Let’s dive into some heat press troubleshooting and how to check the temperature of your heat press. I hear from tons of people that think they may have issues with their heat press. I did a little bit of research and found out the best way to test your heat press temperature. I’m going to test the temperature on both my clamshell heat press, as well as a 9×9 EasyPress just to demonstrate both of the options.
Heat Press Troubleshooting
Grab your infrared thermometer and walk through the steps for checking your heat press temperature in the video below. Determine if your press is coming up to the right temperature and if it is heating consistently across the entire surface.
Can’t watch the video or miss some of the information? You can also follow along below!
- Infrared Thermometer Gun (please note that this one is made for checking the temperature of things and not people!)
- Heat Press
- Cricut EasyPress
- EasyPress Mat
How NOT to Check Your Heat Press Temperature
Let’s first talk about the wrong way to do this so you know what NOT to do! Here are a few common mistakes that I see when people try to measure the temperature of their heat press:
- The problem with using an infrared thermometer is that the surface of the heat platen on a heat press is shiny. That means that if I just point the thermometer at the top surface of the heat press, I would not get an accurate temperature measurement. With my heat press set at 400 degrees F, I get a reading of around 365 degrees F pointing my gun right at the shiny heat platen. This is completely wrong!
- Any heat press needs to be on for at least five minutes before you even start to test. They do need to come up to temperature and be able to regulate their own temperature for a long time. I would say a minimum of five minutes.
- You need to note the distance indicated on your thermometer. Mine is a 12 to one. That means if I hold it about a foot away, it measures about a one inch circle. That’s important because if I held it really close, the measurement circle would be larger. That means if I was trying to measure the edge temperature, it might get an area outside of the heat press and give me a false reading. You do want to note that range on the thermometer you purchase.
Checking the Temperature on the Heat Platen
Now that you know the things that you may be doing incorrectly, let’s take a look at checking the temperature the right way! I am going to do this for both a traditional heat press as well as an EasyPress. You will be doing some heat press troubleshooting before you know it!
Measuring Temperature on a Heat Press
So, how do we measure the temperature if we can’t just point the gun at the heat press and actually get an accurate measurement? Well, we have a trick for that. Let’s take a look at the steps!
- Adjust the heat press and make sure it comes all the way down onto the bottom surface. It should have enough pressure to close tightly on itself.
- Make sure that bottom surface is not shiny. If it is, add a pad or something to that surface that is not reflective.
- Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and allow to heat up for at least 5 minutes.
- Set the timer for 60 seconds. Close the heat press and let it heat the bottom surface for 60 seconds.
- As soon as the timer goes off, open the heat press and test the temperature of the bottom pad IMMEDIATELY! You want to be looking at the display and get a reading as soon as you open the heat press. Remember that distance we discussed above and ensure that is correct when measuring.
- If you want to check the temperature in different areas, you have to close it again for 60 seconds as it will cool off quickly. Each measurement needs to have the same procedure.
When I measure the temperature correctly, I get around 390 or 393 degrees F which is great! You will get a slightly lower reading as it really does cool off that quickly.
Measuring Temperature on an EasyPress
The same basic procedure above applies for an EasyPress. Here are the steps for measuring the temperature.
- Set the EasyPress to 400 degrees F and set the timer for 60 seconds.
- Allow it to heat up for 5 minutes on the base.
- Set it on the EasyPress mat and start the timer for 60 seconds.
- As soon as the timer goes off, lift the EasyPress and test the temperature of the mat IMMEDIATELY! You want to be looking at the display and get a reading as soon as you tilt the press back. Remember that distance we discussed above and ensure that is correct when measuring.
- If you want to check the temperature in different areas, you have to place it on the mat again for 60 seconds as it will cool off quickly. Each measurement needs to have the same procedure.
Mine measured around 395 degrees F which is great! Again, you will get a slightly lower reading as it cools off quickly.
What Should the Measurement Be?
What would a post on heat press troubleshooting be without a bit about the measurements you should get? Both of my tests turned out great! I had them set at 400 degrees F. You do need to realize that they will start to cool as soon as it is lifted up. I was getting like 390 or 393 degrees F as soon as the laser beam hit the surface. You don’t want it to be extremely low or extremely high but instead close to the temperature that you have it set to.
Hopefully, that helps you test your heat press temperature. I would recommend checking the temperature in several areas, making sure that the heat is consistent across the entire surface, especially if you’re having trouble. Sometimes people purchase presses used or extremely cheap on Amazon, and they don’t have as many coils as a more expensive heat press. That means that you’re not getting the same temperature all throughout your heat press. Hopefully, this helps you give that a test and see if there are any cold spots in your press. It might convince you that you need to buy another press or just avoid that spot. Do a bit of heat press troubleshooting if you are having any issues! Hopefully, you will figure out if your press is the issue or not.