- Press Quality
- Ease of Use
- Value for Money
Craft Schmaft Verdict
We like the VIVOHOME Heat Press for its versatility and ease of use, plus an affordable price tag.
Looking to make t-shirts for friends and family? Or perhaps you want to create unique items for yourself with a heat press. While heat presses are far more hobbyist-friendly nowadays – both in price and usability – they’re still a hefty investment. How can you be sure to buy the right one, on the first try?
To help your shopping decision, today, we’ve checking out the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell model. After digging into all the good and the bad, we’ve discovered it’s easy to set up and use, very affordable for its size, and can press a wide variety of different items. However, it may not suit professional use and the instructions could leave you wanting.
Is that the full story? Let’s take a closer look at the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press. Then you can decide if it’s right for your needs!
VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press: The Details
In a Nutshell
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 15 x 14 inches.
- Weight: 23.1 lbs.
- Plate Size: 12 x 10 inches.
- Manual or Automatic: Manual.
- Stand-Out Feature: LCD display.
The heat plates on the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press are 12 x 10 inches. Coated with a non-stick Teflon, you can be sure nothing will stick to their surface and refuse to budge. The non-stick feature also ensures nothing is scorched during the transfer process.
If you want additional protection, the removable, foam, silicon pad allows the plates to reach 250 degrees Celsius without any distortion issues.
The VIVOHOME press comes with a silicone pad and also a sponge pad, which will help dissipate heat and prevent your object from overheating. If you’re accustomed to having to pad your items with cloths or other objects, these pads will save you some hassle.
The LCD display on this heat press is where you control all the different features, including the temperature and timer. The temperature can range from 0 to 260 degrees Celsius (or 32-499 degrees Fahrenheit), while the timer goes from 0 to 999 seconds. You can also change the temperature from Celsius and Fahrenheit. The preset time is 30 seconds, while the preset temperature is 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
To ensure nothing is scorched if you get distracted, the timer will issue a loud beep to alert you when the press is finished. To set the temperature and timer, you need only press the “up” and “down” arrows on the display.
360 Degree Rotation
The VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press offers 360 degrees of rotation. As such, the clamshell press can ‘swing away’ in a full circle around the base to ensure you have access to all the components – no clumsy pieces in your way. This helps ensure you can remove an item without risking accidental burns, and you can modify the placement without issue.
Some users have been able to maximize their work space by utilizing the swing-away top. By placing the press on the edge of the work table, you can swing the press open and away from the tabletop entirely, helping give you the most working space possible while still creating your chosen pieces from the comfort of your own home.
One item of note – just because the press swings open widely and gives you a lot of work space doesn’t mean to throw caution to the wind. This heat press stays very hot even after it’s off, as it takes time to cool the metal plates. Please be careful when placing and removing items and don’t allow children to use this machine unsupervised, as burns are a real possibility.
The pressure bar on this VIVOHOME heat press is stainless steel. As such, it’s both strong and durable, and won’t break no matter how often it’s used. This construction also ensures there’s even pressure spread across your items, so you receive the best results possible.
VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press Review
Easy to Use
The VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press is easy to set up and use. Even first-timers can figure it out! Once it’s unboxed, start by calibrating it. (Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds.)
First, you’ll turn the pressure knob to add pressure to the plates. Then, stick a piece of paper on the bottom plate and close the clamshell press using the handle. Next, try to pull on the paper. If the paper moves, you need to turn the knob again. If it stays in place, this is your medium pressure – with your low and high pressure being one or two turns in either direction. Now, you’re all set to begin pressing.
Next, set the temperature on the heat press using the LCD display and the buttons surrounding it. Once it reaches the correct temperature, wait for the plates to preheat. The machine will beep when it’s ready.
When it’s preheated, place your items and your image onto the bottom plate. Once they’re arranged how you’d like, place one of the silicon pads on top and lower the top plate using low, medium, or high pressure (depending on the item you’re using).
Once that’s done, set the timer on the LCD display. When time is up, the press will beep and you can raise the top plate. Gently remove your item – and you’re done!
