Digital technology is transforming the office, and many of the tools you use every day are now digital, too. That means that your printer can also be a digital model — known as a DTF (digital thermal-film) printer.

If you've been using film, or even prints from a film camera, to take pictures with your Polaroid camera or instant camera, then think again. Modern DTF printers use digital technology to create images on thermal paper that can be processed in just minutes. It's an exciting development for photographers who want their shots fast — and who don't want to pay for developing film all the time!

How We Choose

To find the best DTF printer, we first looked at a variety of factors including print quality, speed and price. We also considered customer satisfaction ratings from people who had actually used these printers. Based on our research, we determined that most people looking for a DTF printer care most about print quality and speed. However, they don't always want to spend a lot of money on a printer either. With that in mind, we only included printers in our review that offer high-quality prints while being affordable too.

DTF L1800 Transfer Printer with Roll Feeder

The PLK L1800 DTF is a great choice for anyone looking to print on large format rolls. This printer has a high quality image and prints at up to A3 size.

It also comes with an auto-heating station which will help prevent any paper jams or other issues that can occur when printing on such large formats. The white ink circulation system ensures that your prints are free from sediment and head clogs, making this a reliable option for those who need to print lots of white shirts.

The product does come with some downsides however, such as being quite expensive and not having Wi-Fi connectivity - though it does have Bluetooth support - which may be important to some people.

DSV DTF Printer A3 L1800 Transfer Machine

The DSV DTF Printer is a great option for those looking to print on T-shirts, hoodies and other light-weight fabrics. This particular model comes with an oven that can be used to heat press the printed garments after they've been transferred onto another fabric.

The white ink circulation system ensures that your prints will remain vibrant and undamaged no matter what type of material you're working with. The printer also has a built-in white ink circulation system which prevents sediment causing the nozzle to be blocked, making this a great choice for beginners who are just getting started in the apparel printing industry.

While it's not as versatile as some of the other models we reviewed, this one does come at an affordable price point so if you want something that works well without breaking the bank then this is definitely worth considering.

Procoloredfun L1800 DTF Printer

The Procoloredfun DTF-1800-LS is a high-end direct to garment (D2G) printer that uses advanced technology to print on garments, such as T-shirts, with great quality and speed. It's not cheap though, so you need to decide whether the quality is worth it.

This machine has an impressive build quality and looks like a piece of industrial machinery rather than a consumer product. The huge printing plate means you can print large designs quickly and easily, while the stirrer system ensures optimal white ink performance for long-lasting prints.

The software interface could be better but once set up this printer does an excellent job at printing on clothing from photographs or other images.


The Punehod DTF PET Film Printer is a high-quality printer that offers the best in terms of quality, speed and efficiency. It's ideal for those looking to print on clothing, such as T-shirts or sweatshirts.

The printer uses a special type of film material called DTF (direct transfer film), which allows you to print directly onto garments without having to use an additional heat press machine. This makes it much faster and more convenient than other options out there. The only downside is that it does not offer sublimation printing, so you will have to settle for dye-sub instead if that's what you prefer.

When it comes to ease of use, this model has some unique features that make things easier for users who are new to using printers in general. For example, the manufacturer has included a step-by-step guide with instructions on how to set up your printer and begin using it right away - making things much simpler than they would be otherwise!

DTF Printer FAQs

If you're looking for the best DTF printer, it can be a challenge to figure out which one is right for you.

There are hundreds of different brands and models to choose from, each with their own unique set of features. And there's no doubt about it, printing has become more complicated than ever before!

It's hard to know where to begin when it comes time to purchase a new printer. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the different options and information out there, worry not! We've done our best to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about DTF printers below so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy your next printer!

What Printers Can Be Used For Direct To Film?

Many types of printers are compatible with Direct To Film, but it's important to note that not all printers can be used for Direct To Film. Those made by HP and Epson can be used for printable film, which is the kind of film that goes into DTP cameras. You'll want to make sure the printer you choose can handle regular photo paper as well as the special printable film in addition to being able to print in color on a white background (if you're using a digital camera).

If your printer is compatible with printable film and meets these specifications, then you're ready to go. Just make sure it has enough ink or toner so that you don't run out while shooting.

What Is A Direct To Film Printer?

A Direct to Film printer is a machine that creates photographic images directly on film, without the use of traditional negatives or slides. This avoids the costly and time-consuming process of having your film processed and printed digitally, then put back together to create a single roll of finished film.

Most direct-to-film printers are professional machines designed for use by studios and larger organizations, but some models are also available for home users. These printers can cost thousands of dollars, but they offer many benefits over digital printing methods such as instant previewing and far better image quality.

Can I Print Direct To Film On A Regular Printer?

You can print on regular copy paper and then transfer the image to film with a lightbox, but that's not ideal for several reasons. First, regular copy paper is too thick for most printers to handle properly. Second, it means you'll have to flip your image over manually before transferring it. Third, and most importantly, film doesn't react well when exposed to direct light sources like overhead office lights or lamps – even if the box says it's photo-sensitive!

The best way to print directly on film is by using specially designed Direct to Film paper made by Kodak. These lightweight sheets are pre-coated with a special chemical that makes them sensitive to light without damaging the emulsion in your negative. They're also thinner than regular copy paper so they don't block your printer's ink jets from reaching the film base.

Is Direct To Film Printing Better Than Sublimation?

Direct to film is a direct printing method and doesn't involve the use of a heat transfer press like sublimation. This means there's no risk of ink bleeding or spreading, which can happen with sublimation. Direct to film also gives much sharper print quality and brighter colors than sublimation, although it can cost more. As well as this, direct to film offers a range of finishes that sublimation printers often don't offer, including matte and gloss. However, direct to film does have its drawbacks too; there's very little flexibility in design when compared with digital methods such as DTG printing. You'll also need specialist equipment if you want to print larger quantities of garments or do different styles or designs on each item; something many businesses find prohibitively expensive. All in all, whether direct to film is better for your business really depends on what you're wanting to achieve with your custom printed clothing items; where you're selling them and how much money you're willing/able to invest in the process.

Is Direct To Film Better Than Vinyl?

In many ways, yes. Film offers higher fidelity and richer sound than vinyl, because it can contain more information about the music. Also, film is less fragile than vinyl (although direct to film does still involve a dubbing process that requires care). The main issue with film is that not all of the audio channels are fully represented in the final product (the surround channels are absent), except on very recent releases (as of late 2016). Another concern is that the cost of producing direct to film is significantly greater than producing vinyl records. However, those costs are offset by far fewer returns being required due to issues such as scratches or other damage.

Is Direct To Film Better Than Screen Printing?

Direct to film is best suited for projects that don't require a large quantity of printed shirts. Since the ink is transferred directly onto the fabric, there's no need for a screen and shirt base. This makes it faster than traditional screen printing methods, which involve setting up the shirt base and applying pressure to the screen.

Direct to film also produces sharper prints with more vibrant colors compared to screen printing. The print quality on direct-to-film garments is better because there's less space between the fabric and platen compared to direct-to-cloth printing, plus there's no heat applied during transfer like in DTG printing. Direct to film also eliminates costly setup fees associated with screen printing, as well as production delays caused by damaged screens or prepping specialty fabrics like mesh or leather.


Choosing the best DTF printer can be tricky, especially if you're new to digital printing. We hope this guide has been helpful in guiding you along on your search for the perfect printer for your needs.

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