Cactus Coatings ORG-2 Mug press.

Review written by:  Cherie Derrick, Encompass Technologies, August 2000

I have been using a Cactus Coatings ORG-2 mug press for over 1 1/2 yrs.  I also have a Stahl's Mighty Mug (7 yrs.) and a Nova Chrome Mug Pro (4 months) and also use Cactus Wraps.  I consider the ORG-2 the best of the 3 presses because I have fewer misprints, by percentage, with this press then either of the other two.  I believe it is the design of this press that keeps the misprints to a minimum.  Most presses I have seen have some type of solid hard casing around the outside of the heating element causing the heating element to be ridged.  The  ORG-2 element only has a thin aluminum shield around the exterior of the element which makes it extremely flexible and I believe allows it to conform to the mugs better.

The Cactus ORG-2 is simple to operate, easy to adjust and if needed easy to replace the heating element.  There is a heat dial for temperature on the right side, out of the way so once you have it set, you don't even notice it's there (I have never reset the heat on this press).  The timer dial is on top where it is easy to reach, although I'm sure many people may not change the time setting, I do when printing with different sublimation (I use inkjet and thermal/hybrid sublimation) types.  The timer is automatic so that when you close the press the countdown begins.  The pressure adjustment knob is on the left side, large and easy to use.  The "feel" of the pressure on the mugs seems to be rather light, compared to the other presses, but this is preferable to me as I very seldom have any "paper sticking" problems (only occasionally when using soft coated mugs).

One thing to be aware of with this press that is different from most other presses is that, when the press is not being used it's idle temperature is room temperature so when getting ready to do a mug, I first place a blank mug in the press for about 4 minutes to heat the press to "operating temperature".  If you stop pressing for a few minutes, you will again need to re-heat the press to operating temperatures before proceeding with your production run.

The only things I don't like about the press is the alarm (personal preference I'm sure) as it is a pretty annoying buzz, but it does get your attention.  It would be nice if it had a digital countdown timer so at the last second you didn't get an alarm at all when paying attention.

I hesitate to post pressing times since not everyone uses the same types of mugs.  In fact the mugs I am currently using are no longer made so the time it takes me to press a mug will most likely change after my supply runs out.  I am currently using a very hard coated mug.  Pressing time using inkjet sublimation is approximately 4:10.  When pressing these same mugs for thermal/hybrid sublimation my time is approximately 3:30.  I have my temperature set at a constant 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The above review is: Copyright Cherie Derrick 2000, All rights reserved, and may not be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the author.  

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