I tried to go budget first, I tried a small rosineer press, which worked, but not nearly big enough for what I wanted to press. Then I tried to build a press using heating plates, and a harbor freight shop press... That wound up being under 320 bucks, but again, still left way more to be desired.
Then I spent about 600 bucks or so on a Dab Press with the hand pump, and I havent looked back since. \
This is the model I have.
There are a couple reasons I think the Dab Press excels... First, the plates heat consistently. One of my biggest issues was the home made press had trouble holding desired temps. Secondly, the hand press allows me to repeat the same process with the same pressure during runs. Being able to see the pressure I am applying is clutch, and made me realize I dont need nearly as much pressure as I thought. The jack is also much better quality than what I have seen out there on amazon and ebay. Before this unit, I was running into issues getting air into the line of my jacks... Thats just a total PITA when youre trying to press a batch, and cant even get the jack to work ... Beyond all that, the DP is built like a tank at something like half of the cost of bigger brands like Low Temp Presses.
If that unit is out of your price range, dab press has a bare bones unit as well...
DABPRESS 4 Ton Hydraulic Rosin Press for Starter - Home Extraction, bj4t35, 3x5" Heated Plates, Small Rosin Heat Extraction Machine, Small, Portable, Personal Extractor, 4-Ton Pressure of Force, Handles 7-14 Grams Materials.