Best Sublimation Printer for Small Business – 7 Printers for Productive SMEs:

Many hobbyists have turned their passion for personalizing items into a commercially successful business. There’s no doubt in the fact that starting your own small sublimation business is profitable, but in order to get the bucks rolling, the first thing that you’re going to require is obviously the best sublimation printer for small businesses.

Best Sublimation Printer for Small Business

Initiating a business for the first time can be a bit frightening. Starting a venture is more like mountain trekking without knowing what might wait ahead for you or what danger awaits. Just like climbing a mountain starts with a single step, so does establishing a business. Whether you’re getting into the dye-sublimation business for the first time or are already familiar with the industry, sublimation is jam-packed with many rewarding opportunities.

Best Sublimation Printer for Small Business in 2023

Much like climbing a mountain, the first thing you want to ensure is that you’re properly equipped to overcome all the obstacles in your journey. So, before you embark on your adventure to starting your very own sublimation business, we’ve tracked down 7 of the best sublimation printer for small businesses that’ll definitely fill your venture with success.

RATING PRODUCT IMAGE

RATING 9.8

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

Best Feature: Ultra Fine Photo Configuration
Speed: 7/10
Printing Quality: 9/10
Color Accuracy: 8/10

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

RATING 9.6

Epson SureColor F170

RATING 9.7

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Best Feature: 4 + 2 Ink Cartridges
Speed: 4/10
Printing Quality: 5/10
Color Accuracy: 7/10

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

RATING 9.2

Sawgrass SG1000

Best Feature: Multiple Software Compatibility
Speed: 9/10
Printing Quality: 8/10
Color Accuracy: 9/10

Sawgrass SG1000

RATING 9.3

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

Best Feature: Heavy-Duty
Speed: 7/10
Printing Quality: 7/10
Color Accuracy: 6/10

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

RATING 9.5

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840

Best Feature: Extensive Paper Capacity
Speed: 7/10
Printing Quality: 8/10
Color Accuracy: 9/10

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840

RATING 9.4

Epson EcoTank ET-2800

Best Feature: Cartridge-Free Printing
Speed: 6/10
Printing Quality: 8/10
Color Accuracy: 9/10

Epson EcoTank ET-2800

1. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 – Excellent Printer For Crafting

9.8/10 – Our Score

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500
01

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    Modulated Dot Technology
  • Maximum Resolution:
    4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Maximum Media Size:
    8.5″ x 14″; Up to 8.5″ x 51″ with Optional Bypass Tray
  • Maximum print size:
    7.5 x 13 inches
  • Advanced Photo (1200×600 dpi):
    48 Seconds
  • Dimensions:
    15.75˝ x 17.25˝ x 8.5˝
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity:
    Yes
  • Self-Maintenance Mode:
    Yes

If you’re looking forward to taking your small business to new heights, then there’s no better alternative than the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500. The compact design easily pushes the printer to the top of the list as the ideal piece of equipment for small business owners and sublimation enthusiasts.

SG500-led-display

FEATURES:

  • Operating the printer in a poorly lit room or workplace is now a piece of cake since the SG500 features a phenomenal LED Display along with a user-friendly graphical user interface for smooth functioning.
  • Connectivity is no longer an issue with the SG500. Multiple electronic gadgets including smartphones, tablets, and laptops can be hooked to the printer without the hassle of cable management. Many small sublimation entrepreneurs also admitted that sublimation efficiency has increased by 30% since switching to this beast of a printer.
  • The SG500 comes with a modulated dot technology, combined with a brand new feature known as the Ultra Fine Photo which enables the user to print crisp quality images with resolution as high as 4880 x 1200 dpi. This feature solely can take up your profits by a greater margin. We have one simple sublimation at normal rater and one Fine photo for which we charge extra.

The SG500 is in a class of its own regarding sublimation printing for small businesses as it can transfer designs on phone cases, t-shirts, badges, and mugs. But the printer is also an excellent pick for crafting and home use as well.

