Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Should You Buy a Cricut Easy Press? A Real Review.

With Christmas just around the corner, many crafters have special crafty gear on their wish lists.  It can be tricky to know if some of the bigger items are worth splurging on, so today I'm sharing my real world experience with one of them to help make that shopping decision easier: the Cricut Easy Press.

I'm going to start off by saying, this is a totally independent review.  I bought it with my own money.  No kick backs, freebies or compensation from Cricut or anyone else to cloud or slant my feedback.  I've seen only a few reviews like this when it comes to Cricut products, so I hope this helps others with buying decisions.

In case you aren't familiar with it, the Easy Press is a new-ish tool that came out a few months ago.  It's specifically for heat pressing aka iron-on applications.  Using heat transfer vinyl, you can press your own custom shirts, bags, pillows, wood and just about anything else.  It's such a quick way to customize just about anything and so easy.  Definitely a craft anyone can do!  

Traditionally, if you wanted to use iron-on vinyl, the options have been either using a normal household iron or to buy a commercial heat press.  Basic irons don't always adhere the vinyl very well - the iron it usually peels off after a number of washes.  Regular heat presses can be big and bulky for home use and expensive.  The Cricut Easy Press is about the same price as the lowest priced heat press machines, but has the convenience of a smaller, sleeker size.  

It has easy push button settings for temperature and time.

It's also got a heat resistant safety base and automatic shut  off after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Does it really work?

I'd been really curious about it when it came out, but had a hard time finding true reviews about it even a month or two later, so I took a gamble and bought one.  Since then I've used it on multiple projects, used several kinds of vinyl and washed most of them multiple times. Here are the results...

The Pros:

- The size is ideal.  It's big enough to do a large shirt design at 9"x9", but small enough to not take up a lot of room on the counter. It's square shape and holder base makes it easy to store too.  

- It heats up pretty fast and evenly.  It comes with a guide to tell you exactly how long and at what temperature to iron most types of HTV (from Cricut and other brands) on various fabrics.  A project is done in just minutes, so it's ideal for limited work time.

- The button settings for temperature and timer are super simple and make sure you get an even fuse everywhere at the same time.  I followed the directions for fusing on the front & inside out and the referenced HTV types adhered well every time.




- Even after a dozen washes (inside out and line drying), the designs still stayed put.  No lifting or peeling like I'd had with my previous iron fused heat transfer projects.  I even had this shirt that accidentally went in the dryer twice that has been washed a dozen times and still stayed as nice as day 1!

The Cons:

- The cord is weirdly positioned at the center of the top when it would make more sense to be at the bottom.  Unless you have an outlet right in front of you, it means you have to maneuver it out of the way or hold the press upside down which is awkward when you're trying to press the buttons.

- They aren't always in stock.  They have them advertised as in-store several chain places, but none ever seem to have any.  I had to order mine online and it was out one day, available the morning I ordered and then out again a few hours later.  They also randomly put it on sale for the first time about a week after I bought mine.  Nothing like losing out on saving $20.  Grrr.

- The instructions say for best results you need to use a heat resistant mat & refer to a Cricut heat mat that's not included with it and not even available to buy.  They suggest using some stacked towels as an alternative, which I've done, but it seems stupid to promote a product they don't even sell or bother to tell you is "needed" anywhere in the product description before you buy it.

- There are some specialty HTV types, like flocked or glow in the dark, that Cricut doesn't make, so they have no guidance for temperature or time in their settings chart.  The chart refers to their website for more settings, but it's the exact same limited list.  Not exactly helpful.  I've used settings I've found elsewhere, but I had to go back over my flocked stuff again with the press multiple times.  Doing it for too long can cause it to melt or not adhere, so it's a bit trickier.   

- Cricut brand HTV is crazy expensive.  Even when on sale.  And Cricut is almost always excluded from any coupon offers in stores so doing a few big designs can be pricey if using their brand materials.  The amount on the rolls is pretty paltry and prices vary strangely too.  Glitter & Foil have more inches on the roll, but cost less than the plain Smooth/Lite.  

They also are frequently sold out of a lot of colors in stores & online and don't offer some that would seem commonly used like orange, light blue, pastel yellow or green.  These two factors mean it's better to look for alternative brands to be cost effective with HTV projects.   

Is it worth buying?

Personally, I think it's worth getting if you like to do quick projects and have a cutting machine already. I've got a Cricut Explore that's 3 yrs old and still works great so I can cut out a design in a few minutes and have it heat pressed just as fast.  

I've been really short on craft time lately, but still made nearly a dozen projects so far.  All have been quick and turned out well so the satisfaction level with the results has been high.

