Filed Under: Cricut Crafts
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I get asked all of the time which brand of transfer tape is best. Quite frankly, I am a creature of habit and I kept one brand in my craft room at all times. I really didn’t branch out and try new things. Today that changes! I have seven brands of transfer tape to try for you. I did a big transfer tape comparison just to see which brand is the winner. Then you will know which to look for when you need to restock! You can also read our post on how to use transfer tape if you need it.
Brands of Transfer Tape
I pulled my list of brands together by asking on social media as well as in our Cricut Facebook group. I pulled the favorite brands from those that responded so that hopefully I was comparing the best of the best. Here are the brands I ended up using:
- Vinyl Ease (paper version)
- Expressions Vinyl
- Cricut Brand
- Direct Vinyl Supply
- Oratape from Vvivid Technologies
- Frisco Craft
I will talk about pricing in the summary at the bottom of the page as I feel it really factors into which brand of transfer tape is best.
Transfer Tape Test
Now that we have our brands, it is time for the comparison. For each of the brands, I used the same mandala design for transferring. All of these were cut from Cricut Removable Vinyl in silver. I also used the same procedure of burnishing once across the front and once across the back before lifting up my design.
I would then count how many pieces stayed on the backing and did not get picked up by the tape. Then I would lay the tape back down and attempt to burnish more to pick up any bits. I transferred all of my designs to the same shadowbox that I cleaned in between tests.
I will say right up front that all of these brands worked for transferring vinyl to a surface. Some just worked better and faster than others. So, if you want to transfer your vinyl with less burnishing and headache, read on to see which I found to be the best.
Transfer Tape Comparison
I performed the same test above with all of the brands above. You can actually watch me perform these tests for the first time on camera with the video below.
Can’t watch the video or want a summary of the results? Here is a super brief wrap up of how each of the brands of transfer tape performed:
- Vinyl Ease (paper version) – This is a paper tape with no gridlines. There was only one small piece that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick it up easily and transfer the design without issue. I will note that this comes in paper and clear as well as 6 inch and 12 inch widths.
- Expressions Vinyl – This is a paper tape that has gridlines. There was only one small piece that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick it up easily and transfer the design without issue.
- Craftopia – This is a clear tape that has gridlines. Note that the backing paper is blue the tape itself is not. There were several pieces that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick up all of the pieces after a few tries and transfer the design without issue.
- Cricut Brand – This is a clear tape that has gridlines. I was actually able to pick up all pieces on the first try and transfer without issue. This comes in 12 inch widths as well as a smaller version for Cricut Joy.
- Direct Vinyl Supply – This is a semi-clear tape with no gridlines. There were several pieces that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick up all of the pieces after a few tries and transfer the design without issue. This one comes in 6 inch and 12 inch widths.
- Oratape from Vvivid Technologies – This is a clear tape with no gridlines. The gridlines are actually ONLY on the backing paper. There were several pieces that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick up all of the pieces after a few tries and transfer the design without issue.
- Frisco Craft – This is a clear tape with no gridlines. The gridlines are actually ONLY on the backing paper. There were several pieces that did not pick up from the vinyl the first time. I was able to pick up all of the pieces after a few tries and transfer the design without issue.
Which brand of transfer tape is best?
After my tests, I basically found that these brands all worked, however, they lined up in basically two groups.
- My favorites include Cricut, Vinyl Ease, and Expressions Vinyl. These were all comparable in performance.
- My next group would be Craftopia, Direct Vinyl Supply, Oratape, and Frisco Craft. Again, I feel like the performance was all comparable but a little more work than the first group.
So, that really means we need another factor to make a decision on which to buy. I think pricing really weighs into this for most people. So, I looked at current pricing without any sales factored in:
- Vinyl Ease (paper version) $0.24/foot for 12 inch and $0.15/foot for 6 inch (pricing on the clear was comparable)
- Expressions Vinyl $0.58/foot
- Craftopia $1.66/foot
- Cricut Brand $1.66/foot (for 12 inch bulk roll) or $0.90/foot for Cricut Joy size
- Direct Vinyl Supply $0.60/foot for 12 inch and $0.40/foot for 6 inch
- Oratape from Vvivid Technologies $0.63/foot
- Frisco Craft $0.32/foot
So, now you can see that there is a huge difference in price. If we go back to our list of how each performed and compare with the pricing, you can now list brands in order with the best and cheapest at the top.