2. Epson SureColor F170 – Affordable Printing Solution

9.6/10 – Our Score

Epson SureColor F170
02

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    PrecisionCore MicroTFP Technology
  • Maximum Print Resolution:
    600 x 1200 DPI
  • Maximum print Size:
    13” x 19”
  • Input Tray Capacity:
    150 Sheets of Paper
  • Display Screen:
    2.4″ color LCD with Control Pane
  • Connectivity:
    Hi-Speed USB, Wireless, Wi-Fi Direct, and Ethernet
  • Dimensions:
    13.7″ x 13.7″ x 7.4″ (L x W x H)
  • Weight:
    10.2 Pounds

In late 2020, Epson came up with its very own – first dye-sublimation printer i.e. the SureColor F170, and changed the entire sublimation game. One of the most compelling elements of this printer is it doesn’t need to be converted in order to get your sublimations done – just get your hands on the F170 and get sublimating.

SureColor-F170
t-shirt-printed-by-epson-sure-color-f170

FEATURES:

  • The photo printing quality of the SureColor F170 is commendable as it supports media sizes as wide as 13″ X 19″, the colors perfectly blended to provide a hi-definition result just like the tone of the picture itself.
  • The F170 is integrated with the cutting-edge PrecisionCore MicroTFP technology to provide top-quality artworks and graphics to decorate mugs and caps with a decent resolution of 600 x 1200 DPI. However, this resolution isn’t enough to transfer a top-notch design to hoodies. Even so, the F170 surely exhibits itself as an ideal choice for small businesses.
  • The input tray capacity of 150 sheets of paper ensures the efficiency of your business goes up astronomically. Add the pre-installed Epson T49M Ink Bottles that lasts for one and a half year to the mix and forget about running out of ink and paper.

The Epson SureColor F170 is an excellent tool that is the most appealing to small businesses solely due to its versatility in terms of brilliant features and unrivaled characteristics in transferring eye-catching designs on different substrates that can’t be found in traditional sublimation printers quite easily.

3. Epson EcoTank ET-8550 – Best Sublimation Printer for Shirts

9.7/10 – Our Score

Epson EcoTank ET-8550
03

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    Inkjet Technology
  • Maximum Printing Resolution:
    5760 x 1440 optimized DPI
  • Printing Speed:
    Black – 16 ISO Pages Per Minute
    Color – 12 ISO Pages Per Minute
  • Input Tray Capacity:
    150 + 1 Sheets of Paper
  • Maximum Paper Size:
    13” x 19”
  • Borderless Printing:
    Yes
  • Display:
    4.3″ touch LCD
  • Weight:
    24.5 Pounds
  • Dimensions:
    20.6″ x 14.9″ x 6.7″ (W x D x H)
  • Ink Palette:
    Cyan. Magenta, Yellow, Black, Dual Black, and Gray
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity:
    Hi-Speed USB, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, Wireless

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is specifically designed to cater to the sublimation needs of small business owners because of its outstanding printing results. The EcoTank 8550 packs numerous features, making it one of the must-have printers for small enterprises. Some of the characteristics that summarize the printer are:

Epson-ET-8550
Epson-EcoTank-ET-8550-LCD-for-navigation
Printout-of-Epson-ET-8550

FEATURES:

  • The ET-8550 allows the user to multitask as it comes with a 4.3” touchscreen color display that makes the entire process of printing a piece of cake.
  • Printing can also be done over Wi-Fi by connecting mobile devices, thanks to the Epson mobile application, available for both, Android and iPhone.
  • Since the printer is equipped with inkjet technology, the ET-8550 produces sublimation results with little to no flaws. Plus, you can also print PowerPoint slides and other informational graphs for your business having extremely complex gradients with accurate details.
  • The ET-8550 completely eliminates the need for cartridges and makes the most out of huge ink bottles, saving costs by almost 90% due to the refillable ink tanks – which are more than enough to print 4,500 and 7,500 monochrome and colored pages respectively, that too at very low cost.

