Which machine is better…? Or should you get a heat press…?
The Cricut Easy Press
Well, the updated and improved EasyPress is the better machine, of course! And that’s the machine you should purchase if it’s within your budget. The original model is certainly slightly cheaper, but the improvements are worth paying a little more for.
In this article I’ll give you the pros and cons of the Cricut Easy Press, but I’ll also compare it with a regular iron and a heat press:
Easy Press Vs Iron
Easy Press Vs Heat Press
I’m sure that by the end of the post you’ll know which is best for you: the EasyPress or a heat press – or perhaps just a standard iron is all you need right now. These points are all relevant for both the EasyPress 1 and EasyPress 2.
Cricut Easy Press Vs Iron
Here are the reasons I think the Easy Press is better than an iron:
1. Larger Press Area – The Easy Press has a larger heat plate than an iron.
With a 9 x 9 inch pressing surface, Cricut’s press is far larger than a regular iron. This means:
Each press will be done quicker
You won’t have to press as many times all over the transfer as with an iron
You can be confident larger transfers are receiving equal time, heat, and pressure – essential to a successful press
2. Easier To Press – You do not have to apply as much pressure as you do with an iron.
The EasyPress weighs 11 pounds (5 kgs), while the EasyPress 2 weighs between 5 & 14 pounds (depending on which size you choose), and so the weight of it provides the pressure. You only have to press down a little. The average household iron weighs 3 -4 pounds, so the Cricut provides more weight and pressure.
3. Digital Timer – The Easy Press has a digital time display.
You can set the timer to the precise time your heat transfer vinyl manufacturer specifies and lift her up at the right time. Irons can’t count down like this! Once you have placed the EasyPress into place upon your project, you need to press the Cricut C button to start the countdown timer. The machine will beep once the set time has elapsed.
4. Digital Temperature Display – It also has a digital temperature setting!
Unlike an iron, where you’re usually setting the dial “somewhere between linen and cotton”, you can set the exact temperature. No more mystery, no more guessing. Set the perfect temperature for your HTV.
The EasyPress 1 has an adjustable temperature up to 350℉, while the EasyPress 2 has a max temperature of 400℉ (allowing you to do sublimation transfers as well).
An orange light tells you the machine is heating up, and a green light means go!
5. A Faster Press – The Cricut press is quicker than an iron.
Because it can reach higher temperatures and weighs more than an iron, it doesn’t take as long for the transfer to adhere to the t-shirt.
Watch Kim Byers make an awesome tee in this beautiful video! You can visit her website, Celebration Shoppe, for more great content.
6. Even Heat – The Easy Press distributes heat better than iron.
It is designed to keep a consistent heat across the platen for the purposes of heat transfer. Unlike an household iron which is there to get wrinkles out of your clothes. The hot plate of the EasyPress is made of aluminium covered in ceramic – nice!
7. A Flat Surface And No Steam Holes – The Cricut Press does not have steam holes.
Irons have steam holes (unless it’s a dry iron) which cause unequal pressure, and can result in a lower quality transfer. The HTV being pressed under a hole will not adhere as well – there’s no pressure!
For the perfect transfer you want nice equal pressure undisturbed by holes or lumps. The flatter the better.
8. A Better Press – Cricut’s machine will produce a higher quality result.
Being able to press with more pressure, a more accurate time and even temperature, the resulting product is superior to an iron on transfer.
9. Auto Shut Off – The Easy Press has an auto shut off feature.
This is really cool! How many times have you accidentally left your iron going? Or left the house and then had that horrible feeling that you’ve left it on?
The auto shut off feature turns the press off after 10 minutes of inactivity. It’s not a hassle if you are still using it either because it heats up so quickly.
10. Can Press On More Substrates – Not only does the EasyPress transfer onto fabric, but onto a range of other surfaces as well. These include the following:
11. Quick Heat Up – The Easy Press heats up faster than a heat press machine.
I often use my EasyPress over my heat press simply for the reason! A heat press typically takes 10 – 15 minutes to get to a pressing temperature of between 300 – 350 degress. The EasyPress takes 2 – 3 minutes. It’s so much easier if you’re just doing one or two things.
