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Best Screen Printing Equipment for 2018

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What to Buy and Where to Buy It

As you probably know by now, the Placeit team has a thing for t-shirts (some of our team members even have their own online t-shirt businesses!) so we decided to go ahead and figure out what the best screen printing equipment out there was. We selected products from three of the biggest marketplaces online (Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba) we put together a list of screen printing presses for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as a list of screen printing starter kits you can purchase if you’re just getting into the screen printing world. Also, we decided to add a top 5 of software and websites where you can design for screen printingCheck it out down below, and as always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to leave a comment.


Best Screen Printing Presses according to Amazon Reviews

Amazon is without a doubt one of the biggest sellers online and we found a couple of great options for someone who is just stepping into the screen printing world. Depending on your needs, or how many colors and shirts you’ll be printing at once, you’ll need a number of stations and color options that your t shirt printing machine should have.

Screen Printing Machine

Price: $109.9
Promising Review:
JOE SNEED
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great product, easy to use.
"This was my first experience with using a multi-color screen press. This is a solid screen printer, just make sure you can bolt it to something.This is a great product if you plan on only using it as a hobby. It is great for introducing people to printing. I’ve had this product for almost six months now and I’ve really enjoyed using it. That being said, I love the built-in exposure unit and will probably use it for the rest of my printing career."

Price: $109.9
Promising Review:
JOE SNEED
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great product, easy to use.
"This was my first experience with using a multi-color screen press. This is a solid screen printer, just make sure you can bolt it to something.This is a great product if you plan on only using it as a hobby. It is great for introducing people to printing. I’ve had this product for almost six months now and I’ve really enjoyed using it. That being said, I love the built-in exposure unit and will probably use it for the rest of my printing career."

Price: $109.9
Promising Review:
JOE SNEED
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great product, easy to use.
"This was my first experience with using a multi-color screen press. This is a solid screen printer, just make sure you can bolt it to something.This is a great product if you plan on only using it as a hobby. It is great for introducing people to printing. I’ve had this product for almost six months now and I’ve really enjoyed using it. That being said, I love the built-in exposure unit and will probably use it for the rest of my printing career."

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Price: $179.99
Promising Review:
Edward Glenn
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very excited with this screen printing machine
Exactly as advertised. I was so excited to receive this silk screen printing machine. It comes complete, with all parts, screws. I assembled it myself and everything went smooth as hell. Definitely worth the money.

Price: $179.99
Promising Review:
Edward Glenn
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very excited with this screen printing machine
Exactly as advertised. I was so excited to receive this silk screen printing machine. It comes complete, with all parts, screws. I assembled it myself and everything went smooth as hell. Definitely worth the money.

Price: $179.99
Promising Review:
Edward Glenn
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very excited with this screen printing machine
Exactly as advertised. I was so excited to receive this silk screen printing machine. It comes complete, with all parts, screws. I assembled it myself and everything went smooth as hell. Definitely worth the money.

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Best Manual Screen Printing Presses on eBay Based on Seller Score

eBay is another website where you can find a manual printing press that suits your needs. We selected the best printing machines on eBay based on the seller score and ordered by how many colors and printing stations it would allow.

4 color 1 station Screen Printing Machine: DIY T-Shirt Press Printer

Seller Score: 96%
Price: $139.65
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 96%
Price: $139.65
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 96%
Price: $139.65
Ships from: California

4 Color 2 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine

Seller Score: 98.5%
Price: $202.40
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 98.5%
Price: $202.40
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 98.5%
Price: $202.40
Ships from: California

6 Color 6 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine Press_

Seller Score: 98.8%
Price: $1,212.68
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 98.8%
Price: $1,212.68
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 98.8%
Price: $1,212.68
Ships from: California

6 Color 6 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine

Seller Score: 99.1%
Price:  $2,177.98
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 99.1%
Price:  $2,177.98
Ships from: California

Seller Score: 99.1%
Price:  $2,177.98
Ships from: California

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Best Manual Screen Printing Presses on Alibaba Based on Seller Transactions

Alibaba is the world’s largest online business-to-business trading platform for small businesses and they offer a huge range of screen printing machines, from manual screen printing machines to automatic ones. The ones featured below are aimed at medium-sized screen printing shops.

Manual carousel textile screen printing machine

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for thirteen years.

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for thirteen years.

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for thirteen years.

High Quality Manual Screen Printing Table

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for five years.

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for five years.

Seller: Gold supplier on Alibaba for five years.

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Screen Printing Starter Kits for Your T-Shirt Business

Now, other than having the best screen printing machine out there, you’ll need supplies to get you started. Instead of going out and buying everything and probably getting confused along the way with the many supplies available, why not get a starter kit to kick things off:

Ryonet DIY Shop Kit

Price: $249.99
Promising Review:
Latrelle
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great item
Came with all supplies shown and has worked well. Easy to follow directions and heavy duty materials to make nice prints

Price: $249.99
Promising Review:
Latrelle
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great item
Came with all supplies shown and has worked well. Easy to follow directions and heavy duty materials to make nice prints

Price: $249.99
Promising Review:
Latrelle
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great item
Came with all supplies shown and has worked well. Easy to follow directions and heavy duty materials to make nice prints

Speedball Intermediate Screen Printing Kit

Price: $99.39
Promising Review:
C.E. Farley
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great start
This is a very functional beginner’s kit. I have done at least 30 t-shirts as well as other items. Custom print hats, panties, sleeveless shirts, bags. It can be messy if you do not use it properly. I purchased a few more screens, paint and the speedball lamp for exposure. I have some experience, so I knew what I was getting into. If you are not familiar with the process, it may seem daunting. I assure you, once you learn it, it is very fun and rewarding.

