Top 13 Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners 2022 & Buying Guide

You own a sublimation printing related business or you’re going to start one? Having difficulty in choosing the right sublimation printer? Sublimation printers are the best to produce more creative and attractive designs but the problem arises when you have to choose a printer to start your journey.

Considering this, we have tested different products and choose some of the best sublimation printer for beginners. Go through the details given below. You will be able to narrow down the choices and choose the best one, suitable for your kind of work.

TOP PICK
sawgrass 500 dye sublimation printer for beginners
Sawgrass SG-500
9.9
  • Compatible with Smartphones, PC and Mac
  • Dye Printing Technology
  • Sublimate on Variety of Media
PREMIUM PICK
epson ecotank 15000-beginner sublimation printer
EcoTank ET-15000
9.8
  • Easy for Beginners
  • High Quality Finished Prints
  • Handles Wide Variety of Substrates
BUDGET PICK
workforce pro-7310
WorkForce PRO-7310
9.7
  • Mobile, Wi-Fi, PC & Other Connections
  • Low Cost
  • Fast Printing With Quality Output

Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

1-Epson EcoTank ET-2800- Small Sublimation Printer

Little Unit
Epson EcoTank 2800- Small sublimation printer for beginners

Key Features

  • LCD display control
  • 100 sheets plain paper tray
  • Scan, fax, copy, print, all in one
  • Wireless and internet connection

With supreme features in a compact and low priced features, this is the best sublimation printer for beginners. This printer will do all kinds of your sublimation work.

This sublimation printer has ink tanks instead of cartridges which helps to reduce the substantial amount of cartridges. Each replaced bottle is capable of printing more than 4000 pages.

The printer produces photos with amazing resolution. You can use this printer for all kinds of beginner sublimation projects or startups.

Print small size borderless prints of 4×6 inches designs. This eliminates the need of trimming the photos.

With multiple wireless printing options, the time of operating the printer is decreased. Connect smartphones, tablets, iPhone and other devices and print comfortably.

The printer has a paper tray with a capacity of 100 plain papers and 20 sheets of photo paper. This is ideal for little and moderate work.

Pros
  • Voice printing
  • Premium results with superb printing speed
  • Saves 90% ink, no need to buy expensive cartridges
Cons
  • Low capacity media tray

It is the best sublimation printer for small business as it is cheap and affordable, easy to handle, and has automatic functionality. We tried black, but it is also available in white.

2-Sawgrass SG500-Dye Sublimation Desktop Printer

Our Top Pick
sawgrass-sg-500-dye-sublimation-printer-for-beginners

Key Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Auto clean
  • High quality results
  • Fast printing speed
  • Creative studio-online designing software

This is the best dye sublimation desktop printer by default and doesn’t need ink conversion as inkjet printers need. It has a fanciable design.

If you want to start a t-shirt business, you can choose this. Now the printer is not only best for 100% polyester substrates but also for cotton and dark colored items using EasySubli and chroma blast ink.

Although the Chroma blast technology gives a solution for sublimation on cotton substrates, we found that these prints fade away after some washes and we would recommend using EasySubli. Create stunning, vibrant and high resolution photos on Chroma luxe panels. We also print mugs with it.

It has an auto cleaning function which prevents ink clogging in cartridges and paper jamming which decreases its maintenance cost and time and runs the operation smoothly.

Printing speed is fast. You can also get more prints per hour by lowering the resolution.
They also give more than hundred premium sublimation sheets and Ultra HD SubliJet ink, specially designed for this unit.

Sawgrass 500 is the upgraded version of sawgrass 400. New features like Wi-Fi compatibility, single roll bar are added. You can also use S400 accessories with sawgrass 500, like a bypass tray. Continue using it to print up to 51” long media.

Pros
  • easy handling
  • 2 year warranty
  • Instant dry inks
  • Unlimited technical support
  • Sublimation conversion not needed
Cons
  • Nil

If you want a dye sublimation printer for t-shirts, mugs or hard surfaced materials, or any kind of sublimation business, this machine is a best choice because of its easy handling, low maintenance and quality results.

