“What is the best and cheapest White Toner printer?”

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Asked in a Facebook group, “What is the best and cheapest White Toner printer?”

The following answer was given by Christopher Sigmann from FOREVER Transfer Papers in Germany.  It's a great read!

 

You need white toner regardless of the shirt color.

White toner's major function is to support weak and light colors, so that they create a dense enough toner layer that triggers the coating / adhesive on your transfer paper.

Doesn't make sense yet? Worry not, there is RIP software that takes care of the right amount of white toner.

 

You can divide White Toner printers into 2 main-categories:

  • Printers that "know" they have white inside or "born" or "integrated" white toner printers (i.e. OKI).

These are considered "professional" printing solutions.

 

  • Printers that are CMYK printers and you buy a white cartridge and "convert" them yourself (i.e. Ghost / HP). These systems are considerably cheaper, but also cannot deliver the same result.

It basically doesn't "know" it has white toner and will print everything that is black in your artwork as white. It does not support weak / light colors (which is the major reason you buy these printers) by itself.

So you have to print every page twice, swap the cartridges (black out / white in and vice versa) for every job and have to create two different graphics (one for colour print, one for white) for each job. It is not supported by any RIP software so far, HP does not support these printers, Ghost produces only the cartridges.

So it is more like a hobbyist and crafter-thing.

 

- You WILL need a RIP software!

 

  • big solid prints with no open / empty space in the design will feel like a piece of plastic/paper and are more likely to crack. The use of correct designs and/or RIP software (search for halftoning / rasterization) will help you to create great looking, soft and good washable results (as you might have seen on shows).
  • When you hear horror-stories about how heavy it feels or how bad it washes => these are majorly coming from folks that don't have or use RIP software or understand it's use.

 

  • You want a branded swing-away heat press (GeoKnight) good presses cost a bit more but are way more reliable. The requirements on a good heat press are way higher with toner transfer than with HTV or DTG or Screen Printing. Don't think your cheap heat press that you use for these applications is the same as a high quality heat press that costs $1,900 to $3,000 CAD.

 

To the printers themselves:

From OKI there is available:

  • OKI C711wt / Pro7411wt - maximum printing size 8.5x17 inches - price, currently at appr. $4,500 CAD
  • OKI Pro8432wt - max. printing size 11.8x19 inches - price appr. 9,500 CAD
  • OKI C920wt / ES9420wt - max. printing size 12.5x19 inches - discontinued, but available used at the second hand market
  • OKI Pro9541wt - max. printing size 12.5x19 inches - only printer with true black and white at the same time (5 color) - price appr. 17,000 CAD

(in my eyes the "best" printer, but also an overkill for most users)

 

FOREVER TransferRIP: the better dealers include it in a package (or force you to buy it, depending on how you view it), others mention it optional. Refrain from buying from a dealer that says it is not necessary - they most likely don't know their stuff!

RIP-Software on it's own is usually $955 to $1650 CAD.

 

Ghost/HP pricing:

  • Little Ghost - 8.5x11 - appr $900 CAD Dollars
  • Big Ghost - 11x17 - appr. $2800 CAD

(keep in mind, it is not really comparable to an OKI)

 

There is no cleaning / maintenance, dried up ink-heads like you might know from DTG.

Depending on your needs, which size you want to print, if you additionally want to print onto dark cardstock, if you are more a hobbyist or of you want to extend your textile business with it, there are different options on the market.

Simply asking for the "best" or the "cheapest" printer will get you an answer, but it will most likely not be an answer that you can work with (as most users only have the experience with their specific machine).

 

There are also cases where users don’t need to buy a white toner printer because all they wanted is to use Flex-Soft (self weeding single color transfer, imaging self-weeding vinyl to get an idea). For Flex-Soft, you only need a simple laser printer that is able to print a single color ($200 machines can work well).

 

So: Tell us what you want to do, what you want to print on and what you plan to invest and the more specific you are, the better the answer will be!

 

Addendum:

This is an addition to the above comments; from Quality Digital Solutions; we also like the fact that the HP printers are more versatile in that you can also buy a set of Sublime Toners for them. So you can replace the CMYK regular Laser Toners and be sublimating onto white polyester coated surfaces in minutes.

 

If you have additional questions please feel free to email us on our contact us page, comment here, or give us a call (888) 235-2838

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