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What is the Best DTG Printer?

The DTG G4 selected by industry insiders as the best DTG you can buy in 2020

The need for more detailed and razor-sharp prints has driven the DTG printer manufacturers to add new technology, software, and high-quality print components to their lineups for 2020.

The industry is making a transition from traditional screen printing and cut vinyl to D2 or Direct to Garment Prints. The machines are getting MUCH faster, and the usability of the equipment is now rock solid.

Conventional methods of printing will not be going out of style anytime soon. But being able to produce authentic looks with the labor efficiency of DTG is a win-win for both customer and business owner.


Product Review for the Best DTG Printer

One machine this year stands out. In this product review of the DTG G4, we lay out the opinions and views of some of the industry’s insiders. We help identify which of the new DTG printers ranks as the best to own for a new business based on the following factors:

Build Quality


Exclusive Features


Initial Build Quality

High-quality parts and materials are the main advantages that the G4 DTG has over the other competitors we looked at. The quality of machining and build quality that goes into each G4 is top-notch. ColDesi has a rigorous pre-testing regimen, which ensures that each machine that goes out the door has passed numerous inspections and is performing flawlessly.

There is unique technology built directly into the print head, each print head on the G4 has a computer-controlled damper reservoir. The damper has two sensors that measure the volume of the ink to ensure each damper is filled and ready for use.

The G4 DTG dampers are designed to reduce air bubbles that can form in the ink lines. This problem is even worse in machines that use bulk ink systems. Another industry first, the dampers are intelligently controlled so that any excess air in the system is automatically released via a built-in plunge diaphragm.

Exclusive Features

The DTG G4 has a patented Vacuum Platen, which is a game-changer when it comes to print quality and ease of use. Loading the shirt is often the process that takes most of the operator’s time. Because of the unique vacuum platen, hooping the shirts is a breeze.

The OLD way to do that would either to “tuck” the shirt into rubber gaskets or lay it onto a sticky surface and put a ring on the top to hold it in place. Both are time-consuming and require a good bit of training to get right. If you tuck in one area a little harder than another, you end up pulling the shirt one way or the other.

The G4 DTG blows those methods out of the water because you don’t have to wait till AFTER the shirt is printed to find out if it lined up correctly. You’ll know you have it right all along.

You simply drape the shirt over the platen, and a strong vacuum holds it in place. The whole process only takes about 5 seconds to “hoop” it.  Anyone can get it right!


Daily maintenance schedules and operational guidelines can be oppressive on some DTG t-shirt printers in the market. Another reason the G4 by DTG is on top is that the maintenance required is much less than on other brands.

One of the reasons that DTG Printers need that daily maintenance is because of ink spray. The machine has a print head that electrically ejects ink out of the nozzles at high speed. Most of the ink absorbs into the shirt, but some of it bounces up into the air and can land on the innermost electrical components.

The ink can end up on the print heads, the encoder strip – it just makes the inside of the printers a mess. The DTG G4 patented Vacuum Platen prevents that by maintaining the vacuum the entire time it prints.

Instead of the ink spraying into the air, it’s pulled down into the t-shirt where it belongs.

The result is more of the ink lands on the shirt where it’s supposed to, and less of it lands on your expensive electrical components.


Topping the charts for overall performance, the DTG G4 prints fast and LOADS fast. The typical DTG machine calculates the speed of the print staring once the t-shirt enters the machine. That’s because it can take a significant amount of time to load up the shirt.

However, you must consider how much time it takes to hoop the shirt, adjust the platen height, load the design, un-hoop the shirt, and cure. That process is much longer using any of the traditional shirt loading methods.

We tested the difference in loading a shirt onto a “tuck style” platen compared to loading it on the vacuum platen. 

First, we had one of our best operators load up our test shirt with a traditional tuck hoop system. It took the operator 15 seconds to load up the shirt. And then after the print was finished, it took another 20 seconds to un-tuck the shirt. It takes longer because you must be extra careful not to touch the wet ink, or to accidentally allow the shirt to pop out and smear the print. So that’s 35 seconds of operator time JUST for loading and unloading.

Next, we had an untrained operator use the G4 DTG. It took them about 5 seconds for each process. That’s 10 seconds compared to 35.

That’s 25 seconds faster for the novice compared to our best DTG operator.  Sure, twenty or thirty seconds per shirt may not seem like much, but when you consider that for every 1000 shirts you print, that works out to nearly six extra hours of labor. And so that’s why this and the other premier features will likely keep the DTG G4 out in front for all of 2020.

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