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At the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon conference last week, CEO Ashish Arora introduced the cutting machine we’ve been waiting for: the Cricut Maker.
But that wasn’t the only big announcement.
The Cricut EasyPress was also introduced — and it promises to be the next big thing to hit the heat press industry.
It’s not yet available for sale — but we’ve compiled this introductory guide to the product so you can be prepared when it finally does go on sale.
We know we’re not the only ones excited…
What is the Cricut EasyPress?
We like to think of the EasyPress as the perfect compromise between an iron and a heat press, when it comes to using HTV — heat transfer vinyl — and iron-on vinyl.
While using an iron to transfer your vinyl to fabric is super convenient and cheap, it’s not nearly as effective as using a heat press.
But heat presses are expensive, bulky and can be a pain to bring out and use every time that you’re using HTV.
It’s small and compact like an iron, but efficient and effective like a heat press.
The tagline for the product is, “Iron-on success in 60 seconds or less.”
That sounds like a good deal to us.
Unlike an iron, the EasyPress has precise heating controls and an evenly heated plate — but it’s much safer and smaller than a heat press, which can use burns when not used properly. Not to mention they’re expensive…
And at $149.99 on the Cricut website, it’s also the perfect compromise price between iron and heat press.
How Does the Cricut EasyPress Work?
While we’re yet to get our hands on the EasyPress, the one thing we’ve heard from people in the know is how gosh darn easy it is to use.
That’s automatically a big step up from a normal heat press.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process:
- Turn on the EasyPress
- Determine what material you’re using and find it in the reference chart provided by Cricut
- Adjust the temperature and timer to the settings described in the reference chart
- Allow it to warm to the set temperature
- Once warmed, lift it out of the Safety Base and briefly press it to the fabric you’ll be applying your vinyl to, in order to warm it up
- Put the EasyPress back in the Safety Base
- Position your vinyl on the warmed fabric
- Take the EasyPress back out of the Safety Base and press it down on the vinyl with gentle pressure
- When the beep timer sounds, put it back in the Safety Base
- You’re finished!
No wonder it’s called the EasyPress…
Here’s a good video on how to use the product if you’re more of a visual learner:
Cricut EasyPress Features
Adjustable, Precision Heating
One of the major downsides of using an iron to apply your heat transfer vinyl is the fact that it’s hard to know exactly what temperature it’ll reach, and adjusting that temperature can be a bit of a guessing game.
Not so with the Cricut EasyPress.
The heat is fully adjustable up to 350°F, and the plate will evenly heat to your desired set point.
That means no random hot or cold spots and a consistent hot finish for your design.
There’s nothing worse than accidentally burning half of your design, while the other half still isn’t properly stuck down yet.
Another feature allowing for utmost precision with the EasyPress is the set timer up to 60 seconds.
Once it’s fully counted down, it’ll beep to let you know that it’s time to remove the press.
This is usually a guessing game with HTV, particularly if you’re just using your household iron. It’s nice to be able to work within exact parameters with the EasyPress — for one thing, it cuts down on wasted materials and wasted time!
And if you’re thinking, that’s all well and good but how the hell am I meant to know what temperature and time I need for my material, that’s no problem either — simply consult the included Quick Reference Chart for Cricut’s suggested settings.
Once the beeper’s sounded and you’ve removed the press, remember that you can always put it back on again if the vinyl starts to peel off when you try to take the backing off.
Lightweight with a Handle
Probably the major benefit of going for the EasyPress over a professional heat press (aside from the price difference) is the fact that it’s so maneuverable.
The grip handle on the top of it makes it easy to lift in and out of the Safety Base, as well as to apply consistent gentle pressure.
And while it’s a nicely compact little machine — the heat plate measures just 9″ x 9″, the handle makes it easy to slide the press across larger projects and designs with no problem at all.
Plus, the fact that the handle is on top ensures that hands are kept away from the hot plate — very important when it can reach a top temperature of 350°F! We know that we’re not the only ones to accidentally burn our fingers on a heat press platen.
Compact and Easy to Store
Another benefit that the Cricut EasyPress has over a traditional heat press is that it’s nowhere near as bulky.
The heat plate itself is just 9″ x 9″ and it comes with an awesome Safety Base that makes it perfectly easy to store without accidentally burning a surface.
We think we’ll keep ours either on a shelf or in a desk drawer when we get our hands on one.
Results That Last
One of the most hyped features that the EasyPress is touting is the fact that it’ll ensure your HTV designs last through multiple washes — even the most intricate and layered designs.
Of course, it’s impossible for us to make an accurate judgment on this without properly testing the product first, but if true — this could be a real game changer in the heat press industry.
One of the reasons why many people choose expensive and bulky heat presses over an iron is the fact that they’re much more effective, with transfers still in position even after repeated washes. It can be very difficult to achieve these same results with a normal household iron.
This will be the first thing that we’ll test and report back on when we get ours.
Should I Buy the Cricut EasyPress?
We know that for some of our readers, the EasyPress will be everything they’re waiting for. If you do a lot of work with iron-on vinyl and HTV, this will be a very exciting future purchase for you.
Likewise, other crafters will be able to see that they probably wouldn’t get much mileage out of the product. If you only very occasionally do heat transfer vinyl cutting, you’ll probably choose to stick with an iron.
But there will be plenty of people in between as well.
We’re not sales people. We don’t think you should rush out to buy the Cricut EasyPress if you’re not really going to use it.
If you’re curious about it, we’d recommend waiting until you read a few reviews from ‘normal’ people using the product to see if it’s a good addition to your craft room.
It’s retailing for $149.99 on the Cricut website, which we think is a great deal if you do a lot of heat transfer and iron-on vinyl work. It’s certainly great value compared to most good heat presses. On the other hand, it’s a fairly significant expense compared to an iron…
We’ll be back soon with our balanced review of the product as soon as we have had proper chance to test it out.
Will you be buying the Cricut EasyPress?