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Cricut Bright Pad Review: Does It Make Weeding Vinyl Easier?

After I did the Cricut EasyPress review a lot of you asked me if I'd take a look at the Cricut Bright Pad too - which was launched at the same time.

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So...I shelled out $80 bucks for it on Amazon..and now I'm here to tell you if the Cricut Bright Pad is worth it.  If it really does make weeding vinyl easier.
The purpose of the Cricut Bright Pad, and other light pads I've used and reviewed, is to help make weeding vinyl and heat transfer vinyl easier. By weeding on the lighted surface, the light from below (in theory) helps make it easier to see the cut lines.  I gotta tell you for $80 this thing should weed for you!

The Cricut Bright Pad has five different brightness settings.

My preference is to weed vinyl while it's on my cutting mat to help keep it in place.  The challenge, however, is the Bright Pad light surface is so slippery the vinyl doesn't want to stay in place. The Bright Pad itself, however, stays in place on the table thanks to it non-slip colored back.

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To use it, just plug it in and power it on.  I do wish it was chargeable or battery operated so it could be moved around rather than being tied to an outlet...but I'd be willing to forgive that design issue if it works well for seeing cut lines.

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I cut several different color and types of vinyl - all with the same exact design to compare.   Each of these pieces of vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, and glitter HTV has the word 'test' cut in it.  Some of them you can see more easily than others even without a back light. Others the cut lines are nearly impossible to see.

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There are all kinds of hacks to make it easier to see them when weeding such as sketching the design with a marker first or sprinkling baby powder on the back.  I was hoping the Cricut Bright Pad would be the real deal...but ehhh. I don't really think it made much of a difference at all - especially for HTV.

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I tried several different colors of glitter vinyl and all of the different light settings and none of them made really wowed me.  Closer up you can see that the adhesive vinyl lines (green and orange pieces) were easier to see when placed on the Cricut Bright Pad.

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This other design, cut on navy blue adhesive vinyl, was definitely easier to see when placed on the Cricut Bright Pad.

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Even on the light pad, the cut lines in the smooth heat transfer vinyl and glitter HTV were still almost impossible to see.  The white HTV (bottom right) was the exception.

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Here's a good side by side comparison of the after I started weeding the glitter heat transfer vinyl.

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And here are all of the piece of vinyl after I weeded them...with the exception of removing the counter in the 'e.'


So...what do I think? Is the Cricut Bright Pad worth it.  Let's weigh the pros and cons:

Pros: 
Makes cut lines more easily visible on adhesive vinyl
Five different light brightness settings

Cons: 
High Price Tag
Must be kept plugged in
Didn't help see cut lines on hard to weed glitter HTV
Didn't significantly improve cut line visibility on smooth HTV

In my honest opinion, if a friend was asking me, I would say skip it.  I wish I could say the Cricut Bright Pad is the answer to all your eye strain caused by weeding...but in my opinion it's not.
 
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