Cricut EasyPress 2
Iron-on and heat transfer vinyl methods are hands-down the most dynamic ways to personalize your stuff and gifts. But whether you’re sprucing up your fun new t-shirt or adding oomph to your tote bag, a user-friendly heat-press would be of great benefit. And that’s pretty much what the Cricut EasyPress 2 seems to be all about. This little, cute-looking tool promises nothing but awesome quality if word on the street is anything to go by. But what exactly should one expect from it? The following review reveals the good, bad and ugly sides of this relatively popular invention.
About The Cricut EasyPress 2 Device
This is a compact and seemingly user-friendly device that’s meant to replace the conventional heat press machine. And don’t let its small size fool you, this gadget can heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit thereby providing you with the flexibility to work with different kinds of materials and fabrics.
Further, the machine comes with 6 buttons through which you can control everything that you’d like to get done. The first button is the power button which, obviously, you’ll need to switch on to get the machine on standby.
The second button is the temperature button which you’ll simply use to adjust the temperature at which you want to work with. Not sure which kind of temperature is right for your material or vinyl type? Worry not, Cricut provides you with a Quick Reference Chart for that.
So, all you’ll need to do is adjust the temperature using the recommendations made on the chart. And this way, you’ll avoid having either too much or too little heat for your project.
Then there is the timer button. Of course, this is the button you’ll need to use to determine how long you want the heat press to last.
You’ll also find the +/- buttons. These two are no brainer. Simply use the + or – to adjust the temperature and timer settings either upward or downward. Of course, you’ll need to press on either of the buttons repeatedly until the desired unit appears on the intuitive user-interface (the LED screen).
Lastly, there is a button labeled with the Cricut Logo (C). This is an interactive button that guides you on the mode that the machine is in. It alerts you on when the machine is ready for use and pretty much helps you know what’s going on behind the scenes.
Now that we have a rough idea what this machine looks like and how it’s operated, let us take an even closer look at its specific features.
The EasyPress comes in 3 different sizes i.e. 6-in x 7-in, 9-in x 9-in and 12-in x 10-in. We happen to think that the 6×7 one is rather too small unless you are dealing with extremely small projects.
The 9×9 is a bit better and can handle most tasks although you’d require multiple sessions to heat-press an average-sized t-shirt with it.
The 12×10 one is awesome and covers large surfaces in one go. On the flipside, though, it’s quite large and may not be the best choice for anyone who travels every now and then and needs to take their craft tools with them.
As we have already mentioned, the machine comes with 6 buttons. The buttons are well-designed and intuitive. And in our view, these go a long way in eliminating the frustrating guesswork that’s typical of the vague dials.
Want to set the right temperature for your project? Just press the temperature button and then the +/- button until you achieve the desired temperature. The same rule applies for the timer settings. Easy-peasy, right?
*Safety Base & Auto-Off Features
Safety is of great importance as far as heat-press machines go. And on that note, we’re glad to report that the Cricut guys who designed this particular tool seem to have taken your safety quite seriously.
The machine comes with an Auto-Off feature which goes a long way in preventing accidents. It’s also a good feature for your peace of mind. Whatever the situation, you can rest assured that this machine will automatically turn itself off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
Yet another feature that makes this tool quite wonderful is that insulated Safety Base. This adds an extra layer of safety when the machine is not in use.
But even with that said, you need to be careful when using the heat-press itself. Be careful not to use it directly on your work-surface else it might easily damage it.
*Great Heat Plate Design
Unlike a typical heat-press, this one is uniquely designed such that it heats up evenly, throughout its surface. It actually has an element that runs across the entire rear side of the plate.
And the best part is that it comes with two heating elements instead of one. This allows for edge-to-edge heating and a flawless transfer of heat.
Further to that, the Easy Press 2 boasts a ceramic-coated surface. Not only is it long-lasting but also easy to maintain, handy, and highly powerful as a medium of heat transfer.
*The EasyPress Safety Mats
Operating a heat-press machine is not always easy and, therefore, for extra comfort and convenience, Cricut provides you with some well-made, five-layered mats. The good thing with these mats is that they offer moisture-wicking insulation – a perfect environment for iron-on projects.
Cricut EasyPress Cost
As we have already mentioned, this device is available in three different sizes. The tiniest of them all, the 6-in x 7-in normally retails at $160.
The slightly larger one, the 9-in x 9-in goes for $210. While the largest of them all, the 12-in x 10-in 12-in x 10-in retails for $280.
Please note that you’d need to purchase the mat and tote bags separately. Yikes! We initially thought that these two were included in the machine’s cost but that’s not the case.
