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7 Best Sublimation Printers to Print Like a Pro in 2023

In this post, I'll list out 7 best sublimation printers that will make your designs pop with vivid colors, sharp details, and unbeatable quality. Let's dive in.
Kim Koh ‬ 12 min read
7 Best Sublimation Printers to Print Like a Pro in 2023

In this post, I'll list out 7 best sublimation printers that will make your designs pop with vivid colors, sharp details, and unbeatable quality.

I'll cover what makes these printers stand out from the competition, why they're worth your hard-earned cash, and why you should consider them if you're on the hunt for one.

Let's dive in.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a kickback if you decide to purchase through my links at no additional cost to you. But rest assured that I only recommend products I personally stand behind 🫑

What Is the Best Sublimation Printer?

If you're looking for a printer specifically designed for sublimation printing and have a medium budget, I will go for Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 β€” it offers exceptional print quality and it's not overly spendy.

If you're looking for the most affordable option and don't mind converting it for sublimation printing, Epson ET-2850 is perfect. It covers all your basic sublimation printing needs and then some without breaking the bank.

  1. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500
  2. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000
  3. Epson WorkForce WF-7210
  4. Epson ET-15000
  5. Epson SureColor F570 Pro
  6. Epson SureColor F170
  7. Epson ET-2850

1. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

Compact sublimation printer for high-quality, vibrant prints

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 delivers reliable, efficient sublimation printing in a compact, user-friendly design for creators of all levels.

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This compact, budget-friendly printer is a top choice for small businesses, hobbyists, and even pros looking for a space-saving solution.

Its user-friendly design and high-quality output make the SG500 a standout option. Sawgrass' sublimation ink technology delivers vibrant colors and sharp details, ensuring your prints always look fantastic.

And if you're worried about the design process, don't be. The SG500 comes with CreativeStudio integration, giving you access to tons of templates, graphics, and fonts that'll make designing a breeze.

One thing to keep in mind, though:

If you need larger prints or lightning-fast speeds, the SG500 might not be the perfect fit. But for most users, this printer offers a great balance of affordability, ease of use, and quality results.

So if you're searching for a sublimation printer that won't break the bank and offers solid performance, SG500 should definitely be on your radar.

The Good

  • Space-Saver: Its compact design (15.9" x 15.4" x 6.8") is perfect for those tight on space, like home-based businesses or small workshops.
  • Crisp Resolution: With a max print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, you'll get sharp and detailed prints every time.
  • Top-Notch Ink: Uses Sawgrass SubliJet-UHD inks for vibrant, long-lasting colors.
  • CreativeStudio Included: Get access to loads of templates, graphics, and fonts for a seamless design process.
  • Smart Color Management: Four individual CMYK cartridges make color control a breeze.
  • Ink Efficiency: Reduce waste and keep long-term operating costs under control.
  • Budget-Friendly: Its competitive price won't break the bank, making it an attractive option in the market.

The Bad

  • Size Constraints: Designed mainly for letter-sized media (up to 8.5" x 14"), it might not be ideal for those needing larger prints.
  • Not the Fastest: The SG500's print speeds may be slower than some competitors.
  • Sawgrass Ink Only: You'll need to stick with Sawgrass inks, which can limit options and bump up costs.
  • Not for Mass Production: Its smaller size might not be the best fit for high-volume or large-scale projects.
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2. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000

Powerhouse sublimation printer for professionals

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000 is great for its exceptional print quality and versatility, catering to businesses seeking top-notch sublimation performance.

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SG1000 is very similar to SG500 in what they can do, with two main differences:

  • SG1000 can print up to 11 x 17 inches (A3 size), whereas SG500 can print up to 8.5 x 14 inches (A4 size)
  • With SG1000 you can use standard-size (31ml) or extended-size cartridges (70ml), whereas with SG500 you can only use standard-size cartridges

Compared to its sibling, the SG500, the SG1000 is a larger and more versatile option, but it still maintains the user-friendly features that make Sawgrass printers a popular choice.

