From A-Z, Everything You Need To Know
As a fellow crafter and artsy person, do you love to create?
Do you like to be able to create custom T-shirts, bags, garments, and unique accessories in the comfort of your home?
The growing trend of iron-on transfers spreads quickly and this craft became popular among people because it is entertaining, engaging and allows them to be creative.
While this trend is excellent for companies with logos, it is also a great way to start a home business or make gifts remarkable and unique.
Once somebody engages in this craft and learns the ropes, they will have to face a wide array of options on the market regarding the gadget suitable to them.
Today I’ll be reviewing Cricut Easy Press - an option that stands in the middle of professional heat presses and a standard iron. Cricut is a brand that offers a large assortment of devices and accessories for home-craft artists, including die-cutting machines, iron-on presses, and custom-design machine makers.
Easy Press is designed to provide an easier alternative to the professional iron-on business at one’s household, and at first glance, the manufacturers succeeded in their intentions.
However, to tell if that is really the case, I’ll examine its characteristics and inspect the quality of results you can get.
Cricut Easy Press Grades Table
Here you’ll find a quick-skim table which summarizes every aspect of this handy machine and tells you my precise opinion about it at a glance.
|Cricut Easy Press Review|
|Value for money||4.5/5|
Still, simple grades & numbers can’t explain how the machine works and feels, and reasons behind the grades. That’s where my detailed review comes in. Read on!
What’s Inside The Box?
- Cricut Easy Press gadget
- Safety base that goes underneath the press, to isolate the heat and protect the product from damage
- A welcome booklet that admirably addresses you as a future iron-on pro
- Quick reference chart that will help you choose the right setting for your needs
- Practice project materials and short instructions - a piece of fabric and a vinyl sticker
- A warranty card
- 9 x 9 inches base (22.8 cm x 22.8 cm)
- 9 x 9 inches ceramic heat plate
Weight: 9.58 pounds (4.3 kg)
Temperature of the plate: up to 350 F (180 C)
Iron-on time: <60 seconds
Maximum input: 120 V
Auto turn off feature
- Vinyl (holographic, glitter, patterned, pre-cut)
Cricut Easy Press Put into Practice
Now that I’ve covered all the technical details, let’s see what they actually mean and how Cricut Easy Press performs in real life.
When it comes to size and weight, it doesn’t take up much space (especially if you compare it to the standard heat press) and is pretty lightweight, which makes it portable and convenient..
Before the actual process of adhering your application to the material, the instructions advise you to position the gadget on a firm and flat heat-resistant surface.
For this purpose, they designed Cricut Easy Press Mat which is, unfortunately, sold separately.
However, any kind of firm foundation will do. So, you first position the base on the chosen surface and you’re ready to go.
Heating up & start
Next, you should consult the quick reference chart to determine what are the settings that you need and set it up.
Thanks to the digital system, this is a piece of cake:
- Turn it on,
- Adjust the temperature with + and - buttons (you can even switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius degrees for your convenience),
- Adjust the timer (this one is just in seconds) and the green light and a beep sound will signal that you’re ready to go.
It takes only around 60 seconds to heat up (in contrast to 15-20 minutes of the standard heating press). The temperature that most vinyl stickers require for the transfer is between 310 and 350 F (154 and 180 C), so 350 F provided from this press will be appropriate.
The important thing is that the heat plate heats evenly (you want this to be the case so that the whole vinyl is transferred successfully).
The preparation is really quick and easy; no problems there. The digital controls and the countdown timer are reliable and straightforward.
Pressing with Cricut Easy Press
Now comes the part that can be a little problematic: you should place the press on the material you want to be ironed-on, press it with the machine and hold it for 10-15 seconds still, applying gentle pressure. The handle that I mentioned comes in handy here, to grip and put your body weight on.
The pressure you will have to put is noticeably lower than with a standard iron, of course. There is enough space for you to grab it with both hands. An important piece of advice here is that you don’t move the press once you positioned it on the material, or it will result in uneven parts of your sticker.
A little problem that sometimes occurs is that the recommended settings don’t turn out accurate. If your vinyl sheet does not peel off smoothly, or if you’re not satisfied with the quality, you should use a higher temperature and apply more pressure, not just gentle as the manufacturers describe it.
For instance, the manual says that you should set the press to 305 F and 30 seconds for cotton. Using this temperature for the designated time, the vinyl didn’t adhere completely for me, I had to press it at least three times. I turned it up to 330 F instead and the results turned out satisfactory.
Once you get the hang of the temperature and the pressing force, you can say that you mastered crafting with this machine. So, this flaw has its solution, but it will be a minus when I present the once-over.
Pressing Experience & Techniques
I’ve researched online about people’s experiences with the press as well, and some customers were also dissatisfied with the size of the plate (9’’ x 9’’), which means that the images cannot be larger than that, but I don’t consider this to be a great flaw. This size is quite enough for a nice image on a T-shirt or a custom notebook design.
