The best permanent vinyl for Cricut is one that cuts cleanly, weeds easily without sticking to itself, adheres well to transfer tape and transfers to your object with little effort. Here I compare 8 brands of permanent vinyl for your Cricut to test just that. Some excel while others fall short. Keep reading to find out which ones are which. All costs are current as of February 2022.
This post is not sponsored. All supplies were purchased by me and these are my honest opinions based upon my testing.
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What is Permanent Vinyl?
Permanent Vinyl is a stretchy, plastic material with an adhesive back that can be applied to smooth and textured surfaced like walls, tiles, metal, wood, glass, and most other surfaces. It is considered an outdoor vinyl that is long-lasting. It has a stronger adhesive than removable and can therefore do damage to indoor walls and some other materials if removed. It can withstand harsher weather, though, which is why it is called “outdoor” vinyl.
Permanent vinyl comes in glossy and matte, glitter, holographic, and patterned and a number of other types. Learn more about types of vinyl in The Different Types of Adhesive Vinyl for Cricut. In this comparison, I take a look at 8 different brands of vinyl and rate them from highest to lowest based upon 4 factors.
The 8 brands I compare in this post are Oracal 651, Cricut Smart Vinyl, Avery Dennison 750HD, Siser EasyPSV, StyleTech Craft Semi-gloss, StarCraft HD Matte, StarCraft HD Glossy and Oracal 641.
I used four criteria to judge, each on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest. I then took the average of the four numbers for the overall score for the permanent vinyl. The one with the highest number won the best permanent vinyl competition. The four criteria I used are:
- How well does it weed?
- How well does it adhere to transfer tape?
- How well did it transfer onto wood?
- How does it look?
This is not a sponsored post. The opinions presented are all mine. All products were purchased by me and I conducted all of the testing that produced the results.
Overall Best Permanent Vinyl for Cricut
Score: 5.0, ~ $1.00 / 12″ sheet
The winner of the Best Permanent Vinyl for Cricut competition is Siser EasyPSV vinyl. I was surprised that it wasn’t Oracal 651, but Siser EasyPSV came out just a hair better in the comparison. Both, however, are fantastic vinyl and offer different types, so if you are an Oracal die-hard fan, it’s a win-win. Consider both for your vinyl needs.
For example, Siser EasyPSV comes in 38 standard colors, 6 holographic, 17 glitter, chalkboard and glow-in-the dark vinyl. Oracal 651 comes in 60 standard colors. Oracal 851 is its glitter vinyl, and it comes in 12 colors. Both brands have patterns.
I’ve always been an Oracal girl (although I do have Cricut vinyl in my mix), but I will definitely be incorporating Siser EasyPSV into my vinyl inventory because the price point is comparable to Oracal 651 at approximately $1.00 for a 12” sheet. I also like their colors; some of them are lighter and more pastel.
While Oracal is typically easy to weed and looks great, EasyPSV just had an extra easiness to it. The vinyl didn’t stick to itself at all when weeding and attached and detached to and from my weeding tool without any issues. With four quick passes of the scraper, it transferred to the wood just as easily and looked fabulous. It even looked a tiny bit glossier than Oracal 651—but it could have been my lighting.
If someone put two equal colors in front of me and I had to choose a brand for a project, I would select the Siser EasyPSV. Although, I do not have any personal or other testing data on longevity, there is brand recognition and reputation between Oracal and Siser, and Siser says it lasts up to 5 years.
Score: 4.75 , ~$3.00 / yard
Oracal 641 is Oracal’s matte permanent vinyl. This vinyl is the counterpart to Oracal 651, which is its glossy permanent vinyl. By comparison, it was very close to Siser EasyPSV, and when choosing a glossy and a matte, these would be my two choices. It is easy to weed, although not quite as easy as Siser EasyPSV. It does stick a bit. It adheres to transfer tape and transfers beautifully and looks fabulous in the matte finish. It comes in 21 bright and dark colors, and black and white.
Score: 4.5, ~75¢ / 12″ sheet
Oracal 651 is the permanent glossy vinyl counterpart to Oracal 641. It is considered the standard of vinyl. It comes in 60 beautiful, bright, and dark glossy colors. It weeds easily, picks up and transfers well. I experienced a couple of minor glitches which put it a notch below the matte vinyl; it stuck to itself several times and was hard to get clear. Other than that, it performed as expected and came out next to top.
Oracal 651 always looks beautiful. It has one of the shiniest glosses and their colors are bright and rich.
StyleTech Craft Semi-Gloss Permanent
Score: 4.25, ~60¢ / 12″ sheet
StyleTech Craft permanent vinyl weeded well. It didn’t stick to itself and adhered to the weeding tool. With four swipes of the scraper, the decal burnished right onto the transfer tape. However, when I transferred it onto the wood, some of it was lifting even though it did transfer. Putting the transfer tape back in place with one more burnishing did the trick, though. It may have been a one-off issue, but it just didn’t go on as easily as some of the others. However, it looked alright once it was placed on the wood.
This vinyl would be a good choice when you don’t want a high gloss, but matte is too flat, or if you are looking for a low-cost option.
