If you need a design putting on a t-shirt and are looking for a heat press machine, Gecko is one of the biggest brands out there. Their popular Gecko range are regarded as some of the best machines in the industry. They operate with a manual clamshell design and are well suited for applying designs to t-shirts, tote bags and other linen items. Their versatility and ease of usemakes them a popular choice among first-time t-shirters.
The Gecko Heat Press Machine comes in 15”x15”, 16”x20” or 16”x24” sizes.
- Nonstick heat platen, complete with heating coils
- Digital temperature and timer control gauge.
- Adjustable temperature up to 435 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Timer ranges from 0 to 999 seconds.
- Spring assist handle
- Adjustable pressure knob.
- Durable metal frame construction.
- 110V and 1600 power
- Can be used with all common transfer materials, including plastisol, sublimation, inkjet, laser and color copier.
The Gecko Heat Press machine was really easy to set up. Within 15 minutes of unwrapping the packaging, you are ready to start printing. The simple design interface makes the Gecko very accessible to beginners. You just need to power up the machine, set the temperature and length of time and its ready to go.
The Gecko Heat Press delivers good value for money. The price tag is not too hard on the wallet and in return you get a reliable heat press machine that can withstand the test of time. It is made of quality materials, the tough metal frame and heat platen give it a tough and strong feel, making it one of the most durable on the market.
It is also compatible with a wide selection of materials, considering its affordable price tag. The adjustable pressure knob means the Gecko can print on t-shirts, but slightly thicker items like sweatshirts which might require a little more pressure. The Gecko Heat Press is ideal for people starting a t-shirt shop, with a view to expand, as the Gecko offers enough versatility to expand with you until you need something a little bigger.
Despite its durability, it is surprisingly portable. The GK100 weighs just 64lbs, making it easy to transfer to local craft fairs and trade shows without struggling to get it in and out of your vehicle.
It was hard to find cons with this machine. But there were a couple of limitations. The temperature gauge was not 100% accurate. A laser thermometer gave a slightly more accurate readingand also, despite the heating coils designed to provide a consistent heat across the platen, it found that the front of the platen was hotter than the rear part. This could be a problem over time as it could cause designs to be administered unevenly and lead to their eventual peeling.
Make sure you get the correct size for you. The smaller models are not able to comfortably fit XXL sized t-shirts. If you are looking for something to print on hats, or mugs I would not recommend the Gecko. Unlike other heat presses, it cannot take any attachments to print on these.
Conclusion and Opinion
The Gecko Heat Press machine will undoubtedly pay for itself. It is a solid, affordable entry level heat press machine which offers quality and durability at a fraction of the price of other big brands.
For a small, startup business or the casual, weekend t-shirt presser, the Gecko is the perfect heat press. The cons are unlikely to distract from the performance of the machine until you have a much bigger business and are looking to expand into other areas, when you will undoubtedly need something bigger with more pressing capabilities.
If you are working on an intricate project which requires a precise temperature, I would recommend using the machine in conjunction with a laser thermometer, or other device which gives a more accurate temperature reading than the built-in dial. The discrepancy wasn’t huge, but it will help to be accurate if you are working on something intricate.
One word of advice; it arrives with the pressure on the highest setting to ensure that the clamshell design does not open in transit. You can easily adjust the setting after opening it on arrival, but it does make the initial opening it very difficult.
On the whole, the Gecko Heat Press Machine delivers a high level of quality, at an affordable price and unless you are looking to print on materials which require heavy pressure, it should not be overlooked.