Flash Dryer Vs Heat Press

Flash dryer is needed when you are planning for something big. It really depends on what you are going to do. If you are printing t-shirts for fun, you don’t need to spend so much money for DIY printed garments heat press will be enough.

But if you are maintaining a business out of customized t-shirts it is better that you are saving money to buy your flash dryer.

In this article, I am going to discuss heat presses and flash dryers and when you need which one and others core differences between them.

Flash dryer

Flash dryer is a machine that produces heat. Ink dries in that heat in a pretty quick time.

Flash dryer

It has many cure units, however, the flash cure unit is most commonly used for screen printing.

By using flash cure units you can easily dry the first color before printing the second color on the design area.

Benefits of using flash dryer

  • Saves time.
  • Promotes product quality.
  • Don’t produce any spots.
  • Simple system with few moving part.

Heat press

Heat press is a heat transfer machine that uses transfer paper to transfer vinyl designs on tees or garments. Screen printed garments also can be heat pressed.

Heat press

Water-based inks can be easily heat-pressed and the result is quite good. But for plastisol ink using a heat press is not an appropriate decision.

Benefits of flash using heat press

  • It is good for DTF transfer.
  • The process is not that hard.
  • Low cost.
  • Good durability 

But using a heat press can limit your work.

Flash dryer vs Heat press

If screen printing garments is your hobby and you don’t do it on a regular basis you don’t need to think about buying a flash dryer as it’ll cost you a big amount.

When you aim to start it as not only a passion but as a job, you should invest whatever you can while you are expanding the business. It will help you grow big in the business.

Coil elements are like they are used in the oven. These are used in most flash dryers. Every print is correctly flashed or cured, thanks to consistent heat radiation all over the designing surface.

Flash dryer vs Heat press

Let’s consider some criteria for the measurement which is enough for you.

1. Difference in Use of Ink

With a Heat press, you can run your small business and DIY items where you use water-based inks.

You really need the flash curing machine first if you are going big.

You can’t put plastisol inks in the heat press without flashing them first because the ink will flow all over your tee.

Using a heat gun is a temporary solution.

2. Cost Difference

The price for a commercially available flash dryer is higher than a heat press. If you are just shifting into screen printing you better plan about costs.

It’s important where you should invest most resources.

Maybe using a heat gun for curing in your first stages and then heat press the garment. But eventually, you have to buy the flash dryer to expand your small business.

3. Flash Dryer and Heat Press Process Time Difference

Drying the ink with a heat gun and then heat pressing them is a lengthy process than flash dying.

Heat press takes almost  3-5 minutes to heat transfer a printed image from transfer paper onto your shirt.

Right aside it takes approximately one minute for a flash dryer to cure the silkscreen printed garments.

In the industries, they use infrared conveyor dryers but a flash cure unit will do for your business.

4. Temperature Control

You can control the temperature both in those machines. The heat press machine needs the correct temperature as well as the right amount of pressure to complete a successful heat transfer.

In the flash dryer, you will set the temperature right to have a screen printed shirt. pressure is not the fact here.

5. Difference in Output Quality

When you use two-color screen printing you need to dry the color you applied primarily on the design area.

If the first implied color is wet, implying the second color will only ruin it. You can have the best quality screen printing garment only when you use a flash dryer.

It can eliminate the use of a heat press machine in screen printing. But you can also heat press the design after curing it with a flash dryer.

6. Finishing: Flash Dryer Vs Heat Press

Heat press vinyl transfers have a very good outlook and almost got 2.5-3 years of durability.

if you don’t use a flash dryer while working with plastisol ink, you can have some unwanted spots after printing.

But after curing the screen printed tee at the right temperature there will be no spots and it will give a different texture of color, unlike a heat press.

You can differentiate them with your naked eye.


It is clear they are both good in their field. You can do some heat transfer by using only a heat press. No problem there. On the other hand, a flash dryer will cure the ink you used in a fast period of time.

So, you have to know what you want to do. If you are not trying to start or expand your customized t-shirt business you really don’t need a flash dryer.

More Textile Printing Guide Articles On:

How to do Screen Printing on T-Shirt

Heat Transfer vs. Screen Printing & What The Difference?

Can You Heat Press Polyester and Spandex?

How do you reset a heat press machine? (3 Easy Steps)

Heat press pressure measurement system

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