Cricut EasyPress 3 Review: A Natural Evolution of the Cricut Lineup

James Bricknell/CBS

Cricut has made strides in adding exciting new products to the Maker Marketplace. Last year it released updated versions of its flagship vinyl cutter, the Maker 3, and its budget line, Explorer 3. This year, it delivers several accessories to make life easier, while reviewing some of its pillars.

While CNET’s Russell Holly was busy reviewing the Cricut Hat Press and Bright 360 Lights, I spent some time with the company’s updated EasyPress line, the EasyPress 3 Heat Press. The EasyPress System lets you create cool projects on t-shirts, bags, sacks, leaves, card stock, and even wood. Basically any surface you can put a vinyl sticker on, the EasyPress will help you do just that.

To like

  • App tutorials are helpful
  • Even heat across the entire plate
  • One touch and you’re good to go

Do not like

  • App could have more features
  • Not worth the upgrade if you already have an EasyPress 2

One of the first things I should note is that if you have a Cricut EasyPress 2, there’s no need to rush to upgrade. Functionally, they are the same products. They are both heated tools for adding iron-on materials to your craft projects and will help you easily create awesome things. However, if you’re using the EasyPress 1 or looking to buy your first EasyPress, it’s worth going straight for the latest model.

The EasyPress system is similar to your household iron in that it is a heated smooth plate that helps you press the material. The difference is that the EasyPress doesn’t use steam and can be programmed to attach vinyl to fabric or help you dye materials using Cricut’s infusible ink system. Plus, its flat, slippery plate allows for even heat distribution across the entire surface, meaning you get the right temperature at every point of your vinyl, helping it stick properly. I’ve tried using an iron to create vinyl t-shirts, and I can tell you the EasyPress is much easier.

For this review, I had to use the larger model, which is 12 by 10 inches and for very large projects. There is also a smaller 9-inch by 9-inch model. Both work the same, but the smaller model might be better suited for fun little projects. I’ve made mostly t-shirts and coasters for this review, but I’ve done many different projects with EasyPresses over the years, and the process is nearly identical.

cricut easypress 3 heat up white t-shirt

The 12 x 10 inch model is great for larger projects like my 2XL t-shirts.

James Bricknell/CBS

EasyPress 3 offers a simple experience that reduces the risk of making mistakes. The EasyPress temperature and timer are visible on the main screen and can be manually adjusted using the side buttons. The whole machine is well made, with each of the buttons clicking satisfactorily.

What sets the EasyPress 3 apart from its predecessor is the Bluetooth connection. You can connect your press to the new Cricut Heat app and use the app to set your temperature and timer. It’s not as redundant as it sounds. As there are many materials, it is often difficult to know which parameters to use. Iron-on vinyl, for example, only needs 315 degrees F and 15 seconds, while Infusible Ink needs 375 degrees F and 40 seconds of contact with the t-shirt. So being able to choose instantly on the app is very useful.

Cricut EasyPress 3 app in front of EasyPress 3

The Cricut Heat app is useful, but limited.

James Bricknell/CBS

The app even comes with short tutorials on how to use each material you’re trying to press. The tutorials are helpful, but it would be nice if they were a bit more in-depth. I also would have liked to see more of the application in general. For example, while it lets you select from an abundance of materials you want to apply to a surface (vinyls), you cannot select many surfaces it is going to be applied to (blanks).

To be fair, the materials included in the app are all Cricut-branded blanks, vinyls, and infusible ink, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do with those blanks, like ceramic coasters. But I was hoping for variety – I wish the app would tell me how long it takes to safely press vinyl into a 30% cotton, 70% polyester T-shirt.

cricut easypress 3 with star-trek coasters

I made a mistake with the tape, but these coasters look so good.

James Bricknell/CBS

That minor issue aside, the Cricut EasyPress 3 is a nice update to the company’s lineup. The app makes determining your timing and temperatures a lot easier, and it works just as well as its predecessor, the EasyPress 2.

I still wouldn’t recommend buying this if you already own one, but if you’re new to the EasyPress and trying to decide between the 2 and 3, it makes more sense to get the latter. It works great and the app can only get better with time.

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