Cricut’s new machine – the mug press. Find out why I don’t think you should buy it and who I think it might be good for.
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In March of 2021, Cricut released a new machine called the Cricut Mug Press.
I love Cricut products. I get excited every time they release a new mystery box, I collect their cutie figurines and own multiple easy presses, all three cutting machines, and mostly use their brand of vinyl and heat transfer vinyl (HTV).
I was really excited when I heard rumours about a new machine being released.
But then I was disappointed to see that it was a mug press.
Now as much as I love Cricut, I want to explain why I don’t think this is a great machine for the average crafter.
My first thoughts were “how many mugs does a person really need?”
Do you really need a mug press?
I don’t know about you, but when I open my cupboard I already have over 15 mugs to choose from. Over the years I’ve been gifted mugs and have collected Starbucks “You are here” mugs (which honestly get the most use).
If I were to get this mug press, how many would I make for myself and my friends?
Once I did this count, I realized I could the number of mugs on my fingers.
Is the Cricut Mug Press better than a traditional mug press?
There are tons of review videos online that show that the Cricut mug press does a great job when you use Cricut’s materials.
A traditional mug press will require more trial-and-error since you will need to play with the temperature settings.
Overall, the Cricut mug press is easier to use over a traditional mug press but can produce similar to cleaner results than a traditional mug press.
Next, let’s talk about the cost.
How much does the Cricut Mug Press Cost?
The mugs themselves will be available for $7.99 for a set of 2.
A set of infusible ink transfer sheets cost $7.99 for a pack of 2 sheets.
Taking a look at the cost, this means it will cost roughly $250 USD to get up and running before you can make cups. This is a lot of money if you are only making 10 or so mugs (what I counted I would make).
Considering you can buy a full heat press with mug attachments on Amazon for this price, this is a lot of money for a machine with only one purpose.
In order to make a Cricut mug, you need to either purchase the Cricut brand mugs or buy sublimation mugs.
For the best results with the Cricut Mug Press, Cricut recommends their mugs.
What kind of mugs can I use?
You may be wondering if you can use regular mugs with the Cricut mug press. The short answer is yes.
Any mugs you use with the Cricut Mug Press need a special coating that allows for sublimation. This is no different than if you were to use a different heat press instead.
However, you need to make sure the mugs fit in the Cricut mug press. Currently, Cricut mugs come in two sizes – 12 oz and 15 oz but the Cricut mug press allows mugs that are 11 – 16 oz (350 – 470 ml); so if you are using a non-Cricut mug, you would need to make sure they fall within this size range.
Mugs you can use with the Cricut Mug Press:
- Cricut 12 oz mugs
- Cricut 15 oz mugs
- Camping Metal mugs (with sublimation coating)
- Clear Glass Mugs (with sublimation coating)
- Mason Jar Mugs (with sublimation coating)
Can you use tumblers with the Cricut Mug Press?
The short answer is no.
The Cricut Mug Press can only press against a flat round surface (straight-walled surface). This means tumblers or any other cups with grooves or non-cylindrical shapes will not work with the Cricut Mug Press.
Note that tapered tumblers may work if there is enough of a straight-walled surface on part of the tumbler for you to press a design on. You would not be able to put a design on the entire tumbler but you could at least customize part of it this way.
Yeti cups, Dollar tree mugs, etc will NOT work with the Cricut Mug Press.
How can I sublimate a mug instead?
My preferred way to sublimate is to use a convection oven or heat gun.
Though there is a steeper learning curve (mostly to figure out the settings of your oven and to make sure you are apply the correct amount of pressure), it costs significantly less to start sublimating.
You are also able to pretty much sublimate anything with a convection oven. As long as it fits in the oven, you’re good to go.
I cover how you can sublimate a mug using a convection oven here and have everything you need including a free mug template.
So… Should I buy the Cricut Mug Press?
Based on all of these reasons above, I personally didn’t find the mug press would be a good purchase for me.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s a terrible product. In fact it’s a great product for the right person.
Why you should get the Cricut Mug Press
I personally believe the Cricut mug press is a great little device for small business owners that may have just started their business.
Here are some of the reasons why you WOULD want the Cricut Mug Press:
These features make it great for small business owners that plan on making a lot of mugs to help bring the original start-up cost down.
If you don’t plan on making at least 15+ mugs though, save your money and get your mugs done by a professional printing company.
- The Cricut Mug Press creates mugs that are microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
- This makes it longer-lasting than just putting permanent vinyl on your mug. It also looks more professional since it uses sublimation techniques.
- It has easy temperature controls and auto shut-off which take the learning curve down A LOT.