Written by Laura Duerr

We put two Cricut machines through their paces to see which created craft perfection

Cricut machines have opened up new realms of DIY possibility since they first hit the market in 2005. From card-making to customizing T-shirts, Cricut machines let users create professional-looking craft projects thanks to intuitive controls and versatile materials. We asked our BestReviews testers to try out two popular Cricut machines: the Cricut EasyPress 2 and the Cricut Joy. Here’s what they discovered.

What is a Cricut machine?

Cricut machines perform a variety of crafty tasks. Most Cricut machines are electronic cutting machines that can quickly cut out intricate designs from a huge range of materials. Others, such as the Cricut EasyPress 2, are heat-transfer tools that can adhere your design to anything from tote bags to trays.

If you’re not feeling creative, Cricut machines can help with that, too. Cricut offers a vast asset library of artwork, letters, numbers and more that can be downloaded from your smartphone or computer.

Cricut EasyPress 2 review

If you’ve ever used an iron to transfer designs onto a T-shirt, you might have struggled with getting the design to adhere evenly. The Cricut EasyPress 2 offers the solution. Its large, square heating plate heats up evenly, allowing users to transfer designs without having to reposition the machine and risk budging their design.

Our tester was impressed by the EasyPress 2’s convenient size and how quickly it heated up. The EasyPress 2 is ready to use in less than one minute, and our tester could complete most of their projects without having to move the press. Even on larger projects, our tester found it easy to seamlessly reposition the EasyPress 2.

Due to its large, flat surface, the EasyPress 2 wouldn’t be a great choice for someone wanting to work with three-dimensional items such as hats. It also performs best with Cricut’s EasyPress Mat, which is sold separately.

Cricut Joy review

The Cricut Joy is one of the smaller, more affordable Cricut cutting machines. Our tester loved how easy it was to set up and how smoothly the design process went. The Cricut Joy guides users through all the design steps. Our tester was able to easily cut designs from iron-on vinyl, cardstock, window cling material and more.

The Cricut Joy is a compact machine, so it’s easy to store. Along with the Cricut online design library, users can upload their own patterns, but our tester found the process a little less user-friendly than designing with Cricut assets.

Our tester, who’s a regular Cricut user, wished the Cricut Joy came with more tools to help make craft projects easier. The Cricut Joy is also slower than other Cricut machines and can’t cut thicker materials. Despite these drawbacks, it’s a simple and solid machine for someone interested in getting started with Cricut.

Top Cricut machines

Best Cricut EasyPress 2

Cricut EasyPress 2

Available in two sizes, the EasyPress 2 lets users transfer designs onto almost any flat surface without having to lift and reposition the machine. It heats evenly and works quickly thanks to intuitive controls and a smart heating guide.

Sold by Amazon

Best Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy

This budget-friendly Cricut machine boasts impressively precise cuts and user-friendly operation. The compact machine can cut designs up to 4.25 inches by 12 inches from more than 50 materials.

Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.