If you are a beginner or own a small sublimation business then those sublimation printers with a higher price tags are just not for you.
To test the waters, you are going to need a sublimation printer that has all necessary features but at same time is inexpensive.
But what are best cheap sublimation printers exactly? Well, that is a difficult question because cheap sublimation printers have limited features.
Therefore, in this guide, I have gathered some best cheap sublimation printers that have amazing features with very few shortcomings. They will be just enough for a beginner or a small sublimation business owner
5 Best Cheap Sublimation Printers
1. Canon Selphy CP1300
Precautions! Canon Selphy CP1300 is not for office use at all. But it is still on my list of the best cheap sublimation printers because it uses dye-sub technology to produce its print thus making it perfect for hobbyist or very small sublimation business owner who just wants to print smaller size objects.
With many connectivity options, CP1300 can be easily connected to nearby devices. It might be a little printer but is very versatile that can be run wired or wirelessly with decent speed. I can ascertain that its running cost is also very cheap. Also, images produced by it have pretty good longevity thus fading away is not on its list.
300×300 dpi resolution helps in producing images with vibrant colors. Also, it is a very compact printer that can be placed anywhere. Yup! That much compact. Because of its dye-sub technology, it can produce prints more accurately and perfectly.
A 3 inches LED screen that is present in the center of this printer makes navigation around printer very easy. If you produce T-shirts or other smaller sublimation objects then this best cheap printer will work great for you.
One flaw that I discovered (maybe it is not even a flaw for many) is that it runs on main power and does not has a battery. Batteries can be purchased separately they are quite expensive.
Brighter Highlights and Deeper Low Lights
Its resolution might be just 300×300 dpi but it retains excellent tonal range that in turn helps in producing brighter highlights and deeper low lights.
- Very helpful and colored 3 inches LED screen.
- Better quality prints.
- Cheaper running costs.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Batteries are not included.
- No mini USB Type-B cable.
2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720
Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is a very easy-to-convert inkjet printer to sublimation. All you have to do is replace its ink with sub-dyes and you are good to go
Do you perform sublimation printing just out of a hobby or may be you want to start a small sublimation business but don’t have enough money to spare then ET-2720 is the right fit for you
2720 might be the cheapest printer from Epson family but do not get fooled by its price tag because it has some pretty decent features which will impress you for sure. All the colors in colored test prints were pretty vibrant and the text was clearly shaped in all sizes too. In uncolored pages, grayscale radial gradients were decent too.
I also noticed a decent number of colored and uncolored print production. It might be an expensive option as compared to other EcoTank printers with similar features but I can assure you that it will save you more in terms of ink because it uses minimum ink per print.
Since it is one of the best cheap sublimation printers therefore it lacks some features like auto duplex printing and Automatic Document Feeder. Both of these features can be easily found in printers under the $200 price tag. Another shortcoming is its limited paper capacity. With 100 sheets in input tray and 30 sheets in output tray, this printer might not be a good choice for an office.
Despite these limitations, it is still a good all-rounder sublimation printer with great features like wireless printing, scanning, and copying. Also, it can be placed almost anywhere because it is light in weight and is easier to carry.
A pretty decent and adjustable control panel is what I particularly like give the price tag. It can also be tilted at various angles. In terms of setup, it is an easy printer with easy instructions. If you find its display screen small then it can also be set up by PC.
Voice Activated Printing
Voice-activated printing by Alexa is also there with some more apps or programs for PC and smartphones which will make your sublimation printing journey a breeze.
- Voice-activated printing.
- Great build quality.
- Very low running costs.
- No ADF.
- No auto duplex printing.
3. Canon PIXMA TR4520
Looking for an all-in-one inkjet printer with a flatbed scanner? Then my friend you are in the right place because my next candidate is Canon PIXMA TR4520.
TR4520 is a compact all-in-one printer with a flatbed scanner. Moreover, I have also noticed an automatic document feeder which is terrific to add to the list of features.
If you do not have a keen eye and just want to print your everyday photographs then TR4520 offers decent printing quality with almost accurate colors, however, a bit of banding can be seen in greyscale.
PIXMA supports a variety of media from matte to super glossy. If you want the best cheap sublimation printer then this printer might be it for you. Since it is a lower-end device therefore it has a slower printing time.