3-Epson EcoTank ET-15000

Recommended
epson ecotank-15000

Key Features

  • Voice printing
  • Saves 90% ink cost
  • Touchscreen display
  • 250 paper sheet tray

If you don’t have much budget to buy an expensive printer, but want to print large volumes with excellent print quality, you may consider this.

It is really a good option to convert a regular printer into a sublimation printer. It deals with a variety of papers and also does quality wide format printing.

Testing various media types, we have concluded that the print quality is excellent. Its print quality and the time it takes is far better than laser printers thanks to the precision core technology.

Its high volume paper handling with 250 sheets per tray makes it the best option for those whose work needs bulk printing in a short time. To ease the operation, they have given a separate feed for the specialty paper.

This cartridge free unit comes with four color ink tanks. You can save about 90% of ink cost by refilling the ink tanks. With the given ink, you can print more than that of 80 cartridges. Inks in the super tanks are enough for 2 years.

A touch screen is displayed to easily set up and navigate the printer. Wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity has made it easy to handle the proceedings, connect tablet, smartphone, iPad, and control through it remotely. Another surprising feature is its voice activated printing which saves a lot of your time when you are dealing with an extensive amount of work.

It also has high quality copying, scanning ability, which is its plus point. It reduces the headache of using different machines and reduces the work effort.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Multipurpose
  • Flexible paper handling
  • Perform better than laser
  • Cartridge free-save a lot of money
  • Delivers quality results in least time
Cons
  • Setup may take some time

This is the least expensive wide format sublimation printer that you are going to get in Epson Eco-tank setup. It is highly productive and more economical, you will kick-start your business using it.

4-Sawgrass SG1000-Best Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts

Beginner to Advance
sawgrass sg-1000 printer for beginners

Key Features

  • 4 times durable prints
  • Print wide format media
  • Extremely high grade prints
  • Wireless and internet connectivity

This printer is the best to produce high quality large format sublimation prints. If you are going to start or already have a t-shirt business, don’t hesitate to choose this machine.

We get extra ordinary graphic results using it. It operates with high capacity, high quality 4 color inks cartridges to generate finest results and to produce large quantities of prints. Its advanced features include automatic color and lightning correction, and auto cleaning system.

Create custom design for every kind of photo and t-shirts printing, it supports over 60 types of media sizes and types. You can create large size 11×17 inches ultra-high definition prints, which is enough for professional t-shirt designers.

We tested the durability of the prints. Surprisingly, rubbing and scratching didn’t cause any damage. Another problem mostly seen is the color gradually grows faint because of water and dirt, especially on t-shirts. But it resists water and fades because of Sublijet high definition ink. In short, the prints produced are 4 times better than any other machine.

We found it very useful for photo printing, soft goods, and mugs and for printing t-shirts of any size with text or photo. It also works great for printing design pieces. One of its amazing features is you can create customized products using its creative studio, online designing software.

When a color ends, there is no need to buy a whole cartridge. Instead buy that specific color and replace it. We strongly endorse using genuine ink if your priority is quality. The machine comes in white color only.

Pros
  • Fast printing
  • Over 60 media types and sizes
  • Auto color and lightning correction
Cons
  • High initial cost

This is the best buy sublimation printer, widely accepted and famous because of its quality results. It produces smooth spectrum, distortion free images. It generates sharp text if you are printing text on t-shirts. You can also print packaging material, posters and large quantities of substrates.

5-Epson EcoTank ET-3850

Economical
epson ecotank 3850

Key Features

  • Light weight
  • Quality prints
  • Matte finishing
  • Cooling system

Another best dye sublimation printer, best for producing high quality prints efficiently. This is a light weight unit, occupies much less space, and comes with 4 colors ink tank system.

Normally, we print a wide range of media from 4×6 to 8.5×14 inches through this unit. The results it delivers are impressive. Photos printed on both matte and gloss were stunning. We have not experienced a single jam, misprint or problem.

