Most helpful critical review
268 of 296 people found the following review helpful
Two irons in a row defective
on August 31, 2010
This iron is good and sturdy. It is a bit on the heavy side, but that is okay. It has a "burst of steam" feature, and a sprayer (which I've not used yet). The burst of steam can be used in the vertical position. The sole shape is concave before the tip, which lets you get into small places. There is a control that lets you adjust the amount of steam you get. The iron has an auto-shutoff feature. There is a light that indicates when it is heating. (Some other reviewer said it was hard to know when it is warmed up. Just wait for this light to go out, and it is warm.) This light is near the base of the handle and is a bit hard to see. It is only visible from the left side, an inconvenience for left-handed users. There is a self-cleaning feature. I've not yet used it.
The iron consumes 1700 watts, which comes to 14.2 amps. That is close to the 15 amp limit of most household circuits in America. So you had better not have this plugged into the same circuit as anything that consumes much power (say a washing machine).
The instructions are very restrictive about the kind of water that can be used. All of the following are not allowed: water from clothes dryers, scented water, softened water, water from refrigerators, batteries, or air conditioners, pure distilled water, per demineralized water (I assume this is another name for de-ionized water), rain water, boiled water, filtered water, bottled water. If your water is hard (mine is quite hard---16 grains per gallon) you are advised to mix tap water and distilled or demineralized water 50-50. I understand some of that; you don't want any serious foreign gunk in the water and you need some metal ions to avoid pitting of the metal parts of the iron. But why can't I mix tap water and softened water? And why the prohibition on boiled, filtered, or bottled water?
My biggest complaint is this: The steam adjustment has 8 positions. As you move to more flow you seem to be working against a spring. There are detents at the 8 positions that are supposed to make it stay put. But it absolutely won't say in the highest flow position at all. Positions 4, 5, 6, and 7 are not stable; after a minute of ironing, the lever always seems to have popped down to position 3, which provides too little flow for my ironing tasks. An iron that costs as much as this one does and touts "Made in Germany" should not have a function that does not work right!
Another minor issue is that it is hard to see the water level. Also the behavior of the iron seems to vary some with water level. But given that you are always having to reset the steam flow control, it really doesn't matter.
I haven't seen a T-Fal iron, but given that at least one model gets many 5-star reviews, Consumer Reports rates it the highly, and it is way cheaper, maybe you should check that one out before buying this one.
===== ADDED 9/5/2010 =====
I decided that for the high price I paid for for it, and it was "Made in Germany", I really deserved to have one where the steam control worked. So I took it back to where I bought it, and they traded it for a new one. That was a big mistake. The steam control on the new one worked perfectly but it spit water something terrible. Even with the temperature in the middle of the cotton-linen region it was bad. At higher steams settings if you held the iron in the air horizontally, it would spew gobs of liquid water. Even at low setting, it would spit out small amounts of liquid and make wet blotches on the garment being ironed. Yes, I could turn the steam off, and iron for a while until the wet spot dried up. But this was even worse that the first one.
I returned the iron and got my money back.
Two irons in a row defective; I'm lowering my rating from 4 stars to 1 star, since it looks like there are consistent problems, not just a rare minor defect.
All I can say is that if you want to try a Rowenta, be sure you ask about return policies and keep your receipts.