Heat press is one of the best tools any crafter can own. Choosing the right heat press for your crafting projects is a big decision. From this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the Cricut EasyPress 2, so keep reading if you want to find out how suitable this heat press is for your crafting needs. Cricut EasyPress, general overview.
If you have just found out about the Cricut brand, you may not even be familiar with the EasyPress machine. The EasyPress is the device that enables you to transfer your HTV (heat transfer vinyl) or your iron-on designs onto the surface of your choice.
Iron-on material is a specific type of material that you need to press and heat to be able to transfer it onto another surface. It is frequently used to customize metal, wood, paper, T-shirts, and more. This sounds way simpler than it actually is. The application of heat onto your iron-on material needs to be done in a specific way; otherwise, you might ruin your crafting project and end up frustrated. The main problem is that you need to take what type of surface it is into consideration since each one has different temperature needs. The EasyPress device allows you to control the temperature so that you get the desired result every single time. All you need to do is follow the instructions, and you will produce a beautiful custom garment or transfer the design onto another surface of your choice.
So now you know that the EasyPress machine enables you to transfer your vinyl designs onto another surface quickly and painlessly.
EasyPress versus EasyPress 2.
Until today only two versions of the EasyPress machine have been released by Cricut. Below you can see the rundown of the main features of these two machines.
Let’s start with the original EasyPress.
The size of the machine is 9 x 9 inches; the color is turquoise; the maximum possible temperature is 350°F (with a margin of error of +/-9°F.) The heat plate is thinner, and it heats up relatively fast; however, it doesn’t have a USB port, it cannot remember the last temperature setting, and you cannot use it for sublimation.
As for the EasyPress 2, It comes in three different sizes (6 x 7″, 9 x 9″, and 12 x 10″), the color is raspberry, and it can reach the maximum temperature of 400°F (with the variance of +/- 5°F.) The heat plate is relatively thicker than the one on the original EasyPress; however, that thickness doesn’t hold it back. In fact, it heats up 25% faster. The machine has a USB port, it can remember the last temperature setting, and you can use it for sublimation.
Now, if you have the original EasyPress machine, you may feel like you have been left out after reading the rundown of these features; however, the original machine will do just fine if you are using it to transfer regular HTV or iron-on material.
If you are interested in prices, there are two ways to find out what they are. The original EasyPress machine is no longer available on Cricut’s website; however, you can still check the prices on Amazon. As for EasyPress 2, it is available both on Cricut’s website and on Amazon.
EasyPress 2, main features.
Now let’s discuss EasyPress 2 in more detail and see what its characteristics are and what it is capable of.
Color and size.
As we have already mentioned, it comes in a raspberry color and in three different sizes. This variety of sizes allows you to pick the machine, which is most appropriate for your crafting needs and can be transported with ease if needed. The size of the machine you need to purchase also depends on the type of material you are planning to be working with.
The smallest machine (6 x 6 “) is perfect for small projects. You can transfer vinyl designs onto bibs, baby clothes, cosmetics bags, and so on. The medium size machine (9 x 9 “) is perfect for medium-size projects such as medium T-shirts and for transferring designs onto wood and metal surfaces (among others). The largest size available is 12 x 10 “, and you can use this machine for transferring designs onto hoodies, large T-shirts, and creating large projects in general. However, if you are not a professional crafter, the medium size will do just fine; it will not break the bank, and it will also not take up a lot of space in your apartment.
The price of the medium size machine is the most reasonable one, compared to the price of the other two machines. Some professional crafters usually buy all three of them to use for different types of projects. But amateurs should make a purchase depending on the surfaces they will be working with most often.
Maximum temperature and temperature variance.
Compared to the first EasyPress device, the temperature on the EasyPress 2 has a margin of error of only +/- 5°F, which makes it much more reliable with different types of materials. The maximum possible temperature, as we have already said, is 400°F, which means that there are more possibilities to use printable iron-on materials, and even use the device for sublimation.
USB port and firmware.
The machine has a USB port, which enables you to do more with it; however, it is the firmware that is one of the most impressive features on EasyPress 2 (due to its vast capabilities). Cricut is constantly on the lookout for errors, and it is always trying to make the machine more efficient with updates.
How fast does the EasyPress 2 heat up?
The EasyPress 2 heats up extremely quickly. The smallest model can heat up in about a minute, the medium-size model needs around two minutes to heat up fully, and the largest press will take approximately three minutes.
EasyPress 2 has a thicker heat plate.
The EasyPress 2 can reach a much higher temperature than the previous model thanks to its thicker heat plate, which is coated with ceramic material and, in general, well-designed.
Safety base is a must when it comes to heat press machines, and compared to its counterparts, EasyPress 2 is safer to use overall. One impressive feature is that if you haven’t used the device for 10 minutes, it will shut off automatically.
It is a user-friendly device.
Most electronic devices you purchase come with a thick manual of instructions you need to be referring to constantly to figure out how the machine works. But with EasyPress 2, all you need is your intuition; after using it once, you will be the master of your craft. Cricut infusible ink.
With this device, you can also use infusible Cricut ink because this ink requires a temperature of 400°F for ideal transfer.