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 features 6 colors, the standard CYMK along with two additional colors that are gray and dual black to offer the correct color tones and shades with maximum precision and dynamic colors which are the basic requirements for t-shirt sublimation.

4. Sawgrass SG1000 – Perfect Dye-Sub Printer

9.2/10 – Our Score

Sawgrass SG1000
04

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    Dye Sublimation
  • Maximum Media Size:
    11˝ x 17˝, Up to 13˝ x 19˝ with Optional Bypass Tray
  • High Speed (600×600 dpi):
    15 Seconds
  • High Quality (600×600 dpi):
    29 Seconds
  • Advanced Photo (1200×600 dpi):
    48 Seconds
  • Ultra Fine Photo (4800×1200 dpi ):
    6 minutes 40 seconds
  • Dimensions:
    21˝ x 14.25˝ x 8.5˝
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity:
    Yes
  • Self-Maintenance:
    Yes

When quality printing outcomes are the talk of the town, the Sawgrass Virtuoso 1000 sweeps the floor clean because of its unmatchable features. Establishing a new sublimation business can be a bit freighting but the SG1000 makes it a lot easier for new entrepreneurs to set up their small business in the world of sublimation since it can sublimate literally any hard substrate including metal, ceramic, glass, hardboard, glass and also fiber-reinforced plastic and poly-performance fabrics too.

Sawgrass-SG-1000
I-printed-a-t-shirt-wih-Sawgrass-SG-1000

FEATURES:

  • The SG1000 is a serious upgrade from its predecessor i.e. SG500 in terms of printing size that only offered a maximum 8.5” x 14” print size which is more than enough for transferring designs on small objects including phone covers, mugs, and whatnot.
  • However, the SG1000 is proud to present the maximum printing size of 11″ x 17″, which can further be expanded to 13″ x 19″ with the help of a bypass tray, making it an ideal printing machine for larger objects such as garments, picture panels, etc.
  • The SG1000 is able to run its own maintenance cycle automatically to keep the entire process of printing as smooth as possible.
  • The Sawgrass Virtuoso 1000 is paired with dye sublimation technology that allows the printer to produce extremely delicate designs on several substrates at an ultra-high definition resolution of 4880×1200 dpi.
  • The designs transferred with the SG1000 on the substrate do not peel off very quickly. Likewise, the apparel prints are super durable and can last many washes.

The Sawgrass Virtuoso 1000 also features Creative Studio, a user-friendly Sawgrass exclusive software that allows the user to come up with excellent, out-of-the-box creative designs. The printer is also compatible with several other software including Print Manager, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, etc.

5. Epson EcoTank ET-15000 – Best Printer for Ceramic Sublimation

9.3/10 – Our Score

Epson EcoTank ET-15000
05

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    Inkjet Technology
  • Maximum Print Resolution:
    4800 x 1200 optimized dpi
  • Paper Sizes:
    A6, Half letter, Letter, A4, Executive, Legal, User defined 2.13″ x 3.39″ to 12.95″ x 47.24″
  • Maximum Paper Size:
    12.95″ x 47.24″
  • Input Tray Capacity:
    Front Tray – 250 Sheets (A4, Letter, Legal)
    Rear Tray – 20 Sheets (Card, L to A3+)
  • Printing Speed:
    Black – 17 ISO PPM
    Color – 9 ISO PPM
  • Automatic Document Feeder Sheet Capacity:
    35 Pages
  • Borderless Printing:
    Yes (up to 11″x17″)
  • Display:
    2.7″ Touch LCD
  • Connectivity:
    USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi Direct
  • Weight:
    26.46 Pounds
  • Dimensions:
    19.6″ x 29.6″ x 14.3″ W x D x H

The Epson EcoTank ET-15000 is a highly productive, all-rounder printer that not only offers vibrant results while printing designs for cups, t-shirts, and mouse pads, but also accommodates scan, fax, and copy features to meet all your office requirements. The printer is very well designed and contains front and back paper trays that fit many sheets of paper that lasts for days.