- Vinyl Ease (paper version)
- Expressions Vinyl
- Cricut Brand
- Frisco Craft
- Direct Vinyl Supply
- Oratape from Vvivid Technologies
Now, if you are shopping for transfer tape for the Joy, try Vinyl Ease, Cricut, or Direct Vinyl Supply. Really want gridlines? I would do Expressions Vinyl or Cricut. Really want paper? Vinyl Ease wins every time. Hate paper transfer tape? I would go Frisco craft or Direct Vinyl Supply if you want to spend less.
I hope this helps you choose a transfer tape for your Cricut projects. You will probably find that any of these brands work well. You may even find that your own personal favorite is not the one that I chose here. Try a few different brands using our list as a guide and be sure to look out for sales. You will land on one you love in no time at all!
Love this post and want more? Try the links below as well!
How to Etch Glass with a Cricut
Grab your Cricut machine and start etching glass with this easy to follow tutorial.
How to Use Cricut Printable Vinyl
Make stickers and more from printable vinyl on your Cricut machine.
How to Cut Wood Veneer with a Cricut Explore or Maker
You can easily cut wood veneer with your Cricut machine and the deep point blade.
Make Your Own Doormat
A doormat is super easy to make with a Cricut machine and our instructions.
Cutting Earrings with a Cricut Machine
It is so easy to make earrings with a Cricut. You will have a pair for every occasion!
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About Angie Holden
For over a decade, I have been sharing Cricut tutorials and craft ideas here as well as on my YouTube channel. My passions include teaching others to be creative and learning as many new things as possible.
Transfer tape is clear and non gridded and comes in a roll without any type of backing. It's easy to see through which makes applying the vinyl relatively easy. Transfer paper has more of a sticky paper feel and can be gridded to "help" with alignment.What's the best transfer tape for permanent vinyl? ›
We prefer using Oracal 651 permanent vinyl for our car decals which works fabulously with R-TAPE. Best transfer tape for glitter vinyl: We love using Siser Easy PSV transfer tape for textured vinyl such as glitter or flock.Is there different strengths of transfer tape? ›
You can either get regular transfer tape, or strong grip transfer tape. The strong grip is made to work with heavier vinyls, specifically glitter vinyl. For most vinyl you will want to use the regular transfer tape. The strong grip will be too strong and you will not be able to get your vinyl off and onto your surface.Why is my permanent vinyl not coming off transfer tape? ›
Solution: If your vinyl is not releasing from the transfer tape then your transfer tape may be too sticky! If it's too sticky, the vinyl will stay on the tape no matter what surface you are applying it to. Use a different tape that is not as sticky. Another way to help this, is to de-stick your tape.Are there different types of transfer tape for vinyl? ›
Expressions Vinyl offers two main types of transfer tape. We have clear and we also have paper. The clear is a plasticy film, and the paper is more like, well, a paper with a sticky back. Both types come in rolls and sheets.Why is my transfer tape not sticking? ›
You'll need to stick your transfer tape to a few surfaces before sticking it to your vinyl. This makes the transfer tape less sticky, and you'll be able to get the vinyl off it for transfer. It's as simple as sticking the tape to some fuzzy surfaces a few times.What is 3m transfer tape used for? ›
Transfer tapes are used as laminating tapes on signs, graphics, plaques or most surfaces that need to have conformability and flexibility in their application.Is transfer vinyl the same as transfer tape? ›
Heat transfer vinyl has a clear carrier sheet attached to the vinyl that is used instead. Once the vinyl is cut the excess vinyl is removed (weeded) and the project should be left on the backing. Transfer tape is then applied over the project so that when the backing is removed the vinyl sticks to the transfer tape.What is the easiest transfer tape for vinyl? ›
- BEST OVERALL: YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll.
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: HTVRONT 12-Inch by 120-Inch Transfer Tape for Vinyl.
