Cricut vs. Heat Press: Which One Should You Choose?

Cricut vs. Heat Press, which one is worth buying? That’s the question that many crafters have asked themselves at least once as they look to invest in something a little more impressive than a standard household iron for their fabric-printing projects.

Not that it’s always a simple question to answer.

Both types of machines are easy to use, take very little time to print, and, above all else, produce great results.

Still, knowing that doesn’t exactly help you to decide which machine to buy.

Hopefully, this guide will.

Below, we’ve put the Cricut EasyPress 2 head to head against the SHZOND Heat Press 12”x 15” 5 in 1 Combo Heat Transfer Machine to determine once and for all which is the better option for your next project.

Cricut Vs. Heat Press: Head-To-Head Comparison

Cricut Easypress 2 SHZOND Heat Press
Machine Dimensions (L x W x H): 15.25 “L x 15.25″ x 17” 13.07″ x 13.98″ x 7.36″
Pressing Area: 12” x 15” 9” x 9” or 12” x 10”
Machine Weight: 47.9 lbs 14 lbs
Temperature Range: 32°F – 430°F (0°C – 250°C) Up to  400℉ (205 C)
Heat Plate Material: Teflon Ceramic

Compatible Materials

At first glance, both the EasyPress and the SHZOND appear to be neck-and-neck when it comes to the kind of materials they can print on.

Though both machines are best known as t-shirt printers, they can each successfully transfer designs to a huge array of materials including, but not necessarily limited to.

  • Burlap
  • Cotton
  • Faux leather
  • Felt
  • mesh
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Wood

That said, while the number of materials you can use with the Cricut is undoubtedly impressive, the SHZOND Heat Press does offer something which the Easypress doesn’t, namely a number of attachments specifically designed for printing on mugs, plates, hats, and caps, and other curved items.

With the EasyPress, the flat design means it’s only really suitable for pressing onto flat surfaces, which rules it out of the running if you’re planning on customizing items other than standard clothing.

It’s also worth noting that the SHZOND typically does a better job at printing jigsaw pieces and other card-based items.

Pressing Area

SHZOND Heat Press 12”x 15” 5 in 1 Combo Heat Transfer Machine Multifunctional Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press Machine for T Shirts/Hat/Mug/Plate/Cap (12x15 inch 5 in 1)

Another area where the SHZOND Heat Press undoubtedly triumphs is in the size of the pressing area.

Measuring 12” x 15”, it’s the ideal choice if you need to print as large a design as possible. However, this extra size does come at the expense of the machine’s remarkable heaviness and overall size, meaning not only will it take up more space in your crafting area, but also that -as we’ll discuss in more detail later- it’s going to be very hard to move around.

Meanwhile, the Cricut EasyPress 2 only comes in 9” x 9” and 12” x 10” options, though for some users, that may be plenty big enough. What’s more, since the Cricut is such a smaller machine, it’s much easier to store away when not in use.

Ease Of Use

SHZOND Heat Press 12”x 15” 5 in 1 Combo Heat Transfer Machine Multifunctional Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press Machine for T Shirts/Hat/Mug/Plate/Cap (12x15 inch 5 in 1)

Once again, this is another round where it was almost too close to call.

On the one hand, both devices require very little set-up time.

Simply use the in-built control panel to set the required temperature and printing time, hit the start button, and you’re ready to print.

On the other hand, the SCHZOND does have a few advantages for anyone looking for the absolute easiest press machine to use.

First up, there’s the programmable memory function which saves time and temperature settings so that you can reuse them over and over again without having to enter them on each press.

The Cricut sadly lacks this feature, making the SCHZOND Heat Press a particularly good option for those who regularly make the exact same prints.

Secondly, we also like the fact that SCHZOND’s larger size means it’s more than capable of making top-quality products with no involvement on your part.

With the Cricut, however, its smaller stature means you’ll often have to manually apply pressure to the top of the machine to produce the results you want.

With all that being said, the Cricut does mount a comeback in terms of setup and troubleshooting.

It comes almost fully assembled right out of the box, with the few bits of manual assembly you do need to take care of requiring almost no effort.

If you do get stuck along the way, you’ll find that the user manual is written in a very easy-to-follow fashion.

Conversely, the SCHZOND not only features a user manual that is something of a confusing chore to get through, but it also requires much more -and much more complicated- self-assembly.

Print Quality

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9" x 9"

One of the reasons why I picked the SCHZOND Heat Press to go head-to-head with the EasyPress 2 is that it produces results that are very comparable to the Cricut machine.

Both machines produce prints you can be proud of, though both achieve this in slightly different ways.

With the Cricut, we’re big fans of its compatibility with something called sublimation ink paper, a material that allows for highly-detailed prints with maximum color retention that won’t fade, peel, or otherwise, be damaged, even after multiple washes.

Also working in its favor is the fact that, even though it frustratingly doesn’t allow you to save time and temperature settings for your favorite projects, it does come with a manual that outlines the recommended settings for different types of printing, ensuring that you get a consistent finish every time.

The traditional heat press also has a lot to offer here. The evenly-distributed heat reduces the risk of a botched print, while the overall finished results are of a professional standard which would make this an ideal option for those just starting a commercial t-shirt printing business.

