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Best Sawgrass SG500 and SG1000 Printer and Ink Bundle Comparison Chart

Earlier this year Sawgrass released two new models of their popular Sawgrass sublimation printer: the SG1000 and the SG500. These are updated models from the SG400 and SG800.

The differences from the previous model are a faster processor, better quality results, a new ink formulation, and Bluetooth printing.  However another option that Sawgrass introduced is the option for a full or starter set of ink...which has ended up causing some confusion and to be honest - frustration.  

Once you understand the difference between the inks you can then focus in on the best sublimation printer bundle based on a few other key factors. 

Sawgrass Printer Bundles

Previously picking a Sawgrass Sublimation bundle came down to just two factors: the size of the printer and the type of ink:
  • SG400 with 31ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG400 with 31ml Siser EasySubli Ink
  • SG800 with 31ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG800 with 31ml Siser EasySubli Ink
The Sublijet HD inks and EasySubli Siser inks are also used in the SG500 and SG1000 sublimation printers.  I would suggest you decide how you’re mostly going to use your sublimation printer and that will determine the type of ink that you should buy with your printer because you cannot switch back-and-forth easily.  If you want my opinion, I lean toward the Sublijet HD ink. 

The reason I suggest you pick the type of ink first is it will help narrow down the Sawgrass printer bundles you consider...otherwise it's easy to get overwhelmed. With the newer model Sawgrass SG500 and SG800, Sawgrass went one step further doubling the ink options by quietly introducing two different size ink cartridges: starter and standard.
  • SG500 with 31ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG500 with 20ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG500 with 31ml Siser EasySubli Ink
  • SG500 with 20ml Siser EasySubli Ink
  • SG1000 with 31ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG1000 with 20ml Sublijet HD Ink
  • SG1000 with 31ml Siser EasySubli Ink
  • SG1000 with 20ml Siser EasySubli Ink

Sawgrass 20ml Starter Ink Kits

The 20ml cartridges dubbed "Starter Ink Sets" by Sawgrass, reduce the start up cost which is no doubt attractive to many buyers.  As of this writing, the starter inks are also the only choice you have right now due to production issues caused by the pandemic...which in a way makes things easier by eliminating one decision. 

Be aware with the 20ml starter inks you may get a low ink warning as soon as you complete the set up. Setting up the printer for the first time requires the ink lines to be filled with 11ml of ink -that's more than half the ink in the 20ml cartridge. Because half the ink is in the lines and less than half is in the cartridge it trigger low ink warning immediately at set up.

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Sawgrass says you can print dozens of pages even after the Low Ink Warning, but that warning before even printing a single page has caused a lot of grumbling by SG500 and SG1000 owners who comparison price shopped then knowingly or unknowingly opted for the lower priced starter ink package.

How Long do Sawgrass Ink Cartridges Last? 

So how many pages can you print with Sawgrass Ink Cartridges? That is the burning question.

I took the number of full page prints per ink set provided by the manufacturer and did some calculations to figure out the price per printed page based on the price and ink cartridge size.

Sawgrass, Sublimation Printer, Sublimation inks, sublimation printing, sublimation

Now...with all of these options, it definitely becomes challenging to compare features and pricing.  With all of this information, my suggestion is to narrow the sublimation printer bundles down in this order: 
  • Determine the size printer you want: SG500 (8.5")  vs SG1000 (11")
  • Decide on the type of ink:  SubliJet HD vs Siser Ink
  • Size of your first ink cartridge: 20ml (Starter) vs 31ml (Standard) 
Hopefully the Sawgrass printer bundle chart above helps. I have starred what would normally be my recommended picks on both the Sawgrass SG500 Printer Bundle and the SG1000 Printer Bundle...both including the HD inks and sublimation paper which you need to get started. 

Sawgrass, Sublimation Printer, Sublimation inks, sublimation printing, sublimation bundle

The exception would be IF you plan to focus your sublimation on dark colored fabrics or cotton. Then I would get the Siser Sawgrass SG500 Bundle with paper option because you'll mostly be using EasySubli printable HTV.

However, if the bundle with standard ink is out of stock, my recommendation defaults to the same bundle with the starter ink size cartridges. 

Best Sublimation Printer Bundle

Now here's where it really gets complicated...there are also Sawgrass printer bundles with a heat press,  CAMEO 4 or CAMEO Plus. If your head's not spinning by now...buckle up. 

If you're looking for a sublimation bundle with a heat press or Silhouette CAMEO, focus in on the basic Sawgrass printer bundle above, then add on from there. 

Sawgrass Sublimation Printer Bundle with Heat Press

If you don't have a heat press, you will need one with sublimation and I would recommend getting at least a 15x15" heat press for sublimation.

If you want to sublimate just shirts and other flat items one of these sublimation and heat press bundles is ideal.

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If you want to sublimate more than just flat sublimation blanks including mugs, hats, and plates, I'd get the sublimation printer and 8-in-1 heat press bundle.

If you are going to go with the Siser EasySubli inks because you plan to sublimate on darks or cotton, I would also add a Silhouette 12" CAMEO 4 or 15" Silhouette CAMEO Plus if you don't already have one. You'll need that to contour cut or print and cut around the EasySubli HTV.

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  1. Can you switch your inks SubliJet HD vs Siser Ink? or once you use one in the printer, do you need to stick with that ink?

  2. It would be helpful if you explained the different type of inks. Not sure of the purpose of each type of ink you suggested based on printer to order :)

  3. I am confused still. The price listed is for the ink or the entire bundle, including the Printer, ink and sublimation paper?
    How much is the ink when bought separately for continued use?
    That price of $4.16 I believe is the breakdown for the who bundle. That's not bad.
    But going forward I believe I calculated 1.65 per full sheet in ink and .30c (rounded off) per sublimation sheet (8.5 x 11)
    But I think there are price differences in the various inks. I thought the bundles came with both the starter ink and a full regular cartridge. Can you please clarify that? Thank you! 😊


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