You'll also get access to CreativeStudio, an online design platform that simplifies the process with a vast library of templates, graphics, and fonts.

Remember that the SG1000 is a bit bulkier and may have a higher upfront cost than the compact SG500.

The critical difference between the two models lies in their print size capabilities:

The SG500 is primarily designed for letter-sized media, while the SG1000 can accommodate larger, tabloid-sized media.

Therefore, if you need a printer capable of handling larger print sizes, the SG1000 would be more suitable.

The Good

  • Crisp Resolution: With a max print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, you'll get sharp and detailed prints every time.
  • Top-Notch Ink: Uses Sawgrass SubliJet-UHD inks for vibrant, long-lasting colors.
  • CreativeStudio Included: Get access to loads of templates, graphics, and fonts for a seamless design process.
  • Smart Color Management: Four individual CMYK cartridges make color control a breeze.
  • Ink Efficiency: Reduce waste and keep long-term operating costs under control.
  • Suits Different Needs: Ideal for small businesses, hobbyists, and professional applications.

The Bad

  • Higher Initial Cost: Be prepared for a heftier upfront investment than some entry-level models, like the SG500.
  • Proprietary Ink Cartridges: You're restricted to Sawgrass inks, which can limit options and increase ongoing costs.
  • Size Constraints: While it can handle larger print sizes than SG500 (up to 11" x 17"), it's still limited to letter and tabloid-sized media - may not be suitable for those who need larger format printing.
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3. Epson WorkForce WF-7210

High-capacity sublimation printer for demanding projects

Epson WorkForce WF-7210 is great for its impressive large-format printing capabilities and rapid output, making it easy to tackle ambitious sublimation projects.

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This powerful wide-format printer is excellent for people who need one that can easily handle various tasks.

One area where the WF-7210 really shines is its ability to tackle large-format documents like a champ.

Whether you're a business pro needing jaw-dropping presentations or a creative genius crafting vivid brochures and small posters, this printer has your back.

With lightning-fast printing speeds, you'll never miss a beat. And it offers excellent connectivity options to print from your favorite devices without hassle.

Keep in mind, though:

WF-7210 isn't specifically designed for sublimation printing. It requires some modifications to use the sublimation link, and in doing so, you'll void the warranty.

But if you need a versatile, wide-format printer that offers high-quality prints, fast speeds, and convenient features, the Epson WorkForce WF-7210 is definitely worth considering.

The Good

  • Wide-Format Wizard: Handles large-format documents (up to 13" x 19") like it's nobody's business, making your projects pop.
  • Crisp and Clear: Delivers high-resolution prints (up to 4800 x 2400 dpi) that make your designs stand out.
  • Speed Demon: Fast printing speeds mean you won't be left twiddling your thumbs.
  • Versatile Paper Handling: Dual trays - 250-sheet capacity per tray.
  • Eco-friendly Champ: Energy Star certified for guilt-free, high-performance printing.
  • Budget-Friendly: It offers great value for money, especially considering its wide-format capabilities.

The Bad

  • Not a Sublimation Star: Not designed specifically for sublimation printing; it requires modifications and will void the warranty.
  • Bulky Buddy: It takes up more space than compact models, so ensure you have the room.
  • Thirsty for Ink: It can consume a significant amount of ink, especially when printing in high-quality mode.
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4. Epson ET-15000

All-in-one sublimation printer for maximum versatility

Epson ET-15000 is a game-changer with its all-in-one capabilities, covering printing, scanning, copying, and even faxing β€” perfect for creatives who want a versatile, high-quality sublimation printer without breaking the bank.

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ET-15000 is designed to handle a wide array of tasks β€” perfect for anyone who needs a versatile printer that can be used for sublimation printing.

The ET-15000's high-capacity ink tank system sets it apart. Swap out traditional cartridges for sublimation inks, and you'll enjoy significant cost savings and fewer refills.

Just remember not to use the ink that comes with the printer. It’d be ideal to convert before the ink tank is used.