12. Safer – There is less chance of burning yourself with the Cricut press.
The safety tray keeps you from getting burnt. With heat press machines you must place your hands under the hot platen to arrange the tee and transfer (especially with a clamshell heat press). But with Cricut’s machine you only have to lift it off the tray and place it down upon your project.
13. Smaller – Good for those who don’t have enough room for a heat press.
This is a very compact, small heat press that is easily hidden away. The small size is not so imposing in your craft room, living room or bedroom.
14. Lighter – If it’s smaller, it’s a good guess to say it’s going to be lighter.
And it is! Compared to a heat press this is a very light machine. A standard 15 x 15 heat press weighs over 60 pounds (28 kgs), while Cricut’s press weighs between 5 and 15 pounds (depending on which size you get).
Obviously that’s a huge difference! It’s not a two person job getting it into place.
15. Portable – Because it is smaller and lighter, it is very portable.
You can take this to your friend’s house, on vacation, or lend it to the neighbor without any hassle.
16. Easy To Store – Compared with a heat press, it is easy to store.
A heat press really needs a dedicated space because it’s so hard to get into position. The EasyPress will fit in a draw – that is, unless you don’t want to hide it away because it’s so pretty!
17.Oldie Friendly – Good for older people with arthritis and other health struggles.
The Easy Press requires minimal added pressure (at least, a lot less than an iron), and there isn’t any diffiuculty involved in opening and closing it (like with a heat press). Older, more frail people can keep making tees into the 100’s and beyond with this press! Haha.
18. Kid Friendly – Many have found the Easy Press good for younger children to use.
Maybe even down to an age of 10 (though adult supervision is essential!). Kids and teens can make their own t-shirts with this press because it is easy to use and quite safe. A young entrepreneur might even be able to make t-shirts to sell with the Easy Press – an awesome way to teach kids about business.
19. Great For Small Transfer Jobs – If you are doing smaller transfers, the EasyPress is great.
If you are doing lots of kids t-shirts or baby onesies then you don’t need a big clunky heat press. Its 9 x 9 inch hot plate will be plenty big enough.
20. User Manual – Comes with a great reference manual.
See the EasyPress manual here (for both the EasyPress 1 & 2). Most of the Chinese heat presses come with extremely basic instructions which are often difficult to understand. The benefit of the Easy Press is that it comes with a good guide, and there are also a huge amount of online resources available to get you going.
21. Better For One-Off Jobs – The Easy Press is perfect for doing one or two tees here and there.
Because it heats up so quickly and it’s easy to get out and set up, it’s not a hassle to do so just for one or two t-shirts. A heat press is going to take a whole lot of time to get going and sometimes it just doesn’t feel worth it!
22. Transfers Last Just As Long – The EasyPress performs just as well as a heat press.
When it comes to transfer adhesion and longevity, after doing comparison tests, the EasyPress performs very well and last just as long as a transfer done with a heat press.
More Easy Press Pros
23. Huge, Helpful Facebook Communities – So many options!
There are dozens of Cricut Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members. There are general ‘ask anything Cricut related’ groups, and there are smaller niche groups inside the Cricut Community.
Here are a few to give you an idea of what’s out there:
Cricut Design Space – The largest Cricut group with almost 200,000 members. A very busy group of people who know what they are doing and happily answer questions, share finished projects, and give great advice.
I can’t say how many reviews the Easy Press has, or what the star rating is right here because it’s always subject to change. But let me just say the reviews are amazingly good and the star rating is as good as can be!
Below is an EasyPress tutorial by Cricut that was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. You can skip ahead to the 4 minute mark to see the beginning of the press.
So those are my reasons why you should buy a Cricut Press – though I’m sure there are more! Let me know your reasons in the comments section below and I’ll add them to the list.
