers on demand, and they do not feel the need to upgrade to a dedicated sublimation printer because of how high quality this printer is.

This printer is also able to print all the way up to 13 by 19 inches, which is impressive.

This Epson sublimation printer is pretty similar to the Epson 7710, in fact the only difference is that you get 2 separate paper trays with this one instead of just one, but if you can only get the 7710, other than this it is identical.

Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Printer Features And Specs

  • Lets you print up to 13 by 19 inches, and you can scan up to 11.7 by 17 inches, giving it good versatility
  • Lets you print, scan, copy, and fax
  • Printing resolution of 4800 by 2400
  • The printing speed is 18ppm for black and 10ppm for color, which is important for crafts like print and color bookmarks. 
  • The scan resolution is 1200 by 2400
  • Features 2 250 sheet input trays
  • Uses a 4.3 inch touchscreen for controlling as well as USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and NFC compatibility

What We Love About The Epson WorkForce WF-7720

  • For each of the trays on the 7720 you can have different sized paper which makes printing multiple sized products simpler, especially if you often work with smaller products
  • By having the 2 trays for paper, having a sub paper and a standard paper in one play is incredibly convenient

What We Do Not Love About The Epson WorkForce WF-7720

  • This is not a standard sublimation printer and you will need to go to the effort to convert this product yourself, however there are plenty of guides on how to do this and it is not too difficult

Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless

Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless Printer Overview

This is another printer by Epson, and a lot of people prefer it for its more economical output, as well as some more connectivity choices as well.

It also works better as a dedicated sublimation printer, rather than a general printer with sublimation offerings, read the differences of what sublimation printing is here. .

It uses Epson’s PrecisionCore Technology, which makes it a perfect sublimation printer choice for beginners, we also have a guide for best printer for small spaces, if you are looking to buy tips. .

After our testing, our favorite aspect of this printer was how portable it is with it having a smaller than average size and a lighter than average weight.

The EcoTank also uses a print chip with a higher density, giving it a more precise and efficient print quality as well.

This is also one of the most cost effective as well with the EcoTank using up to 90% less sublimation ink compared to other printers.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless Printer Features And Specs

  • You will save around 90% on the cost of ink with the replacement bottles for the printer being very cheap compared to competitors
  • Printer is a wireless all in one which uses an easy to fill ink tank and prints without using cartridges.
  • Lets you print, scan, copy and fax as well.
  • The print speed is 17ppm for black and 9ppm for color

What We Love About The Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless

  • Good capacity when it comes to the other types of paper which it holds
  • Good output quality
  • Does not waste as much ink, and the ink it does use is inexpensive

What We Do Not Love About The Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Wireless

  • The printer itself is quite expensive, but if you factor in the cost of ink, it balances in the long term, but this makes it an intimidating choice for beginners
  • Still have to go through some conversions to make the printer work for sublimation printing for beginners.

HP ENVY Photo 7855

HP ENVY Photo 7855 Printer Overview

The HP Envy is a great choice when it comes to more detailed imaging, and it has some of the cheapest images per print compared to any of the other printers.

We loved during testing that the Envy also uses its own dedicated photo tray to add convenience as well.

You have plenty of connectivity options with this inkjet printer as well, with more niche options included like iPrint, and Google Cloud Print as well as the more standard offerings.

A slight drawback is that the envy only uses the HP 64 cartridges, and you do not have the option of anything else which can occasionally feel a little limiting when working with the printer.

However, it still has plenty of useful features like the ADF being built in, and the touch screen making the printer simple to use.

Its printing quality far surpasses some other options, and the detail of printed images is spectacular.

HP ENVY Photo 7855 Printer Features And Specs

  • The color resolution of the ENVY is 4800 by 1200 at the optimum DPI with specific paper as well
  • The printer of course works with heat transfer
  • Also uses thermal inkjet by HP which lends to borderless prints

What We Love About The HP ENVY Photo 7855

  • Quite an inexpensive option
  • Works at a speed of 15 pages per minute
  • Prints using the inkjet technology
  • Simple and easy connectivity options
  • Great all in one option

What We Do Not Love About The HP ENVY Photo 7855

  • Occasionally the internet connectivity can be spotty
  • Only works with HP ink

Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation Printer

Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation Printer Overview

Now we have the Sawgrass SG1000 which is a great dedicated sublimation printer, it is one of the easiest sublimation printers to set up.

It is also one of the few printers on the list which is a dedicated sublimation printer which puts it above some others in terms of convenience and being easier for beginners as well.

Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation Printer Features And Specs

  • The Sawgrass can print up to 11 by 17 inches which is a good size for entrepreneurs as well as more casual sublimation enthusiasts. 
  • The printer also works with some of the accessories from Sawgrass’ previous SG800 printer accessories which makes it a good choice if you are upgrading from the printer.

What We Love About The Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation Printer

  • When you start using a Sawgrass for sublimation printing, you will find it difficult to go back to any other choice
  • By using a Sawgrass you will get their 2 year warranty as well as access to their tech support, their video demonstrations, as well as their design studio
  • One of the few dedicated sublimation printers which feels accessible to starters

What We Do Not Love About The Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation Printer

  • Significantly more expensive than a lot of the other options which we have included on this list

KODAK Step Wireless

KODAK Step Wireless Printer Overview

This is a sublimation printer which is designed specifically for photos and it is both portable and small making it a great convenient option for you to work with.

We loved how this printer is so small that you can even fit it in your pocket. It is also well known for not requiring any ink toner making it more convenient, but this does come at the cost of the paper tending to be more expensive.

