If you’re getting into the branded apparel business, a Direct to Garment Printer is a must if you want the ability to create stunning, colorful designs at a fair price.
DTG is one of the most widely used printing technologies in the garment printing market, and there are a growing number of models from which to choose. With so many models and features, it’s easy to get upside down when figuring out which one is best for you.
So you don’t waste your hard-earned money on one of these expensive machines without first doing your research, we’ve compiled all of the information for you.
In this article, we highlight the best DTG printers available today to help make your business a success.
What Is DTG Exactly?
Before we dive into the different models of DTG printers, it’s helpful to give a brief rundown of what these printers are and how they work.
As mentioned above, DTG stands for Direct to Garment printing. DTG printers work much like your home inkjet printer, but instead of printing on paper, they print on fabric.
The most significant advantages of this kind of printing are:
- You can print highly detailed and colorful images much cheaper than you can with screen printing and other technologies.
- DTG is ideal for on-demand, short-run jobs that don’t involve a lot of labor or setup.
- You can print photo-realistic quality images with thousands of colors, which is more difficult with other printing technologies.
- DTG printing is relatively inexpensive and easy to get into when compared to other printing technologies.
The Best DTG Printers
Our Favorite: The Epson F2100 ($15,495)
The Epson F2100 is the newest of DTG printers on the market (as of this article). This printer, designed exclusively for the DTG industry, continues the tradition of excellence established by its predecessor, the Epson F2000, but with a few new enhancements.
This printer prints on garments ranging from 100 percent cotton to 50/50 blends. If you want a machine capable of printing on everything from t-shirts to hoodies to jackets and tote bags, this is the one to get.
Where this model excels over its predecessor is in its newly developed print modes, like Light Garment Mode. These new modes allow for printing that’s twice as fast as the previous generation.
Faster printing means higher profits.
Another feature new to this model is the Highlight White Ink Mode, which is exclusive to this printer. This mode allows you to simultaneously print white and colored inks on the color pass, which gives you better quality and faster print times.
Bottom line: The Epson F2100 allows you to print higher quality images at a faster pace, which means more garments out the door and more money coming in.
Brother GT3 ($14,000)
The next printer worth considering is the Brother GT3, which gives you eight print heads, giving you better print quality. Also, four of those heads are just for white ink, which gives you a rich, clear white under base that makes colors pop on darker garments.
Speed is vital when printing, and with this printer, you only need 35 seconds to cure the ink, making this one of the most efficient printers out there.
Also, at 260 lbs., this machine is built like a tank. Both the outer shell and the internal parts are industrial strength and made to run all day.
If your business demands a printer capable of handling high-volume work, the Brother GT3 is worth a look.
ColDesi DTG M2 ($20,000)
One unique feature that sets this printer apart from the others on our list is that it’s the only dual platen printer, meaning it has two platens for loading two shirts at the same time instead of one.
The advantage of a two-platen printer is it makes the print times much quicker and improves efficiency. Two platens also allow you to print the same design on two shirts of different sizes at once.
Another advantage of this design is that it scales easily up or down to accommodate whatever size shirts you’re printing.
If space is a concern, this printer is ideal because it tops out at about 4’x 3′, which is about the same as the Brother.
Lastly, this printer is pretty quiet. Not as quiet as the Epson, but quieter than the Brother. It’s a great machine to consider if you want something with an extra-large imaging area.
Ricoh Ri 6000 ($35,000)
If you’re new to the DTG industry, Ricoh purchased the DTG printing company, AnaJet, back in 2016. AnaJet was a leader in the DTG printing industry with their Mp5i and Mp10i printers, both of which have been upgraded by Ricoh.
The Ri 600 is the newest printer put out by the company since its acquisition. It has a smaller footprint and a large print area of 356×457 mm.
A feature that garment printers will find useful is the additional platens they can buy that allow them to print on sleeves, hats, kids and toddlers shirts. The additional platens give the printer more options for their customers.
One feature we love about this printer is the speed at which it prints. Printing on light-colored garments takes about 27 seconds, which is perfect for maximizing efficiency.
This printer also uses water-based inks like the other printers on our list, what makes it stand out is that it features vibrant DuPont inks, which aren’t available for all DTG printers.
DuPont inks allow for the printing of photo-realistic images with thousands of ultra-vibrant colors that are sure to please your customers.
Printing is easy, too; just push a button to print!
Lastly, this machine features a large print area of 14×18, which makes it ideal for printing large shirts. And if you’re a printer who’s had issues with AnaJet’s printers, most people agree these problems have been solved with the introduction of the Ri 6000.
DTG printing is a fun and exciting business. You can get started for little money and grow the business gradually with a few print jobs at a time to build your reputation.
If you’re in the industry and looking for a new printer, or you’re thinking about starting a garment printing business, the above printers are the best bang for your buck right now.
Bookmark this page and come back for future reference to help you decide.