Sublimation Ink Buyer’s Guide - Best Sublimation Ink for Epson WF-7710, Sawgrass SG400 & More
So you’ve gotten the printer, you’ve gotten your designs, but now what? Finding the best sublimation ink for your needs can be a difficult task. After all, how do you compare different inks? In this guide, we’ll be going over some of the most popular options for sublimation ink. We’ll be looking at the best sublimation inks for your Epson WF-7710, Epson ET-2720, or any other sublimation printer.
Before we get started
Before we get started, let’s look at how we’ll be reviewing and making suggestions for the following sublimation inks. Rather, let’s look at how we WON’T be reviewing these inks.
We haven’t performed extensive tests on the performance of all of these inks. We have tested a number of them, and I have my own personal preferences on the inks I’ve used. However, we haven’t tested every single ink. If you’d like a more technical and thorough analysis, I’d highly suggest this post by Sublimation Studies. She provides a deep look into how all of these inks perform, and her tests are more than comprehensive in my point of view. Even if you aren’t super interested in detailed results, her analysis is still valuable.
What we’re looking at
In this dye-sublimation ink buyer’s guide, we’ll be looking at these inks from a high level. I’ll be focusing on the availability of these inks, the cost, their performance, as well as their popularity within the dye-sublimation industry.
Who this guide is for
This guide is intended for anyone looking for recommendations on sublimation ink for their printer. This applies primarily to printers that require sublimation ink, like the Epson WF-7710, the Epson ET-2720, or the Epson WF-7720. Printers such as the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 come with their own manufacturer's recommended inks. While you can substitute these inks for other inks that we’ll be reviewing, this is not recommended by Sawgrass.
You will also need to look into conversion methods for your sublimation printer if you need to. We will not be going over sublimation conversion kits in this guide. While you don’t necessarily need a conversion kit for the EcoTank Epson printers, you will need one for other printers such as the Epson WF-7710. We are leaving it to you to properly install and setup your printer with your preferred ink. This guide intends to recommend the best sublimation inks for you, not walk you through a detailed installation and setup for your specific printer.
An aside on ICC Color Profiles
Whenever you click print on one of your designs, a number of things happen to the colors you see on your screen. Let’s go over this a little bit before we hop into the guide.
For starters, every monitor has its own color profile, typically shipped with default manufacturer settings. If you’ve worked in design before, you probably are already familiar with this. But for everyone else, the color profiles are very important.
Basically, color profiles are a way of mapping computer color values (which are represented as RGB colors) onto your display. The International Color Consortium (ICC) just establishes guidelines for these color profiles. When you adjust your saturation or color values on your monitor or PC, you are effectively changing this mapping. It’s impossible to perfectly map all of the colors we can see between a display and a computer, so you have lots of wiggle room for these color profiles.
But how does this impact my print?
Well, when you make your design on your computer, you’ll be using the color profile that comes with your monitor (usually, this won’t be the case if you’ve messed with your settings). There are guides out there that explain how you can dial in your monitor’s color profiles to best represent the colors you should expect to see, but we won’t be going over that in this article.
Once you hit print on your computer, you send over the image to your printer. You don’t, however, send over the color profile. Rather your printer will use it’s own color profile to map the image values it receives from your computer into colors it prints onto a page. This can lead to differences between the colors you see on your monitor, and the colors you see on your printed page.
This gets further complicated when you start working with dye-sublimation. The heat and pressure from your pressing will further change these colors that you see.
In order to consistently get the best results with whatever printer and ink combination you choose, it is highly recommended to work through building your own color profile. This will be specific to YOUR printer, and YOUR ink, as well as the specific conditions you use to store and use this ink. We won’t be going over how to do this in this article, however there are more than enough guides online to figure this stuff out.
How can I easily use my printer (without going through a complicated color profile)?
If you want to get up and running with your printer as soon as possible, there’s hope.
First, you’ll want to make sure your printer isn’t using a color profile. You can easily set this up in your print preferences on your PC. Just set-up a printer preference that does NOT use any color profiles.
Secondly, you’ll want to use a manufacturer recommended ICC Color Profile. Most major ink distributors provide color profiles for the most common printers, and you’ll want to use this instead. Wouldn’t you know it, but we already have a guide on how to setup and use the color profiles on a Windows 10 machine with Photoshop.
Not only do we have a guide for installing and using ICC Color Profiles, but we even have a resource for you to use to help you find your sublimation ink color profile. We are only able to provide some of the most common profiles, however take a look to see if your setup is available for download.
Alright, let’s get on with the review
Okay, that was quite a bit of forewarning on our buyers guide for sublimation inks. Remember, this guide will help you find the best sublimation ink for your Epson WF-7710, Epson ET-2720, or similar inkjet printer.
