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Cricut EasyPress Review (and a Beginner Tutorial)

The Cricut EasyPress is quite literally one of the hottest new things to hit the market for crafters who work with heat transfer vinyl, rhinestones, and custom transfers.

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The Circut EasyPress is a cross between an iron and a heat press.  It had me equal parts excited and skeptical so as soon as I saw it hit Amazon a few weeks ago I ordered one. (Right now they're back-ordered almost everywhere so decide if you want one and then stalk them!) I mention that because - like you - purchasing the $149 Cricut EasyPress allows me to be the consumer who paid their hard earned money on this craft gadget.

Cricut EasyPress Review

I'm sure I had the same burning questions about the Cricut EasyPress as most of you who have had their interest peaked by the 9 x 9" portable heat press.
  • Is the Cricut EasyPress really worth $149 (plus tax) when you can get a full size heat press for not much more? 
  • Can the Cricut EasyPress really provide enough pressure to successfully and consistently transfer heat transfer vinyl onto surfaces and prevent them from peeling wash after wash? 
  • What are the real pros and cons of the Cricut EasyPress for crafters?
Even before you open the box there are obvious benefits to using a Cricut EasyPress over a heat press - namely the compact size. For those crafters who don't have space to store a heat press - even a small heat press - the EasyPress, which has a 9 x 9" platen may be the answer as it can easily store in a cabinet, drawer or shelf.  Plus, the small size makes it ideal on the go - think craft shows, crops, workshops, or traveling - wherever you want or need to apply custom presses.

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The Circut EasyPress, while compact, isn't 'light.' The reason heat presses work so well is because they apply both heat and even pressure.  The EasyPress weighs five pounds (yes I put it on the scale) which in and of itself means there will be pressure on the heat transfer material.  Unlike a heat press, where you can lock it and forget it for 20 seconds, the EasyPress does require added downward pressure from the user throughout the entire press.

I would love to say the EasyPress is ready to use out of the box. While it's pretty much plug and play, it's lacking a very important part: a pressing mat.  In fact at the time of this blog post, the Cricut EasyPress Mat is not even available to purchase. Instead, I would recommend you get a silicone foam mat. Once you tack that $20 mat on to the $149 press you're nearing heat press price levels.)

That will simulate the base of a heat press and, when placed on a solid, firm surface, allow you to best mimic a heat press while using the Cricut EasyPress. 

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Cricut EasyPress Set Up and Use

Alright so once you have everything you need, you want to keep the EasyPress in its gray base while you plug it in and warm it up. Press the power button and then press the Temperature button. When the temperature starts flashing use the +/- buttons to change the temperature according to the recommended settings for the HTV and material you are using.

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Next, press the Time button. When it starts flashing, change the time the same way using the +/- buttons.

Wait while the EasyPress comes to temperature - which honestly is very fast. I time raced my Cricut EasyPress vs my trusty heat press and the EasyPress won by almost 8 full minutes minutes. It took the Cricut EasyPress just 2:42 to heat up from "off" to 305.  My heat press took more than 10 and a half minutes to warm up to the same temperature (in fact my Cricut EasyPress auto shut-off while we waited for the heat press to come to temperature).

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Where the Cricut portable heat press is lacking is in its maximum temperature range. Its max temperature is only 350 degrees while my heat press can go well over 400.  For most materials this won't be an issue, but some materials such as sublimation and printed heat transfers require heat over 350 degrees.

Prepare your heat transfer vinyl decal on the surface while you're waiting. Place the shirt or other surface flat on top of the silicone foam mat. Place the HTV decal on top of that. (I did not use a teflon sheet while pressing with the Cricut EasyPress). When the EasyPress has reached the desired temperature the orange light on the Cricut button will turn green and you're ready to press.

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Remove the portable press from the base and place it directly on the heat transfer vinyl decal.  Don't forget to press the green Cricut button to begin the timer. (I do like that my heat press' timer starts automatically in case I forget to press the button.)

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Do not move the Cricut EasyPress around while pressing! Keep it still while applying pressure during the entire pressing time.  When the timer beeps place the press back in the stand. Wait for the HTV to cool down before removing the carrier sheet from the heat transfer vinyl.

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Cricut EasyPress vs Heat Press 

Because I wanted to compare the HTV pressed with a Cricut EasyPress with heat press-applied HTV, I added another HTV decal to the same surface. The text was cut in the same font style and size to make sure no other factors impacted the press.
 
I was also very careful to make sure the HTV applied with the EasyPress did not get double pressed while using the heat press.

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Now comes the true test...will the HTV applied with the Cricut EasyPress pass the washing machine test?

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I washed the onesie inside out and laid it flat to dry - which is always recommended with HTV anyway.  After the first wash both HTV designs had no lifting or peeling...


Half a dozen washes later....and both presses still look as good as they did when I first applied them.

So after using the Circut EasyPress and comparing it to the pressing quality of a heat press I'm a believer. There are definitely pros and cons to the Cricut EasyPress and whether you 'need' a Cricut EasyPress is really going to depend on what you see as a pro and what you see as a con. 

Cricut EasyPress Pros

  • It's small and compact making it easy to store 
  • It's portable
  • Heats up quickly
  • Produces a quality press

Cricut EasyPress Cons

  • Price is comparable to an inexpensive heat press (this is the heat press I have)
  • Doesn't include a necessary pressing mat
  • Smaller surface area than standard heat press
  • Max temperature is 350
  • Requires added pressure from user
There is no question - the Cricut EasyPress results in a quality press....and I'm definitely impressed! Only because of the price tag, the 350 max temperature, and the fact that it doesn't include the necessary pressing mat, I'm giving the Cricut EasyPress a B+.

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12 comments

  1. I love that it's portable, but the small size of it and the fact that you need to add more pressure and press for longer amounts of time are an issue for me. If it were at least 11 x 11 I might be swayed, but sorry to say, this is a no-go for me.

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  2. Thanks for doing this. I have been trying to decide what would be best for me.

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  3. HI Do you like your clamshell heat press more than a swing away and why? Also, I noticed yours says Sublimation, what does that mean?
    Thank you
    Tori

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  4. HI Do you like your clamshell heat press more than a swing away and why? Also, I noticed yours says Sublimation, what does that mean?
    Thank you
    Tori

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  5. Thanks for your unbiased review. The fact that you bought one to share how it worked means a lot more than the other reviews I've read from the bloggers that are in the Cricut marketing team and are being compensated for the product.

    I don't use a heat press for anything. The vinyl that I transfer is always quite small and haven't had problems using my regular iron. I do like the fact that the heat press has the base plate.

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  6. THANKS FOR YOUR TAKE ON THIS !!

    RON

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  7. Great review, Melissa! Thanks for the info' on the silicon mat. You ROCK!!!

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  8. Great review!
    I found that when I use mine, it does NOT need any noticeable amount of extra pressure on my part. No need to bear down on the press, just firmly holding it in place does the job. A great space saver.

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  9. Do you know if you can use the silicone mat that Heidi swap has that is pink with a easy press?

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  10. Thanks for an honest review of this product.

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  11. I'd love to know how the easypress does with rhinestones! I make cheer bows and Oh this would be a lifesaver.

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  12. Beautiful. I would also like to share another useful source on literary terms.

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