- By: Adam Ryan
The availability of direct-to-garment (DTG) printers has significantly transformed the custom printing industry by offering customers unique and customized printing options for their clothing.
The massive demand for custom printing on clothing means small businesses have the unique opportunity to claim their fair share of the market. However, to be able to dominate the market, you need to have suitable printing machines that can help you aptly complete printing jobs.
Fortunately, the rapid advancement in DTG printing technology means that today there is a considerable variety of affordable printers available for small businesses to get started. If you are also looking to venture into the t-shirt printing business and looking for the right printing machines for your startup, we have you covered.
Below, we have come up with the five best t-shirt printing machines for small businesses in 2023. These machines are carefully listed for their reliability, deliverance, durability, and affordability. So, without wasting time, let’s get started with our top 5 t-shirt printing machines for small businesses in 2023.
1.Summit RT Direct to Garment Printer
Cost ~ $11,400 to $15,000
The Summit RT Direct-to-Garment Printer comes with state-of-the-art print head technology. The printer got one of the highest resolution-to-speed ratios, thanks to the print head technology that dispenses variable-sizes ink droplets.
The Summit RT DTG printer comes with an outstanding efficiency that’s comparable to the best in the industry. Just to set the benchmark, the printer takes only 94 seconds to print an 11x11 inch full-colored design.
The Summit RT printer comes with a 5760 x 1440 dpi ultra-high resolution, enabling small businesses to offer stunning quality prints to customers.
The Summit RT printer comes with Kothari Print Pro RIP software to add versatility and utility. This advanced software enables users to fully control the ink droplet size, as small as 1 to 0.5 picoliters. The software also allows users to print partially transparent colors
High-end Color Configuration:
With advanced Kothari Print Pro RIP Software, it is possible for users to create ink droplets as small as 0.5 picoliters and achieve ultra-fine details.
For ease of use, the Summit RT DTG printer comes with an efficient auto-clean feature built into the hardware. The system automatically cleans the ink every time the printer is turned on.
It is one of the most affordable DTG printers available in the market for small businesses
The Summit RT DTG printer comes with a one-year limited non-consumable parts warranty
- Not suited for large-scale printing
- The color vibrancy is lacking as compared to other DTG printers available in market
2.Azon Tex Pro DTG printer:
Cost ~ $12,000 to $15,000
The Azon Tex Pro DTG is a high-utility printer that can be used on t-shirts of all colors and fabrics. This is the ideal printer for small businesses looking to deal with all sorts of custom-printed merchandise.
The Azon Tex Pro DTG printer used ink-jet technology with a large print area of 400 x 600 mm. The printer can print precise designs on fabrics up to 100mm thick.
The Azon Tex Pro DTG printer offers high efficiency and can print up to 60+ t-shirts per hour.
The Azon Tex Pro DTG printer comes with a 1440 dpi and allows a max printing size of up to 400 x 600 mm.
The Azon Tex Pro DTG printer comes with laser beam printhead protection and contains 4 white inks and 4 CMYK
Compared to the features offered, the Azon Tex Pro DTG printer is one of the most competitively priced printers in the market.
- Lacks the color vibrancy as compared to more expensive printers in the list
- Uses relatively old technology as compared to other DTG printers
3.NeoFlex 800 DTG printer
Cost ~ $17,995.00
The NeoFlex 800 is an intelligently designed printer that is manufactured to offer businesses the flexibility and efficiency required to sustain and grow. It’s a convertible direct-to-garment printer, which is effectively built as a modular device, which allows users easy movement between edible ink printing and textile printing.
NeoFlex 800 comes with incredible speed and takes less than 40 seconds to print an 8 x 10-inch area
Large Print Area
The NeoFlex 800 comes with a print area of 17 x 42, which is large enough to print up to 3 t-shirts (adult size) in one go.
The NeoFlex 800 printer comes with an incredible 1440 x 1440 resolution; thereby, you can offer high-quality print designs to customers.
The printer comes with an 8-color (CMYK + White) ink configuration for textiles, whereas it also offers dual CMYK color configuration for all printer options. The NeoFlex 800 comes with an Epson 4880 MicroPiezo AMC print head, which is one of the finest in the market with a life of 45k impressions.
- Need careful maintenance and management
4.FreeJet 700TX DTG Printer:
Cost ~ $19,995 onwards
Large Print Area
The Freejet 700TX DTG printer comes with one of the biggest printable areas for any machine available in the market. The printable area of the machine is enough to print four full-size t-shirts at one time, thus enabling users to save time and resources on configuring the machine multiple times. This also makes it ideal for small businesses that are just getting started with large-scale print orders.
Apart from a large printable area, the Freejet 700TX also comes with state-of-the-art technology, including moving head technology and an interchangeable platen system. The moving head technology especially makes this machine a true winner amongst a majority of printers in this price bracket since it enables you to print on virtually any fabric and surface, including t-shirts, polo, mouse pads, towels, and much more.
Exquisite Print Quality
If you are working towards higher-production environments, the Freejet 700TX is aptly suited to print vibrant designs on light and dark-colored t-shirts. The machine comes with automated white ink separation technology that spreads the white ink throughout the day, so you don’t have to perform head cleans multiple times. The high-end CMYK and white inks, along with advanced technology, ensure you are able to print stunning designs on all sorts of fabrics at lightning speed.
High Print Resolution
The Freejet 700TX is able to attain an impressive 2880 x 1440 print resolution with its advanced ink jet Piezo Drop print head technology
The Freejet 700TX direct-to-garment printer comes with 2x CMYK or 8 channel (4 CMYL + 4 White ink) configuration
- It’s relatively expensive for small businesses
- The printing process is relatively slow compared to some of the other machines available in market
5.RICOH Ri 6000:
Cost ~ $25,000 to $30,000
The Ricoh Ri 6000 is a high-utility and versatile DTG printer that is able to perform stunning printing for all sorts of fabrics and garments. It is ideally suited for vibrant printing on natural fibers, while it is equally suited for printing on polyester and dark garments.
High Print Speed
It only takes Ricoh Ri 6000 printer less than 30 seconds for full-color print on a 12 x 10-inch garment in speed print mode. However, for finer prints, you will need as many as 53 seconds to print the same area. Thereby, it is ideally suited for small and medium-sized printing businesses.
Packaged with AnaRIP Software:
To add to the utility of the machine, the Ricoh Ri 6000 printer comes with an RPI software package, allowing users to modify graphics easily. With Ricoh Ri 6000, it is now possible for users to quickly transform the shape, change colors or add/remove elements or text from the design. The software also tells the amount of ink required and the cost to print the design. This makes it super-easy for small businesses to price their services competitively and gain a competitive edge.
Compared to similarly priced machines, the print quality lacks the vibrancy
Well, there you have it – some of the best affordable t-shirt printing machines for small businesses in 2022. Before we sign off, it’s worth mentioning that the overall cost of operating a small printing business will inevitably come down to your machine's maintenance and manageability. Before you choose your printing machine, make sure you know the machine's technicalities and have the right expertise to maintain and manage the machine in the long run!