Friday, February 25, 2011

The Hunt for the Perfect Iron

Ever since my old General Electric iron died many years ago (you know they don't make irons like they used to!), I 've been on the hunt for the perfect iron.  I've bought expensive irons and I've bought cheap irons.  I'm still looking, and I just got another one.  I'll give you the run down on my current iron collection.

A few years ago I saw the new Digital Velocity steam iron by Reliable Corp.  I saw it on the internet and heard wonderful things about.  I love steam and boy, does this baby give you steam.  It was very expensive (to me anyway) at about $130 but I also figured I could use it to steam my clothes since it does vertical steaming, so it would be a good deal.  My husband gave me some gift points from a credit card he had accumulated and I purchased one.  I was so excited when it arrived.  It IS a great iron, but I discovered a few things...I discovered that for pressing while I'm piecing I like a small, light iron.  This iron is so heavy and bulky that I was afraid my wrist would give out!  I also discovered I don't like the auto-shut off.  It shuts off way too soon and takes a long time to heat back up (and to heat up initially), not practical for my sew-a-little, press-a-little piecing.  But this iron was expensive - - and DH knows it - LOL -- but I really couldn't use this iron for everyday piecing.  For ironing yardage however, it is da bomb (and probably also for ironing clothes, but I don't do that very often). 

So, on the sly, I was on the hunt for a smaller iron.  I then happened upon the Rowenta craft steam iron.  Great!  It was small, light and had great steam.  And, it didn't shut off on me!  I also loved the vertical slide to turn it on and off.  And with my 50%  off coupon from Joanns, it was very reasonable.  I now had the best of both worlds!  For a while.  Then it broke (I forget if it just died or leaked or what happened to it).  Oh well, it wasn't that expensive, I'll just get another one.  Except they don't make that model any more.  The new model has a dial inside of a slider.  I really, really liked that slider.  But, it will do.  Then, I noticed a couple of months ago my new baby Rowenta wasn't putting out any steam unless I hit the steam button.  Bummer. 

Then I started reading about these Oliso irons. They didn't appear to be anywhere near as heavy as the Reliable and although they have an auto-shut off, it doesn't shut off for 8 minutes. I can live with that. It also has that cool auto lift. You leave the iron in the horizontal position and as soon as you touch the handle, it goes down. As soon as you move your hand, it goes back up. I thought that was cool until I used it - drives you crazy (particularly the noise it makes)!!! Up, down, up, down, up down. There is very definitely a knack to it so it isn't always going up and down, which I'm slowing getting the hang of. Also, try to not automatically put your iron back in a vertical position after doing it for how many years -very hard to get used to! Also, it's not quite as light as I thought it would be. It also doesn't steam enough for me.  Do I like it? Yes. But I still want my small craft Rowenta.

So, I am actually using all three irons.  The Reliable for heaving duty yardage ironing and steaming.  The Oliso for ironing smaller pieces of fabric before I cut and the Rowenta for pressing seams.  I really wish I could put my favorite features of all of these into one perfect iron.  Why can't I have it all??????


Linda said...

I feel like that too. I've been wondering about the Oliso. They have one at the quilt shop and I think I liked it. I love the idea of a smaller iron, though.

charlotte said...

If you ever find the perfect iron, let me know. I am on the lookout for one two.

Sharon said...

I like a smaller iron. One that is light weight. When I am sewing, I just keep my iron close by and the lighter the iron, the easier it is to pick up and use.

Ivory Spring said...

Great post! :) You are quite the serious quilter, aren't you? :)