- BEST WITHOUT GRID LINES: Vinyl Ease Paper Transfer Tape.
- BEST SHEETS: Selizo Transfer Tape for Vinyl.
- BEST NARROW: HTVRONT 6-Inch Transfer Tape for Vinyl.
Did you know you can reuse the same piece of transfer tape multiple times? It's true! I can use pieces of my favorite clear transfer material three or four times each. So, when you peel off a piece of transfer tape, don't throw it away!
The vinyl is placed on the transfer tape, then the paper backing attached to the vinyl is peeled off and placed on the project surface. Basically, it's like a sticker, that's why you don't need to mirror the image when creating a project using a permanent or removable vinyl.Which transfer tape is best for smart vinyl? ›
Apply Transfer Tape
Note: Transfer Tape works for most vinyl types. Use StrongGrip Transfer Tape for vinyl with a textured finish, like Shimmer. StrongGrip Transfer Tape is too strong for other vinyl types.
Use Heat To Help Dry Adhesive
If your vinyl isn't sticking, you can use heat to affix it better. Use a hairdryer or heat gun on the surface of the self-adhesive vinyl while applying it to your desired surface. Using heat will help it conform to any uneven surfaces a little quicker.
Burnish your tape on the front AND back using a scraper tool. After you've got your tape on your design, make sure you are burnishing (rubbing) on the front and back of the vinyl/transfer tape combination. This will help will getting the vinyl to stick to the tape.Is strong grip transfer tape good for vinyl? ›
This specially designed StrongGrip Transfer Tape is made for heavier vinyl, including Cricut Glitter Vinyl. Clear with a light printed grid for precise alignment with images and surface. Create removable media covers, labels, décor, and more!Can you use any transfer tape with Cricut? ›
The short answer to this is yes, but I will also say that I use the same transfer tape for nearly all of my vinyl projects. Both Silhouette and Cricut offer strong tack or strong grip transfer tapes (here is the Silhouette Strong Tack and here is the Cricut Strong Grip).Why is my vinyl not sticking to the transfer tape? ›
You'll need to stick your transfer tape to a few surfaces before sticking it to your vinyl. This makes the transfer tape less sticky, and you'll be able to get the vinyl off it for transfer. It's as simple as sticking the tape to some fuzzy surfaces a few times.How many times can you reuse transfer tape for vinyl? ›
You can absolutely reuse your transfer tape. You can reuse it until it loses its stickiness. So, if you've got projects you're doing at home and you just wanna peel it off once you get it on your wall, and keep that little piece. If you used a sheet, you can just put it back on the backing it came on.What is the best transfer tape to use with a Cricut? ›
Cricut Vinyl StrongGrip Transfer Tape
Crafters will require a high-tack tape in order to transfer glitter or holographic vinyl, which can adhere to the textured surface. Cricut's StrongGrip Transfer Tape is one of the best high-tack options on the market, with its translucent finish and convenient grid lines.
Cricut Transfer Tape was specifically designed to make transferring vinyl designs to project surfaces a cinch. The clear film with grid makes it simple to position your design right where you want it. For use with most vinyl types, especially those with a smooth, non-textured finish.
We're cutting both vinyl products with our Cricut Explore 3 and using the Premium Vinyl Glossy setting. Almost immediately when it begins cutting, the dollar store vinyl began lifting up off the mat. Maybe the pressure was too much – change settings and try again. We had it on Premium Vinyl Permanent Glossy.How can I make my vinyl stick better? ›
If your vinyl isn't sticking, you can use heat to affix it better. Use a hairdryer or heat gun on the surface of the self-adhesive vinyl while applying it to your desired surface. Using heat will help it conform to any uneven surfaces a little quicker.Can you transfer vinyl without transfer tape? ›
You can move vinyl from its backing to another location without transfer tape, but if there are any spaces or intricate details it will be very difficult. If you're new to using transfer tape, we have a great video tutorial!Can you use parchment paper for vinyl transfer? ›
Just get some good old parchment paper and you're good to go. The kind I have linked above even has grids on it! Any kind of transfer tape you want will work. I used to be a huge fan of Contact Paper but they recently changed it up some and now it's leaving a sticky residue on all my designs.