The Skateboard Manufacturer Blog

Should I buy a skateboard deck heat transfer machine

How does a skateboard heat transfer machine work?

The 2HEX 11SBHTP-21 skateboard heat transfer machine transfers inks from a heat transfer to skateboard decks through pressure and heat.


First, your deck design is printed on a heat transfer. A heat transfer consists of a heat resistant transparent plastic film as carrier, a transparent release agent to ensure the ink can leave the plastic film, and your design.

Your design is screen printed on the release agent using inks that melt at a heat of 430 Degrees Fahrenheit or 220 Degrees Celsius.


The heat transfer is then placed on a blank deck with the ink facing down. Then both the blank deck and heat transfer are placed between the two heat transfer machine rollers. The upper roller is heated to the temperature necessary to melt the inks, before it presses the heat transfer on the blank deck.

After the heat transfer was pressed on the blank deck, the film can be pulled off and only the ink stays on the deck.

Why not screen print directly on skateboard decks?

Screens are flat, so when directly screen-printing on skateboard decks, manufacturers can only print on the wheelbase, the area between the front and back truck.

Transfer printing allows the manufacturer to apply the print with more pressure, and to reach the complete surface of a skateboard deck’s bottom or top.



In which case should I get a skateboard heat transfer machine, and when should I not?

If you plan to print on more than 500 decks per year, you can consider buying a machine.


The rough break-even point for buying a machine versus buying printed decks from a local deck supplier is at only 200 decks per year.

However, considering the increased amount of time needed to manage production workers, using warehouse space for the machine and blank decks  and buying your own heat transfers, you should only consider buying a skateboard heat transfer machine if you plan to print on more than 500 skateboard decks per year.


A heat transfer machine including freight costs you around $10.000.

Getting a deck with print costs you about $7.5 more than a blank deck. The rough labor cost to print on one deck is $2.5 in USA and Europe. So by having your own machine, you save $5 per deck. You would therefore have to print on $10.000 / $5 = 2000 decks to not lose money on buying your own machine.

When used by a skate shop and maintained well, the 2HEX 11SBHTP-21 skateboard heat transfer machine can easily be used for 10+ years. To print 2000 decks within 10 years, you need to print on 200 decks per year.


On the other hand: If you sell 1000+ decks per month, and you know well in advance which designs you are going to sell, running your own machine is making a loss! If your deck order quantities are 1000+ per month and you have enough time to pre-order, it is cheaper to let 2HEX print on your decks than to print on decks yourself!



In conclusion, it really depends on your company’s situation and business strategy to know if you should or should not get a 2HEX 11SBHTP-21 skateboard heat transfer machine.


If you want to arrange a phone call with Arthur or Ben, to discuss if buying a 2HEX 11SBHTP-21 skateboard heat transfer machine is the right decision for you, you can do so here:

If you want to configure your custom machine and see how much it would cost, you can do so here: