xTool Heat Press Review – Should You Buy One?

xTool just released their new 4-in-1 crafting machine, the M1 Ultra along with multiple heat press options to expand home crafting capabilities. I was lucky to be selected to test out their newest products. This post will cover my thoughts on the xTool heat press options including the Smart Press, Smart Press Platform and Mini Press.

I’m completely new to heat presses so if you’re looking for advice from a seasoned professional, I’m not your girl. 😉 But if you’re like me and want to take your projects to the next level, keep reading because I think you’ll be interested in one or more of these new heat press options.

xtool heat press machines and accessories

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

xTool Heat Press Options

The new heat presses from xTool are pretty innovative and versatile. The components are designed to work together with options to utilize the Smart Press in a handheld mode or a platform mode. They also rolled out a mini press for small project.

Here is my breakdown and opinions on each of the products.

xTool Smart Press

The Smart Press is a handheld heat press with a 12″ x 10″ base plate. It’s similar to the largest Cricut EasyPress if you’re familiar with that product. That said, there are some major differences.

First is that the temperature and time is controlled with a separate smart control panel and not integrated into the press itself. When using the smart press on it’s own I’m not sure that this feature provides any benefit over other similar sized handheld presses that allow you to set temperature and time. It becomes really neat if you opt for the smart press platform or mini press though!

Here is a picture of my smart press. Note that the black piece on the top is actually a part I installed that attaches the smart press to the platform. If you just have the smart press there is a seamless white piece there.

xtool smart press review

Design

xTool’s Smart Press has a sleek look with the white and wood features. I also appreciate that it has two handles making it very easy to move around and allowing for two points to press down on material.

It comes with a base to set the hot press in after use. This will ensure that you don’t burn your tabletop or desk.

The product has some weight to it and seems well constructed but it isn’t too heavy to handle which is important given the lifting up and down that is needed during use. The weight isn’t currently listed on the website but using my bathroom scale it’s coming in at a little over 8lbs.

The smart control is wireless so you don’t have to physically connect it to the smart press. That means that you can move it around to any open area in your working space. That said, you do need to connect it when it needs charged.

User Experience- Set up

Setting up the smart press and smart control was an easy process. The directions that came with the product were very clear. I had it up and running in just a few minutes.

There are some steps needed to pair the smart control to the Smart Press.

One thing that I found a little surprising was the cord length. It’s shorter than I had expected especially since you have to move the heat press around. I would have liked more give for that. Nothing that an extension cord cant fix but just plan on potentially needing one.

One feature that I appreciated on the smart control is that you can toggle between C and F for the temperature. Perfect for those of us in the U.S. that refuse to do things like the rest of the world. 😉

xtool heat press smart control

Performance

There are 4 preset levels to choose from on the smart control or you can manually adjust the dials to set a precise temperature and time. The levels are for common projects:

  • Heat press PU film on nylon or silk
  • Heat press PU film on cotton or polyester
  • Apply heat sublimation on polyester
  • Apply heat sublimation on wood

It was nice to have a starting point for temperature and time recommendation since I’m new to heat transfer.

The smart press will indicate when it has reached the set temperature and from there you just press the smart press onto the material while the timer counts down on the smart control. It heats up FAST so you shouldn’t need to wait long for it to get to temperature.

For my first project using the Smart Press I made a custom koozie and it turned out fantastic. It honestly looks store bought to me. What do you think?

xtool smart press review 2

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The Smart Press can be used on it’s own (handheld) or installed into the platform.
  • Dual handles make it easy to move around and position on projects.
  • The ability to set a precise temperature and time results in more professional looking products.

Cons

  • The Smart Press base plate may be too small for some projects. For the at home crafter it will probably be plenty large but if you often work on larger designs than 10″ x 12″ you may want to consider a larger heat press.
  • The smart control is a neat feature but if you’re only interested in the Smart Press and not the Platform or Mini Press, it would probably be more convenient get a handheld press that has the controls built in. Then you won’t need to worry about charging your controls from time to time.

Conclusion

Based on the current price, the xTool Smart Press seems to be an economical handheld heat press option. If a 12″ x 10″ working area works for your projects I think this would be a great tool to add to your crafting toolbox. It definitely beats using a household iron like I’ve done in the past.

xTool Smart Press Platform

The Smart Press Platform is a platform designed to fit the xTool smart press. You simply slide the handheld Smart Press into the platform and you have a desktop heat press to make your crafting even easier and more precise! I was most excited to test out the platform because it looks so cool and professional.

xtool smart press platform

Design

Like the Smart Press, the platform has a sleek look. When the Smart Press is installed it’s hard to even tell that it’s removable since the design is so cohesive.

