A GUIDE TO SELECTING THE RIGHT SCREEN PRINTING PRESS FOR YOUR PRINT SHOP


Are you looking at putting a Riley Hopkins press in your shop? It makes sense. Each press is built like a race car, built to perform. Riley Hopkins has sold the most manual screen printing presses, jumpstarting thousands of printers’ careers. Hand crafted in the USA, every Riley Hopkins press is built to last. It’s a press printers can rely on for their whole career. 

The Riley Hopkins press line offers four kinds of presses with different color and station configurations. Whether you’re just starting your business, looking for an upgrade, or wanting to add another press to the production line, there’s something for everyone. Let’s take a look at each press, check out its uses and features, to help you decide which one works best for your setup.

a 150 press on a cart. has black shirt on platen that reads your brand starts here

THE 150 PRESS

First up in the Riley Hopkins line is the 150 screen printing press. It’s the simplest and smallest press in the lineup, which works great for specific needs and situations. 

If you’re learning how to screen print and starting a new business, the 150 will help you ignite your drive. Its small footprint fits well in spare bedrooms, garages, basements, etc. Its simplicity speeds up the learning process of the press so you can focus more on your business and craft. 

The 150’s versatility allows printers to merge into other forms of printing. With the ability to change out platens, the press can print on t-shirts, sleeves, youth apparel, pockets, neck labels, koozies, and more. The press won’t block you from pursuing your ideas.

a 150 press on a cart in a garage. flash dryer is next to it

Every screen printing machine you invest in should be durable and consistent. Made of hot rolled steel and aircraft grade aluminum, the press’s strength is magnified thanks to its strong springs and sturdy screen clamps. Tough, durable presses means you don’t have to worry about screens falling out of registration. 

The 150 is also lightweight, which is exactly what you want if you’re looking for a live printing press — durable yet lightweight.

Best of all, when the day comes you’re ready for an upgrade, you can still put the 150 to use. It works great for again, live printing, as well as one-color jobs or specific jobs like neck labels. The Riley Hopkins 150 Press helps you get your brand started and can continue to support you while you shift into second gear.

a riley 250 press on a cart in a garage

THE 250 PRESS 

Going down the line, the Riley Hopkins 250 Press is next. While it has a smaller footprint similar to the 150, the 250 has more mechanisms to enhance precision. 

The 250 features XY micros, locking levers, and tilted micros. Micros and levers enhance print precision, streamlining the registration process. Printers that plan on printing many multicolor and/or detailed designs will want a press with micros. 

Printers working with the 250 also have the option to enhance print precision even more by adding the Riley Hopkins Laser Guiding System to the press. The laser system advances registration, reducing the amount of misprints while speeding up production setup. 

a profile shot of the 250 press with a shirt on a platen

The 250 also offers more printhead and station configurations, starting with a 4x1 and ending at a 6x4. Having more printheads means you can print bigger multicolor jobs or have several jobs set up at once. More stations means you can speed up production. The 250 is for the printer starting out or growing their business, looking to expand their business into a full-time job. 

One day, your shop may shift into overdrive, and it’ll need a beefier press to keep up with the demand.

a riley 300 press in a garage with leaves framing the photo

THE 300 PRESS

Now let's look at the show-stopper — the Riley Hopkins 300 Press. Its speed, consistency, and precision helps printers gain more traction in their shop.

How does the 300 shift shops into overdrive? Features like the anti-flip registration plate, XYZ micros, and locking levers accelerate pre-production setup and dial in registration. Not only can printers pony up the press with the laser guiding system to the press, they can also install side clamps to further enhance screen stability and registration. 

Registration is at full throttle, and production can be a smooth ride thanks to the two-point roller gates. With two-point roller gates, the strength of the holding power of the printhead when it’s down increases by tenfold. Latching screens down reduces the amount of adjustments needed, saving you valuable time. 

a riley win press with a yellow shirt on its platen

Print shops continuously receiving large orders, multicolor designs will want a 300 in their space. Printers working out of large areas like a two-car garage or a commercial space will benefit from a 300 (and have the room for it). 

But maybe you’re ready to add a supercharger to your shop…

THE 350 PRESS

Last, but not least, the Riley Hopkins 350 Press. The 350 press has all the same features as the 300, but with one notable upgrade — the platens. ROQ automatic press platens work interchangeably on a Riley Hopkins 350 press. If you know one day that you want an automatic press or you have a ROQ but still want an in-house manual, the 350 is a solid choice. 

There’s a Riley Hopkins press for every printer and print shop, no matter where they’re at in their screen printing journey. Now you should have a good idea of which press will fuel your goals. What are you waiting for? Lights are flashing green. Hit the gas pedal and go.