Performance

If speed is important to you, you’ll certainly favor the Cricut EasyPress 2 as it can achieve temperatures of 400 degrees in just two to three minutes and finish pressing in under a minute, meaning you’ll have a fantastic, high-quality product in no time.

Sadly, the SCHZOND Heat Press doesn’t live up to that.

Although the actual pressing part takes less time (around 15 – 20 seconds), it takes a long time to heat up, so you’ll likely be waiting at least 10 – 15 minutes before you’re ready to go.

Safety

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9" x 9"

Safety should always be of paramount importance when using any kind of equipment, especially when there’s also the added danger of extreme heat being involved.

Fortunately, the makers of both the EasyPress and the SHZOND Heat Press know this all too well and have built in some robust, high-quality safety features.

The automatic shut-off feature included in the Cricut is particularly helpful as it powers down the machine following 10 minutes of inactivity to help prevent accidents, while the insulated safety base ensures there’s little to no risk of you burning yourself on the heat plate.

The SHZOND also does its part to keep you safe while creating by using a heat-resistant, non-slip Teflon coating over the plate to ensure that your vinyls, your clothes, and most importantly, your body avoid being damaged by excess heat.

Though we’d probably give this round to the Cricut thanks to the auto-shutoff feature, both models do a good job of ensuring maximum protection.

Portability

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9" x 9"

Here’s one area where the Cricut EasyPress 2 really comes into its own.

While there’s technically nothing to say you couldn’t pack up the SHZOND Heat Press and carry it from place to place with you, the fact that it’s a big, heavy machine is going to make doing so a serious challenge.

What’s more, the SHZOND doesn’t come with any kind of carry case. Even our best efforts to find a case from a third-party brand seemed impossible. As such, though packing up your press and moving it around isn’t completely out of the question, it’s certainly going to be a cumbersome chore, to say the least.

With EasyPress, there’s simply no such problem.

This is a small, lightweight machine, and there are a number of excellent Cricut carrying cases out there, which makes it the perfect choice for taking to parties and events.

Affordability

Once again, the Cricut EasyPress 2 takes top marks here.

Generally retailing for significantly less than the SHZOND Heat Press and other leading heat press machines like the Seeutek 15×15 inch Heat Press Machine, this is the one to go for if your top priority is keeping your costs down.

Even if you’re choosing to pay for one of the best Cricut bundles, that’s still going to work out better for your budget as some bundles alone will still cost less than a standard heat press whilst also saving you money on the materials you may need to get your projects completed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cricut Vs. HeatPress

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9" x 9"

Is The Cricut Easypress Better Than An Iron?

Undoubtedly yes. While you can use a standard household iron to print vinyl transfers onto fabric, the results are nowhere near the same quality you’d get with an EasyPress. The Cricut machine can also print on other materials such as ceramics which is something you just can’t do with an iron.

Is Cricut Easypress Worth It?

If you’re planning to regularly press designs onto t-shirts and other items and need them to be of the highest quality, then, yes, the Cricut EasyPress 2 is absolutely worth it. However, if you’re only pressing something as a one-off, you might be worthwhile sticking with your regular iron.

What Is The Best Standard Heat Press To Buy?

Although there’s a number of great options to choose from, the SHZOND Heat Press 12”x 15” 5 in 1 Combo Heat Transfer Machine earns our pick as the best heat press out there thanks to its large pressing area, ease of use, and its ability to produce consistently excellent results.

Cricut Vs. HeatPress: Which Is The Best Option For Printing On Clothing?

Cricut EasyPress 2 SHZOND Heat Press
Fastest press – takes under 5 minutes to heat and press Takes 15 minutes to heat up but prints are finished in seconds
Great for printing on flat fabrics but not other surfaces Comes with attachments for printing on mugs, hats, caps, plates and other items
Smaller design makes it portable – a good choice for events and parties Larger design gives it a larger press area for bigger projects

In the head-to-head comparison above, we looked at how the Cricut EasyPress 2 and SHZOND Heat Press 12”x 15” 5 in 1 Combo Heat Transfer Machine stack up when it comes to all of the things that really matter when it comes to choosing a heat press; not just press quality and overall performance, but also those often-overlooked factors like safety and ease of use.

If you’ve read through our thoughts on all those factors, you may have reached the same conclusion we did:

The EasyPress and the SHZOND could technically be considered the best heat-press, depending on what you prioritize.

If you need a larger press area, if you’re planning to press onto ceramics and curved items like hats and mugs, or if you’re looking to get your hands on the ideal press to start a commercial clothing printing business, then the SCHZOND is certainly the one to go.

Do so, however, and you’ll need to be mindful that not only is it going to be a lot heavier and take up significantly more space in your workspace, but it’s also going to cost you a fair bit more.

If you prefer to keep your costs down, if you want to be able to press your latest designs in just a couple of minutes, or if you’re looking for a lightweight, effortlessly portable press that can be stored away easily and is a great option for taking to parties and events, then there’s no doubt about it that the Cricut EasyPress 2 should be your clear favorite.