In the recent upgrade, they have added more features like only one media type can be used to print different sizes, printing high resolution copies even on gloss or matte.

Its maintenance and handling is easy. Internal cooling systems increase the efficiency, and the dust is controlled with built in separators. Its power usage is 90% less than its previous generations

Pros
  • Fast printing speed
  • Large printing capacity
  • Save 90% electricity cost
  • Require less maintenance
  • Handle multiple media sizes
  • Minimize ink cost with rollback function
Cons
  • No two sided printing

This is a multipurpose sublimation printer with high printing speed and efficiency. Deals with large volumes and variety of media. Affordable with the quality it delivers. It would be very helpful for business.

6-WorkForce Pro WF-7820

Work Horse
epson workforce pro 7820 sublimation printer for beginners

Key Features

  • Touchscreen
  • 250 sheet tray
  • Wireless and Wi-Fi
  • Auto two side print
  • Voice activated printing

This is a cheap sublimation printer with a modern look and decent size. Come with four color ink cartridges. It’s a wide format all in one unit containing scan, fax making it a good choice for small businesses and to use in the office. Its printing speed and quality is quite impressive.

We printed photos, envelopes, cardstocks, glossy and plain paper & many other print media and the results it gives us are much better than any other laser printer. You may use this machine for t-shirts.
We printed large volumes in less time which is supported by an auto two sided printing feature. Auto sheet feeder has a capacity of dealing with 50 sheets at a time.

With Wi-Fi and wireless, you can connect multiple devices and operate it easily without any headache. It also has a touchscreen to control and navigate the process.

This is the upgraded version of the WF-7710 printer which is discontinued now. New features are added, printing technology is improved. It is more easy and efficient to use.

Pros
  • Save 80% power
  • Borderless prints
  • Scan, fax, copy, print
  • Fast and quality printing
  • Handle wide format media
  • Useful for various purpose
Cons
  • ink dry out in cartridges if not used for some days

It is widely used because of the variety of print media it handles and the reasonable price tag. If you want to print large volumes in less time, you may consider this unit.

7-Expression Photo HD XP-15000

Brilliant
epson expression hd-xp-15000 sublimation printer

Key Features

  • Touchscreen LCD
  • Auto 2 side prints
  • Wireless and Wi-Fi
  • 6-color inks cartridges
  • Support Wide format media

This is one of the best Epson printer for sublimation printing used to handle professional quality media. It has a decent design and is quite smaller in size as compared to other machines, making it easy to place and use anywhere.

We used different types of papers including velvet fine art paper, style paper, matte, titanium glossy paper. It was incredible to see the very high quality intense colors it delivered as expected from this dye printer, far better than any other laser machine. Moreover, the black and white prints it produced are magnificent.

It has a separate tray for specialty paper with the 50 sheets capacity. We printed borderless photos on cardstock in a very little time. With its auto two sided printing, you can print 200 sheets.

The printer comes with 6-color ultra-high quality inks cartridges. With the other four, there are red and gray inks. The gray ink expands the smoothness of color areas and the red just helps give a bit more intensity and vividness in some colors.

To control the large printing volume operation, you can connect multiple devices, iPhone, iPad, tablets, and smartphones through wireless and internet.

A touchscreen LCD to navigate the progress and voice activated printing through Alexa make it easy to handle. This would be the best printer bundle for the UK too.

Pros
  • Handle large volumes
  • Voice activated printing
  • Ultra high quality prints in less time
  • Better performance than laser printers
  • Easy to control with wireless and screen
Cons
  • No scanner

If you’re starting a professional business or already have and want to enhance the efficiency, this would be a best choice. It is an affordable sublimation printer and delivers much more than its price.

8-WorkForce WF-7310

Budget Pick
epson workforce 7310 sublimation printer

Key Features

  • Quality graphics
  • Wireless and Wi-Fi
  • Touchscreen control
  • Automatic two sided printing

If you are looking for a low price and good performance wide format sublimation printer, this may be one of the options for you. Prints out perfect shop-quality media and the speed is excellent. It handles a variety of print media.

