Essential comes in one formulation and its considered a medium. If there ever was a one-size-fits-all plastic, the Essential would have to be it in my opinion. Plus a person can always add hardener or softener if one so chooses. I have a gallon of hard formula plastic and when I feel the need to stiffen a bait up I mix the Essential and the hard three parts Essential, one hard and that generally is a pretty tough plastic. Its really hard to know what bait will favor one specific weight of plastic without actually making and using the baits made with different plastic. Hard plastic can get awful stiff for some applications and one never knows. For all practical purposes, we can assume that just about every mold designed and cut today is developed around medium plastic. Different strokes for different folks can lead to using a world of different plastic formulas since everyone is different and has different preferences for how the bait should work. The Essential plastic is about as good as it gets for what's considered to be a medium plastic though and the stuff is no less tough than some other firm or hard formula plastic and the Essential is way more elastic.
At one time I was adding a full quart of softener to a five gallon bucket of plastic but now I use the Essential straight out of the pail, adding nothing. When I need a very soft plastic, generally for very small bait molds with lots of small appendages and their cavities I just use straight Do-It Crystal Clear soft formula. This Crystal Clear plastic is slick but for the most part the Essential is a better plastic for people with having less chance of issues. The Crystal Clear is more temperature sensitive. I started out with Crystal Clear and learned the plastic and its little nuances well before the Essential came along. The Essential is a God-send in my opinion, but there's no way I am regretting having learned to use the Crystal Clear in both the soft and the medium.