EasyPress 2 vs HPN Heat Press

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Today we will be comparing Cricut Easy Press 2 to the Heat Press Nation heat press.  I’ve owned the HPN heat press for a couple of years now and 932 presses later (according to my counter) I can honestly say it’s done a very solid job with pressing every material from 100% cotton shirts to satin.

Now with the new addition of the 9×9 Easy Press, I thought it would be useful to do a comparison between your “standard” heat press and the Cricut EasyPress.

Here are some key features according to the respective websites:

Cricut Easy Press

  • Professional iron-on results in 60 seconds or less
  • Incredibly Simple
  • Super Safe
  • Ideal DIY Tool

HPN Black Series Swing Away

  • Full Range Pressure
  • Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Double Fuse Protection

Clearly HPN and Cricut speak 2 different love languages but it’ll all come full circle as you read on.

First, let’s get this part out of the way. I would be doing our BGC readers a disservice if I didn’t address the rumor that the “competitive vinyl” is superior to Cricut vinyl which is why this review will consist of just that! HPN & Siser HTV vs. Cricut Easy Press & Cricut Iron on.

Since the last day of school is quickly approaching, I decided to create these Peace Out shirts for the kiddos. This design was created in Cricut Design Space

TIMING

First let’s talk timing.  We all can agree our time is extremely valuable.  The typical routine with the HPN was to flip the switch on and go fold the laundry while I wait for it to heat up.  Until now I couldn’t quantify the time it took to heat but luckily for you all I pulled out my timer! 

The recommended heat setting for HPN is 305 F for 15 seconds using Siser Vinyl. (PLEASE refer to your owners manual for  settings for YOUR machine).  After I turned the HPN heat press on, it took exactly 7 mins and 39 seconds for it to reach the recommended temperature of 305 F.

In contrast, it took 2 mins and 22 seconds for the Easy Press 2 to heat up to 315 F.

EASE OF USE

Just in case you skipped to this part of the review and missed my intro, up until recently my only experience has been with the HPN heat press. Although the end result has been flawless, I can’t say the same for my arms and electric bill.  It takes the strength of 5 Targaryen’s to push that lever down.  (That may be a slight over exaggeration but you get the point 🙂  Also, I always make sure I’m not running anything electrical in my house, (i.e. dryer, vacuum, dishwasher).  The reason is my lights instantly start to flicker as soon as I turn it on and I can only assume it’s due to the heat press soaking up all the juice! In addition there’s always a spike in my electric bill if I’m using it to press multiple items!

The EasyPress on the other hand is just that….EASY. My lights didn’t flicker when I turned it on and it didn’t require much pressure on the arms.

Now let me pause here, Cricut has a EasyPress Interactive Quick Reference Guide that has a few similarities to Design Space in that you can choose your Iron-On Material and Base Material and it will tell you the exact settings to use.  In the interest of making projects “easy’ and efficiently, I thought this was brilliant as it eliminates the need to guess or remember your settings.

With a press of a button (no pun intended), I was able to create this back to school shirt in no time.  Although you can’t walk away from your EasyPress as you might with the heat press as it requires light and constant pressure, I still found the convenience of the EasyPress to be….well easier.

WASHABILITY

Since I was trying out Cricut Iron-on for the first time, I not only wanted to see how it pressed but wanted to put it through the “wash test”. Per the Interactive Quick Reference Guide, you should wait 24 hours after application before washing. 

24 Hours later I tossed both the EasyPress/Cricut Iron-on & HPN/Siser Vinyl in the washer to test for post wash durability.  Let’s face it…who really wants to send their kid to school on their last day with a letter missing.  The teachers would feel like the ultimate failure!

One wash cycle later, here are the results:

I didn’t notice a noticeable difference between the 2 shirts.  Both the Cricut Iron-on and Siser Vinyl washed the same and all letters were still in tact!  Just to be clear this was only after ONE wash.  Maybe I was hoping to validate some of the Siser vs Cricut Iron-On hoopla but after one wash, I would say that both brands of vinyl passed the test.

Do you recall those key features  for the EasyPress from the Cricut website, lets revisit…

Professional iron-on results in 60 seconds or less: Although I didn’t compare to an “iron”, I would say that the quality is most certainly professional in comparison with the HPN heat press and the fact I was able to shave almost 5 mins off my workflow during the heat up process was most certainly a plus.

Incredibly simple: Simple is an understatement.  Straight out of the box, I was able to configure the proper heat settings and press a shirt in no time.  The HPN is equally effective but it was necessary to call the customer care to walk me through the settings (this could be user error on my part so I wouldn’t classify this as a “con”)

Super Safe: I didn’t get burnt in the process and my lights didn’t flicker!  Also I had my 10 year old use it to make a bag and I felt 100% comfortable and most importantly she didn’t burn herself either!

Ideal DIY Tool: Although the quality is comparable to the HPN Heat Press, this truly is the Ideal DIY Tool! The Cricut EasyPress is lightweight and portable unlike the standard heat press. This portability makes this the perfect DIY tool for both in-home projects and crafting on the go!

In summary, I like my HPN Heatpress. I also like the EasyPress.  I honestly think it comes down to your end goal.  The EasyPress2 is a formidable yet light weight opponent against the “traditional” Heatpress and  I’m more than confidant it can perform just as well as the HPN.

So I know what you’re asking…..which machine do I prefer? Both machines get the job done so this will  all  come down to personal preference. 

Does your crafting needs require you to press designs larger than a 12×10? If so the EasyPress may be too limiting for you as 12×10 is the largest size.

Do you want the ability to host a DIY onesie station at your BFF’s Baby Shower? If so the ease, speed and portability makes the Cricut Easypress the perfect option!

Reply...