Epson-ET-15000
Epson-ET-15000-comes-with-ink-bottles
A-printout-from-Epson-ET-15000

FEATURES:

  • This multi-purpose printer comes with the ability to support a huge variety of different sheets size starting from 2.13” x 3.39” to 12.95” x 47.24”. Plus the printer is also capable of borderless printing up to 11” x 17”.
  • To make the entire process of printing as easy as pie, the ET-15000 can be connected to various devices via wireless technology. The AirPrint technology comes in handy when printing with an iPhone or iPad. As for the Android devices, the printer is also compatible with Mopria print technology. The ET-15000 also supported Google Cloud Print services until it was discontinued in January 2021.
  • The Epson EcoTank 15000 is a cartridge-free sublimation printer that consumes 90% less ink than the traditional sublimation printer. Along with that, since it has completely terminated the use of ink cartridges, replacing the ink is no more a hassle because of its sizeable ink bottles that last up to 6,000 color prints and 7,500 monochrome prints.
  • The EcoTank 15000 is an effective sublimation printer that holds 250 sheets of paper in the front input tray and 20 sheets of pages in the rear tray. Also, the Automatic Document Feeder carries 35 pages so that you always remain on top of your sublimation game.

Even though the ET-15000 comes with an automatic duplex printing feature which allows the user to print on both sides easily. The only downside to this printer is that it lacks duplex scanning, so you’re gonna have to flip the document manually when scanning.

6. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840 – Top Choice for Small Enterprises

9.5/10 – Our Score

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840
06

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    Inkjet Technology
  • Maximum Print Resolution:
    4800 x 2400 dpi
  • Print Speed:
    Black – 25 ISO PPM
    Color – 12 ISO PPM
  • Input Tray Capacity:
    Two 250-sheet trays (500 total)
  • Maximum Paper Size:
    13″ x 19″ (A3+)
  • Display:
    4.3″ LCD touchscreen
  • Connectivity:
    Wireless, USB, Bluetooth, and Ethernet
  • Weight:
    45.4 Pounds
  • Dimensions:
    20.3″ x 17.7″ x 13.8″ (L x W x H)

The WorkFore Pro WF-7840 has significantly upped the printing quality from its sibling printer WF-7820 while maintaining the sharpness of the quality due to its PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology. Whether you’re transferring designs on a print area as small as 4” x 6” or going all in with the maximum paper size of 13” x 19”, WF-7840 has got you covered. What makes it the best printer for small businesses is the 2-sided auto printing innovation that allows business owners to enhance their printing speed by 25%.

unboxing-WF-7840
epson-wf-7840

FEATURES:

  • The WF-7840 features a 4.3” color LCD that informs the user about the ink levels and configures printing settings.
  • The WorkForce Pro 7840 makes good use of high-quality DURABrite ink and come with 4 individual ink cartridges (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black) to deliver long-lasting and fast-drying impressions on mugs, shirts, pillowcases, and whatnot. 
  • The Epson WorkForce 7840 is quite easy to set up and connect with various devices over the Wi-Fi and start printing by synchronizing it with AirPrint for Apple devices, Google Cloud Print, as well as Mopria for Android devices.
  • Besides offering the best quality in terms of sublimation, the WF-7840 also integrates scanning and copying features to make it an all-in-one sort of printer, perfect for small business.

What makes it one of the best sublimation printers for small business is the fact that this compact equipment supports a maximum print resolution of 4800 x 2400 pixels for a picture-perfect output, that too at an affordable cost.

