GM Crafty Press review

The GM Crafty Press is cheaper than a Cricut EasyPress Mini, but is it better?

heat press machine; a photo of the GM Crafty Press for review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The GM Crafty Press looks to be very similar to the superb Cricut EasyPress Mini but this tiny heat press lacks that brand's attention to detail. This is a chunkier, heavier and less approachable gadget that, while decent, fails to match the standards laid down by Cricut. I'd recommend paying a little more for the Cricut EasyPress Mini of you're planning on using your small heat press for sewing or quilting projects as well as heat transfer vinyl designs.

For

  • Cheaper than the competition
  • Has a very long lead

Against

  • Heavy and chunky design
  • Lacks a pointed base
  • Takes longer to heat up than Cricut

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The GM Crafty Press is a tiny heat press device designed to help sewists, quilters and crafters with intricate jobs and small projects. It follows on the heels of one of my favourite heat press machines, the Cricut EasyPress Mini, but at almost half the price the GM  Crafty Press is an enticing little gadget.

I scored 5/5 in my Cricut EasyPress Mini review, so the GM Crafty Press has a big task ahead of it – that price point of £31.99 is enticing. On paper this little heat press has some good features, such as three heat settings (190°C / 374°F, 160°C / 320°F, and 140°C / 284°F) and a smooth Teflon coated base.

Heat press machines like the GM Crafty Press are generally used to press designs onto fabrics, we have a guide to the best heat press machines to get you started. I'd also recommend reading up on the best Cricut materials to gauge the kind of heat transfer vinyl you'll need – these materials can be used with any heat press machine.

Continue reading to find out what I think of the GM Crafty Press. To review this product I used it on a number of craft projects over the course of two weeks, if you want to find out more about our general review process read how we test craft and sewing machines.

GM Crafty Press review: in the box

heat press machine; a photo of the GM Crafty Press for review

The GM Crafty Press comes with a useful heavy cotton bag for safe storage (Image credit: Future)

As you'd expect the GM Crafty Press is very basic when it comes to what's in the box; the heat press is small and well packaged to avoid damage. What is nice is the GM Crafty Press comes with a heavy fabric cotton storage bag to keep the heat press clean and tidy when not in use. 

Also, this heat press comes with a small water spray bottle for filling with ironing water to make pressing seams a little easier. Of course, when heat transferring designs onto fabrics you won't need this.

GM Crafty press review: design and build

heat press machine; a photo of the GM Crafty Press for review

Unlike the excellent Cricut EasyPress Mini, the GM Crafty Press lacks a pointed tip and is generally larger (Image credit: Future)

When it comes to design and build the GM Crafty Press stumbles. While it's a sturdy and well-made product that meets all of the required safety standards, I find the moulding is too thick and chunky – in use the gap to fit your fingers isn't as large and well-placed as that of the Cricut EasyPress Mini. This may sound like a small detail, but when you're using this heat press device to iron down small seams and fiddly pieces of fabric, you can't grip it naturally.

The base is thicker than the Cricut EasyPress Mini too, which again means that it's harder to work on intricate sewing and quilting projects. The GM's base measures 10.6cm x 6.2cm making it larger than the 8.2cm x 4.8 cm of the Cricut EasyPress Mini, and it also doesn't come to a neat point like the Cricut device; instead the GM Crafty Press is rounded to a blunt curve so not ideal for sewists.

I also find the base a little rougher than the smooth finish of the Cricut EasyPress Mini, which will make heat pressing designs onto fabric less efficient. It's a small irk but one that crafters will come to find irritating as it can cause wastage.

GM Crafty Press review: in use

heat press machine; a photo of the GM Crafty Press for review

The GM Crafty Press is good for basic heat press design projects but too cumbersome for sewing (Image credit: Future)

As I've covered earlier, the GM Crafty Press has a larger and more rounded base than the leading small heat press, the Cricut EasyPress Mini. This means that while it's a good size for pressing designs onto fabrics using heat transfer vinyl it's not the best gadget for sewists and quilters looking to flatten open seams and press small sections of fabric for stitching.

Heating the device takes a couple of minutes, which is longer than the seconds it takes the Cricut. More importantly, while Cricut is all about ease-of-use with automatic heat settings, here you need to manually adjust the heat across its three temperatures and it's a little unclear. Some will find this more helpful as you can control the settings, but if you're pressing vinyl it's a little unnecessary.  

Fundamentally it's the larger, chunkier and heavier design that fails to grab me; the Cricut EasyPress Mini's neat build means I can adapt how I hold it per my use – from as an iron to an almost pen-like approach – whereas the GM Crafty Press can only be held like a typical iron. 

GM Crafty Press review: price and verdict

When it comes to price the GM Crafty Press holds a trump card; at a bargain $39.99 / £31.99 roughly half the price of the Cricut EasyPress Mini ($69.99 / £59.99). If you're simply after a small heat press to use with heat transfer vinyl then the GM Crafty Press is an okay option, though I have issues with the slightly rougher finish to the base and the three temperature settings feel needlessly complex.

Personally, I use a small heat press device like this to help with pressing open seams in my sewing projects. For this the GM Crafty Press can't compete with Cricut's device, which is smaller, pointed and heats faster and more evenly. 

If you're just looking for a good heat press machine, I'd also recommend something like the smallest Cricut EasyPress 2 mode, which is now reduced as the newer Cricut EasyPress 3 has been released. And if you're after a tiny heat press device, the Cricut EasyPress Mini is still the best around.

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The Verdict
4

out of 10

GM Crafty Press

The GM Crafty Press looks to be very similar to the superb Cricut EasyPress Mini but this tiny heat press lacks that brand's attention to detail. This is a chunkier, heavier and less approachable gadget that, while decent, fails to match the standards laid down by Cricut. I'd recommend paying a little more for the Cricut EasyPress Mini of you're planning on using your small heat press for sewing or quilting projects as well as heat transfer vinyl designs.

Julie Dean is a former doctor and occupational therapist by profession which inspired her to start sewing and quilting as a therapeutic activity. She is passionate about her craft and has been quilting and using Cricut for over five years. As well as selling her own work on Etsy Julie has taken commissions for interior design agencies to create bespoke quilts, including Beata Heuman (opens in new tab). Julie's work has appeared in Architectural Digest (opens in new tab).