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Choosing an Iron

Years ago, when the old iron wore out, your mother or grandmother went to Sears or the local appliance shop to buy a new one. I take that back. It more than likely didn’t wear out. It probably broke because someone dropped it one too many times or the cord got frayed by the cat chewing on it. Appliances were made to last.

More than likely, she was able to replace the iron with the exact same brand and model. If not, a knowledgeable clerk would advise her of her choices. Or, she could ask a neighbor. But not today.

If you have an iron you like, they don’t make it anymore, of if they do, it comes from China. So you check out some of the reviews, and you’re no better off than if you picked out one blindfolded. For every one with a basically good rating, a bunch of people talk about how it stopped working within month, started to spit steam or burnt a fine garment. My favorite comment was someone who said that you’d be better off ironing your clothes with a hot rock than X brand of iron.

Some say Rowenta, but only if it’s made in Germany. My aunt says buy the Black & Decker Classic, but the reviews are iffy. Maybe I will just get one of these. At least there are no parts to break.


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  1. User avater
    Kate_W | | #1

    Thank you. Very funny.

    I just bought a new iron -- the old one didn't have automatic shut-off ( ... left it on overnight, introduced error due to periodic low-voltage in my husband's deep-sky photography ... he wasn't happy.)

    I am still getting used to the new iron. It doesn't stay on as long as I'd like, doesn't seem as hot when it is on, sputters steam when I'd rather it didn't, and doesn't have an on/off switch. I end up dancing with it to turn it on. I have not however, read the entire manual carefully, so I blame myself.

    As a kid, my mother's iron weighed a ton. I'm thinking I'll go looking for a rock today ... if you have instructions, please share. Again, thank you.

  2. User avater
    Berniecamp | | #2

    Great story, Jinxy. You made me laugh. Although I have nothing to suggest to anyone, I too, am looking for a good iron. My present iron spits and sputters all over everything. As I look at reviews, they simply confuse me ~ especially the Rowenta iron. HELP! What do we buy that will last and do the job?

  3. sewsart | | #3

    Amen, about the Rowenta. Keep going back, Why? Have owned three...one started a fire in my workroom ( replaced the plug) and my latest one is longer being used because the cord is HOT TO THE TOUCH. So, Thanks for the confirmation...no more Rowentas for me!I too, am wondering if we go back to the ,lovely 1950's iron...for cotton purposes anyway, is that the answer?

  4. VictoriaPorter | | #4

    I had the same problem as all of you for years and then on a sewing site. I was buying some kind of new iron every 6 months or so. Until I read about a Gravity Feed Steam Iron did some research on it and ended getting one and it is going on fifth year of use I love it. If you have more questions ask away.

  5. ohiostar | | #5

    I just replaced my second B & D iron in 15 years.(Pro Glide series) Before that it was Rowentas. I figure that if I could get 7.5 years from a 39.99 iron (which works out to about 6$s a year), and will still keep working after those dear beloved cats keep throwing it to the floor, I couldn't ask for more. The Rowenta was no where near a cat, I paid 80$ and it worked for 2.5 years! Go figure. Several days ago, I purchased 2 irons just like the photo, cheap B&D's from China, the cat knocked it to the floor day I purchased it, and it leaks. Well, that will be my dry iron. The other I will hide until I need it, and will consider branding the first cat who goes near it!

  6. JessicaB | | #6

    Has anyone tried the Oliso Smart Iron? If so, what do you think of it???

  7. kne5017894 | | #7

    Has anyone had experience or found good reviews of the gravity feed irons like Pacific steam or Consew?

  8. User avater
    tzivia | | #8

    I had two Rowentas and, like you other former Rowentans, found the Rowenta cost-to-longevity ratio wanting.
    My current Rowenta leaks like crazy.

    At the Puyallup Sew Expo, I asked several presenters to recommend an iron.
    The recommendation I followed was for an iron by RELIABLE, a Canadian manufacturer.

    The price from the Reliable website was right and so far, I like the Reliable iron very much: good weight and lots of steam.

  9. User avater
    ElenaYDesigns | | #9

    I would like to know more about Gravity irons, as mentioned in Victoria Porter's comment above. I have been using irons with pressurized boilers for several years with many many technical problems even though I loved working with them. My current Bernina is holding on because my husband manages to repair it periodically. When this one dies I think I would like to try a Gravity iron. Can Victoria or someone tell me what they like about this kind of iron - for instance what does it do that other irons do not? What other features does it have that makes it a good reliable iron that hopefully won't burn fabric, spit on fabric, conk out in the middle of a project and whatever all those bad irons do.

  10. User avater
    MaRoseBear | | #10

    I purchased the Hi Steam EFE 55W Professional Gravity Feed Steam Iron about 2 years ago and after using it the 1st time, I wished I'd bought it years ago. When pressing/ironing satin fabrics, no problem and no water stains on it.

    I normally sew for 12+ hours at a time and the iron stays on the entire time, no problem, no shutting off like a regular iron, and it gives plenty of steam. Your garment looks like it came from the cleaners. I've so far not had any problems with my iron.

    I also purchased the Silicon Iron Rest and the Iron Shoe and the Dematerializer pellets.

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