Also, there are techniques that you can use to adhere larger images to the material with a little bit of skill: mostly by just repeating the whole process on the bigger surface a couple of times, for each part of the image.
Quality of End Results
Last but not least, projects made with Cricut Easy Press will last, wash after wash. One thing you don’t want to happen with ironed-on projects is that your image starts peeling up after a few washes - here it won’t be the case. I have tried it on T-shirts, carryall bags, notebooks, and even hand towels, and the designs stick, at least for these three weeks I’m using them.
Additional Features & Enhancements
After we’ve considered the performance of this machine, let’s take a look at the additional features.
The auto-shutoff feature is a big and important feature since it will turn off the heat after being idle for 10 minutes. That is not only bad for your electricity bill, but also extremely dangerous. With the auto-shutoff feature and the safety base which protects the plate, your experience with the Cricut Easy Press will be 100% safe.
Cricut Easy Press works well with a broad set of both base and iron-on materials.
The former consists of:
- Regular vinyl stickers,
- Holographic stickers
The base material can be:
The diversity of options is definitely a plus and adds to the things that make this device a worthwhile purchase.
With Cricut Easy Press purchase, you get the essentials that will get you going with your craft. But to utilize its full potential, you should consider different add-ons, available on the market.
If you’re serious about progressing with this press, the first investment I suggest that you make is the silicone pressing mat. The mat fits the size of the gadget and it protects your press and the surface on which you put it from moisture and heat thanks to the curved edges, silicone foam, and foil membrane. It will also serve you for potential sewing projects or regular ironing.
Cricut Easy Press Beginner Weeding Kit includes this mat, along with a pair of tweezers (fine and hook) for operating with accuracy and precision, a piercing tool, a weeder and hook weeder, three sheets for layering designs (12 x 12 inches) in three variants: black, gold and silver.
Cricut online customer support is effective, and with this kit, you get an e-book with detailed and easy digital instructions, called “Getting Started Guide” with detailed and easy instructions.
Another interesting kit is Cricut Tools Bundle Vinyl and Pens Pack.
Here you get 4 glitter heat iron-on transfer sheets (10 x 12 inches) in various glittery colors, 8 sheets of regular vinyl, and 2 sheets of transfer paper.
Furthermore, there’s a digital guide with tutorials for every 12 vinyl designs and an e-book, a set of tweezers, a Cricut-branded spatula which lets you precisely lift the stickers from the cutting mat and Cricut-branded scissors to cut your materials - that is the “vinyl” part of the pack.
As for the “pen” part, you get a pen set with Cricut Explore Fine Point Pens in creatively named colors:
- very berry
- candy crystal
- candy corn
- sour apple
These are basically variations of primary colors, and they look really cute.
If you want to take your production to the next level, you can even consider buying another supply that pairs up with this one, Cricut Printable Vinyl stickers. It will stimulate your creative abilities even further by creating your own custom-made vinyl stickers.
C’mon - you have to admit that the possibility to iron-on any image that you want is very appealing!
Let’s recap the positive and negative things about Cricut Easy Press. Of course, these are relative, so consider them according to your personal preference. By my opinion here they are, as follows:
- Easy to store
- Easy to use
- Quick heat up
- Good price
- Maneuverable handle
- Detailed instructions
- A long list of supported materials
- Great customer support
- Safety measures
- Lasting results
- Smaller surface size
- Sometimes the vinyl won’t stick due to temperature or too light pressure
- Weaker performance around the seams
- Suitable for personal craft, but not mass production
- No special features
- No pad for support
Cricut Easy Press Review - My Final Thoughts
All things considered, my in-depth Cricut Easy Press review shows that it is a reasonable purchase. Its greatest strengths lie in its compatibility and ease of use, which makes it suitable for DIY handcraft. The heat plate heats up evenly, unlike with the standard iron, and it does not have holes that irons have, which makes the transfer more streamlined and efficient.
The decorative transfers can be ironed on in no time with this tool, and what is more important - the transfer is durable. Once the label or image becomes one with the material, it’ll be resistant to wash and won’t peel off.
The press performed well with a range of materials, which offers vast possibilities for creation. These advantages, coupled with safety features that will help you avert any possible accidents earned Cricut Easy Press an A-.
What you won’t get is a pad to place your gadget on when working, so you will either improvise with that or invest in buying one. Applications larger than the surface will require some skills so that the whole image successfully adheres, but this is not a major drawback.
With a wide spectrum of accessories sold separately, this machine seems to offer high quality and prosperous projects in the long run.
Cricut Easy Press will perform faster and more effective than the standard iron, though it is less professional than the massive heat press. So, if you’re looking for a gadget for your hobby or to start a small home design business, not something for the commercial trade, Cricut Easy Press is a great selection.