Price: $99.39
Promising Review:
C.E. Farley
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great start
This is a very functional beginner’s kit. I have done at least 30 t-shirts as well as other items. Custom print hats, panties, sleeveless shirts, bags. It can be messy if you do not use it properly. I purchased a few more screens, paint and the speedball lamp for exposure. I have some experience, so I knew what I was getting into. If you are not familiar with the process, it may seem daunting. I assure you, once you learn it, it is very fun and rewarding.

Price: $99.39
Promising Review:
C.E. Farley
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great start
This is a very functional beginner’s kit. I have done at least 30 t-shirts as well as other items. Custom print hats, panties, sleeveless shirts, bags. It can be messy if you do not use it properly. I purchased a few more screens, paint and the speedball lamp for exposure. I have some experience, so I knew what I was getting into. If you are not familiar with the process, it may seem daunting. I assure you, once you learn it, it is very fun and rewarding.

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Screen Printing Supplies for Your T-Shirt Business

So, you’re past the starter stage and you’re already an intermediate or pro screen printer, here are some places where you can buy screen printing supplies online. Remember that you can also check out your local options by googling “screen printing supplies near me”. If your main goal is to print t-shirts you’ll need to find a wholesale blank t-shirt provider as well.

  1. Screenprinting.com
    Ryonet offers (since 2014) all the supplies you could need for your screen printing business, it was founded by Ryan Moor originally selling on eBay and now on their own online store. Their headquarters are located in Washington but they have branches all over the country.
  2. ScreeningSuppliesStore.com
    Selling offline since 1974, Screening Supplies Store is a branch of Xenon Products. They have in-house products as well as other brands and they focus on having great prices for their customers.
  3. DynamicScreen Printing Supplies
    Dynamic sells everything from equipment to supplies and kits for your screen printing needs. They also offer screen printing classes and troubleshooting for more experienced printers. They’re located in California.

Screen Printing Design Tools

Now that you have the best equipment and supplies for your screen printing business you should have the best designs and there are a design tools out there that will help you create them for your clients.

  1. Illustrator CC – Illustrator is a great software program to have in your design kit because it was created to be precise. When you’re designing, by using vectors you can make images as big or as small as you want, letting you create designs perfect for screen printing. The downside? It has a quite steep learning curve and the price could be restrictive for someone just starting out.
  2. Photoshop CC – Photoshop is a tool meant to edit photographs, so if you’re going to be screenprinting these, then photoshop is the way to go. The downside is similar to Illustrator in the sense that learning how to use it can take quite some time.
  3. Placeit Design Templates – Placeit is an easy-to-use website where you’ll find design templates for your t-shirt needs. Also, there are agnostic templates (for you to use however you like), as well as themed ones like bachelor party, sorority templates, and marching band ones.
  4. Corel Graphics Suite – Corel is similar to Illustrator and will give your professional results. Some designers consider it to be easier to use than Illustrator. There are a lot of Youtube tutorials where you can learn how to make screen print-ready files with Corel.

Marketing Your Screen Printing Business

Promoting your screen printing business is key to having customers come knocking on your door. Beautiful, professional visuals can make your business stand out from the rest. Look at some of the images below to see what you could achieve with mockups.

T-Shirt Mockup of a Girl Sitting on a Kitchen Counter

T-Shirt Mockup of a Girl Sitting on a Kitchen Counter

Man Wearing a Tshirt Mockup while Sitting Against a Wooden Wall

Smiling Lovely Woman Wearing a T-Shirt Mockup and Sunglasses at the Beach

Smiling Lovely Woman Wearing a T-Shirt Mockup and Sunglasses at the Beach

Mockup of a Woman Sitting by the Window at a Living Room Wearing a T-Shirt

 


Want Free T-Shirt Resources?

When you’re starting with t-shirt design, it’s hard to come up with ideas. We put together this .zip file for you to have the resources available and make your design process so much easier (but honestly, if easy design is what we’re talking about you should just go ahead and try our t-shirt design templates).

Anyhow, here are 37 free resources for your t-shirt designs!

37 free resources for tshirts

Now that you have the full information on what equipment, supplies, design and promotion tools to have, you’re ready to stand out from the crowd and take your screen printing shop to the next level. Remember that making a good impression is very important for getting new customers, so mockups in real life settings and shot professionally are the way to go. Make sure you have the correct equipment, as well as suppliers and design tools to make the most out of your screen printing business. What’s next? Check this guide on how to start your t-shirt business on a shoestring budget.

Want to Promote Your Print Shop?

Use T-Shirt Mockups

Promote Your Screen Printing Shop with Mockups

An easy and fast way to create designs is using Placeit's Design Templates. Ranging from bachelorette t-shirts to family reunion ones, you'll find templates for many occasions. Compliment these awesome designs with t-shirt mockups, which are perfect for marketing them. On Placeit we have a large array of mockups in different styles and settings.

Customize a T-Shirt Mockup
"The easiest way I’ve found to market my designs is using Placeit's mockups"
5/5