Without further ado, let’s get on with the guide.
Right off the bat, this is my go-to ink for sublimation ink, and is the one I use the most. It gives you great results, comes with an ICC Color Profile, and does exactly what it advertises. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, especially anyone using an Epson WF-7710 (this is what I personally have used for the longest time).
On Amazon, it has a 4.3 star rating with nearly 200 reviews! Those that do give it negative reviews seem to be having other issues that may be more inherent with issues on their printer or with their print settings. All the positive reviews praise accurate and vibrant colors, and great results.
Note that you will need to perform some setup to get started with your printer, but this will be required for virtually every type of sublimation ink.
What comes in the box?
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Black Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Cyan Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Magenta Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Yellow Sublimation ink
- One pair of disposable gloves
Compatible Printer Models
- Epson Stylus C68, Epson Stylus C88, Epson Stylus C88+, Epson Stylus C288
- Epson WF-7610, Epson WF-3640, Epson WF-3620, Epson WF-3540, Epson WF-3520
- Epson WF-7110, Epson WF-7010, Epson WF-7710, Epson WF-7720, Epson WF-7620
- Epson WF-2750, Epson WF-2630, Epson ET-2750, Epson ET-2650, Epson ET-3750
- Epson ET-4750, Epson ET-3700, Epson XP-434, Epson XP-440, Epson XP-320
- Epson NX-515, Epson NX-420, Epson NX-330
The Printers Jack sublimation ink works best when stored and used with the manufacturer’s recommendations. For starters, you’ll want to make sure your ink is stored within a temperature range of 65-80 °F. This won’t be an issue for most rooms, but it can be an issue if it’s left in a garage, or outside.
You’ll want to limit the time the ink spends in more extreme temperatures. You’ll also want to aim for a pressing temperature of at least 392 °F. You’ll likely need to dial in your exact settings with some tests, but this may serve as a good starting point. You can use these recommended transfer temperatures from Printers Jack as a starting point for dialing in your preferred settings.
You’ll also want to make sure you are pressing with at least 25 PSI for 45 seconds. The timer setting is no problem for most heat presses. However, unless you are using a fancy heat press, it’s unlikely that your heat press can measure pressure this accurately. While you may want to aim for a pressure around 25 PSI, I’d at the very least recommend performing some tests to see what pressure works best for your substrates.
Note that these recommended operational temperatures and pressures are just that, recommendations. Ultimately you’ll want to test your exact settings with your substrate.
So the Printers Jack sublimation ink works on a wide range of materials, is favorably reviewed by the public, and performs exactly as you’d expect, with vibrant image transfers (albeit with some setup involved). Did I mention that it’s about $26 and eligible for Amazon Prime?
Yup. This Printers Jack sublimation ink definitely scores well with me. It’s readily available and reasonably priced, meaning that in any given emergency you’ll be able to quickly replenish your ink. Given its popularity, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to switch out for another brand anytime soon, meaning you’ll have continued use from it.
It supports a wide range of printers, including some of the most common sublimation printers like the w and the Epson ET-2720, making it one of the best sublimation inks available for these printers.
It gives consistent and vibrant results, and is relatively easy to get started with (we also provide the ICC color profile for this ink).
If you are looking for my personal recommendation, especially if you are using the Epson WF-7710, this is it. I would argue that this is one of, if not the best sublimation inks for the Epson WF-7710.
This is another super high quality sublimation ink that meets and exceeds a lot of the guidelines I laid out earlier. The AOPANE Ink works well with a wide range of materials, providing you with vibrant and fade-resistant transfers. Not only does it provide you with the vibrant images you are looking for, but it also comes with a 1-year manufacturer guarantee.
Like most of the inks we will be going over in this guide, this ink will require some setup. It works best with either a set of refillable cartridges or a continuous ink supply system (CISS). But once you get it setup, you shouldn’t have any issues dialing in your prints!
This ink also boasts a 4.6 star rating on over 40 reviews on Amazon! The majority of the negative reviews on the AOPANE sublimation ink seem to be issues with the vibrancy of the image. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as a bad batch or printer issues. However, if you run with a high quality sublimation profile, you shouldn’t experience too many issues with printing out true colors.
This ink is a great option for a wide range of printers, and can definitely meet your needs for your sublimation ink.
What comes in the box?