7. Epson EcoTank ET-2800 – All in one Sublimation Printer

9.4/10 – Our Score

Epson EcoTank ET-2800
07

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Printing Technology:
    MicroPiezo Inkjet technology
  • Maximum Resolution:
    5760 x 1440 optimized DPI
  • Print Speed:
    Black – 10 PPM
    Color – 5 PPM
  • Maximum Print Size:
    8.5” x 47.2″
  • Input Tray Capacity:
    100 Sheets of Paper
  • Borderless Printing:
    Yes (up to 4” x 6”)
  • Display:
    USB, Wireless, Wi-Fi
  • Connectivity:
    1.4” Color LCD
  • Weight:
    14.8” x 10” x 22.8″ (W x H x D)
  • Dimensions:
    8.8 Pounds

The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is probably one of the topmost sublimation printers that is suitable for small businesses as it offers a cartridge-free solution to print top-quality color photos and documents as well, replacing the renowned EcoTank ET-2760. Customizing different objects with stunning designs having ultra-clear resolutions on a variety of different substrates including coffee mugs, Polyester fabrics, pillowcases, phone covers, etc. is now painless.

My-new-Epson-EcoTank-ET-2800
First-sublimation-print-from-my-ET-2800

FEATURES:

  • The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 yields a good assortment of colors and shows no difficulty when transitioning through several colors. Although a few lines could be seen on the printout when printing highly contrasting tones.
  • The ET-2800 is equipped with MicroPiezo Inkjet Technology that ensures the printouts to be nothing but perfect with the highest of printing resolutions of 5760 x 1440 optimized DPI, eventually playing a vital role in transferring phenomenal artworks and graphics on hoodies, caps, and even mugs.
  • By opting for the ET-2800, you’ll probably see an improvement in the overall efficiency of your print-related operations as it comes with an over-the-top speed of printing of 10 and 5 PPM for black and color prints, respectively. Add the hands-free, voice-activation printing to the mix and watch the productivity go through the sky.

When using the EcoTank ET-2800 for your small sublimation business, you can make a profit of $18 on average by selling only 1 sublimated mug, since a pair of blank mugs costs between $5 and $7, while a sublimated coffee mug can be sold in the range of $20 to $28. All in all, it wouldn’t be a wrong choice to invest in this piece of equipment.

What to Look for in a Sublimation Printer for Small Business?

Finding a printer that goes well according to your needs, be it sublimation, office use, or home, is indeed a challenging task. While every other printer claims to be the “best” it becomes even more difficult to opt for a printer that is well-suited for you.

What to Look for in a Sublimation Printer for Small Business

Apart from making the most profit, there are a number of certain factors that one might consider before putting all their money into specific equipment to determine the best sublimation printer for small business.

Printing Technology

The two main technologies that are widely used in printers are inkjet technology and laser technology. If you’re someone printing bulk of texted documents then the latter one is the printer to go. However, if a huge number of prints consist of graphical data, then inkjet printers are the ones you should opt for.

Whichever one you choose, always keep in mind the printing speed and quality of other variants of the same brand to compare with. It might give you some insight and will come in handy in making a crystal clear decision.

All-In-One Printer

When purchasing a printer, keep an eye out whether you’re only supposed to print? Or do you also need additional features to copy, scan or fax documents as well? Investing in an all-in-one package of a printer is a lot less expensive than buying all these equipment individually.

Connectivity Options

Compatibility of a printer to connect with other devices is also a crucial factor to consider while making the final decision to buy a printer. Make sure the printer you’re opting for supports multiple ways of connectivity including Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, NFC, Cloud Printing, SD Card, and whatnot.

Even though compatibility is an element that many people fail to reflect upon, it comes in pretty handy when printing by connecting PCs, Tablets, Smartphones, etc from the comfort of your room.

Print Quality

To keep a small sublimation business up and running, it’s pivotal to sink money into a printer that offers nothing but the best quality. The results must match the original picture and/or design and the hues mustn’t be too faded or dark. You don’t want to spend a huge chunk of your hard earned money on a printer only to find out later that the pictures or designs you’re printing are washed out, grainy or distorted.