Cricut Smart Vinyl Permanent
Score: 4.25, ~$8.00 / 3 ft.
Cricut Smart Vinyl Permanent is a decent vinyl to work with except in one facet; adherence to transfer tape. You may already know that getting this vinyl to stick to transfer tape is a real trick. You can use heat, or you can use a bend, press and roll method. I am not fond of either due to the extra work of heating the vinyl and the pickiness of the bending, pressing and rolling over and over of the carrier sheet.
The thick carrier sheet is required due to the matless nature, but the Silhouette Cameo 4 cuts matless and will take any vinyl (why can’t the Cricut?). Since the carrier sheet is thick by necessity which makes it difficult to adhere the transfer tape to the vinyl, I gave it a 3 for “okay”, but under any other circumstances I would have given it a 1.
As for weeding, it went alright, but not great. It doesn’t stick but it doesn’t give you a hand either. It transferred nicely, however (the dog sacrificed an eye during the transfer tape adherence process), and looked really good on the wood.
One consideration is the price. It’s more expensive than the other vinyl brands and can be a little more difficult to work with. You can get it on sale frequently at Cricut.com, Michaels and Joann, which does help the price point though and it is convenient to buy. Unless you prefer matless cutting and/or need to cut in lengths longer than 12″, and your Cricut supports matless cutting, I recommend choosing a different product.
Edit 14-March-2022: I want to note that this is specific to Cricut Smart Vinyl. This entry is not for Cricut Premium Vinyl. I do like Cricut’s Premium vinyl and would recommend it. I know there are a lot of you who are big Cricut fans and only Cricut vinyl, and I would not dissuade you. Although I would rate Siser and Oracal higher still, much of my stock is Cricut Premium vinyl and I would be remiss to mention this.
Avery Dennison HP750 Permanent
Score: 4.0, ~55¢ / 12″ sheet
Avery Dennison HP750 weeded alright except when it stuck to itself. Getting it unstuck was difficult. In fact, while gently trying to dislodge one piece, it almost ripped the vinyl it was so attached. It excelled, however, in adhering to transfer tape. In fact, it performed the best of all the vinyl. There were no issues transferring to the wood and it looked fine.
Update 7/21/2022: 143Vinyl has stopped selling Avery Dennison. I can only find one distributor now (RVinyl) that sells it now in small quantities and in colors, and I don’t have experience with them. If you order from them, please drop me an email and let me know how it goes so I can decide whether to keep them or not in this post. I would be so grateful.
StarCraft HD Glossy Permanent
Score: 3.5, ~65¢ / 12″ sheet
The StarCraft glossy permanent vinyl didn’t weed well at all. Bits that shouldn’t have stuck, stuck and others that should have, didn’t. It stuck to itself frequently. When weeding, it didn’t release from the weeding tool easily. Adherence to the transfer tape was different; it went well with just 4 swipes of the scraper, right onto the tape. When transferring to the wood, I needed to burnish twice for removal. It transferred to the wood, but was lifting after removal, so it didn’t transfer well. Replacement of the tape and another burnish helped, but I didn’t think it went on solidly. The look of the vinyl is fine.
StarCraft HD Matte Permanent
Score: 3.5, ~65¢ / 12″ sheet
The StarCraft matte permanent vinyl weeded nicely, but the pieces stuck to the tweezers and weeding tool and were difficult to remove to the trash. Adherence to the transfer tape was a problem. I had to burnish multiple times to get several pieces to stick. However, transfer to the wood went well, and it took nicely with just 4 swipes of the scraper. It looked fine once transferred.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the best permanent vinyl for your Cricut, choose Siser EasyPSV, which will last you up to 5 years. If they don’t have the color you’re looking for, look at Oracal 651 which lasts up to 6 years. If you need a matte, choose Oracal 641 (6 years). If you do need a matless option, use Cricut permanent Smart Vinyl, but be aware of the difficulty of adherence to the transfer tape. You can watch a video (or two) to help make the adherence to transfer tape a little easier also.
Where To Buy The Best Permanent Vinyl
There are many places online where you can buy vinyl. I don’t recommend buying in retail stores unless you’re in a bind and need something immediately. You’ll end up paying a premium.
It is worth it to purchase your vinyl at online retailers other than Amazon. You’re getting top-rated vinyl, and the increase in delivery time is only a couple of days. The cost per square foot is the same as well; less than $1.00 for most. I recommend the following online places for buying vinyl, but there are many great online retailers that are not in my list that others recommend as well.
- Happy Crafters for great prices on Siser EasyPSV
- Expressionsvinyl.com for Oracal 651 and Siser EasyPSV
- proworldinc.com for Oracal 641, which can be a bit harder to find
- Cricut and Amazon for Cricut vinyl
More About Vinyl
If you’re interested in learning about all the different types of adhesive vinyl, take a look at my guide to The Different Types of Adhesive Vinyl for Cricut. There I discuss glitter, holographic, flock and other types of vinyl. You can also learn more about heat transfer vinyl in my guide What are The Different Types of Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)? I will cover removable and glitter vinyl in another post coming soon.
If you have any questions or would like for me to add information, please let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you! Happy, happy crafting!
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