Top critical review
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Great for high, not low, temperature fabrics needing steam
on February 27, 2013
We've been using this powerful iron since early November 2012. It puts out a great amount of steam on medium and high settings, and, to its credit, I do think the one millimeter bevel helps with dispersing steam using less water. The unit feels good in my hands and the cord is not too short. For medium and high temperature-capable fabrics, this iron is a good, solid buy. For low temperature fabrics, well, that is another story.
One millimeter. What a difference that millimeter makes.
That missing millimeter across the vast amount of the surface of the iron's soleplate, means you are actually only pressing your material in the areas with bordering ridges. These ridges appear to equate to, at most, four inches in the center, from front to back, and two inches closer to the sides. This means you either press harder, use more steam (which means raising the temperature almost to the line where the medium heat range starts), or press longer, if you want to eliminate wrinkles on low-temperature fabrics.
Why is this? Because when using the lower heat range, the thermostat only turns on the heating element long after any steam stops. Sadly, all of my dress pants require heat lower than what this iron needs to produce steam (to be fair, the steam button can occasionally produce steam, but only right after the element cycles on). So, it leaves one ironing very slowly (remember, you are only hitting the fabric with 2-4 inches of warm metal) or raising the temperature, and, in reality, going really slow IS raising the temperature on the fabric to some extent. Although I've tried to be careful, two pairs of pants have not-too-nice glossy areas on them from these approaches (thankfully, I iron them inside-out).
This iron also makes wet ironing - when you don't use the dryer - difficult. Again, that millimeter means that even if you are ironing shirts that accept a medium heat setting, you are only going to really be ironing with 2-4 inches of the whole plate bottom. So, this makes another ironing chore of mine rather more time consuming than I would have expected. (Of note, it is interesting to see the inverse image of dry-vs.-wet soleplate on a wet shirt. It really illustrates what part of the iron is actually doing the work.)
Despite these concerns, the iron has been worth the try. I can vouch that it does a really nice job if you aren't using it for my normal circumstances.
Due to these issues, we may find a close relative to whom to give this. To Rowenta's credit, we will likely get one of their flat-bottomed units.
What a difference a millimeter makes.