You understand how an oven works—by heating the air inside. The air in conventional ovens remains stagnant. Enter convection ovens with fans and exhaust systems. The fan circulates the air inside the oven, ensuring that your food cooks evenly.
- A convection oven works by circulating hot air inside the oven.
- Sublimation involves heating solid ink particles under high pressure to turn them into gas and then back to solid.
- Sublimation printing produces high-quality and long-lasting prints.
- You must have another convection oven for sublimation, separate from the one you use for cooking.
You can use a convection oven for sublimation and print outstanding designs on several items. This article looks at the sublimation process, its application and benefits, and several top convection ovens for sublimation. Always wear protective gloves when sublimating items because the process involves high heat and pressure.
Table of Contents
- 1 Understanding Sublimation Printing
- 2 Criteria for Choosing the Best Convection Oven for Sublimation
- 3 Top Convection Ovens for Sublimation
- 4 Sublimation Oven vs. Press
- 5 Best Convection Oven for Sublimation: FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
Understanding Sublimation Printing
Sublimation printing is the process of printing a design or words on a special sublimation paper, then transferring it to another material at high temperatures and pressure. Companies use sublimation printing to customize their products on a large scale.
You can also do it at home using a convection oven. It produces high-quality and long-lasting results. Use a separate oven from the one you use for cooking since sublimation produces toxins that you wouldn’t want in your food.
Related: 5 Best Epson EcoTank Printers for Sublimation
How Does it Work?
A convection oven works by circulating hot air within the oven to ensure an even distribution of temperature. It helps to produce uniform prints.
How to Use a Convection Oven for Sublimation
Once you choose your design, print it on the special sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Remember to flip the images to transfer the design from the paper to your mugs.
Wrap the sublimation paper around your mug and tape it as tight as possible. You can use a shrink wrap to help apply the required pressure.
Sublimation printing involves heat and pressure, so ensure your convection oven is at over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The high heat converts the solid particles of ink into a gas, and the pressure embeds them onto the mug and turns them back into a solid form.
Related: Sublimation vs. Screen Printing: Understanding the Process and Applications
Advantages of Sublimation Printing
Sublimation printing has the following advantages:
- You can print on rigid surfaces like mugs, plates, and clocks.
- You can print an unlimited range of colors at no extra cost.
- The process is easy and fast, involving a short learning curve.
- The process integrates the design with the material, making it unnoticeable to touch.
- You can customize one or multiple units; there’s no need for a minimum print run.
Application of Sublimation Printing
Sublimation works well with materials made of polyester (or having a polyester coating). With polyester, there are endless possibilities for sublimation printing. You can use it on various items, including:
- Apparel like shirts, socks, and jumpers
- Homeware including cups, plates, and mugs
- Other accessories like bags, canvases, and folders
Related: Sublimation vs. Vinyl: The Ultimate Printing Showdown
Criteria for Choosing the Best Convection Oven for Sublimation
You want a convection oven that will produce the highest quality results. Therefore, consider the following factors when choosing the best convection oven for sublimation:
- Size and Capacity
You know the size and quantity of material you’ll want to sublimate. It means you must pick the right size to accommodate everything you want to print. The oven must also fit in your reserved space, whether a tabletop or any other space.
If you’re undecided about the size of a convection oven for sublimation, especially when printing customized designs on large mugs, check to ensure that the mugs fit in the convection oven. Always check the interior height because a stand-up oven helps you avoid turning the mugs and losing heat.
- Temperature Control
You may want to conduct sublimation at a standard temperature for several minutes. The temperature control feature will come in handy, as you will be sure that the process has happened at the right temperatures for the required time.
Some convection ovens don’t have a temperature control feature and may not give you the desired results.
- Power Output
The power output of your convection oven can vary depending on brand and size, so it’s always good to check the power rating. Sublimation can only happen at specific high temperatures (usually 400 °F or higher), and you must be sure that your convection oven will reach these levels.
When you open the convection oven’s door to place your items for sublimation, the heat will drop as some escapes. You must be sure that the temperature will get back to the desired levels within a short time.
- Ease of Use
You want a convection oven that is easy to use without complex processes that will keep sending you to the manual. An oven with a quick learning curve will make it enjoyable to continue with your sublimation printing. Complex ovens may require hiring a technician, which is an additional cost.