What We Love About The KODAK Step Wireless

  • Lightweight and portable option which is simple to use
  • One of the only viable options for printing on the go
  • Save money on ink

What We Do Not Love About The KODAK Step Wireless

  • Not applicable for any commercial use.

What Is Sublimation Printing?

If you are unaware, sublimation is a specific technique which is used for putting colors onto a variety of materials or fabrics.

You will make images using digital software, with the most common choice being Photoshop.

Then these will be printed using sublimation ink, then this print will get transferred onto the transfer material by using heat and pressure. We have had the question can you use sublimation ink for an inkjet printer, check out our article here for that answer..

For using a sublimation printer you will need to use heat sensitive dyes, as well as sublimation ink, this is because it is essentially thermal printing.

You can make a variety of goods using sublimation printing, and it is a very versatile method of printing.

Why Should I Use Sublimation Printing?

While there are plenty of different methods of transferring images which are well known like embroidery, screen printing, or transfer vinyls, why is it we love sublimation printing so much?

The main reason we love sublimation is that you get to transfer images for a good price, at a good quality, in good time.

Also, over the years we have grown to learn and love just how versatile this method of printing is, and how many different materials you can use!

Buyer’s Guide For Sublimation Printers

As this guide states, this is intended for beginners, and when you are buying something as technical as a sublimation printer, there is a chance that there are some factors which you will simply not understand.

This section of the guide is designed to ensure that you know what you should be considering when it comes to buying a sublimation printer. If this is for sublimation shirts, check out our “How to do sublimation shirts, what to know” article.!

Printing Dimensions

One thing which is likely the most important aspect of a sublimation printer is the dimensions it can print with.

For the smaller ones, if you are just working with tote bags, small t shirts or mugs, they should be fine.

However, if you are looking to print larger designs, you will need to look out for a wide format printer which will be able to create these.

Sometimes the prices can vary, so make sure you know what you are intending to print, before choosing which printing dimensions suit you best.

Converting Sublimation

Unless you are buying a printer which is specifically designed for sublimation, but instead are buying a standard printer with sublimation capabilities, you will need to know how to modify the printer to work with sublimation ink.

Sometimes the printer will have built in setting which make this process simple and easy, however other printers like cartridge printers will not make this as simple and you may even need to use third party software to help you modify your printer.

Color Accuracy

This is something which is often overlooked, but you will want to ensure that the colors created by your printer are as accurate and as bold as you intend them to be.

You will want to keep an eye out for printers which use more inks as this will give you more accurate and realistic color gradations on your final product.

You can often get more information on this in customer reviews as this is where you will find any complaints about color inaccuracy.

Ease Of Use

This category in particular is important when it comes to considering printers for beginners.

If your printer is too technical it can often discourage you from wanting to use it and experiment with it, and when you are a beginner, these factors can be significant hurdles.

Make sure you find a printer with a simple interface which suits your needs perfectly.

Value For Money

Make sure that you are not spending more money than you can afford to on a printer.

You will want to look into the reviews and our descriptions of products to see if you are getting a good deal for the features which are offered, or if you are getting a luxury product with a few extra features which may or may not be useful for you.

Connectivity

Most modern sublimation printers will use wifi, however, some older models will need specific physical connections to be able to print your images.

This does not bother some people, but if this is the case, you will want to ensure that all connections are included, or that you already have them.

Speed Of Printing

This is not one of the more important factors, but it is always worth considering the speed of printing.

Of course a higher quality image will take longer to print, but some printers can simply do this faster. If you are looking to print lots in a short amount of time, this is a factor you should consider.

Volume Of Printing

Similar to the last point, this is only important in more niche situations, but if you are planning to print a lot at once, you will want a sublimation printer which has a higher printing capacity.

This can be easily found out, but sometimes this is limited to high end printers only.

Frequently Asked Questions

What printer should I buy for sublimation?

If you’re looking for a printer that is good for both sublimation and regular printing, the Epson WorkForce WF-7720 is a great option. It has an automatic two-sided printing feature, so you can save time and paper, and it produces high-quality prints with rich colors. Plus, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi so you can print from anywhere in your home.

What Should I Know Before Buying A Sublimation Printer?

Before buying a sublimation printer, there are just a few things you should know. Firstly, sublimation is no longer a luxury option, you can now get sublimation printers at a very affordable price, so do not be put off with how expensive this printed option used to be. Finally, you should keep in mind that for sublimation printing, you will need to buy or already own some specific gear, including; the heat transfer, a flat bed, or a calendar press, depending on your needs.

Can a Cricut do sublimation?

Yes. A Cricut can do sublimation. With a Cricut Expression, you would need to use the vinyl setting and then cut out your design from a piece of vinyl. The vinyl would then be placed on top of the item that you want to sublimate and heat pressed.

Do I need a special printer for sublimation?

Yes, you need a sublimation printer. A regular inkjet printer will not work because it will not get hot enough to produce the sublimation transfer.
Sublimation printers are specifically designed to print images that will be transferred onto fabric using heat and pressure.

Summary

Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need to make an informed decision on the best beginner sublimation printer for you.

If you could not work out which will suite you best when going through the product list, try going back through after reading the buyer’s guide, we also have an article on best printer for vinyl stickers, check it out!.

This will help you work out what factors you find most important when buying these products, and you can then cross-reference to work out what product fits these requirements best!

This content may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. We may earn money, free services or complementary products from the companies mentioned in this post. All opinions are ours alone…

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Michelle Jacobs

Michelle Jacobs

Michelle is a young mom and crafts fanatic. In her free time she loves to write about her latest creations, and how other moms can entertain their children with some colored paper and a pair of scissors!
Michelle Jacobs

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