As an all-in-one printer, it can do more than just print. It's a multitasking whiz that can scan, copy, and even fax, streamlining your workflow like never before.

And with wide-format capabilities, your sublimated projects will look stunning and professional.

So, if you need a versatile sublimation printer that can tackle everything from daily tasks to large-scale projects, the Epson ET-15000 is worth considering.

The Good

  • All-In-One Powerhouse: Scan, copy, and print – this multitasker has got you covered.
  • Most Effortless Conversion Ever: Swap out the original inks for sublimation inks and you have a sublimation printer.
  • Economical Ink Tank System: Ditch cartridges and enjoy cost savings, fewer refills, and an eco-friendly choice.
  • Wide-Format Capabilities: Your sublimated projects will truly shine, even up to 13" x 19".
  • High-Resolution Prints: Expect crisp and clear results with resolutions up to 4800 x 1200 dpi.
  • Wireless Convenience: Easily connect your devices and print from anywhere in your workspace.

The Bad

  • Print Speed: It might not be the fastest printer on the block, especially compared to some dedicated sublimation printers.
  • Ink Conversion Process: If you decide to convert a used ET-15000, switching from the original inks to sublimation inks can be a bit of a hassle, as it requires flushing the system.
  • Maintenance Demands: Since ET-15000 is an inkjet printer, it may need more frequent cleaning and maintenance to keep it running smoothly for sublimation printing.
  • Compatibility Limitations: Not all sublimation paper brands may work optimally with the ET-15000, so you might need to experiment to find the best fit.
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5. Epson SureColor F570 Pro

Exceptional wide-format printer for sublimation pros

With its unbeatable color accuracy and wide-format capabilities, F570 Pro will change your sublimation game and take it to a new level.

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Epson SureColor F570 Pro is perfect for anyone serious about sublimation printing.

Thanks to Epson's cutting-edge PrecisionCore technology, you can expect vibrant colors, sharp details, and smooth gradients in every print.

And your sublimation projects are guaranteed to impress.

And the cherry on top?

The F570 Pro comes with built-in roll support and a cutter, giving you the flexibility to print on rolls or sheets of varying sizes.

Plus, its high-capacity ink tanks mean less time spent on refilling and more time spent making your sublimated products shine.

Bottom line:

Epson SureColor F570 Pro is the perfect blend of top-notch performance, reliability, and versatility.

The Good

  • Purpose-Built for Sublimation: Explicitly designed to deliver top-notch sublimation printing results.
  • PrecisionCore Technology: Enjoy vibrant colors, sharp details, and smooth gradients with this cutting-edge tech.
  • High-Resolution Prints: Achieve crisp and clear results with a maximum resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi.
  • Built-In Roll Support and Cutter: Print on rolls or sheets of varying sizes for maximum project flexibility.
  • High-Capacity Ink Tanks: Spend less refilling and more time creating, thanks to 140ml ink reservoirs.
  • 24-Inch Wide-Format Printing: Produce large-scale sublimation projects with ease.
  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet Connectivity: Print wirelessly or wired for added convenience.
  • Fast Print Speeds: Keep up with demanding projects using the F570 Pro's rapid printing capabilities.

The Bad

  • Higher Upfront Cost: The F570 Pro's professional-grade performance has a heftier price tag.
  • Space Requirements: This wide-format printer may require more room than smaller models.
  • Not Ideal for Low-Volume Users: If you only need occasional sublimation printing, the F570 Pro might be more than you need.
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6. Epson SureColor F170

Compact sublimation printer for stunning results

F170 is a compact sublimation printer that packs a punch, delivering eye-catching prints to make your creative projects stand out.

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The F170 is designed for people needing a reliable sublimation printer for small-scale projects without large-scale production capabilities.

With its compact size, this small yet mighty printer is ideal for small workspaces and easily accommodates limited areas.

Plus, with Epson's UltraChrome Dye-Sublimation Ink, you'll get brilliant colors and razor-sharp details that bring your prints to life.

