It’s not necessary to have a heat press or best tumbler press for sublimation. You can do the same thing with a convection oven, an easy alternative to expensive heat or mug press.
However, not all kinds of ovens can be utilized for sublimation purposes. You need to think about several points if you want to own the best one for sublimation. But what are those several things or criteria, or how you’ll be able to know which convection oven is best?
Cheer yourself up! I’ve got you; This article contains the best products, buying guide, reviews, key takeaways, and everything you need. So let’s find out the answers.
- The oven should have high temperatures. At least 400 °F or more.
- It should have a timer, otherwise, you will need something else to track time.
- Prefer digital one, otherwise, you’ve to do the guesswork when setting up specific temperature and time.
- Remember, you’ll not be able to use the convection oven for cooking purposes once you do sublimation printing in it.
- The size of the oven matters a lot. You should consider the interior dimensions, particularly the height. Otherwise, the tumbler can’t fit in the oven.
The Top 5 Convection Ovens for Sublimation
Here are the ones that I personally recommend to everyone. For your ease, I’ve devised the main points of all products in the table downward. If you don’t like reading detailed guides, you can check and make your decision by just going through them.
|Oven||Temp Range||Interior Size||Digital Display|
|1.||NUWAVE Bravo Air Fryer Toaster Smart Oven||Up to 500 Degrees||14 inches wide, 13.5 inches deep, and the height is 7.5.||Yes|
|2.||BLACK+DECKER TO3280SSD Oven||Up to 450 Degrees||12.5 inches wide, 11.5 inches deep and the height is 5 inches.||Yes|
|3.||Oster 7-in-1 Countertop Toaster Oven||Up to 450 Degrees||15.75 inches wide, 16.36 deep, and height is 6.85.||Yes|
|4.||LUBY Large Toaster Oven Countertop||Up to 450 Degrees||16-⅜ inches wide, 15-⅞ inches deep, and the height is 8-½.||No|
|5.||Elite Gourmet ETO4510B Oven||Up to 450 Degrees||16-⅜ inches wide, 15-⅞ inches deep, and the height is 8-½.||No|
1. NUWAVE Bravo Air Fryer Toaster Smart Oven (Best Overall)
It’s my first recommendation to all because it has everything you need. Its size, digital display and even heat distribution feature is the deal maker for me. I’ve been using it for months and have done sublimation printing on mugs, tumblers, glasses, and almost everything, and there’s been no major issue.
Features and Benefits:
The large backlit digital display of this oven not only shows you everything about the oven temperature but allows you to control it precisely. With the temperature knob, the temperature can be effortlessly set anywhere between 50° – 500° F degrees.
As a regular user of convection ovens, I know the most irritating thing is the uneven heat and the issue of hot and cold spots. But luckily, that’s not the case with this NUWAVE Bravo convection oven.
This oven has two heating elements, one is on the top, and the second is on the bottom, along with a convection fan that circulates the heat. The surprising thing for me is I can control the fan’s speed and also the top and bottom heating element power. It’s a feature that I don’t think another convection oven has. These features make temperature control easier, which is necessary for sublimation.
The overall dimension of the oven is 13.5 inches x 20.0 inches x 11.0 inches. However, if I talk about the inside of the oven, it’s 14 inches wide, 7.5 inches tall, and 13.5 inches deep.
The size is perfectly fine for sublimation use. But still, if you want a bigger one, I’ve shared bigger models below as well.
The NUWAVE bravo air fryer convection oven is an ideal sublimation option. You’ll get everything that any person who does sublimation wants, from the quality to the display; all things are perfect.
2. BLACK+DECKER TO3280SSD Oven (Best Budget-Friendly)
I never owned this, but my friend who’s now learning the sublimation technique from me has it.
I was checking this low-budget convection oven model to see if I’ll get the desired results or not. Surprisingly, I got it; then I tried the second, third, and fourth time and the counting proceeded till the seventh tumbler and all of them came out enchanting.