A 6×7 tote goes for 50, a 9×9 one goes for $60 while a 12×10 goes for $70. As for the mats, the 6×7 machine requires an 8-in x 10-in mat which will require you to fork out some $18. The 9×9 works best with a 12-in x 12-in mat which goes for $25. Lastly, 12×10 requires a 20-in x 16-in which goes for $50.
Fortunately, the tote-bag and the mat, though essential are optional. So, you can choose to forego them if you’re on a really tight budget.
How It Works
Of course, the first step is to connect it to a source of power. Then once ready, you can press the power button and give the machine a few seconds to warm up. You’ll be able to know once the device is ready for use as the mode button will turn from orange to green.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to set the correct temperature for your vinyl material and fabric. Then before you activate the device, place your fabric on your work surface, iron it gently. This will help clear any moisture in the fabric and ensure that you get better results.
Finally, place your vinyl with the artwork against the material you’d like to customize. At this point, you can place the device gently against the material and then once comfortable press the C button.
The timer will activate and a beep sound will come out once the process is done. Take out the heat press and leave material to cool down for a few seconds before removing the vinyl.
This should leave the artwork imprinted on your preferred fabric just as you’d have wanted. Note that, you can always use multiple heat-press sessions per project especially if you’re using the tiny Easy Press 2 but need to work on a large surface area.
Note: Most people usually forget to press the C button to initiate the heat-press process. Unless you press it, the time won’t automate as expected and for sure, the heat-transfer won’t take place.
Benefits of the This Machine
As tiny and cute as this machine may look, it actually packs some huge benefits. Some of these include:
One of the toughest challenges to using a typical heat transfer device is knowing exactly what temperature it should reach. What’s more? Usually, adjusting that temperature can be quite a crazy guessing game.
That’s, however, not the case with the Cricut Easy Press 2. You can easily adjust the heat for up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. And to do that you simply need to interact with the digital, LED dashboard via the buttons provided.
(2) Interactive Features
It’s one thing to have great features but another one altogether to know exactly how to interact with them. The problem with that is that it leaves you the user to survive on guess-work which can be quite risky especially when heat-pressing is concerned.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 tackles that issue quite well by providing you with some interactive features. The LED dashboard itself lights up brightly drawing your attention to the exact settings the machine is set on.
Then there is the C button on the right-hand side of the machine which changes colors depending on the mode the machine is on.
On top of that, this device produces a beep to alert you when it’s ready or when a pressing session is complete. So, if convenience is your craving, the EasyPress would, for sure, be a great tool to have around.
(3) Light in Weight & Compact
This is probably the hugest benefit that only this Cricut Heat Press can offer. To begin with, it comes with a handy, easy-grip handle at its top. You can use this handle to conveniently carry the machine wherever you go or to simply lift it from the Safety Base.
And if you’d like, you can still use this grippy handle to apply a bit of pressure to the machine as you press the material beneath it.
On top of that, the entire machine is nice and little. You can easily slide it into a tote bag and take it with you wherever your crafting passion takes you.
Yet another benefit arising from its compact design is that it is generally easy to store. And so whether you live in a tiny studio apartment or going out for a weekend in an RV, you can always rest assured to find some storage space for this little jewel.
(4) Great Results
This machine is hyped up for its ability to create designs that can last through multiple washes. Of course, only time will tell how true this analogy is but so far, the machine seems to do a great job judging from how well it seals the edges of your designs.
Should this machine live up to the expectations the marketers have set for it, then it will probably be one of the best-valued iron presses for home use. In fact, it will be rivaling for space with the bulky heat presses which as we all know don’t come cheap and are, therefore, set aside for commercial use.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 has its fair share of weaknesses as well. For instance, it’s quite pricey and yet the company doesn’t even seem keen on providing some freebies to the buyers.
Come on! When a buyer coughs out over $150 for a 6×7 we think they deserve a free mat or tote-bag or something. But considering the kind of value this machine is likely to offer, along with the great reputation Cricut has created, it’s still reasonable to fork out a few dollars for it.
Who Is The EasyPress Best Suited For?
If you’re thinking of going fully commercial and handling hundreds of t-shirts per day, then you’re better off going for a bulk heat press. However, if yours is a small scale entity handling tens of shirts per day (or less) and convenience matters to you, the Cricut might be a suitable alternative.
It is certainly a lot better than your household iron box and also quite superior compared to other similar and cheaper machines on the markets.
If you have gone through this entire Cricut EasyPress 2 review, chances are that you’ll agree with me that this is a well-made machine. It can handle a wide range of tasks and fabrics. Most importantly, it’s compact and easy to store.
In our view, the Easy Press 2 clearly punches above its weight. And that’s a good thing for anyone looking for good value for money.