Because you are buying a convection oven for home use, you want to get it at a reasonable price. An extremely inexpensive convection oven will have you doubting its performance, but you want to avoid getting an extremely pricey one. Always compare prices and features for various brands before making a selection.
Manual convection ovens are affordable and can cost around $100 to $150. Digital ones cost over $250.
Related: How to Print Sublimation Images – A Step-By-Step Guide
Top Convection Ovens for Sublimation
Here are a few convection ovens worth your time:
Oster Convection Oven for Sublimation
The Oster Convection Oven provides exciting features that you can consider. One of the standout features is that the doors open horizontally. Some people may prefer it to vertically-opening doors.
The digital oven automatically shuts off when the timer elapses. The grills are adjustable, allowing large mugs to sublimate while standing. It has a 4-star rating on Amazon, with around 7000 ratings indicating its popularity.
- Easy to use
- Larger interior for more or larger items
- Digital setting to regulate the temperatures for different items
- Timer with auto shut-off feature to give peace of mind while sublimating
- At over $250, some people will find it pricey.
Check the Oster Convection Oven’s latest prices on Amazon
Hamilton Beach XL Convection Oven for Sublimation
The Hamilton Beach XL Convection Oven is an exciting oven that provides efficiency. Its large interior allows you to sublimate large mugs, and you can sublimate several of them. While it doesn’t have a digital timer, you can set the timer on a separate device. The oven has a 4-star rating on Amazon, with over 2000 ratings.
- Easy to use
- Large interior to fit several items
- Provides even heat distribution for uniform sublimation of items
- One of the most affordable options
- No timer or auto shut-off feature, so you must operate it manually.
Check the Hamilton Beach XL Convection Oven’s latest prices on Amazon
Breville Smart Oven Pro
The Breville Smart Oven Pro Convection Oven is a digital convection oven with various exciting features. It has a digital timer and shuts off automatically once the session expires. The internal light automatically turns on to help you see the oven’s interior. Temperatures can get to 500 °F, and are evenly distributed for uniform sublimation.
- Easy to operate
- The non-stick coating makes it easy to clean
- Intuitive controls to regulate temperatures
- Has a timer with auto shut off feature
- Interior light to help you see items within the ven
- It is pricey
Check the Breville Smart Oven Pro Convection Oven’s latest prices on Amazon
Comparison Table for Top Convection Ovens
|Feature||Oster||Hamilton Beach XL||Breville|
|Easy to use||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Timer and auto stop||✔️||❌||✔️|
|Easy to clean||✔️||✔️||✔️|
Sublimation Oven vs. Press
A mug press is an effective tool for sublimation, but using an oven eclipses it in various ways. You can only sublimate one mug at a time with a mug press, while an oven enables you to sublimate several mugs at a time. However, the preparation process for oven sublimation may be longer.
Best Convection Oven for Sublimation: FAQs
- Can I Sublimate in My Convection Oven?
Yes, you can sublimate in your convection oven. However, don’t do it in the same oven you use to cook food. The sublimation process involves heating ink into a gas, and the components could become toxic if mixed with food.
- Can I Use a Toaster Oven for Sublimation?
Yes, you use a toaster oven for sublimation. Remember to ensure that there’s proper ventilation in the room. Also, don’t use the same toaster oven to heat or cook food.
- Can You Use an Air Fryer Convection Oven for Sublimation?
Yes, you can use an air fryer convection oven for sublimation. Most air fryers can accommodate a cup that fits into a mug press, one cup at a time. You may preheat the air fryer for 10-15 minutes before inserting your items for sublimation. Be sure to wear heat-resistant gloves.
- What Kind of Oven Do You Use for Sublimation Tumblers?
You can use a convection oven for sublimation tumblers. Ensure that the tumbler fits into the oven. A stand-up oven is preferable because you won’t need to turn the tumblers (opening the door will cause the temperature to drop). A good convection oven has a temperature control feature so that you can set the right temperature for sublimation.
- What Is the Best Convection Oven for Sublimation?
To determine the best convection oven for sublimation, look at your needs. If you want to sublimate many items daily, you may opt for a large oven. You may also check other features like the power output, price, and temperature control. We recommend the Oster Convection Oven because it is digital and has a timer with an auto shut-off feature.
Using convection ovens for sublimation is an easy way to customize your items. It provides long-lasting prints that are often appealing. You must first consider your needs before settling on a convection oven for sublimation to ensure its full utilization. You should also take precautions and do the process correctly for the best results.