Features and Benefits:
The size is a turn-off for me (it’s not large as other models), the size is 12.5 “wide x 11.5” deep, and the height is 5 inches. However, if you’re a beginner and not doing professional work, then it’s more than enough for you.
The most important thing for me is the quality of the sublimation prints. I think this “quality” totally depends on the temperature control. The more accurate temperature you’ll set, the more stunning sublimation prints you’ll have. That’s the main reason why I like this Black + Decker convection oven, as it holds the temperature well.
Aside from holding the temperature well, you can easily set the temperature anywhere between 150-450 degrees F. It also has a digital display that eliminates the work of guessing and shows you the precise temperature of the oven.
The third feature of this oven is its affordability. Even a student can afford it and practice sublimation printing on mugs and other objects.
For me, it’s the best choice for sublimation if you’re a beginner or on the intermediate level. I wouldn’t suggest it to an expert because the size isn’t big and it will create a lot of issues for you.
3. Oster 7-in-1 Countertop Toaster Oven
This Oster convection oven was used for cooking purposes in my home, but then I bought a new convection oven and started using this one for sublimation. At first, I wasn’t sure about whether it would work well or not, but it’s good.
The temperature goes above 400 °F easily; you can set the temperature with the help of a digital display easily. After using it for months; I realized one thing: if you set it to 400 °F, you may get a temperature of 370°F – 380 °F. Apart from this issue, everything is fine.
Features and Benefits:
The oven’s control panel is straightforward; anyone can understand the functions in a matter of seconds. It has a timer and temp touch-sensitive buttons; both of these are used to set the temperature and timing manually.
Quality of the Oven
The quality is great; also, the racks are strong. The display works well; I’ve been using it for months and haven’t faced any issues in terms of quality.
The next notable feature of this Oster convection oven is its size. It’s bigger than the last convection oven I shared above. The inside dimensions are 15.75 inches wide, 16.36 deep, and the height is 6.85 from top to bottom. I’ve no issue with the depth and width, but the height is small.
Overall, this Oster convection oven is an excellent option. Yes, I faced a few problems related to temperature consistency in the beginning. Still, after experimenting on some substrates, I successfully understood how I could set it to the right temperature.
4. LUBY Large Toaster Oven Countertop
The fourth toaster oven I would love to recommend is the LUBY large toaster oven. It’s a more affordable option featuring a big size in which you can easily sublimate any type of substrate. It’s perfect for students who’re learning sublimation and have a low budget but doesn’t want to end up with a cheap-quality oven.
Features and Benefits:
Let’s start with the best feature, the size of this oven. The width and depth don’t differ much, but the height is good. The last oven was a little bit shorter in height, so while using that, I used to put the mugs horizontally, but that’s not the case here.
It’s 16-3/8 W x 15-7/8 D x 8-1/2 H (upper element to rack at lowest position).
French Oven Doors
Besides the height difference, this Luby convection oven comes with French oven doors, which I like a lot. Thanks to these doors, anyone can take out the substrate quickly without facing any issues. And since the doors are transparent, you’ll see what’s happening inside easily.
In terms of temperature, it heats up well and faster. It meets the requirement of the temperature and can set the temperature up to 450 °F. I’ve tried sublimation on a bottle, glass, and ceramic mug, which all turn out stunning.
Ease of Use
It’s easy to use; it has three knobs on the control panel. Two are for temperature controls, one is for the lower rack, and the second is for the bottom part. While the third allows you to set the timer.
The only thing the LUBY large toaster oven lacks is a digital display which isn’t available and makes the sublimation process difficult. For me, this isn’t an issue because I use an oven thermometer to check the temperature, but you may face difficulties without it.
So, the conclusion is if you’re a beginner or an intermediate-level student with a low budget, then this LUBY oven is perfect for you. The size is good and the oven quality too, but you have to get an oven thermometer to check the precise temperature of the oven.
5. Elite Gourmet ETO4510B Oven
The next convection oven I want to suggest is the Elite Gourmet ETO4510B model. In terms of look, it looks similar to the LUBY oven, capacity is also the same. But the oven’s control panel is a little different.
