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Irons–Disappointed… any ideas?

lesliec4000 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

My vintage Sunbeam finally caught fire and died.  I knew the search for a replacement would be tough, but I was in for a nasty surprise.

I bought a Rowenta DX1700.  Among other complaints (stupid cord in the way, unreachable, unreadable dial), my biggest complaint is it does not get hot enough.  I was preshrinking cotton yardage and ironing it dry, and it easily took twice as long as with the Sunbeam.

Does anyone know for sure if newer irons do not heat up as hot as old irons?  Is wattage the deciding factor to determine how hot it will get?  I have not seen more than 1700 watts like the Rowenta I bought.  (By the way, I already returned it.)

Any suggestions on a good hot iron?  I don’t need steam. 




  1. megowen | | #1

    Leslie, I have a Rowenta "professional luxe" that is 1440 watts. Without steam, it makes the fabric hot enough that you don't want to touch it when it is immediately ironed. With steam, you can almost burn yourself on the fabric. It is heavy, the only drawback now that I am developing some arthritis in my hand, but which was not an issue about 5 years ago when I got it.

    My complaint about most new irons that I have had previous to this one, is how light they are; I found that I could not really press with it, and wrinkles were not so easy to remove.

    1. WandaJ | | #3

      Please provide me with a little more information about the model Rowenta Iron that you have. I went online and searched for this iron and added 'luxe' to the name and I got a host of sites and when looking at them I found none that stated 'luxe' in their title.

      I too am looking for a hot iron, that's somewhat heavy, and has lots of steam, with no auto shut-off. Is there such an iron in existence?

      1. Crazy K | | #4

        I have had three Rowentas......the first  Professional "inox', then a Sew 'n Press for pressing fusibles, etc. cuz it has the teflon plate (that one is lightweight and not the greatest for general pressing purposes) and the present one a Professional luxe......says it right on the iron.  I was looking for more of a model number but the box is nowhere to be found now.  I think we trashed the box once we realized that sending a faulty iron back to the company wasn't worth the bother.  My first Rowenta, the professional inox I loved but after I dumped in on the floor it developed a leak.  I then got the Professional luxe......nearly the same but a newer model, I think.  They're very substantial (read: heavy), give lots of steam and get hot.  They're a wonderful iron, I think.  I don't get the spitting and sputtering that I got with the less expensive models.  I still have the Sew 'n Press and do use it occasionally.  It's fine for steam pressing seams, etc. but I have the heavier one set up for general ironing so it's handy for other things as well.


      2. megowen | | #6

        Rowenta Professional Iron - DM-890


        Search for this one...it looks like a newer version of the one I have, and the price on Amazon is about what I paid.

      3. megowen | | #7
        1. WandaJ | | #8

          Thanks for directing me to the Rowenta discussed in this thread. The reviews at Amazon.com were not that great. I suppose some people have better results than others.

          1. megowen | | #9

            They also have different expectations and needs. I know I had never spent more than about $20 for an iron before...they never lasted long, and I had to really lean on them to get a good press. When I started quilting seriously, they were totally useless. And if I used steam, they would usually spit and discolor my project, or my nursing uniforms.

            This has worked well for me...hasn't spit yet, and presses cotton scrubs so they really look like professional clothing, not like rumpled pajamas.

            I shuddered when I spent almost $100...but, 6years later, I am still happy with it.

            Hope you find an iron that makes you as happy.

      4. sewchris703 | | #10

        I love my Black and Decker Classic iron.  It's great for natural fiber fabrics.  It steams great on Wool, Cotton, and Linen settings.  No auto shut off.  The only drawback is that it doesn't have a water window so I have to guess when it's nearly out of water.  But it does heat up quickly.  Another drawback is that it's not so great on the polyesters that bridal fashions are made from.   I had a Black and Decker Light N'Easy (I think that was it's name) a while back but it died.  I do need to buy another lightweight iron for the bridal stuff but I just haven't gotten around to it.  The Classic works on them as long as I'm carefull and remember to turn off the steam.


        1. WandaJ | | #11

          Thanks for sharing. I too thought mine was a B&D, but it's an old Sunbeam. I checked their (later) site today and all of the irons I found had auto shut offs, and that's not what I want. I've been checking second hand shops for a while, looking for an older heavier iron, and have not found one iron yet!!

          1. Ralphetta | | #12

            I got one with an automatic shut-off several years ago...it had me ready for a straight jacket. 

