Step-By-Step Guide for Using Heat Press Tumbler Machines

Tumbler sublimation is the favorite activity of every mixologist and hobbyist. Tumblers are usually stainless-steel containers, which allow you to carry beverages conveniently. However, recently, a trend of tumbler customization has gained traction.

Considering the increased hype and user demand. Manufacturers started making tumbler press machines. As the name explains, a tumbler press machine helps you imprint designs and patterns on your tumbler. Initially, the machines were only available for commercial use. However, nowadays, compactor models are also available.

The devices are lightweight, user-friendly, and versatile. You can heat press tumblers, mugs, or other drinkware with eye-popping designs without a shred of a professional’s help!

Components Of a Tumbler Heat Press Machine

Before diving into the heat-pressing guide, let’s look at each tumbler heat-pressing machine’s typical components. It will give you an idea of how the device functions behind the scene and how you can get a pitch-perfect press.

The Heating Sleeve

The heating sleeve is the most crucial part of a tumbler press machine. It is like a cylindrical cavity that houses the tumbler during the press.


Next comes the heat press. The component is not externally visible. However, it is connected to the heating sleeve via a cord. The cord takes the heat from the heat press to the heating sleeve.

Pressure Adjusting Knobs

The pressure knobs are attached to the opposite side of the heating sleeve. They help you adjust the pressure for the press. A simple way to test the pressure is to move the handle. A smooth-moving handle means the pressure is low, and a stiff one means high pressure. You’ll need to adjust it before the press.


Lastly, there is the handle. Since the heating sleeve is hot to the touch, you’ll need a way to close it. Here the handle comes. Most machines have sturdy metal handles. However, some also have a padded handle for more comfortable handling.

Using a Tumbler Heat Press Machine- Step-By-Step Process

You know all the components of a standard tumbler heat press machine now; let’s get some tumblers pressed!

  1. First, you must power the machine and set the time and the temperature. The metrics vary according to tumbler shape, so reading the instruction manual for accurate results is essential.
  2. On the control panel, press the set button (almost all tumbler machines have a set button.) The device will ask you to set the temperature, and after setting it, press the set button again. Now the time screen will pop up, select the time and repress the set button.
  3. While the machine heats, let’s get your tumbler ready. Take your printed design and place it on the tumbler. Note that the colored part of the paper faces the tumbler and the white part is on the outside. Now use heat tape to wrap the piece around the cup tightly.
  4. When the machine beeps (or indicates it is ready), slide the tumbler into the sleeve. Now, wait for the countdown to complete. It is important to note that the heat sleeve doesn’t wholly close (there is a slight seam left) on your tumbler. So, when there are 20 to 15 seconds left in the countdown, open the heat press machine and rotate your tumbler to 180 degrees. It will help you get a consistent theme without any blank space.
  5. The timer will start from the default set time when you close the machine. You can complete only part of the countdown for the second phase; 40 to 35 seconds are enough.
  6. Once the timer completes, you can pull out the tumbler from the machine wearing a heat-resistant glove and remove the paper. Always turn off the heat press machine after using it.


Tumbler sublimation is super-fun, and everyone wants to try it. However, many users need help understanding the process. This guide will help you create great tumblers in no time.

However, since tumbler heat press machines are hot, it is mandatory to use heat-resistant gear when operating them. Heat press machines are versatile and can also heat press mugs and other drinkware. However, setting the optimal time and temperature is essential to get superb results. Sublimated tumblers make the most ideal and imaginative gifts!



Hale a passionate designer who likes to share his knowledge with others. After founding a blog to help people understand the connection between family, car and technology, he quickly realized that he loved teaching people new things. He loves working on design projects and is always looking for ways to improve his skills.

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