TEST – Cricut Hat Press, our take on this hat and cap printer!

The Hat Press was launched in March 2022 and has been added to the Cricut brand’s line of heat presses. Thanks to the curved shape of the heating plate, the Hat Press allows you to personalize caps, hats and bucket hats. So it comes at the right time for the summer holidays!

The Cricut Hat Press can be mistakenly compared to the Cricut Easy Press Mini because it is compact and allows you to work on small areas, but it is not optimal for curved surfaces as the heat is not uniform over the entire surface. It therefore lacked a tool to have fun with new supports. I discovered this product through social networks and I was eager to test it. Let’s see if she’s as awesome as I’d hoped.

Unboxing and first impression

As always with Cricut, the packaging is beautiful and I can’t wait to find out if the contents are of the same kind, which I have no doubts about. The press comes with its stand, a hat shape (the holding ball) and a roll of heat resistant tape. Also included are the user manual and a starter kit with a “sample” so that we can familiarize ourselves with the product without having to think about the first pattern to make, as long as you like the pattern on offer. I love its small size (10.92 x 16.51 x 12.95 cm) and its light weight (1.09 kg), which makes it easy to use and store.

I am also convinced of the sleek design and ergonomics. Even Nicolas who does not necessarily have an opinion on the aesthetics of this type of product finds the object very beautiful, that is! The Hat Press has two buttons on the side. The bottom one serves as an on/off button but also to select the desired power. The top one starts the transfer process.

Three pre-set heating levels (ranging from 125°C to 205°C), indicated by the waves below the buttons, allow you to work with iron-on vinyl and sublimation products (infusible Ink).

Getting started and first creation

I received the Hat Press to test a few days before my daughter’s sea classes. I saw the perfect opportunity to create a personalized gift for him to slip into his suitcase.

As usual I do everything last minute so it was at the end of a busy weekend that I started making her bucket hat. Fortunately, I had watched several videos before receiving the product to launch my first creation right away. I thought it would be easy, I didn’t expect it to be that easy. Pairing was done in seconds with the Bluetooth feature allowing it to communicate with the new free Cricut Heat app.

For those used to working with Cricut presses, the Cricut Heat app should not be confused with: cricut’s heat guide† While the latter gives indications of temperature and proper heating time depending on the materials and tools used, the Cricut Heat application is a true personal assistant.

Once the Hat Press is activated, using it is as easy as counting to three.

1/ You make your model with iron-on or sublimation materials. 2/ You select the material and substrate in Cricut Heat, which will transmit the time and appropriate heat level to the Hat Press. Just press the start button and you’re done. If the button is orange, the press is warming up, if it turns green, the press is ready to use. 3/ You hurry and wait for the magic to happen!

Within ten minutes of the clock, having never used the Hat Press before, I activated the press and completed my first project. The application and the machine are intuitive and within everyone’s reach.

Given the size of the hat ball (16.51 cm deep x 13.2 cm high x 19.05 cm wide), I was concerned that it would not be suitable for models of caps and accessories for children, but it works without issue. The handle makes it easy to handle, but for optimal use, the handle should face away from your object.

To turn off the press, press the bottom button for a few seconds. Don’t worry if you forget, Cricut always has your safety in mind and the press automatically shuts down after thirteen minutes (yes, yes 13) of inactivity.

My tips for your creations

Personally, ever since I discovered the infusible Ink, I don’t swear by it anymore. The rendering is so smooth and clean, and I no longer worry about my creations peeling off. But be careful, if you want to use it for your caps, you absolutely have to work with fabrics with a high percentage of polyester. Cricut sells two types of adult caps that are compatible with sublimation products.

The Hat Press works with every other cap, hat and bucket hat on the market. You just need to make sure the “hat shape” fits into the accessory to avoid creating air bubbles during transfer.

When working with small patterns, don’t hesitate to use and abuse the adhesive tape so that your creation stays in place and the heat transfer happens in a perfect way. I made the mistake of using the Cricut Mug Press and got some sloppy and “smooth” transfers. I paid extra attention this time.

In order not to miss me, I take the minimum and maximum dimensions of my print area and in the design space I insert a rectangle of the two dimensions that allow a better visualization of the display. Please note, however, that Cricut recommends a design size no larger than 5.7cm high x 10.79cm wide. This gives your creation even heat during the transfer.

Let’s talk numbers

Like my test for the Cricut Mug Press, I calculated the cost of a cap. For this I used the prices from Cricut’s official online store.

  • The Cricut Hat Press has been sold €159.99Amazon
  • The set of 3 adult caps (grey or baseball) for 24.99 euros.
  • The pack of 2 Infusible Ink sheets costs 9.99 euros and a 2 cm x 16 m adhesive tape costs 7.99 euros
  • To create your designs, you’ll need a sublimation printer (Cricut doesn’t offer one) or a cutting machine (the cheapest, the Cricut Joy, is available for $189.99).
  • And as always the Design Space “Cricut Access” subscription (free for the first month). The monthly subscription is €9.99 and the annual subscription is €99.99.

Not counting the investment of the machines and the subscription to the Design Space, the price of a personalized hat with the Hat Press starts at a little more 10 euro† Of course, the larger the design and the more colors or type of transfer materials you use, the higher the price will be.

Conclusion

As with all of the brand’s other products, I fell in love with the little wonder that is the Cricut Hat Press. It’s so intuitive and easy to use that ultimately choosing the pattern you want is the longest part!

Let’s face it, the Hat Press is for people who regularly want to personalize caps, hats or bucket hats. It’s an expensive cap if you only want to change one or two a year. If, like me, you’ve fallen in love with the Cricut world, the $160 it costs won’t be an obstacle. I don’t have a hat, but when I see all the things I can do with the Hat Press, I really want to convince myself otherwise.

All photos are available on Google Photos. (Credits: Nicolas Varga).

Cricut Hat Press

159 €

Cricut Hat Press


Easy to use


9.5/10

Quality of the final product


9.0/10

Cost per cap


8.0/10

Pros

  • A sober, simple, elegant design
  • Disturbing ease of use and ease of use
  • A professional rendering
  • Security always present

cons

  • Cricut does not offer children’s accessories yet
  • Cricut Access Supplies and Subscription Pricing


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