The Cricut Mug Press (available from Cricut) is a fantastic little gadget that promises to take your mug transfer creations from amateur to elite professionalism.
In this review, we’ll be covering all you need to know about the Mug Press, including:
- What can the Cricut Mug Press do?
- Is it safe to use?
- What are the pros?
- What are the cons?
- How does it work?
- Is the Cricut Mug Press worth the money?
Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of whether the Cricut Mug Press is a worthy addition to your craft room — or not.
Let’s get straight into it.
What is the Cricut Mug Press?
The Cricut Mug Press does exactly what it says on the tin — it presses your transfer designs onto blank mugs.
This isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept — mug presses have been around for ages — but as always with Cricut, their product is designed to fit seamlessly in with the rest of the Cricut suite of machines and systems.
And they’ve really worked hard to deliver on 3 key concepts:
- Professional results
- Machine safety
- Ease of use
Many of the ‘normal’ mug presses on the market — particularly the cheaper ones — skip out on at least one of those concepts.
How Does it Work?
As we’ve said, ease of use is a big draw of the Cricut Mug Press and if you are already well acquainted with the Cricut cutting machines and heat transfer more generally, you’ll be able to pick it up in no time at all.
There are 3 steps:
First up, is the design phase which you’ll execute in the Cricut Design Space software with your cutting machine. You could create the design yourself, use a template within Design Space or even import an SVG that you’ve found elsewhere.
Once you’ve done that, your design will be ready to cut and you’ll need to use Infusible Ink transfer materials to do so. You can’t use normal vinyl.
That’s because normal vinyl simply sits on top of the mug once it’s pressed on. Infusible Ink, on the other hand, fuses with the mug during the pressing process, leading to much more professional-looking and longer-lasting transfers.
Next up comes the attachment phase which is simply when you put the cut-out design onto the mug. Peel off the backing of the cut Infusible Ink and then carefully place it exactly where you want it transferred.
Now you’ll need to turn on the Mug Press and insert said mug. Press the button to start the transfer and when it beeps, it’s all done.
Here’s a quick little video on how to use it:
Cricut Mug Press Features
What are the Pros and Cons?
The number one selling point of the Cricut Mug Press is just how damn good it is.
If you’re looking for professional quality vinyl mug transfers, this is the product you need. For any small business owners selling mugs like this, you’re missing a trick if you’re not using the Cricut Mug Press.
High quality materials and even heating make for very accurate results.
Plus, the fact that you can depend on no peeling or fading — even when they’re put in the dishwasher or microwave — is a huge selling point. You’re just not going to have this quality from normal vinyl.
Is it for everyone? Probably not. But if mugs are your thing, this specialist piece of equipment should very much be on your radar.
Another way the Mug Press knocks it out of the park is by how easy it is to use.
It fits seamlessly with the rest of the Cricut products so if you’re already au fait with Design Space and the whole method of vinyl transfers, you’re going to find this a really easy add-on.
Even the machine itself is designed for ultimate ease of use.
You simply need to press one button to start the transfer press and that’s it. An LED bar indicates progress, so you can see if you’ve got time to grab a coffee, and there’s a beeping noise to notify you once it’s complete.
If you’re new to Cricut and have only bought into the brand because of the Mug Press, there’ll likely be a small learning curve as you get to grips with the software and the cutting and Infusible Ink systems. But the Mug Press itself will cause no problems.
Just as important as the two points above is the inherent safety of the Cricut Mug Press.
On more than one occasion with other unbranded mug presses, we’ve absent mindedly touched the surface only to burn fingertips, and even almost melted workspaces after leaving the press on and forgetting about it.
Thankfully this isn’t an issue with the Cricut Mug Press.
Firstly, there’s an automatic shut-off after 13 minutes of inactivity so you’re not going to forget to turn it off, go out for the day and come back home to a catastrophe.
Secondly, the case exterior of the Mug Press is fully insulated so you’ll be able to use it on a desk or table without worry.
We’d always recommend fully supervising children using any sort of electronic crafting equipment like this, but this particular product does offer a little more peace of mind when it comes to safety and allowing children to take part.
Maybe not quite as pressing an issue as the other pros on this list, but we’re pleased to report that the Cricut Mug Press is a good looking piece of equipment!
It fully complements the rest of the Cricut suite of products and will fit in nicely in your craft room.
The footprint is reasonably small — especially compared to other mug presses of this quality on the market — and it can be easily stored away if you don’t have the room for it to be out when not in use.
On this point, make sure that you use it in a well ventilated room to keep any heating fumes to a minimum.
We initially assumed that the Mug Press would only work with the Cricut Maker cutter due to its advanced capabilities, but it will also work with the Cricut Joy and the Explore Air 2 as well.
That’s all the current cutting machines that Cricut have on the market.
Both of our negatives regarding the Cricut Mug Press — which we think is a very good machine — revolve around its positioning and cost within the Cricut universe, if you will.
Much like Apple with their products, you essentially need to buy into all (or, at least, most) of the Cricut products in order to use the Mug Press.
Firstly, you’ll need a Cricut cutting machine in order to design and cut your transfer, which must be done with Cricut Infusible Ink materials, before you can use the Mug Press. Even the mug you use should be a Cricut Mug Blank for the guaranteed best results 🤷🏻♀️
It’s easy to see how people end up with craft spaces that look as though they’re advertisements for Cricut. Good business sense, but possibly something for crafters to think about if they prefer using other companies or other products.
Following on from that point, is the fact that the Cricut Mug Press is certainly on the more expensive side of things when it comes to domestic mug presses.
Cricut are selling it for $199.99.
Let’s be clear, there’s a lot going for this little machine and like we said earlier, we think it’s a more than worthy investment if you make a lot of mugs and definitely if you’re running a mug craft business.
The occasional crafter, on the other hand, may find this a little out of reach for what is essentially a really cool add-on.
Having said that, we’ve found that we’re making lots more mugs now we’ve got the Mug Press — that’s really a testament to how easy it is to use and the quality of the results.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that it’ll be too expensive for some people. It’s certainly not for everyone — and as a specialist piece of kit, probably wasn’t ever meant to be!
Is the Cricut Mug Press Worth it?
So, the real question then, is: is the Cricut Mug Press worth it?
We’d argue, yes — in some circumstances:
- You’re looking for a mug press
- You already spend time making mugs and want to make them better
- You’re selling (or intending to sell) mugs and want the best quality for your customers
It ticks the three major boxes of professional results, ease of use, and safety features.
Add on to that the fact it looks good and fits in seamlessly to the rest of the Cricut products, and you’ve got a real winner.
Let’s be clear though that the Cricut Mug Press is just an add-on, and will be a wish-list product for many rather than an essential. It is expensive compared to much of the rest of the market and does require you to buy into other Cricut products rather than being a true stand-alone.
Where to Buy the Cricut Mug Press
The Mug Press can be bought direct from Cricut.Check Today’s Price on Cricut Mug Press Check Out Cricut Mug Press Bundles
Wondering what the best vinyl cutter for your needs is? Be sure to check out our Reviews section for detailed analysis of ALL the top-selling die cutters.