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MHM: The Best Press

MHM makes the best presses for printing on shirts and canvas.

There, I said it.

…and it feels good to be so direct. For many years I have written articles for various trade journals. In the interest of “fairness” they always make me write generically about what makes a good press and I can’t say what I really think. Now Tom and I run the show here at the Ink Kitchen and I can say what I want. MHM is one of many sponsors of the Ink Kitchen, but that works in reverse here at the Ink Kitchen. We use and endorse a product and then allow them to advertise and we don’t allow any advertising for folks we don’t endorse.

In the coming weeks I will be showing photos and video of a visit to the MHM plant in Austria. I wanted to start the series with my analysis of why the MHM presses are so good from both the perspective of a printer as well as a business owner.

The main advantages of the MHM are as follows:

– Primarily electronic registration, with mechanical functioning really more like a back up.

– Level platens and level screens with the platens and screens always parallel

– Screens that go into position by gravity.

– Screens during the registration phase that are basically locked in from the start and then “super locked” rather than most presses that go from unlocked to locked.

– An accurate pre-registration system that is totally simple and requires no extra bullshit like carrier sheets, etc.

– Platen change that literally takes only minutes even on a large machine, and those platens are level without any additional effort

– Platen construction that dissipates heat

– Superior construction methods and use of quality materials

Results of these advantages:

– Incredibly fast and accurate set up of jobs. This both reduces downtime and allows for profitable auto (rather then manual) printing of short runs.

– Jobs go into registration quickly and start in very tight registration and stay in tight registration. This basically makes jobs of many colors not nearly as expensive to print on an MHM as with other company’s presses.

– Printing with less ink which makes for softer prints

– The MHM presses run and run every day for years and years. The press in the photo is over 20 years old and prints all day every day.

– One of the most important things in production is momentum. MHM presses allow a shop with short or long runs to maintain momentum. Jobs set up quickly with the preregistration, the screens go into registration and don’t move, the screens stay in registration so there is no stopping. If you change platens it takes five minutes not an hour plus a cigarette break. The press rarely needs any type of repair so it keeps moving.

– Another important thing in production is elimination of variables. With level platens, level screens, parallel platens and screens you don’t worry that one platen has a low spot or a screen isn’t level.

– Unlike most other presses the MHM is not shaking and banging itself into pieces. The noise coming from other presses is the god awful sound of mechanical registration and this banging and clanging is evidence of what causes most other presses to go out of registration and to wear out. We have an over 20 year old MHM and it registers perfectly and it has never had to be rebuilt. There are no hammers to tweak registration, that is the farthest thought from our minds and yet I see that in all kinds of other shops.

In the coming weeks I’ll elaborate on each of these points and illustrate them with photos from our shops and from my trip to the factory.

Our 16 color MHM press, a rare moment where it isn’t in motion.
Our ten color MHM press, over 20 years old and running every day all day and kicking ass.



  1. Couldn’t of said it better myself. MHM is the number 1 press. “Thanks to Rick I had an 8 color and now I have a 12 color couldn’t be happier” amazing machines. Great write up Rick.

  2. I have been fortunate to work with MHM machines for decades. There are brown SA models from the 1980’s still functioning in shops today. I do not know of any higher quality machines on the market today. I am really excited about the IQ oval. Oval machines offer significant footprint reduction as well as other advantages, when a large number of print or flash stations are desired. Oval designs of the past have had issues that reduced their popularity among printers. If MHM has applied the same engineering and quality as they have in their other machines, “I’m sure they have” the press must be fantastic.

  3. Totally agree!! I’ve used everything out there over a 34 year period and hands down MHM is far and away the best. Just set it and forget it is the best way to explain them. Reliability, consistent reg, set up times slashed. etc.

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