When you are purchasing direct-to-garment printers, you may feel that all the DTG printers are identical. Aside from print speed, consumable, and support, everything should be the same, right?
In reality, these DTG printers are built to target specific business models. In this guide, we will go in-depth on how the Brother GTX, Epson F2100, Epson F3070, and Kornit Breeze fare up against each other. Then, we talk about which DTG is most suited for which business model.
Below is a rough idea of the DTG printers we will be discussing about:
Now, let us dive into the details!
The Brother GTX prints the fastest among the other DTG Printers. However, the ink consumption for Brother GTX is known to be higher than the Kornit Breeze, Epson F2100 and Epson F3070. Brother GTX ink cost is the only thing that is holding it back from being the best suited for all business models.
Due to the high ink price, Brother GTX is only suitable to be used in North America, and European countries. This is because in North America, the expected retail price for a shirt could be from $15 – $30. The average Brother GTX printing cost is somewhere between $3-$4 (front and back). If you include the shirt, the total cost per shirt should be about $7-$8. You can easily net a 30% profit margin for each shirt.
While in South East Asia, the expected retail price for a shirt is $7-$8, which barely covers the cost. If you are a DTG printer in Asia with a Brother GTX, your biggest problem will be making your business profitable.
The Epson F2100 is the most affordable at $18,000, but the print speed is slightly slower than Brother GTX. You may have heard of the Epson sales pitch about how the Epson F2100 consumes “10% less ink than Brother GTX”.
While it can be disputed, the Epson F2100 is compatible with a wide range of third-party white ink. Everyone in the DTG industry knows that white ink is the highest consumable among everything else, so this is a significant advantage the Epson F2100 possesses over the Brother GTX.
For instance, you could keep your CMYK (genuine ink), and buy your White ink from any third-party such as imageArmor or STS Ink. You can lower your printing cost somewhere around $1-$3 (front and back). Your total cost per shirt is about $4-$6.
When it comes to achieving ROI, it is easier and faster to achieve ROI with the Epson F2100 than the Brother GTX. You could even get your second DTG printer if you had gone with Epson rather than Brother. This is due to the lower price of the printer and the compatibility with third-party white ink, making the Epson F2100 a favorite among DTG businesses.
Kornit Breeze has an integrated pre-treatment system and the lowest ink cost in the whole DTG industry. Although it is an advantage, its slow print speed makes it difficult to time your ROI, and it is the most expensive among this range of DTG printers. This makes the Kornit Breeze to become an obsolete product in the DTG market.
Our honest opinion: avoid buying the Kornit Breeze because it does not really give you any competitive edge.
While you could fork out extra 80,000 USD + 62,000 USD, you could buy the latest and greatest Kornit Storm Hexa, which at the very least,which could put you on the map for big brand contract printing.
Epson F3070 (2020)
The Epson F3070 was first introduced in January 2020, and what we have seen so far is the fast print speed, estimated to be about 60 pieces per hour and the price is more than double the price of the F2100 at $49,995. It uses a bulk ink system that delivers a 14” X 16” print for less than $1 per print. This means that you can achieve ROI relatively fast with this printer.
Epson’s new release of the F3070 is promising for the DTG and we only know this much about it. We will update this article accordingly once we got our hands on it.
Bottom line: Which DTG printer should I buy?
You should get the Epson F2100 if:
- Your print shop is in Asia.
- Your market expected retail pricing for one shirt is $7-$10.
- You want to undercut your competitors with third-party ink.
- You do not have a drying conveyor available in your print shop.
- Your average order quantity is between 50-200 shirts.
- You plan to outsource your screen printing jobs.
- You still process your orders using Pen and Paper.
- You just started in this business.
- You only plan to take phone/email/storefront orders.
You should get the Brother GTX if:
- Your print shop is in North America/Europe.
- Your market expected retail pricing for one shirt is 15-30 USD.
- You have an air-drying conveyor available in your print shop.
- Your average order quantity is between 1-100 shirts.
- Your business model is print-on-demand.
- You got a production management system to maximize your DTG printers.
- You got a web-to-print system in place.
As the Kornit Breeze is retired from the market, it is better to get the Kornit industrial models such as the Kornit Atlas, Kornit Storm Hexa, Kornit Avalanche and the latest Kornit Presto.
The emergence of the Epson F3070 seems promising to the DTG industry, and we will hear more about it when it hits the market.
When it comes to setting up a DTG business, most people would start with an Epson F2100 or a Brother GTX, then scale with Kornit Avalanche when your business grows. Coupled with a DTG production management system, you can receive more orders from print-on-demand companies, thus boosting your sales.