If you have a creative bent and a willingness to learn, there are a lot of gadgets out there that allows you to push your creative boundaries and come up with some unique, personalised touch to every occasion.
The HTVRONT is a new name for me to come across. My partner Anita is the fashionista and designer between us, and she wasn’t about to let the opportunity to play with the HTVRONT Heat Press slip through.
Who is HTVRONT?
The brand name was established in April 2018, with a mission to work on more advanced materials, tools and machines in handicraft.
A quick browse through their website shows that their product lines is dedicated to Heat Transfer Vinyl machines … HTV .. geddit?
There are only two machines to the line up, a Mini Heat Press Machine, and the bigger Heat Press Machine which is what I have on hand for review.
It is probably odd for a tech reviewer, but I do read the blurb box. It is where you make an impact on first impressions.
HTVRONT is a company that does not mince words. Item #12 on Instructions and Cautions says “This product is not intended for the weak, slow, mentally challenged or lack of experience and common sense (including children), unless under the guidance or assistance of the person responsible for their safety.”
When you are going to be working with heat up to 210 Celsius (400F), you simply need to take care to avoid accidents.
The Heat Press is a large square, 25.4 x 25.4 cm working area and weighs 3.6kg. Across the middle of the unit is a heavy duty handle that is moulded as part of the body. There are also handles on the sides of the unit.
At the top of the unit is where the power cord is attached.
There is a LCD screen, 6 controls buttons – 3 on each side of the display, that provides control over every function of the device.
The operation of the Heat Press is child’s play, even if you won’t ever let a child near it.
To get started, you put the device on the safety base and plug into power. The device goes through what looks like a self check sequence and when it is ready to be turned on, the power button flashes.
Pressing the power button will get things going, and unit will immediately start to warm up according to the last settings.
To change the temperate, first press on the thermometer, then use the plus and minus keys to adjust it to a temperate appropriate to the materials you will be working with. The temperature can be set by 5 degrees *fahrenheit* intervals. That’s 2.8 degree Celsius intervals for metric people.
Initially the HTVRONT logo will be red, when it has reached the heat you set it will turn green to indicate it is ready to be used.
Next is to position your material and design as you wish, making sure that what is under the fabric is adequately protected from the heat source.
You know those iron on name labels for your kids clothes when they started going to childcare and kinder? All the times you crank the iron to max and run it over the baking paper and hope you have it hot enough and applied with sufficient pressure that the label affixes correctly? Well you can put those worries to rest here with the Heat Press.
The timer button allows you to set a timer between 1 to 999 seconds. You will need to press on the logo to start the timer, and it will beep when it reaches zero.
With a working surface of 25.4 x 25.4 cm that is evenly heated by the coils inside as well as an even distribution of pressure, you can exercise much more control over the variables that makes consistent HTV a challenge.
The LCD display even tells you just how much pressure you are applying, although it is in pounds.
HTVRONT recommends light pressure with either just the unit weight itself, or with a one-handed grip at the middle of the handle. Low pressure is deemed to be 2.2 to 5 kg (6-11 pounds).
To apply medium and heavy pressure, the recommendation is to press down on the sides of the handle with both hands. Medium pressure is 5 to 15 kg (11-33 pounds) and heavy is 15 to 23 kg (33-50 pounds).
The unit can display a maximum of 45 kg of pressure (99 pounds).
That’s it. The operation of the HTVRONT Heat Press is as simple is this.
The Big Test
Given most of our kids have somewhat uncommon names, or less common spelling, we put the heat press to the test by making our own Christmas stockings for the kids.
It is something we have thought about doing for a while but never really got around to do it, but this year all the stars have aligned.
My partner being the creative one used the Cricut for the design and cutting of the heat transfer vinyl.
Quite deliberately I did not give Anita any instructions on how to use the HTVRONT, and it was simple enough that she worked out how to use it in minutes. The hardest part was working out the best temperature and duration for the heat press to be on. This part will vary depending on your materials and it is best to err on the side of caution.
As mentioned earlier, the unit comes with a safety base to rest on. It also helps with heat dissipation when cooling down.
The Heat Press will automatically shut down after 15 minutes of inactivity.
Just a couple … everything is in imperial units. It’s not much of an issue for me as an engineer, but it might pose some issues for others who works in metric predominantly (or exclusively).
The storage canvas bag is a pretty tight fit.
Lastly, I think this one is by design with the power cord at the top end of the unit. It does make sense to have no power cords getting in the way as long as you route your power from the far side.
The Heat Press opened up the realms of possibility with using heat transfer vinyl. It is unbelievably easy to use and takes out the variables which makes tackling a tricky HTV project from high risk to easily achievable.
If you have a Cricut or similar machine on hand, the Heat Press will complement your creativity and bring your projects to life.
The HTVRONT Heat Press has a RRP of AUD $199.99 and comes in Mint Green or Raspberry Red. At the time of publication there is a discounted price of about $140 on the site and Amazon.
There is also a huge up to 50% off sale on materials as well on the website at time of publishing.
DRN would like to thank HTVRONT for providing the review unit.
Dimensions: 25.4 x 25.4 cm
Weight: 3.6 kg
Temperature range: 21 to 210 C (70 – 400F)
Pressure: 2.3 – 45 kg (5 to 99 lbs)
Timer: 1 – 999 s