In a nutshell:

The F170 is efficient and low-maintenance, so you can focus more on creating and less on printer upkeep.

Definitely an excellent option to meet your sublimation needs.

The Good

  • Purpose-Built for Sublimation: The F170 is specifically designed to deliver high-quality sublimation prints, perfect for personalized products.
  • Compact Design: Ideal for small workspaces, home offices, or personal use, this printer won't take up much room.
  • Wireless Convenience: With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can print from your devices wirelessly, hassle-free.
  • Crisp Results: A maximum resolution of 1200 x 600 dpi ensures vibrant colors and sharp details in your prints.
  • Versatile Printing: With a 150-sheet auto-feed tray, you can bring efficiency to your prints every time.
  • High-Capacity Ink Tanks: Spend less time refilling and more time creating, thanks to 140ml ink reservoirs.
  • Budget-Friendly: The F170 offers an affordable entry point into the world of sublimation printing.

The Bad

  • Limited Print Width: At 8.5 inches, the maximum print width may not be enough for larger projects.
  • Not for High-Volume Users: If you need to handle frequent, large-scale sublimation printing, the F170 might not be your best bet.
  • Slower Print Speeds: Up to 14 pages per minute (ppm), the F170 takes more time to complete projects than advanced sublimation printers, so plan accordingly.
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7. Epson ET-2850

Cost-efficient, eco-friendly sublimation solution

Epson ET-2850 is a game-changer for budget-conscious creatives who want an eco-friendly sublimation printer with wireless connectivity and high-quality prints.

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If you’re looking for the cheapest sublimation printer, the Epson ET-2850 might just be your best bet β€” with some necessary modifications.

To use it for sublimation printing, you'll need to convert it by replacing the original ink with sublimation ink.

After that, the printer will deliver high-quality, vibrant colors and detailed prints for your sublimation projects.

The ET-2850 has a user-friendly design, featuring an easy setup and wireless capabilities, making it a breeze to use in any workspace.

The Good

  • EcoTank Technology: The Epson ET-2850 comes with an EcoTank, allowing cartridge-free printing and significantly saving ink costs.
  • High Print Volume: This printer offers a high print volume, handling up to 7,500 pages for black and 6,000 pages for color, perfect for businesses with high printing demands.
  • Wireless Connectivity: With Wi-Fi Direct and mobile printing capabilities, you can print from your smartphone, tablet, or computer with ease.
  • High Resolution: The ET-2850 offers a maximum print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, ensuring high-quality and vibrant sublimation prints.
  • Borderless Printing: The ability to print borderless designs up to 8.5" x 11" allows for seamless printing and creative flexibility.
  • Easy Refilling: The EcoTank system features easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks, making the refilling process quick and hassle-free.
  • Scan and Copy Capabilities: The ET-2850 also functions as a scanner and copier, making it a versatile all-in-one solution for your printing needs.

The Bad

  • Not Designed for Sublimation: The ET-2850 is not specifically designed for sublimation printing, which may require additional setup and configuration, including using compatible sublimation ink.
  • Slower Print Speed: The ET-2850 may not be ideal for businesses requiring fast printing, as it offers a relatively slower print speed than other sublimation printers.
  • No Built-In Cutter: The absence of a built-in cutter may require manual trimming of prints, increasing the time spent on finishing each project.
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What Is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing prints an image onto transfer paper using special sublimation ink and transfers the image onto a material using a heat press, such as fabric or ceramic.

It produces vibrant and long-lasting images that won't fade or peel, making it popular for printing custom designs on products like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases.

Wrapping Up

Each sublimation printer on this list offers unique advantages tailored to different printing needs and preferences.

From the most affordable to the most feature-packed and professional, there's one to suit your need.

I hope this post could you make an informed decision and find the perfect sublimation printer to elevate your creative projects and business ventures.

Now, over to you:

Which sublimation printer are you currently using? What do you like about it?

Let me know in the comment section below!

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