The issue I’ve found is there’s no digital display – so we again come to the use of an oven thermometer.
Features and Benefits:
The built quality is outstanding. The model is constructed with stainless steel, which promises a longer life span. The oven looks amazing, with french designed doors which feature transparent glass.
The main reason for suggesting this is the oven size is big compared to the other models that come in this price range. The interior is 16-⅜ width x 15-7/8 deep x 8-1/2 height (upper element to rack at bottom position), allowing to sublimate taller mugs and tumblers easily.
The temperature control is easy with the knobs that are available on the control panel. You can manage the temperature of the bottom and the top separately, which is my favorite feature.
Though the features of this Elite Gourmet ETO4510B oven are the same as the LUBY toaster oven, there’s a clear difference between the price. It’s more affordable than the LUBY toaster oven, so if you’re starting sublimation with a low budget, this one is reliable.
Due to the price, I think this one makes more sense than the LUBY model. But remember, both models don’t have a digital display, so you have to spend some extra bucks on the oven thermometer.
How to Choose Convection Oven for Sublimation?
You’ve seen some of the amazing convection ovens; now if you are still confused about which convection oven is best suitable for your needs. Then this guide is for you.
1. Convection Fans
As stated above, you can’t get outstanding results of sublimation in any type of oven. The reason is traditional ovens come with heating elements that provide heat from the top or bottom or from both sides.
But that’s not sufficient for sublimation printing because, for sublimation, you have to choose an oven in which the hot air circulates around the “substrate” (from all sides), which is only possible with a convection oven.
In a convection oven, there are fans (convection fans) that circulate the heat all around the oven, and the sublimation process occurs successfully. So, the first criterion is to get a “convection oven.”
Sublimation printing can’t be successful without heat. You need to put the substrate under heat at a high temperature then the ink will transform into a gas and merge with the fabric or substrate surface.
In this entire process, everything depends on one thing: “heat” that’s why make sure the convection oven you’re getting can reach a temperature of over 400 degrees. Otherwise, there’s no way you can sublimate in that convection oven.
3. Ease of Use
The next important thing is the ease of use of the convection oven. And for this, I personally like digital displays on the oven because they show a lot of information about the temperature, which helps in sublimation printing. Therefore, my suggestion for you is to always select the convection oven that has a digital display.
4. Large Size of Oven
You’ll find a huge variety of convection ovens, from compact models to large-size family ovens, in the market.
Though it’s your choice to pick the size, I would suggest you remember that you’ll sublimate on various substrates, including tumblers and mugs.
And if you pick a compact oven, you may not be able to sublimate on a big tumbler and glass. In addition, in a big-size convection oven, you can sublimate on multiple blanks at the same time.
That’s why it’s better to pick a large oven (tall enough to fit tumblers), so you can sublimate on any item you want.
5. Solid Racks
It may look like a small point, but it’s significant. The convection oven must-have solid racks because you’ll put heavy mugs and glass items on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to do sublimation in a regular oven?
Yes, it’s possible to sublimate in a regular oven if the temperature of that oven can go above 400 °F. But you can’t use that oven again for cooking.
2. What type of convection oven do I need for sublimation tumblers?
Firstly, your convection oven should have the capacity to reach 450-degree temperature. Secondly, make sure to get an oven in which a tumbler can fit easily. Apart from these two things, more features (like strong racks and digital display) are better.
3. How long do you sublimate a mug in a convection oven?
Usually, it takes 4 to 5 minutes to sublimate a mug in a convection oven. The time may also increase if the oven has a hot and cold spot and provides un-consistent heat.
Have You Decided?
I understand it’s not an easy peasy process; you have to consider several points. But don’t overthink, just consider core factors like digital display, oven size, temperature limit, even heat distribution and obviously your budget. That’s it, other than that, everything comes in extra features. The more budget you have, the more features you can get. I hope this buying guide cleared most of your doubts and helped in making up your mind.