With its dual tray and large sheet capacity, auto two sided printing, it reduces the cost and headache of handling. About 50% of the cost of the paper is decreased. Moreover, it consumes 80% less power and performs better than laser printers.

Wireless and Wi-Fi has made connection of devices easy and you can control print operation through them. A touch screen is also available which helps to navigate and control the ongoing process.

The unit comes with 4 color inks. There is an option with extra-large ink cartridges if you want to print high volume.

Pros
  • Upgraded model of Epson WF-7210
  • Fast printing
  • Low budget unit
Cons
  • The cartridge ink system

If you want a cheap printer for your startup without compromising on the quality and need to print large volumes easily and swiftly, you may go for it.

9-Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840-Best for Office

Value To Money
epson workforce pro 7840-best for office

Key Features

  • Borderless printing
  • Touchscreen display
  • Auto 2 sided printing
  • Voice activated printing
  • Wireless & internet connection
  • Auto document feeder-50 pages
  • Two sheet trays-500 paper capacity

This is a new multi-skilled best sublimation printer for wide format prints. We tested the larger size of media it offered and experienced wonderful quality prints.

Its capacity to do large quantities of prints in less time is amazing as it handles 500 sheets. We did all functions of scanning, fax, printing and copying using the single unit.

Another significant feature is its dual tray which offers you to print different sizes in a professional way especially in title printing, without using any software command. It also has a back-feed for specialty paper. Making it the best choice for any type of office, business or home use.

Though it operates with wire, we connected mobile, tablet, using its wireless and internet connection. You can also print with mac, windows or server systems.

Pros
  • Good printing speed
  • Power consumption is 80% lesser than laser printer
  • High capacity ink cartridges for large printing volume
  • Auto 2 sided printing decrease 50% paper consumption
Cons
  • Printer size is quite larger
  • Scan quality is not much good

As it is cheap, handles large printing volume in less time, offers wide format printing and delivers more in a very reasonable price, it is used by most of the t-shirt designers at the beginning level.

10-DNP DS-RX1HS

Productive
DNP DS-RX1HS

Key Features

  • Quality results
  • Energy saving
  • Cost effective
  • App to control

This is one of the finest dye sublimation printers to get quality photo prints. With its high printing speed and low media prices, it is mostly used by professional photographers and photo retailers.

We printed out around 290 4×6 sheets in one hour only which is excellent for those who want high production in less time. It deals with different sized media, produce 2×6 photo strips. You may also control the print speed by playing with the resolution. Prints are durable and smudge resistant.

You can monitor the print operation in real time with its Windows/Mac app like type of print media, remaining prints, color control data and many other things.

They also gave us ink ribbons and paper sheets. Moreover, DNP provides a warranty of parts and labor for a period of one year.

Pros
  • Durable prints
  • Easy handling
  • Low media cost
  • Fast printing speed
Cons
  • Little heavy

The results it gives in the given price is simply unimaginable. The best sublimation machine that expands your business with high quality and affordability. High print capacity paired with durable design and higher speed output, makes it ideal for ride photography, photo booths and park photographers.

11-Brother MFC-J6545DW

Brother For Beginners
Brother MFC-J6545DW-best brother sublimation printer for beginners

Key Features

  • Fax, scan, copy
  • Separate tray for heavy paper
  • Automatic duplex print and scan
  • Print directly from cloud storages

Other than Epson and sawgrass, we have a Mitsubishi all in one inkjet printer, widely used in homes, small businesses and offices. With the combination of various modern features. Brings excellent results. It is also available in XL model with extended features.

In the new upgrade, the size of ink tanks are enlarged which allow it to print more without any hassle. The average price of printing black and white/color media is very low.

The printer supports a variety of media and paper sizes, we printed large format media, 11×17 inch, A3 to A6, envelopes, photo paper, with different sizes and got excellent results.

