How to Test Your Heat Press' Pressure & Temperature
For proper application it is important to have the correct time, temperature, and pressure for the material you are applying. If vinyl isn't applied properly you may experience peeling, or is isn't fully adhering to the fabric. This may be the results of cold spots on your heat press, or not calibrating your heat press' pressure properly.
An easy and cost efficient way to check if your heat press is distributing heat evenly is to use Thermo-Tel Heat Sensitive Tape. When exposed to heat, the strip will darken as it reaches that temperature. By looking at the strip, you can tell what temperature has been achieved. Each vinyl is different, but should be heated between 340 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip: You can use a Thermometer Gun to check the temperature of your heat press, but the testing instructions will differ from what is shown in this video tutorial. Also, this method may not lead to accurate results. It is best to use the Thermo-Tels because they touch the platen itself.
Testing the pressure of a heat press does not require any fancy tools. Take a pair of scissors and cut a piece of regular paper into quarters (4ths), and place then on each edge of heat press with half of the piece hanging off the edge slightly. Pull down heat press lid and lock it. Now, pull on each piece of paper. If the paper is easy to pull out, the pressure is not enough. To fix the pressure, adjust the pressure knob. If the paper slightly moves, your pressure is good.
As a recommendation, it is good to have a general service done on your heat press 2 times a year.
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