The Top 8 Best Sublimation Printers for Beginners in 2022

Looking for the best sublimation printer for your crafting or creative business? I’m here to help!

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I got started in sublimation many years ago, before it became widely accessible. My first sublimation printer was A LOT of money, and the replacement ink cost as much as the printer itself. Luckily, things have changed since then and there are more options available for beginners, hobbyists and small businesses. With so many things that can be personalized with sublimation, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular printing methods.

Check out the Best sublimation printers.  Sublimation printers for t-shirts, cricut and hobbyist.

Below you’ll find a few key details you need to know about sublimation printing and printers. Whether you’re looking for a cheap, wide-format, beginner friendly, or the best printer for sublimating overall, I’ve got it covered!

FAQs ABOUT SUBLIMATION

Sublimation printing is a type of printing that requires you to print on sublimation paper using sublimation ink. When heat pressed or heated, the design then transfers from the sublimation paper onto your substrate, such as a sublimation mug, polyester shirt, mittens, keychain, etc.

As long as you’ve used material designed for sublimation, this process permanently adheres the design to your sublimation blank and becomes a part of it. This means it will not crack, peel or fade and is dishwasher safe.

No, you can not use or convert any printer for sublimation. Canon and HP printers can not be used for sublimation due to using heat while printing, which is incompatible with sublimation inks (as sublimation ink turns into gas when heated). While Brother printers can technically be converted, unfortunately, no one makes sublimation ink cartridges for them. So we are left with a range of printers from Sawgrass, Ricoh, Epson and commercial size Roland.

While you can use sublimation ink for regular printing, it is not advised. Sublimation ink colors print faded and dull and will not yield true colors until it is heated. It will also appear to bleed if printed sublimation paper is not protected. In addition, you also should not mix sublimation ink with regular ink. It is advised to have a dedicated printer for sublimation and a separate printer for regular printing.

The Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

1. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

The Sawgrass SG500 is the perfect sublimation printer for beginners and hobbyists. It prints up to 8.5×14 and offers WiFi connectivity.

This particular kit also includes sublimation paper, ink, and sample blanks to get you started. Plus you can also enjoy the following benefits:

  • One on one setup & onboarding
  • Creative Studio with built in product templates
  • 2 year warranty-with amazing support

2. Epson EcoTank ET-2850

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an affordable sublimation printer for beginners. This printer will need to be converted to sublimation, simply by using sublimation ink instead of the ink that comes with it.

  • Wireless printing
  • Scan and copy capabilities
  • Prints 8.5×11, 8.5×14
  • Max paper size 8.5×47 inch

The Best Sublimation Printer for t-shirts

3. Epson EcoTank ET-15000

While the Epson EcoTank et-15000 is not a sublimation printer, it can be converted into one. When setting up, simply fill with sublimation ink instead of the ink that comes with it.

  • prints up to 13×19
  • holds a lot of ink
  • no cartridges, refill easy

This is the printer I personally use for sublimation. Just keep in mind, when you add sublimation ink, that you void the warranty and tech support is not provided via Epson.

4. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000

The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000 is one of the best sublimation printers for t-shirts. It prints 11×17, but can print up to 13×51 inches with the optional bypass tray

This kit also includes sublimation paper, ink, and sample blanks to try out. Plus you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • One on one setup & onboarding
  • Creative Studio with built in product templates
  • 2 year warranty-with amazing support

Keep in mind, because this is printer is a true sublimation printer, you do not have to worry about a voided warranty, because the ink that comes with it is made for sublimation.

5. Epson EcoTank ET-8550

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is another printer that can be converted to sublimation by adding sublimation ink. What sets this printer a part from the rest is that it uses 6 inks instead of the standard 4. Because of this, designs print beautifully with photo quality vibrancy.

  • Prints up to 13×19 inch sheet size
  • Copy/scanning capabilities
  • wide range of colors

Keep in mind, because this is printer is a true sublimation printer, you do not have to worry about a voided warranty, because the ink that comes with it is made for sublimation.

6. Epson F570

The Epson SureColor PRO F570 24″ Dye Sublimation Printer is the best sublimation printer for t-shirts, especially if attempting larger designs and all-over prints. It’s also perfect if you anticipate larger orders or subbing on larger products. Because this is specifically made for sublimation printing, there is no “converting” and is ready to use straight out the box. This particular bundle includes the following:

  • Prints sheets up to 11×17
  • Prints rolls of up to 24 inches wide
  • Built-in rotary cutter
  • Lifetime support
  • Sample blanks & $500 credit for designs

The Best Sublimation Printer for Cricut

While you don’t need a Cricut to do sublimation, many people use designs from design space to print. While I recommend against this, because Cricut limits your print size capabilities, you still can.

If you find that you want to print from design space or your print designs will be smaller, such as standard letter size, you don’t need a wide format, and just need a cheap and affordable sublimation printer to get the job done the printers below are great options.

7. Epson EcoTank ET-2800 / 2803

This EcoTank ET-2803 can be converted into a sublimation printer by adding sublimation ink during setup instead of the ink included. This is a great value and perfect for beginners and those using with Cricut.

  • Scanner and copying capabilities
  • Wireless, Apple AirPrint
  • Prints up to 8.5×47.2 inch

8. Epson EcoTank ET-4800

Another inexpensive option to use for Cricut sublimation printing is the ET-4800. It’s similar to the et-2803, with the exception that this includes faxing capabilities

  • Scanner, fax, copying capabilities
  • Wireless, Apple AirPrint
  • Prints up to 8.5×47.2 inch

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Check out the Best sublimation printers.  Sublimation printers for t-shirts, cricut and hobbyist.

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