a2z swing away heat press vs fusion iq heat press

Battle of the Swing Away Heat Press: A2Z vs. Fusion IQ®

Buying a heat press is a big investment, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. A swing away heat press is a great option because it gives you full access to the printing area and provides a heat-free workspace. We’ve put a customer favorite up against our newest release to show you can still have a high-quality heat press at an affordable price.

If you’ve poked around the internet, you’re probably familiar with the Hotronix® Fusion IQ® Heat Press — the #1-selling press worldwide. You can switch between using the draw or swing away function and it comes equipped with advanced IQ® technology. It’s also programmed with application instructions for the most popular heat transfer vinyl and is compatible with interchangeable platens that fit a variety of apparel and accessories. While this sounds like an apparel decorator’s dream, it comes with a high price tag that matches its high-quality features.

What if there was a heat press out there that didn’t skimp on quality or performance, was manufactured by a company you already trust, and was available for a price you wouldn’t believe? Well believe it! STAHLS’ recently launched a heat press designed to give the top dog a run for its money: the A2Z Swing Away Heat Press. This new machine is the perfect starter heat press for your T-shirt business. Its swing away upper platen gives you a heat-free workspace, digital time and temperature display ensures accuracy when applying HTV designs and transfers, and it’s proudly made in the USA.

Best of all, it’s backed by the STAHLS’ name, so you know it’s quality you can rely on. We’ve broken down the main differences between the A2Z Swing Away and Fusion IQ® so you know you’re still getting a quality press that delivers professional results.

5 Differences Between A2Z Swing Away and Fusion IQ®

  1. Size
  2. Warranty
  3. Threadability
  4. Swing Away Motion
  5. Control Board


While the A2Z Swing Away lower platen is smaller than the Fusion IQ®, you still have a print area that accommodates a full size transfer or HTV design. With the option of interchangeable platens, you can press more than just T-shirts.


Fusion IQ

  • 15″ x 15″ platen
  • Compact size but still accommodates full size screen printed transfers and heat transfer vinyl designs
  • Compatible with smaller platens
  • Still fits single or double-digit numbers for jerseys
  • 16″ x 20″ platen
  • Ideal for names and numbers on athletic jerseys or oversized designs
  • Compatible with all Quick Change Platens


The A2Z Awing Away was designed with the start-up T-shirt business in mind. While it’s reliable and can handle pressing a variety of items, it’s not intended for consistent, large runs.


Fusion IQ

  • 1-year warranty
  • Lifetime on heating element
  • 1-year parts and labor
  • Free lifetime technical support
  • Lifetime on heating element
  • 5 year on framework
  • 2 year on circuit board
  • 1-year parts and labor
  • Free lifetime technical support


The A2Z Swing Away features a semi-threadable design. Split your garment or accessory and slide it onto the lower platen—giving you the start of a flat printing area. If there’s any seams or raised areas on the platen, just place a Heat Press Pillow or Print Perfect Pad inside the item to lift the printing surface.


Fusion IQ

  • Semi-threadable – load from front or back to eliminate bulk
  • Must remove and re-position if printing front, back, or other areas
  • Collars and seams might remain on platen, so additional Heat Press Accessories are recommended
  • Fully threadable – completely flat surface area
  • Easily decorate front, back, and sides of garment without removing from platen
  • Collars and seams can be draped fully off platen allowing for a smooth print area

Heat-Free Workspace

The swing away design gives you a complete heat-free workspace and allows you to safely place your T-shirt and position your design.


Fusion IQ

  • Manual swing away design
  • Comfortable top handle allows you to safety swing away the upper platen before and after heat application
  • Gives you full access to view print area and easily line up designs
  • Draw or swing away motion
  • Draw feature can be operated within a smaller footprint and gives full access to lower platen without needing room for the swing away top platen

Control Board

The A2Z Swing Away is the perfect start-up press for your T-shirt business. While it doesn’t come equipped with smart technology or give you insights into job or operator performance, we know its reliability, accurate pressing, and solid construction will help you get the job done.


Fusion IQ

  • Digital time and temperature display produces accurate and quality results
  • Must manually set time, temp, and pressure for each HTV design or transfer you apply
  • No digital pressure readout – use pressure adjustment knob to raise and lower to accommodate thickness of item
  • Equipped with smart IQ® technology – access real-time reporting and make data-driven changes
  • Select from preloaded application instructions that automatically adjust time and temp settings
  • Adjust pressure with knob, but has digital pressure readout for accuracy

As the saying goes, you really do get what you pay for — and with the STAHLS’ A2Z Swing Away Heat Press that means superior quality, printing accuracy, and reliability. Watch the video below to see your T-shirt business’s newest team member in action.


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