Another set of options is one of pure size requirements-the size and types of items to be pressed. A small-format press typically ranges from a small 6″ X 6″ press or the 9″ X 12″ hobby-style presses, on up to the 16″ X 20″ presses. This category can also include some of the larger units like a 20″ X 25″ press. These are the bulk of the heat presses that are in the industry today, and most jobs can be accomplished with a 16″ X 20″ press.
A wide-format press typically starts out at the 30″ X 40″ size and goes up into the super large size, for example, a 60″ X 120″ platen model. These large-format presses are for all-over style garment pressing, as well as for flags, banners, floor mats, and more.
The pressing function on these units can be more efficient as it allows users to press several items at one time. Also, wide-format presses can have heat platens on the top and bottom, so users can press all-over printed garments, front and back, at the same time.
Almost the entire wide-format press category is air operated. The drawback to these units is the cost. They can start around $10,000 and increase in price quickly depending on size and features. These units require a great deal of power and will most likely need to be specially wired into your facility. You normally cannot just plug them in.
-Aaron Montgomery, 2 Regular Guys, MontCo Consulting