Cricut Easy Press vs Heat press is a commonly asked question.
With Christmas around the corner (see our significant others ideas post!) you may be deciding on what kind of press you want to put on your Christmas list, either that or maybe you’re just looking for the best investment right now to start working on heat transfer vinyl, HTV, products.
Let’s take a look at the differentiators between the Cricut Easy Press vs heat press.
Cricut Easy Press – $149
The Easy Press is a 9″ by 9″ square device. It is designed with a special heating element that even distributes heat across the non-stick heat plate. Pitched somewhere between an iron and or heat press replacement the Easy Press offers a number of advantages over both!
Irons are not designed for even, controlled temperature distribution needed for applying heat transfer vinyl. See the image below from Cricut that shows the distribution of heat across both an iron and Easy Press.
The Easy Press comes with a heat protective stand allowing you to store your press while working without damaging your work surface. The Easy Press comes to temperature faster than a regular heat press and the temperature can be controlled via the digital controls on top of the device.
Heat Transfer Vinyl, HTV, is known to require pressure as well as heat to adhere the vinyl to the target garment/surface. To this end the Cricut Easy Press has a large plastic handle on top of the device enabling you to push down on the unit to apply sufficient pressure to adhere the vinyl to the surface. It has been raised many times as a concern that the Easy Press cannot apply sufficient pressure to successfully bond HTV to items but Cricut maintains that only some pressure is required to achieve a good long lasting result.
Cricut Pros like Lorrie Nunemaker here are running long-standing wash tests (up to 52 washes last count!) and their Easy Pressed heat transfer vinyl, both Siser and Cricut products See here for the Facebook post and video here
Others have reported mixed results with peeling designs and missing letters after washing so there seems to be mixed feedback on the usage. It’s very common for peeling to occur with people using irons, less commonly reported with people who use presses though – but not unheard of!
Cricut offers an iron-on protective sheet for use with the Easy Press for just $6.99, this goes between your item and the heat plate to protect and also help provide even heat distribution.
This is the same as the teflon sheets commonly used by heat press users.
The Easy Press is available directly from the Cricut store or if you’re a Prime member you can grab it via Amazon, Walmart also has it available for pickup or mail order too!
Heat Press – from $159
We’ve covered the multitude of press choices here in Heat Press 101 and have some awesome recommendations here for best Clamshell heat press – we’ll only compare here the clamshells as the closest functionally to the Cricut Easy Press vs multifunction presses that can be used for other items like cups, hats, plates and more.
15″x15″ USCutter Digital Heat Press Machine, T-Shirts, Vinyl, Non Stick Sheet (STARTER BUNDLE)
Includes: Digital Heat Press, 2 Tshirts, 5 Sheets Siser EasyWeed Vinyl, Non-stick Sheet
Large Digital LCD Display - Preset desired time and temperature control for precise operation
Heavy Duty - stable and supported by rigid steel frame which is built to last
Fancierstudio DG HEAT PRESS Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press,15-by-15-Inch – Black
Teflon Coated Heat Platen Brand new
Voltage:110V Power:1800 W
Electronic time and Heat control: precise time set-up
Fancierstudio Power Heat press Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press Rhinestone Heat Press T-Shirt Heat Press 15×15 B/BLK
Brand new 15-by-15-inch heat press sheet included
Voltage: 110 volts; Power: 1800 watts
Temperature Range: 0-699 degrees F; Time Range:0-999 s
3 Pack Teflon Sheet For 16×20 Heat Press Transfer Sheet SUPER SALE LIMITED TIME
Perfect for Heat Presses
Superior American Quality
Shipped in Mailing Tube
Cricut Easy Press vs Heat Press
Easy Press Pros
- Faster to heat up
- Compact design
- Portability and storage
- Auto heat shutoff
- Cricut customer support
- User Manual
Easy Press Cons
- Pressure applied is inconsistent, uneven
- Requires a hard surface able to be pressed on with some pressure
- Inconsistent feedback with regards to peeling, good adhesion
- Small 9″ x 9″ heat plate – larger designs require multiple pressings
Heat Press Pros
- Heavy duty design, longevity
- Pressure applied is consistent and even across item
- Does not require human intervention to apply pressure
- Larger heat plate 15″x15″ or larger catering for bigger designs without pressing multiple areas
- For larger jobs less intervention required in the process, Close press, timer alerts when to open again
Heat Press Cons
- Slightly more expensive
- Returns shipping outside of warranty expensive due to size/weight
- Size & weight, heat presses are not portable and require dedicated space
- Cheapest heat presses can be unreliable, go with reviewed products, warranty options
- User manuals scarce, not very detailed
- Support limited or non-existent depending on vendor
Conclusion – Cricut Easy Press vs Heat Press
Both are great options!
The deciding factors have to be simply:
- Your environment – what do you have room for, portability/storage
- Your usage – personal, limited use vs regular use
- client orders
- multiples of items
- size of designs
- Longevity of your work – mixed reviews and returns of Easy Presses due to adhesion issues