With the page gauge, you can regulate the amount of ink and quantity of paper you can print more with the remaining. With the inkvestment tanks, ink cost is reduced significantly. However, if your monthly printing volume is more than 300 pages, you have to keep replacement ink.

It has automatic duplex printing quality which reduces the stress of handling media. Scan up to 50 sheets automatically. For heavier media, another feed of 100 sheet capacity is provided. We would recommend not to print more than 20,000 pages per month.

With internet and Wi-Fi, connect multiple devices. Print wirelessly from mobile, tablet, laptop. You can also print directly from drive, drop box, and other cloud storage platforms through touchscreen.

Pros
  • Touchscreen display
  • Fast, quality printing
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Handles variety of media
  • Page gauge to monitor ink
  • Reduces ink and paper cost
Cons
  • Not a best option for printing large volume

This printer is affordable and economical. Setup and handling is easy. A good choice for small business owners, offices and homes.

12-Expression Premium XP-7100

Good Deal
Expression Premium XP-7100

Key Features

  • USB, SD card slots
  • Wireless and Wi-Fi
  • Touchscreen display
  • Superb quality prints
  • 5-color ink cartridges

This is an amazing sublimation printer with 5 color inks by Epson. The printer is best for dealing small to medium level needs.

With its 5-color ink cartridges. We printed wonderful photos on various types of media. It also supports borderless prints of 3.5×5 in to 8×10 inch.

An auto document feeder with 30 sheets capacity makes the projects easy to handle. DVD printing is also assisted by the printer.

Cartridges are not big in size and run short after some prints. So, our recommendation is to install a continuous ink system or keep extra cartridges. Use regularly to run your work smoothly.

Pros
  • Small size
  • Economical
  • Auto 2S printing
  • Fast & quality printing
  • Variety of media handling
Cons
  • Installation takes time

Epson xp 7100 dye sublimation desktop printer is best for handling sublimation businesses efficiently.

13-SureColor T3170- Desktop Printer

Ultra Pro
SureColor T3170

Key Features

  • Auto sheet feeder
  • High quality prints
  • Excellent printing speed
  • Wi-Fi connectivity & touchscreen

If you want to get high quality precise and vibrant photo prints in minimum time, this amazing printer is built for you. The unit comes in white color, wide and beautiful design. You can also check the X model it offers with extra features.

Printer uses advanced precision core micro TFP printing technology to print astonishing crisp lines and brilliant colors. With fast printing speed like A1 size in just 34 seconds, it reduces the operating time and cost.

We printed various types of media up to 24 inches wide and got awesome results. You can also print banners with it. It supports a variety of print media types. Its auto sheet feeder supports printing media up to 11×17 inches. An internal rotary cutter is installed for cutting media.

If you want to use it for t-shirt printing and have a heat press already, this machine will decrease cost and workload. With T-Shirts, you can also use t-shirt poly enhancers to sharpen the text and its durability.

To check prints longevity, we use water and apply scratches, the color doesn’t disappear. The dye sublimation compatible inks boosted its resistance and gave them life. Prints dried up instantly, reducing the headache of handling wet media, especially when dealing with large quantities.

The printer uses 4 color inks to print out high definition media using different colors accurately. You can convert it to a sublimation printer easily by replacing it with the sublimation ink.

Setting up the printer is very easy with a 4.3” color touchscreen. Connect your smartphones and tablets with direct Wi-Fi connection and print wireless remotely. It also supports various operating systems of Mac and windows.

Pros
  • Easy handling
  • Inks dry instantly
  • Usable for any business
  • Prints large quantity in less time
Cons
  • Quite large in size

Due to the high quality photo print results it provides in less time, many professional photographers use this machine. It’s a large format and beautiful best sublimation printer for beginners to use for any type of business, office and home use.

Buying Guide-Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

We will discuss some important factors to be considered before buying a sublimation printer as a beginner either for business, home or office.

1-Print Quality

If you are going to use the printer for business, the quality of the prints should be considered as your top priority.

