Best Sublimation Printer 2023
Which is the Best Inkjet Printer for Sublimation Printing?
To begin with, decide if you are going to refill the printer from a Sublimation Ink bottle? If so, you will need a printer that accepts refillable ink cartridges, or one that has refillable ink tanks such as the Epson EcoTank or HP SmartTank printers. Alternatively, if you prefer to replace the ink cartridges each time, your printer choice will be limited.
How much do you wish to spend buying the printer? Bear in mind that printers running sublimation ink can eventually get blocked print heads, so it is not always a good idea to buy an expensive printer. You may be advised to buy a single function printer that can be cheaper. There are currently a few printers without a scanner or copier that will accept refillable cartridges. These include the following…
The Epson Workforce WF-2010W / WF-2110W printers use Epson 16 / 16XL Series Ink Cartridges. Refillable Cartridges, Sublimation Ink, and Syringes with Blunt Needles. This tried and trusted WF-2010W model has been available for several years now, and has recently been replaced with the almost identical WF-2110W. We have written an article comparing the two models here. In our opinion both make a superb choice for A4 Sublimation printing on a budget.
The Epson Expression Photo XP-55 / XP-65 is another printer that has been around for several years. The advantage of being old is that there are more cartridge and refilling options. This A4 printer can use Refillable Ink Cartridges to replace Epson 24 / 24XL Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, and Light Magenta.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 is a heavy multifunction A4 printer with an automatic document feeder. Even though you will not need the ADF, double sided or cd/dvd printing, this printer has many other useful features. These include high quality printing and the ability to print directly from memory cards using the generous LCD display screen. There are also two front and one rear paper tray(s). Connecting to the printer is easy via either WiFi, WiFi Direct, Epson iPrint, or USB cable.
So why have we highlighted the XP-7100 for Sublimation printing when it has so many unnecessary functions? The XP-7100 uses five Epson 33 Series ink cartridges; and refillable cartridges to replace Epson 33 with auto reset chips can be purchased at a good price.
Being an Ink Tank Printer, the Epson EcoTank ET-2810 / ET-2811 is easy to refill. It is designed to use Epson 104 ink, but you would substitute this for Sublimation Ink from the very beginning to avoid cross contamination. Currently priced at around £170.00, the ET2810 and ET2811 offer a printing, scanning, and copying solution with connection via WiFi, Mobile Print, Epson Smart Panel, and USB printer cable.
If you are looking to spend considerably more than £100 on an A4 printer for sublimation, the Epson EcoTank ET-2810 / 2811 seems good value.
The Epson Expression Photo XP-970 is an A3 Printer with an A4 scanner. It has plenty of connection options including WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, and Memory cards. Borderless photographic print quality is very good for the price using six Epson 24 / 24XL Series Ink Cartridges. Being an older printer model now, compatible cartridges to replace Epson 24 and refillable cartridges are cheap to buy, making the XP-970 a viable option for refilling with Sublimation Ink.
There are two paper trays, the rear holding up to A3, and the front up to A4. In addition there's a tray for printing directly on to CD/DVD's. Add to this automatic duplex printing and you have an excellent A3 printer for the money.
Do you need to print larger than A3+? If so why not buy a used Epson Large Format printer? For example the A2 Epson SureColor SCP-800 uses eight ink colours including Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Magenta. You can buy refillable cartridges that have auto reset chips fitted for this model, then fill them with sublimation ink!
Epson Expression Photo XP-55
Epson Expression Premium XP-7100
Epson EcoTank ET-2810 / ET-2811
Epson Expression Photo XP-970 A3