Well, there were 27 pros and now there are only 8 cons – if it were a numbers game, the Easy Press would be winning! But honestly, this press is not perfect for everybody and every job. Here are the Easy Press Cons.
I’ll break them into sections again:
Iron vs EasyPress
Heat press vs EasyPress
And then some more general reasons why the Easy Press may not be for everybody.
Iron Vs EasyPress
1. Size – An iron is even smaller than the EasyPress!
If you are super limited in your space then an iron would be better – it’s smaller and easier to store.
2. Cost – An iron is much cheaper than the Easy Press, and you probably already have one.
The cost of Cricut’s press is not much less than a cheap traditional heat press. Some people think that it is overpriced. I think for what you are getting it is a fair price.
Heat Press Vs EasyPress
3. Larger Transfers – A heat press is better for larger transfers.
9 x 9 inches (or 10 x 12 inches as the largest EasyPress) is much bigger than an iron, but it is still a small pressing area. If you intend on doing large transfers on larger t-shirts, you will be better off getting a 15 x 15 inch heat press machine instead.
4. More Pressure – A heat press can produce a higher pressure than the Easy Press.
It clamps shut and maintains pressure until opened again. The Easy Press needs to be pressed down. A transfer that calls for medium pressure can be pressed gently with one hand, while one calling for firm pressure will need a firm two handed press and hold.
5. Quicker – Most heat press transfers are completed in 10-15 seconds with a heat press.
The Easy Press can take a bit longer than this, especially as Cricut recommends hitting the back of the transfer with a press as well to seal the deal.
6. Pressing Around Seams – The Easy Press may not be as good around seams as a traditional press.
Maintaining equal pressure is extremely important for the best heat transfer. Seams, pockets, etc. can cause inconsistent pressure. This is an issue with heat press machines as well, although the use of a heat press pillow helps.
7. Cost (Again) – The price of the EasyPress compared with a cheap heat press is very similar.
The EasyPress is a bit cheaper, but some may prefer to pay the additional cost for a traditional heat press as pictured below.
Further EasyPress Cons
8. Made For North American Power Supply – This machine CAN now be used outside of North America. The Easy Press CAN now be used in New Zealand, Australia, UK, etc. You can generally purchase it in your country of residence.
Canada, Mexico and the US are all on 120 volts so the US EasyPress will work fine in these spots.
New Zealand electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts
Australian electricity is supplied at 230 volts
United Kingdom’s power is supplied at 230 volts
Cricut Easy Press Review
Well what can I say after all that, but that this machine rocks! In a recent post all about heat press machines, I re-categorized the EP as a Heat Press Iron. It’s not an iron, it’s not a traditional heat press – it’s a heat press iron!
I think in light of the pros and cons, the Easy Press would make a great addition to the craft room. To an extent, it is also good for small business. However, if your business is very busy, a quicker option would be better and you should consider a heat press machine.
If you’re like me, you always want to know what exactly a purchase is going to come with. So let’s check that out.
Cricut Easy Press Unboxing
What comes with the Cricut EasyPress? Along with the machine, here’s what’s included:
The safety base is included
A quick time and temperature reference for pressing various transfers (can also be found here)
There are always going to be additional expenses when you buy a product like this. Here are other things you need to get with an Easy Press (the links below go to products on Amazon, but double check Cricut’s store as well):
The Explore Air 2
The Cricut Easy Press Mat – Place the mat under your project and press on top of it to protect the surface underneath. Cricut will be putting out their own pad at a later date.
A Cricut cutting machine – The Explore Air 2 is the affordable option. Consider the Maker if you have money to invest. Want more info? What Cricut Should I Get?
Heat Transfer Vinyl – Be sure to keep a good supply on hand. Either Siser or Cricut are the best choices.
Buy The Cricut Easy Press!
I give this machine an A+, 100%, hip hip hooray. I’m sure you will be happy with this machine, especially once you get the hang of it. I think that’s a major PRO I left out – it’s so easy to learn how to use it! Some are a bit intimidated by heat press machines, but there’s no need to be afraid of the EasyPress.