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suggestions for iron purchase

sjott | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi everyone. I am in the market for a new iron. Something to replace the $15 one I have been using…. ;0) But I can’t really break the bank on one yet. What re some good features I should be looking for? It will be used Primarily for my sewing habit.

Steam features? Stainless steel plate? Off timer?

thanks in advance.


  1. Josefly | | #1

    I splurged ($90) on a Rowenta iron about three years ago, and replaced it when it prematurely died a year ago with a Black and Decker SteamXpress (about $30) from Target. I was disappointed the Rowenta didn't live longer, and didn't think it performed well enough to justify the expense. The Black and Decker steams as well as the Rowenta did. It has an automatic cut-off, beeps softly before it cuts off, which is helpful when I'm sewing, and has a steam surge button as well as a spray button. I prefer the shiny stainless soleplate, because I don't like the idea of scratched-up non-stick coatings. We wear a lot of cotton and linen clothes in my family, and this iron gets hot enough for those fabrics. It also steams pretty well on low settings.

    The Black and Decker is not as heavy as I would've liked but heavy irons are not easy to find these days, and the Rowenta wasn't heavy enough either. The water tank seems to empty quickly, so it either isn't as big as on other irons I've used, or it steams more.

    Good luck.

  2. mygaley | | #2

    Josefly's experience with rowenta and black and decker irons is very like mine.

    My rowenta did not get as hot as I wanted and died early.  It's less aggravation to just get a cheaper iron then you won't feel guilty about chunking it.  I have never thought my b&d wasn't hot enough, it has an extra long cord but I do wish it had a larger tank.

  3. sjott | | #3

    Thank you. Thats what I was looking for.... An option at Target!! I have a couple of gift cards I was hoping to use there. I will just have to take some time to look them over. But more $ does not mean better. My iron now has the plate coating that is scratching off, So I will be looking for the stainless plate. Thanks again.

    1. Lynnelle | | #4

      I bought a G&E iron for about $17 bucks and it works like a charm.  It has a steam button and gets very hot.  It doesn't have an automatic shut off button, but it clicks every few minutes to indicate that it's still on. 

      Good luck.


  4. HeartFire | | #5

    most people seem to have bad experiences with Rowentas, they last for about 1 yr only. T-Fal irons are made by the same company as rowenta.
    Depending on how serious you are in your need for an iron, I bought an industrial gravity feed iron for $150.00 its a 'silverstar' and I love it, it does take longer to warm up (about 5 min) but the tank holds almost one gallon of water so I don't have to refill it often. it is not portable like home irons as the tank is hanging from a chain in the celing, but I sew professionally and this has worked out so much better - after several $100.00 rowentas!

    1. Janna | | #6

      I have nothing but rave reviews for my Rowenta.  I have two (one and a spare that I had given to my mother, which I got back after her death).  My own has been used faithfully and constantly for at least a dozen years.  I have never had a whit of trouble with it, and it still makes ironing a joy. 

      1. Teaf5 | | #7

        I love both my Rowenta and its predecessor, a Black and Decker. The key to making them last longer( 8 years for one, 20 for the other) is to avoid using the steam tank at all and to keep the sole plate clean and unscratched. The surface of your ironing board can make a huge difference in any iron's effectiveness, too.I use a separate mist bottle for ironing because every iron I have ever put water into drips rust spots onto fabrics at the worst possible time. Most of them come with instructions to "drain the steam tank after every use," but that's just not practical in my life.I keep the soleplate clean with a good iron cleaner, I avoid ironing over pins, buttons, or zippers to keep it unscratched, and I keep the padding and cover of the ironing board in good shape--flat, smooth, and clean. While I may never grow to love ironing, at least I can do it efficiently and effectively!

        1. ixs | | #8

          I have been ironing and sewing for a long time. I have two top-of-the line Rowentas, and I like them; however, I can't get them to do the burst of steam. However, I do use distilled water because I have well water, and they don't drip, but they leak when you use them again if you don't empty them. I think getting an iron hot enough is an issue and getting one heavy enough, but not too heavy is another issue. We have an RV and travel, and I take my iron with me. Sometimes one really has to apply a lot of pressure when pressing interfacing or pressing linen, which I do a lot.

    2. SewTruTerry | | #9

      Heartfire where did you get this gravity feed iron the "silverstar" and how long ago.  I have just had my 4th White Steam Generator give out on my after only 6 months.  Yes I know that they will replace for $50.00 but they only cost $99.00 to begin with and then there is the cost of shipping the old one back to them. I want one that is more reliable.

      1. Marionc032 | | #11

        Hi Terry, I have a Silverstar gravity feed iron and I LOVE it! I've had it for about 6 years of problem-free heavy use, after several Rowentas, and other disappointments. I got mine at a local Singer dealer but you can get them online at: http://www.sewserg.com/products/abc0942.html or just google gravity feed irons and you'll find others. Go for it, you won't regret it!Marion

  5. GoodFibrations | | #10

    Unlike some other posters, I have had nothing but success over the years with my Rowenta Irons.  My current one is over 5 years old and I use it nearly every day.  I have never dropped it, and I use only filtered or distilled water  (even tho' it says tap may be used). My previous Rowenta is still in service but is now utilized for messy things like fusing, does not have the auto shut off feature and is 10 years old.  I have a Rowenta Travel iron, now also 10 years old, still working and a Rowenta Steamer, 8 years old going strong.   I love Rowenta! 

  6. janeth775 | | #12

    I went to overstock.com and forund a Kenmore iron with a water uptake tank.  I like the iron but the steam does not work as well as I would like.  (maybe that is why it was at overstock.com.)  It does get hot enough for me.  (It was $18. + shipping of $2.95)

  7. Madeleine | | #13

    I would like to also mention problems with my Rowenta irons.  First one began shutting off when it wasn't supposed to in the middle of ironing.  Had it repaired once, then decided to replace it.  Would have thought I would have learned, but I bought a second Rowenta and have never been happy with it.  Doesn't get hot enough, water drips when it isn't supposed to.  I will not buy a Rowenta again.

    1. User avater
      fashionlizard | | #14

      I have a Rowenta now... after having a cordless Panasonic that I spent about $100 on...which after a little more than a year, insisted on turning itself off every ten seconds. I suspect that its problems were due to its microprocessor which may have been damaged by some power surge during summer thunderstorms. Many of these irons with auto shutoff features and special temperature sensing have on-board microprocessors. They really need to be plugged into surge suppressors just like your computer. Oh well! Live and learn. I tried to get the iron fixed, but Panasonic does not give their service centers any support for irons that are not under warranty. This means that the service centers can't get parts and Panasonic won't replace the iron. You are just SOL. That is the last Panasonic appliance I will buy. I decided that my next iron would be REALLY simple. And cheap. No auto shutoff....I was going to have to be responsible and remember to turn it off like we had to do before the days of auto shutoff. I too do not fill the tank with water; I use a spray bottle of water (like the sort for misting plants.) I haven't had any problems with this very simple iron for more than 4 years of heavy use. Unfortunately, I have just started to need glasses for close work...and in my myopia last night...caught my foot in the power cord and pulled it off the ironing board onto the floor. I reassembled the temperature control mechanism...and all seems to be well... but at least it was cheap and replacing it should it fail will not be an ordeal. I don't have any complaints about how hot it gets or the weight.

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