Back to Basics - Irons

So, after my recent purchase of an iron, it got me thinking about all the options you should think about when selecting an iron yourself. So how about we check out all that irons have to offer!
 The biggest difference I noticed when checking out the options during my recent shopping trip were the plating options on the irons themselves. Above you can see my old iron on the left with the regular plating and the new iron with the teflon coating.

I honestly don't have much of an opinion between the two. They both seem to work the same to me.
 Another important option when looking at the plates are the holes for venting steam. My old iron had plenty (or so I thought)
 Until I got my new iron. I like having all of the steam capability, but it's almost too much sometimes. And yes, I steam when I press and iron.
 My old iron had only one set of controls that included both steam and heat. If you had the higher heat options it included heat.
 If you used the lower levels you got a dry heat, no steam included.
 My new iron has a better option if you ask me. In quilting we almost always use cotton which require high heat, but I don't always want steam. And if I just filled the reservoir in my iron, it just didn't work well sometimes to empty it neatly.

The new iron has separate controls, one for steam...
 And one for heat. This I really like and have used already.
 Most irons have controls for an extra burst of steam or a spray of moisture on the handle.
 Both of the irons I've had have them located in roughly the same area.
 I also like to consider the overall shape of the iron. I liked my old iron better in this aspect since it had an area that was straight(ish) and helped when pressing, especially borders or long strips. I like to use the straight(ish) part to help press everything evenly.
 The new iron doesn't seem that different than the old one, but it's just curved enough that it's not as nice for the long strips like the old one.
 Also, a new feature I wish I had was a retractable cord. I didn't have one before, but I had a nice long cord which made life easier, especially when pressing backings or large quilt tops.
 The new cord is just as long as the old one but is retractable.

How wonderful is that?! I'm loving it. It makes clean up for when I move my ironing board back into the quilting room easier. It's also a nice feature to consider if you travel to sew or if space is an issue.

One of the last features that you should also consider when purchasing an iron is the weight of it. If it's too heavy and it makes your wrist want to fall off after a few minutes of pressing, it's not going to work. Most stores have a display available where you can actually hold and inspect the irons. Weight is also an important feature if you have any injuries or issues like carpal tunnel, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, etc.

Most important aspect to consider when purchasing an iron is the cost. Both of my irons cost less than $20 and the first one lasted me about 5 years of pretty heavy abuse. Just because something is shiny and expensive doesn't mean that it's better than the other options on the market. I know far too many people that have spent way too much on an iron to only have it die on them a few months later... I know you get what you pay for typically, but not from what I've seen in the iron market.

The last bit of advice I can give you is to do some research before you buy anything and look up other customer reviews on the products you're thinking about buying. It's typically unbiased opinions that might bring to light an issue you might not have considered.

I'll be back soon with the struggle of steam v. no steam and ironing v. pressing.

So what kind of iron do you own and are there any features you like on your iron I didn't list about mine? Any troubles you've had you would like to share?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the infomation, I agree. I'm so glad you didn't say that the new iron cost a million dollars. It's nice to know there are decent options on lower priced models.
    p.s. I feel the same way about toasters.


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