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Black Anti-UV Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x100ml Cyan Anti-UV Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Magenta Anti-UV Sublimation ink
- 1 Bottle x 100ml Yellow Anti-UV Sublimation ink
- One pair of PVC sanitary gloves
Compatible Printer Models
- Epson Stylus C68, Epson Stylus C88, Epson Stylus C88+, Epson Stylus C288
- Epson XP-434, Epson XP-440, Epson XP-320
- Epson WF7610, Epson WF3640, Epson WF3620, Epson WF3540, Epson WF3520
- Epson WF7110, Epson WF7010, Epson WF7710, Epson WF7620
- Epson WF2750, Epson WF2630
- Epson ET 2750, Epson ET 2650, Epson ET4750, Epson ET3700
Like most inks, the AOPANE Anti-UV Sublimation Ink needs to be stored in relatively dry and normal temperatures. The manufacturer doesn’t provide a specific recommended storage range, however it is safe to assume that it should be stored in a room temperature environment, in a relatively dry location. This will be true of most inks.
The manufacturer does provide recommendations for your press settings. AOPANE recommends a temperature range of 180-195 °C transfer temperature with a transfer time of between 30-45 seconds. These are pretty typical ranges, and are not hard rules that must be followed. Use these recommended settings as starting points when you dial in your exact settings.
The AOPANE Sublimation Ink is also readily available through Amazon at just about $26, making it very affordable and easily accessible. You won’t have to worry about suddenly running out of ink, since you’ll be able to quickly replenish your stock when you get low.
This ink comes with great recommendations, and is a great option if it’ll work with your printer. Unfortunately, we do not provide the specific ICC Color Profile recommended by this manufacturer. However, we do generally recommend that you work on developing your own ICC Color Profile for your specific print conditions. If you aren’t able to develop a custom profile, you can always try a profile from another manufacturer, or run no profile at all. This may not necessarily give you the absolute highest quality results, however it may provide results at a high enough quality for your needs without significantly increasing your time commitment to getting setup.
This is another one of my go-to sublimation inks. It has worked well for me in the past when using this sublimation ink with my Epson WF-7710, and I’ve been able to have consistently high quality results from INKXPRO.
The INKXPRO Sublimation Ink is compatible with a huge range of printers and gives you vibrant transfers onto a ton of different substrates. The INKXPRO also comes with a manufacturer made ICC Color Profile (which we provide in our downloads section), that has given me consistently vibrant results.
With a 4.3 star rating on over 50 reviews from Amazon, it seems as if this sublimation ink performs comparably with the other inks we’ve reviewed so far. Those that have given this ink a negative rating seem to have had issues with their order coming in poorly or with vibrancy issues on their prints.
What comes in the box?
- 4 X 100ml Sublimation ink refills
Compatible Printer Models
- Epson C68, Epson C88, Epson C88+
- Epson WF-3520, Epson WF-3540, Epson WF-3620, Epson WF-3640
- Epson WF-7010, Epson WF-7510, Epson WF-7520, Epson WF-7110, Epson WF-7610, Epson WF-7620
- Epson WF-7710, Epson WF-7720, Epson WF-7210
- 4 color Epson EcoTank printers
The INKXPRO, like all other sublimation inks, needs to be stored in pretty standard conditions. So long as its stored in a relatively normal temperature range, you shouldn’t have too many issues with this ink going bad on you.
The manufacturer doesn’t provide any recommended temperature and press ranges on this sublimation ink. You can, however, use typical ranges to get started and dial in your specific settings
The INKXPRO has comparable reviews to the other sublimation inks we’ve reviewed, however it does come at a slightly higher price of $40. This does come with the added benefit of increased support, particularly through their website and their ICC Color Profiles.
I’d definitely recommend the INKXPRO sublimation ink for any printer, especially if you’re looking for an easy to use sublimation ink for your Epson WF-7710 or Epson ET-2720. If you are intending to recreate your own ICC Color Profile, then I would probably go with a different, cheaper ink. But, if you are wanting an ink that comes ready-to-go with a sublimation profile, then this is your best bet.
Picking the best sublimation ink for you
Remember, in this review, we’ve been reviewing sublimation inks based off a couple of different factors: availability, performance, cost and popularity. This hasn’t been a technical overview on these inks, nor was it intended to be. If you are looking for a technical review on sublimation inks, than I’d highly suggest this post by Sublimation Studies. She’s published a very technical, detailed post reviewing and analyzing the performance of a ton of different sublimation inks.
Regardless of the sublimation ink that you end up choosing, you’ll always have the best performance possible when you use a custom made ICC Color Profile. If you don’t want to put in the time and effort to create your own color profile, you can check out our downloads to see if we have a color profile for you ready to go. Else, check with your manufacturer to see if they’ll provide a profile for you.
Our honest recommendation
If you are just getting started in dye-sublimation, and you are using a printer such as the Epson WF-7710 or the Epson ET-2720, then I’d recommend the Printers Jack sublimation ink above all else. I personally use this ink, and in my experience it has been the best sublimation ink for my Epson WF-7710. It gives great performance for a great value, and is definitely an ink you can’t go wrong with.