Paper capacity is also lower than average where 100 sheets are accommodated at a time. There is also an ADF that takes 20 letter-size sheets. But to make things more convenient somehow, Canon has included support for Amazon Alexa.
Image Manipulation From Smartphones
But there are other perks that make it worth the shot including manipulating images from a smartphone. As far as text prints go then they are very easily readable even to the smallest font point.
- Smaller footprint.
- ADF and auto duplexing.
- Slower printing speed.
- High running costs.
4. Canon PIXMA G5020
Another best cheap sublimation printer under $200 is Canon PIXMA G5020. It is a mega tank inkjet printer meaning its printing yield is incredible.
With a lower price tag come certain limitations, including average color production. But when it comes to quantity then you will get upto 6000 black and 7700 color prints. So, its cost-effective printing must be kept in mind before judging its print quality.
Backed by Apple AirPrint, Siri, Mopria Print Service, Amazon Alexa, and certain other voice-activated features, G5020 is certainly one of the best cheap sublimation printers. Since it is a single-function printer, therefore, all you get is a monochrome LED two-lined display.
G5020 paper handling is also very decent with 250 sheets in the front tray and 100 sheets in back tray, which can also be loaded with 20 sheets of photo paper.
Edit Your Photos Post Printing
Moreover, with its Easy Photo Print Editor, you can enhance and edit your photos post-printing. It also has some flaws given the price tag. Its shortcomings include no graphical display, lower resolution, and absence of a Wifi module.
- Very high print production.
- Backed by power-packed softwares.
- Auto duplexing.
- Average wireless printing.
- Average print resolution.
5. HP ENVY 6055e
Higher printing resolution from the best cheap sublimation printer is what you want then you will be very happy with HP Envy 6055e. With a smaller footprint, 6055e delivers best photo printing provided you don’t mind HP ink costs.
6055e comes with a straightforward setup but lacks a display screen. Instead, it shows activity with some lights and sounds which is a bit confusing for me.
ENVY 6055e might be a cheaper printer but its operating costs are high. But the high-quality prints that it churns are what capture my attention. But if you want to print more often then this printer is a big NO-NO.
If I have to mention its drawbacks then I would start with its paper tray of 100 sheets.
Also, it does not offer out of box printing quality but that is to be expected from a lower-end printer. But it churns out pretty decent text quality. Whereas, some faintness can be seen in greyscale’s lighter shades.
Many higher-end sublimation printers mess up business graphics. But in the case of this printer, I have found crisp business graphics. Also, an entire range of colors can be seen, even subtle ones included in the test.
Print From Virtually Anywhere
Remote printing feature of HP ENVY 6055e is also noticeable by the help of which you can print from anywhere virtually.
- Cloud printing.
- Duplex printing.
- Smaller footprint.
- No ADF.
- NO control panel.
Frequently Asked Question
Can I start my small sublimation business with cheap sublimation printers?
Yes, you can start your small sublimation business with a cheaper sublimation printer. There are many cheaper options that will have greater resolutions. But if you are going for a higher resolution then you might have to compromise on speed or auto duplex printing options.
Can any cheap printer be converted into a sublimation printer?
A big NO! Those printers that work on micro Piezo technology can be converted into sublimation. Micro Piezo technology helps in producing long-lasting prints that are necessary for sublimation products.
What is the best cheap sublimation printer from Epson?
Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the best and cheapest sublimation printer from Epson. It is also very popular among hobbyists and beginners alike.
Purchasing the best cheap sublimation might get tricky for beginners. They do lack some features because of the reduced price tag. Many hobbyists, beginners, and even small sublimation business owners prefer to go with a cheaper option to test the waters.
Some might go down this road due to a shortage of money. Nevertheless, I have compiled a list of the five best cheap sublimation printers that have a decent set of features. Keep in mind that all of the five have certain shortcomings because of lesser upfront costs. However, they will be decent enough to give you a great start.
Although, my top three recommendations are:
Canon Selphy CP1300: due to its excellent tonal range.
Canon PIXMA TR4520: due to its all-in-one nature at a lower price tag.
Canon PIXMA G5020: due to decent paper accommodation.