An ordinary iron versus EasyPress 2.
You might ask, “why can’t I use a regular iron to transfer the designs?” Well, a regular iron doesn’t distribute the heat evenly, which means that your design will not transfer evenly onto the surface and may overheat (and thus be destroyed) in some parts. This irregular heating is due to the fact that most irons have little holes in them for steaming clothes. Although these holes are handy when you’re ironing actual clothes, they are a nightmare if you’re trying to transfer your vinyl onto a piece of cloth.
And as if not warming up evenly wasn’t enough, the regular iron also doesn’t heat up to the desired temperature.
One more issue is that there are many different types of HTV and iron-on materials that require a specific temperature for transfer. This temperature is very difficult to regulate on a regular iron, so if you choose to transfer your designs this way, you will not have a 100% success rate. Long story short, the irons are designed to take the wrinkles and creases out of your clothes, not for pressing vinyl. If you are a beginner and you just want to transfer designs onto a couple of T-shirts, then sure go ahead and use the iron; however, if you are planning to customize dozens of garments, then saving money on the EasyPress 2 machine will end up costing you more in the end due to the accumulated cost of ruined materials.
Commercial heat press versus EasyPress 2.
If you are still unclear about what a heat press is, allow me to clarify. A heat press is a large machine that is ordinarily used in a business setting, and it allows you to transfer designs onto plates, mugs, T-shirts, etc.
There are a lot of videos online with people comparing a heat press machine to the EasyPress 2. Below you can read the main points presented in these videos.
If you are planning to have a T-shirt business, then the commercial heat press is the way to go. You can also use the heat press adapters to print on plates and mugs.
Although EasyPress 2 helps you create professional-looking designs, you are limited to flat surfaces, which is not a problem for a heat press.
A heat press can take anywhere between 7 to 18 minutes to heat up fully, whereas the EasyPress 2 only takes one to three minutes (depending on the size).
A heat press is not as user-friendly as EasyPress 2, and it involves a significant learning curve.
Although heat press can reach 500°F, it is significantly larger in size, not at all easy to store, and can be quite dangerous if you don’t take necessary precautions.
To conclude, a heat press is ideal for small business owners who are planning to make a living by selling customized products; however, for those who simply love doing craft projects, EasyPress 2 is the best solution.
The materials you can use with EasyPress 2.
There are many different materials you can use with this machine; however, there is one thing you need to keep in mind, and this is the difference between the base materials (the materials onto which you transfer the design) and iron-on materials (the ones you transfer onto a surface).
Different iron-on and base material combinations require different settings. In addition to the temperature, you will also have to adjust the firmness of the pressure. And in some instances, certain iron-on materials are not recommended for certain surfaces.
First project tutorial.
If you have already purchased this machine, but you have not had the opportunity to use it yet, then this tutorial is for you.
One of the best things about Cricut is that the first project comes with the purchase. It doesn’t matter which machine you buy (the Maker, the Explore Air 2, or the EasyPress 2); the first project is included with each purchase.
So without further ado, let’s check out the project.
The box includes all materials that are necessary for this project (glitter vinyl, a cloth storage bag, and of course, the EasyPress 2 itself).
Plug in your device and set the temperature to 290°F. You can adjust the temperature by tapping on the plus or minus signs of the temperature button. Your timer should be set on 30 (to do this, make necessary adjustments by tapping on the plus or minus signs of the time button.)
Once your device reaches the desired temperature, it will start beeping. Press the device onto the cloth bag for approximately five seconds to get rid of any wrinkles and to prepare a smooth surface for vinyl transfer.
Place your vinyl in the desired position, and make sure the shiny side is up. Take your EasyPress 2 and gently press it onto the vinyl. At the same time, tap on the Cricut button to start the timer.
Next, flip the storage bag over and press it again for approximately 15 seconds. Flip it over again and wait for the design to cool down enough so you can carefully peel the vinyl design cover off.
If for some reason, parts of the vinyl didn’t adhere properly to the storage bag, you can press it one more time.
Final thoughts on EasyPress 2 and a general overview of the pros and cons.
In general, EasyPress 2 is a great device to own, and if you are planning to customize a lot of T-shirts, you should purchase one if your budget allows it.
You can be confident that your project will turn out well every single time.
Creating a project doesn’t require a lot of time, which is perfect since most people nowadays have busy lifestyles.
It enables you to create a project without getting stressed and frustrated and actually enjoy what you are doing.
Cricut provides helpful customer service.
You can find many inspiring tutorials online on how to use this machine to create beautiful projects.
It is super easy to store in even the tiniest of apartments.
It gives you neat results in less than a few minutes, so you don’t have to buy a bulky and expensive commercial heat press for your project to look professional.
What about the negative aspects of the EasyPress 2 machine? Are there even any? Like everything that is man-made, EasyPress 2 also has some less than desirable characteristics, which may be a turn-off for some customers.
Perhaps the biggest con of this machine is the price. If you are just starting your crafting journey and are curious to work with iron-on materials, you may be turned off by the price of this device.
Also, it is not appropriate for long-term commercial use in an environment where you have to press dozens of items on an hourly basis. In this case, you might be better off going with the commercial heat press.