In an upcoming post I'll share my favorite source for excellent (and inexpensive) HTV, how I make original designs the fast way and other handy tips.



  1. Excellent review - I especially appreciate hearing about your 'cons'. Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!

  2. Check out for HTV. I've found not only great prices but the guy that runs the store is super smart about the products. His YouTube channel is amazing as well. Thanks for the honest review!

  3. Very honest review and I agree with all your points. I did buy an Easy Press but I was shocked at the HTV prices for the Cricut brand. I bought Siser and struggled with temperature as it didn't stick well and i had to up the temperature. Have you used Siser? If so which temperature? Did you use Siser's instructions or the Cricut instructions? I found Siser instructions silly with the Kraft paper thing.

    1. I hear you Tari. The prices (and how Cricut doesn't allow coupons for their products) are crazy. If you do a big design with the Cricut brand it costs of fortune! I've had good luck with Sister (and the quality seems better too). I bought mine in sheets, not on a roll, so I don't know what the kraft paper bit is...but for the standard variety, I did 302 degrees for 10 seconds on each side and had good results. I'm thinking about doing another post sharing some tips and where I get the best prices on HTV.

  4. Great review!!!! thank you..
    One question: why did you mention “it’s worth buying ... if you already have a cutting machine already” ?
    I am not looking to cut out vinyl shapes, I just want to print images on iron on sheets to transfer to t-shirts.
    Can I use the Cricut press to do iron ons with various brands of iron on transfer papers? I want to get a Cricut Easy Press but I am not sure if iron on sheets and from other brands would work?
    Hopefully you can answer this.
    Thanks !

    1. I mentioned it because most people are looking to make their own custom cut heat transfers. If they've already got a cutting machine, the Easy Press is a relatively small investment. If they don't & then need to buy both machine at the same time, it's a lot of cost for just doing heat transfer projects. As for self-printed transfers, that's really a question for Cricut. They don't make a printable iron-on material as a product or have any heat settings for it on their site, so I'd recommend contacting them directly to find out if they will be compatible.

  5. Hi there. I tried to search your other posts to find this answer, but I just bought a Cricut Easypress and am wondering 1) what brand of HTV you find is best for the price and 2) so you use Teflon sheets, the hard-to-find Cricut silicone mat or something else on top of the HTV? Thanks!!

    1. I'm going to do an update post with more details on all this, but I've found Happy Crafters (an online shop) seems to have the best prices, selection and quality for HTV by far. I've had great results with what I've bought there. Most HTV comes with a clear sheet layer over it so nothing needs to go on top of it - I think you're asking about what goes underneath since you press it face up. I'll share in my update what various things I've tried and what the results were, but the best was definitely a thick bath towel. Definitely wouldn't fork out $ for a special mat when a towel I already own works just as well!

  6. Cheryl, which type of HTV do you typically buy from Happy Crafters? Which types have you had the greatest success with? The prices almost seem too good to be true!

    1. I usually buy their Siser Easy Weed. It holds up great wash after wash and they have SO many color and finish options. The prices are amazing & especially today so grab some deals on it while you can!

  7. Hi Cheryl. I purchased a Maker with the everything bundle and it will arrive next Tuesday. I joined Cricut Access for just one month, before I bought my machine and saved 10% on the machine. The membership is $9.99 per month. I don't know if I will keep the subscription for more than this month, but am considering buying the Easy Press because of my discount. I don't think the discount on the vinyl makes it worth while. Thanks for your post. Are you saying, if I use a household iron, I don't need anything on top of the clear covering that is over the vinyl? My images are going to be quite small (max 4" x 4"), so I am wondering if I can use my iron or if I need to get an easy press.

    1. You do need to use a press cloth between an iron and the clear carrier on heat transfer vinyl - you don't need one with the Easy Press. I was actually doing a new HTV project yesterday (which will be up soon for Valentine's Day) and thinking about this post. If you think you'll be doing these sorts of projects more than just a couple of times a year, I'd recommend getting an Easy Press. It fuses a lot better because the heat is more even and controllable. The things I've made with mine have been washed and worn loads and none have peeled off. Even a few that were accidentally thrown in the dryer! They now offer several sizes of Easy Press at different price points, but the 9x9 does most everything needed. If you can get one with a discount, I'd say go for it!

  8. Happy Crafters gives a 15% military and teachers discount, which makes it extra awesome, because my husband is retired military. That's more than Cricut Access will save me on materials!

    1. That's why it's my go-to place for HTV - they have the best prices, quality & selection. Hands down.


Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)


Related Posts with Thumbnails