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Manual Versus Automatic Heat Press: What’s The Actual Difference?

Before reading heat press reviews, you should know are you looking for a manual or automatic heat press. They are different tools with different features and designed for different options. It is our mission to explain all the differences and help you understand which kind of heat press you actually need.

Manual heat presses: You will do the hard work, but the price is low

Manual heat presses are the most affordable of them all. They are also the simplest models out there and they can be found in all possible sizes. Most of them are clamshell or swing away models. As the name suggests, you will have to do a hard work meaning that you will have to activate, choose the temperature and pressure. You will also have to open or close a press.

Manual models are also the lightest of them all. You can easily use it in different locations and you won’t need any help moving a press. For occasional users, they are an excellent choice and you will love using it every single day. But, if you want advanced presses, you should continue reading.

Automatic presses: It will do hard work instead of you

Automatic presses are a bit more expensive, but they don’t require from you hard work. Keep in mind that we refer to the fully-automatic models that will use pre-programmed options to determine the ideal pressure and temperature. The opening and closing features are automatic as well, so all you have to do is to sit back, relax and you will get the end product.

As you would expect, automatic heat presses are more complicated tools, so they are bigger and heavier. An interesting thing is the fact new and modern models are still lightweight and they are relatively easy to use.

Semi-automatic models

There is a separate type of heat presses that are very popular at the moment. Semi-automatic models are basically the mixture or manual and automatic units. They have one or two features that are controlled by you, such as temperature or the pressure. But, opening and closing are fully autonomous. All you have to do is to press a button and this kind of heat press will open itself. Don’t forget that these models are available in clamshell types only.

Semi-automatic models are ideal for people who look for a mixture of price, size, and features. They are slightly more expensive than manual models, but still more affordable than fully automatic heat presses. There are a lot of new models that can be categorized as this kind and they can be used by beginners and professionals at the same time.


As you would expect, knowing and understating the manual and automatic heat presses is an important step for determining which one you actually need. For most of you manual models will be sufficient, but for those who always want more, automatic units are preferable. Semi-automatic models are for people who want something in between.