One thing to note about the setup – the temperature regulator needs to be set up in a certain way or it may not work.
First, the temperature regulator plug needs to be tightly plugged into the junction. Once that’s done, you can attach the temperature regulator to the machine. It does need to be done in this order, without variation, to ensure that it works properly. If the regulator is attached to the machine first, it may shut itself off intermittently.
This VIVOHOME model offers an extremely versatile design – especially considering its size. You’re not limited to just t-shirts and tote bags. You can also press hats, ceramic plates, ceramic tiles, mugs, coasters, puzzles, mouse pads, and many other fabric items, so long as they can withstand the heat.
This clamshell heat press is also convenient to use. The swing-away head ensures you can access the finished items without accidentally burning yourself on the heated components, and the LCD screen is simple to navigate.
As a plus, a heat press makes it possible to create many personalized items – without the extra ‘luxury’ price often attached to customized t-shirts, mouse pads, and so on. You can make almost anything, right in your home.
Heat presses are more accessible today than ever, but, usually, they still demand a pretty penny. Typical brands cost several hundred dollars, if not several thousand. Luckily, that is not the case with the VIVOHOME. This press is currently less than $150 on Amazon. That’s remarkable, especially when you consider the size, clamshell design, and swing-away feature.
It’s really easy to customize printed items exactly as you want them. Let’s say you have an event coming up that you want to commemorate, or you have a friend with an unusual name who never finds the correct spelling on personalized items. You can print names, locations, dates, or designs on anything that can be used in the heat press.
Buying personalized favors for a wedding or event adds up really quickly, or purchasing personalized clothing for kids is expensive. It’s much more affordable to print your own, in the comfort of your own work space.
At roughly 24 pounds, the VIVOHOME Heat Press is not back-breakingly heavy. It’s not featherweight, but you can’t expect these medium-sized metal appliances to be too light.
It’s light enough to be transported fairly easily, which can open a whole new world of crafting options. Bringing your heat press along to instantly make customized t-shirts or tote bags could be a popular draw at events or craft fairs, and could even result in more sales for crafters who sell their items.
Even if you just keep your crafting within your home, it’s nice to be able to pick up and move your crafting machines, like a heat press, without too much trouble. Because the plates are only 12×10 inches, storage while the press is not in use isn’t a hassle either – it won’t take up an entire corner of your crafting space.
Not for Professional Use
While the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press is versatile, it’s not designed for professional use. If used at home to create t-shirts or other custom gifts for your friends, this press is ideal. However, if you plan on opening a business or using it to otherwise sell items, it will struggle to provide a long-term, consistent supply.
This VIVOHOME model is very straightforward to use, but you may find the instruction manual confusing. It’s a plain guide and won’t offer any troubleshooting options. If you’re seeking detailed images or descriptions to help you through the set-up process, you’ll find it lacking.
However, you can always consult the internet for extra information, and the press itself is uncomplicated. A newbie can absolutely set-up and use the machine – but don’t rely too heavily on the included manual. There are videos available online if you have questions or need to see someone else using the press, even found within the Amazon reviews.
Built of stainless steel, this press is certainly strong and durable. However, the screws and components holding it together do require infrequent maintenance. You may notice the handle becoming loose over time, and the plates may arrive wobbly. In this case, you can leverage a screwdriver and a few minutes of time to remedy the issue. Tightening up the components will have it operating well – but be sure to double check it every few weeks to tighten them again.
After taking a look at all the positives and negatives, we do recommend the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press. It can press a wide range of items, it’s easy to set up and use, and it has a wildly affordable price tag. With that in mind, it’s difficult to pass this machine up.
However, you may dislike having to perform maintenance, and those with professional goals could find it lacking. Even still, the low price tag makes it a great investment that could serve your needs well.
Where to Buy the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press
The VIVOHOME Press is available on Amazon.
That’s our review of the VIVOHOME Swing Away Clamshell Heat Press. Are you going to try it out?