Warning: Do Not Buy Screen Printing Equipment!

John David Wilson
Owner of Rimshot T-Shirts

Are you thinking about starting your own t-shirt silkscreen printing business?  That’s great!  Read on to get this old-timer’s opinion on how you should approach it.  I may save you up to 25,000-50,000 dollars!

T Shirt Screen Printing Inks

Why Should I Listen To You?

An intelligent and fair question!  I did the math; as of the writing of this post, i have been in the silkscreen t-shirt printing business for 33 years.  Yikes!  I have learned a thing or two on my journey, made some terrible, wasteful purchases of equipment – and i would like to pass on what i have learned and save you some heartbreak and more importantly, CASH $$$.


To Be Clear….

…I am not trying to talk you out of the t-shirt imprinting business, just making the argument that you should not buy traditional t shirt screen printing equipment.


T Shirt Screen Printing Inks
T Shirt Screen Printing Inks

Reason #1

screen printing equipment is Expensive!  When i opened up my own shop in 1994 i had a budget of 23,000 dollars and i spent every penny to get one press, one flash unit, one dryer, screens, squeegees, screen cleaning equipment, etc, etc.  That was 1994 dollars. A nothing fancy 6 color, 4 station manual press costs over 2,700 dollars. An automatic press, which is pretty much necessary if you wish to truly compete with other printers costs over 45,000.00.  I am here to tell you in my humble opinion by the time you pay this equipment off you will be paying someone to take it to the junkyard.  Bold?  Read on. 


Reason #2

Traditional t shirt screen printing equipment is going the way of the dinosaur. Check out this equipment using new technologies that are out there.



I talk to fellow silkscreen t-shirt printers and they say i am being paranoid.  The reasons they give is that these new technologies are way too slow.  They are right.  For now.  There have been more improvements in DTG and other digital methods in the past 6 months than there has been in silkscreen printing equipment in the past 20 years.  The naysayers are the same people who kept their landline phones until 2016.  Who purchased top of the line videotape equipment.  And wonder how they are ever going to get rid of their 1000+ CD collection.



T Shirt Screen Printing Inks
Screenprinted TShirts

Bold Prediction

Will traditional screen printing equipment go away?  Yes, eventually.  I think it will hang around a while because frankly, screen printed shirts a just plain better.  But think of the technologies that are in regular use today.  Do they actually produce a better product than their predecessors or just produce an acceptable one cheaply?  I am addressing the people who want to do this for a living.  And i say you will have to supplement your income with a baby-sitters’ gig within 5-10 years if your business produces t-shirts the old-fashioned way.  There is a DTG machine out there that is actually faster than an automatic press.  If i remember correctly, it cost a couple of million dollars.  Now, you may say, “see, John, you are a nutcase.”  But then i would ask you how much a plasma television was in the late 1980’s.

T Shirt Screen Printing Inks

Think about it!


Take a look at the gallery page on this site for stuff we have done recently.  All ways to contact Rimshot is below.  Thanks for reading!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to get started on your order?

Use this form here or do it the old-fashioned way and give me a ring.

Give Me a Ring!

Hours 8am-5pm Central


John David Wilson

1529 Tuley St.

Cedar Hill, TX 75104

Phone: 214-543-7137

Email: john@rimshotgraphix.com

Wanna know what's on sale?

Join our mailing list to receive news about deals going down.  Usually it will report on a sale one of our garment vendors is running.  Don't worry, these notices will be infrequent and we won't spam you.  That's uncool.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!