          2. sewchris703 | | #15

            I looked up the style nunber--it's a B&D The Classic F63D.  I google'd it and got 696 hits.   I bought it at Lowe's on sale.  It normally runs around $30-$35 at Lowe's.


          3. WandaJ | | #16

            Thanks for letting me know more about the B&D Iron. The price sounds good too. I will check with the local Lowe's store to find out if they carry this particular iron.

  2. Josefly | | #2

    I have no facts about wattage, etc., but I believe you're right that the newer irons don't get as hot at "cotton" and "linen" settings as older irons did. I've been disappointed in the last two irons I bought, one a Rowenta which died after only a year, and the second an inexpensive one from Target, which after a couple of years leaks water onto my garments as I'm trying to steam-press. I'll be interested to see what suggestions you get.

  3. fabricholic | | #5

    Has anyone had any experience with these irons? http://www.oliso.com/product_faqs.html I just saw it advertised on one of the sewing shows on t.v.Marcy

  4. Minnie63 | | #13

    I have a Black & Decker that shuts it's self off but is the one with the stainless steel tank. I love it! It has to be cleaned on occasion but that is no big deal. Better than the Rowenta, in my opinion.

  5. billsgirl | | #14

    You might want to try a professional steam iron that has a hanging bottle of filtered water.  They are more expensive but trust me they are heavy!!!  Mine is about 7 lbs.  I was making 12 tailored jacket that had to have fusible interlining as the fabric was too loosely woven.  I tried to do this sitting down...don't!!!Lifting a 7 lb. iron from a sitted position on a regular height ironing table just about ruined my shoulder.  I've sinced had shoulder replacement and I think it was mostly due to those 12 jackets.  But when you need a heavy iron these are the one.......Sharon in Lewisville Texas

  6. Teaf5 | | #17

    I like Black and Decker, too, but my Rowenta Acti-Press (under $50) gets hot enough to melt buttons, zippers, and all kinds of things I wish it wouldn't.  Its auto-shutoff feature is more patient than other irons, and it heats up quickly.  It comes with a cleaning kit that works very well.


    1. lesliec4000 | | #18

      Thanks for all the info.  I'll continue the search!


  7. phyllisv | | #19

    I wear a lot of natural fibers like cotton and linen (and wool in the winter) and I also iron everything. Consequently I have been on a life-long search for the perfect iron.  I have been through many makes, including Rowenta.  I must say that I was extremely disappointed in the Rowenta and also found that it only lasted about a year.

    I now have a Black and Decker Advantage and I love it.  It has lots of steam and works wonderfully for my summer linen garments.  It does have auto-off but I don't mind that.  I bought it at amazon.com and the reviews were good.  I liked it so much that I moved the first one to my studio and bought another for my clothes.

  8. amapola | | #20

    I have a Rowenta Professional Luxe. It's to heavy for me to iron so it's in a cabinet somewhere in the house. I was at Hancock and saw the Whte Steam Press. It's just wonderful. You don't have to use the steam. I never do. I have mine on top of a small table next to my tv and it's a pleasure. I can iron anything in it and it comes beautiful. I also wanted an iron to use for sewing. I did not want anything that could do everything since I already have it and don't like it. I went to Walmart and bought one for $5.00. It's the best iron because it gives me good,dry heat and it's so light my arm does not hurt after ironing for awhile. Hope this helps. Amapola

    1. WandaJ | | #21

      Pitching in on a lightweight inexpensive iron...last week while away at my daughter's sewing, I used her very lightweight ProctorSilex steam iron on linen. Surprisingly, it worked like a dream. Could it be that we have some preconceived notions about working with heavier, high level steam producing irons?

      I still would like a vertical steam iron, without the auto shut-off feature, regardless of the name (or, no-name) brand.

      While in the garage (it's become an adult sibling storage area, aka junk area for adult children) yesterday I spied an unidentified name iron that belongs to one of my brothers...guess who's going to pull it out and give it a try :-}.

      1. sewchris703 | | #22

        We use a lightweight ProctorSilex iron at the bridal shop.  It works like a dream on the bridal fabrics.  I really love a heavier iron for the wools, cottons, and linens I work with for the historical clothing.  But like you said, that could well be because that's what I started out ironing with when my mom taught me to iron way back in the mid 60's.  Who knows, now that it's been over 40 years since then.


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