Cartridge Quality

Finding out the exact number of sheets of pages a cartridge can print must be on the top of your list when going to purchase a new printer. In addition to that, if you’re economical, then it’s also quite important to pay close attention to the capacity of the cartridges as they’re quite costly. Lastly, we highly recommend you not to go for cartridges of other brands since they can mess up the quality of the printouts.

Wireless Connection

It’s also very important to consider whether the printer you’re looking forward to purchasing supports wireless printing or not. The biggest advantage of owning a printer that can be connected to several devices over Wi-Fi is first of all, the comfort of printing documents anytime and anywhere. And secondly, improves efficiency and enhances productivity by a huge margin.

Duplexity

Duplexity is the ability to automatically print/scan/copy on both sides of a sheet of paper without manually flipping the piece of paper. When operating a business, the most critical thing is to consider how much output can you generate in the least amount of time. Hence why duplexity is also one of the topmost features to contemplate while putting money into a printer. 

Print Area Size

Print area size or simply the layout size is another essential component to think about. Since there is a different size for every substrate that needs to be sublimated, you should be very careful in picking a printer that is well-suited for your sublimation needs in terms of layout size. If your business heavily depends on sublimating small objects such as phone covers and coasters, so you’re not necessarily going to need a printer with a huge print area size.

Note: With greater Layout size, comes greater printer dimension, so keep that in mind when acquiring a sublimation printer.

Resolution

Printing resolution is simply the level of sharpness and detail of a printed image. The higher the resolution there is of the image, the crispier the output will be. Since the resolution is calculated in Dots Per Inch (DPI), it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the more dots will be in an inch, the more detailed the image will be. So it’s always better to go with a sublimation printer providing the highest resolution.

Display Features

In order to make the whole printing process a walk in the park, some printer manufacturers have started integrating user-friendly display screens. Although the implementation of these screens significantly boosts the overall price of the printer, the ease of use that comes with the sacrifice of money is worth it. 

Printing Ink

It is highly recommended to use the ink that comes with the printer or of the same brand. There’s a high probability that printing designs, provided by third-party ink manufacturers will only ruin the end result.

On top of that, it is also very important to keep an eye on when the ink is about to end so that you can get it beforehand so that you wouldn’t run dry of ink at a crucial time. Some printers are wired to let the users know when the ink is about to finish by exhibiting the stats on the display screen of the printer.

Print Mediums

While selecting your preferred printer, ensure exactly what substrate will you be going to sublimate on. It could be ceramics, glass, fabrics, etc. Not all printers have the capability to sublimate on each and every single type of substrate. Although there exist some printers that can get things done, it is favorable to determine exactly on what medium will you be going to print and purchase the printer accordingly.

print mediums

Price

Last but not least, the price of a printer should also be acknowledged after examining every aspect and inspecting each element of the machine. It is obvious that the more advanced a printer is, the higher-priced it’s going to be.

We are of the view that the less expensive printers are likely to run into more problems as compared to the ones that are pricey. So it’s safer to save up a bit of money and then break the wallet at once when you find a suitable printer.

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the biggest benefits of starting a sublimation business is a huge profit margin at minimum expense. It might cost you $1,500 or less to start up your own small sublimation business with guaranteed higher profitability.

Sublimation is indeed a commercially successful business. Many small business owners, as well as individuals, are engaged in producing customized sublimation products to sell locally or online.

There are a number of sublimation items that sell best, some of them are mugs, phone covers, pillowcases, t-shirts, and mouse pads.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of printers on the market that claim to be the best sublimation printer for small businesses. However, what makes a printer phenomenally greatest is the speed at which it is printing while retaining a quality that is pleasing to the eye.

After thorough research, we can proudly say that the printer that is second to none when it comes to the best sublimation printer for small business is Epson WorkForce WF-7840 solely due to the fact that it can hold a huge number of sheets so that you won’t have to worry about refilling the trays over and again.

Besides being a heavy-duty printer, the WF-7840 is very easy to set up. In a nutshell, this piece of the machine works like a charm for small business keeping in mind its volume requirements.

Emily

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