2-Volume Handling

Some businesses require a large volume of printing. If you own one like that, go for the printer which deals with large printing media in less time. Else, all the reviewed printers are best.

3-Print Media Size

Always check that the printer you are going to buy supports the media you want to print.

4-Maintenance

Printers require low maintenance and handling should be easy to run the workflow smoothly.

5-Connectivity

Check the devices compatible with the printer. There are wireless and wired printers, we would recommend choosing one with both options, that works with Wi-Fi and can directly be connected with the device.

Conclusion

We have reviewed some of the best sublimation printers for beginners. You can pick anyone which suits your needs. To narrow down the choices, as a user and reviewer, we would recommend three of the best among them.

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is the process of transferring designs to materials like fabric, wood, ceramic etc. Sublimation is done by special printers and sublimation inks.

How do sublimation printers work?

Print a designed image you want to transfer to any material on a regular copy paper or on a specialty sublimation paper. Then this design is transferred onto a substrate using heat via a heat press.

Difference between Heat Transfer and Sublimation

Heat transfer is a two-step method. First step is to print a design onto a transparent sheet of transfer paper. In step two, you actually transfer that printed design onto an adhesive paper using a heat press.
Then, peel away the adhesive sheet from the transfer sheet and press the design onto a substrate such as a garment. After pressing, remove the actual paper and you are left with the design that’s transferred onto a garment itself.

In sublimation, you have to print a design on a regular or a specialty sublimation paper. Then using a heat press, transfer the printed design onto a substrate.

During sublimation, when the actual printed design is heated using a heat press, the toner turns from solid state into a gas state. It embeds itself into the substrate and becomes a permanent part of the substrate upon cooling.

Heat transfer is commonly carried out using normal inkjet printers as they are affordable and available easily or by pigment ink. Whereas, direct sublimation can be done by using sublimation inks.

How to Convert a Printer to Sublimation Printer

Converting an inkjet printer to sublimation is simple. You just have to replace the regular ink with the special sublimation ink.

If you have a brand new printer, fill the sublimation ink and you are ready to go. But if you want to convert a working printer, remove its ink and clean the print head first.

Can You Use any Printer for Sublimation?

Not all printers can be used for sublimation. Printers with piezo printing technology are compatible with sublimation ink. Printers with thermal printing technology can’t be used for sublimation.

What Printers can be used for Sublimation?

Sawgrass and Epson design special printers for sublimation but they are too expensive. So you can convert any printer with piezo printing technology. Mostly, Epson inkjet printers are converted to sublimation printers and used for sublimation.

Epson vs Sawgrass: Which is best for beginners

Sawgrass printers are built for sublimation. So, the results it delivers are just marvelous. The support they give is awesome. These printers require less maintenance. But sawgrass printers and inks are much more expensive than Epson’s.

Whereas, Epson printers are normally used for sublimation because they are much cheaper than sawgrass. Inks are also economical. But once you convert an Epson unit to sublimation, you will get very limited support from the company.

Although both Epson and sawgrass printers are best for sublimation. If you have investment to buy sawgrass, you should definitely go for it. Otherwise, Epson is best, simply buy and convert it.

FAQ’s

Can you use sublimation paper in any printer?

Sublimation paper is built specially to work with sublimation ink to produce high quality sublimated prints. You cannot use it with regular printers.

What is a dye sublimation printer?

Dye sublimation is the printing technology used by printers where ink is heated and deposited on the surface of media.

What printers can be used for sublimation?

The main printers used for sublimation are sawgrass and Epson converted sublimation printers. Some printers by Mitsubishi and DNP are also used for sublimation purposes.

Can you use an hp printer for sublimation?

Hp and canon printers are not suitable for sublimation because they did not use piezo printing technology.

Can I use a brother printer for sublimation?

Some brother printers which use piezo printing technology are used for sublimation. Check their ink availability before buying.

What can I do with a sublimation printer?

Sublimation printer is used to transfer designs on a large variety of substrates including t-shirts, apparel, Mugs, Ceramics, Polymer, wood and many other things using heat.

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