There is a cable slot in the back to feed the Smart Press cord through. This keeps it out of the way while you’re working.

The Smart Press slides into the platform very easily. You can hear and feel a click which gives confidence that it’s properly placed. It feels very sturdy and safe.

The control arm swivels so that you can rotate the top portion of the platform away from the base and easily align your material. It has a 360 degree turning radius and you can move it in either direction.

xtool smart press platform

User Experience- Set up

Assembly was very simple and the instructions were clear. There are just a few parts that need assembled and it took me less than 5 minutes.

Performance

Using the smart press platform is a ton of fun and being able to provide consistent pressure across the entire material makes for high quality results.

The ability to swivel the arm and heat press away from the working area makes it very easy to place your material.

There are three small triangles near the handle base to indicate the amount of pressure you are applying (low, medium and high).

xtool smart press platform review

I made a grocery bag and cut the graphic out of 12″ x 10″ heat transfer vinyl cut with my M1 Ultra. For my first project using the platform I think it turned out really great!

xtool smart press platform
canvas tote bag with thank you text

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • You can heat press hands free (at least after you pull down the handle.)
  • The platform allows for even pressure across the material providing better quality heat transfers.
  • The small footprint of the platform doesn’t take up much space which is ideal if you’re like me and don’t have a huge crafting area.
  • Since the Smart Press just snaps in place you can easily remove it and use it as a handheld press for some projects if you prefer.

Cons

  • It isn’t automated so you have to manually lower the heat press using the handle and watch the timer on the smart control to know when to release the pressure.

Conclusion

If you have the space for it, I would highly recommend the platform. It takes the Smart Press to another level and ensures even and consistent pressure across your entire transfer area.

xTool Mini Press

The Mini Press is is like a tiny little iron designed for small projects. Its low price point makes it very affordable for crafters at any budget.

xtool mini press

Design

The Mini Press is very small. The heating plate is 4″ at its longest point and 2.5″ wide at its center. This makes it most suitable for small projects or to heat press in tight spaces that are difficult to access with a larger plate.

Unlike a household iron, the mini press has a completely flat bottom which means that you’ll apply consistent heat across the entire base.

Like the smart press, it comes with a base to place the hot heat press in after you’ve used it and while it’s cooling down.

It has 3 built in heat settings to choose from to cover the temperature needs for a range of materials. What’s super cool though… with the smart control you can set an exact temperature and time for the mini press too!

User Experience- Set up

Using the Mini Press is very intuitive. I didn’t even get the manual out when I did my first project.

Performance

The handle is a good size making it very easy to maneuver. I have pretty big hands (yes, I’m embarrassed writing this) and it was easy for me to get a good grip around.

using the xtool mini press

For my first project with the mini press I decided to customize a small bag to store my cutting blades for the M1 Ultra. The graphic that I was transferring was smaller than the Mini Press so it worked out very well. I could basically just set it in place and apply pressure like you would with a larger heat press.

small bag for m1 ultra blades

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The small nature of the mini press makes it the perfect heat press option for small projects.
  • Ability to set specific temperature and timer based on materials.
  • Heats up to 400 degrees F which is hotter than other heat presses like this.

Cons

  • Not the best for larger transfers where you need to move the mini press around to cover the whole area.

Conclusion

I think the mini press is a good addition to my crafting tools. It’s definitely efficient for small heat transfer projects. Not a must have in my case but a nice to have.

My Recommendation

If it’s in your budget I would definitely recommend the all-in-one heat press kit from xTool. You’ll get the Smart Press with smart control, the platform, the Mini Press and a pressing mat. The Smart Press and Platform are in my opinion the most useful and innovative but at their current pricing with the all-in-one kit you essentially get the Mini Press and mat for free so why not?

Here is a recap of my first three projects made with the xTool Smart Press, the Smart Press Platform and the Mini Press. If you want similar quality in your heat transfer projects give these products a try! I think you’ll be just as impressed as I was.

products made with xtool heat press

What else would you like to know about xTool’s heat press options? Ask me anything in the comments and I’ll respond.

I’m excited to continue my heat press journey and will certainly be sharing some fun tutorials so be on the lookout for those.

I’m also working up a full review for the M1 Ultra which is the new 4-in-1 crafting machine that I mentioned in the intro. It may just be the coolest thing that I own. I can’t believe how much fun I’m having with it and how late I’ve been staying up crafting!

I hope that you found this review helpful! If you’re looking for some more crafting inspiration check out our crafts page for more! We have a ton of crafting tutorials and free SVG designs!

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