Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I am cursed by the iron gods

So, I haven't had superb luck with irons, but today was a little scary.


My last iron died.  It just stopped working.  The one before that overheated and scorched some fabric.  I bought this new one just two weeks ago and have already had issues.  It was steaming constantly and occasionally leaking water onto my fabric as I ironed.  Ironically, I planned to return it to Target this morning, but ran out of time.  This afternoon my twins are sleeping, and I thought I'd sneak in a bee block while it was quiet.  I figured the iron still works relatively well despite the steam issue, I'll just use it one more time before returning it.

As I walked into the laundry room to iron my pieces, I thought, "Wow, that's really putting out a lot of steam."  Then I realized it was not steam, but smoke.  In just the few steps it took to cross the room it turned to a dark grey smoke pouring out of the top of the iron.  I quickly unplugged it and ran outside with it.  I put it under the outside faucet, drenching it with water to cool it down. Afterward, I started to freak out a bit.  What if I had left it for a few minutes?  What if I hadn't caught it just as it started to smoke?  Things definitely could have been worse than a smoke-filled laundry room.

I haven't ventured into the realm of expensive irons.  I usually stick to the $30-$40 range.  I'm now debating on what to do about a new iron.  Should I get a nice one?  This is iron #3 in about 1 1/2 years.  It seems I might need to do something different. 

What is your favorite iron?

71 comments:

  1. That is really scary! I usually get things from amazon where I can see lots of reviews, but I got a well rated iron there last year - turns out the way the cord comes out, its horrible for left handed people like me to use. In fact trying to work around the cord I end up getting steam burns at least once a week...
    My advice is to look on amazon first and read ALL the reviews, the irons Target carry will be on there (somebody HAD reviewed the problems for left handed people with my iron too, I just didn't read all of them!)

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  2. Oh bloody hell!
    Well I can't comment on the irons that are available to you guys, but I kill mine quite regularly even though I go for ones in the mid-price range. Just never leave on and unattended I guess xxx

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  3. So scary, glad nothing bad happened. I use the cheap $10.00 Walmart iron and I am on number 3 as well. I think I am floating in the same boat :) (But I am scared to get a nice one as the last 2 were broken by kids running in my sewing room, catching their foot on the cord, and ripping it off the board onto the wood floor :)

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  4. Wow! That's terrible! I've had awful luck with irons too—I swear they don't even make a decent iron anymore! I had a Rowenta that had the same leaking and spitting issues as you had with yours, so higher price isn't necessarily the key. Right now I have a T-Fal, still with the exact same leaking and spitting issue! I've given up and just never put water into the iron—as long as it's dry it works fine!

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  5. holy cow!!! how scarey! glad you caught it in time

    i have had great luck with SunBeam irons (i am on number 4 in the past 10 years). i get mine at wally World. they last me about 2.5 to 3 years.

    i have found a tip to keep an iron from dripping water- when you add water to the steam reservoir, turn the steam selector all the way off. the sudden burst of steam inside the iron can cause the little hose fittings to crack and that's where the leaks come from...

    i did it with my last iron and it worked...

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  6. spend some money and get a good one. i've had my rowenta for years and it's never failed me!

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  7. I have a rowenta too. worth every penny. : ) yoiks, you must have been really freaked out! sounds like it was possessed!

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  8. So scary! I once was ironing (as a teenager - for my mom) when the cord started on fire (where it attaches to the iron) and burnt my wrist pretty badly.

    I have a good iron. I've had it for over 5 years and it's still going strong. I think when you calculate it, it's less expensive than buying an iron every year or so. :-) It's a Black and Decker Digital Advantage (I think that's the name of it.) It has a stainless steel plate so it's scrubbable.

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  9. I've had a panasonic NI-C78SR for three years. It cost less than $40, and I love it. Dependable, lots of steam, no scorching, and it keeps working even though I've dropped it an entirely embarrassing number of times.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H1YS28

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  10. I have a Rowenta as well, got it for Christmas. Before that I used a Sunbeam and the difference is amazing. I think the key to keeping any iron it to read the care instruction...also never store it with water in it or let water sit in it even overnight. Also clean it regularly according to instructions. As far as Rowenta goes you can get one for around $60 and then they go up to $150. I don't think you can go wrong with one.

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  11. My $100 iron is dripping everywhere (wa waaa). It's even my second one (returned the first one of the same model because the steam function wouldn't work). I can tell you *not* to buy the Reliable Velocity V50. As for what *to* buy, I've heard Oliso irons are pretty good and might try that one next. Wish me luck and I'll wish you luck in return!

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  12. Yikes, scary biscuits! Glad you caught it in time! I bought my first proper iron for quilting use at Christmas and it seems to be surviving (despite being left on overnight twice accidentally o.O) If you can get Tefal over there, even the mid range ones seem pretty indestructible!

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  13. Oh, and the auto-off function drives me insane. Fine if you use it for ironing clothes, but if you're going back and forth from sewing machine to iron with a couple minutes in between each go, it's enough to make you BATTY. Feels like it turns off every 5.3 seconds!

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  14. I have a Reliable Velocity that is just OK. I wouldn't spend that much money again for it. I just read some awful reviews of the Oliso and poor customer service yesterday on someone's blog. From now on, just going to buy a $20 iron. Kelly of KelbySews had a non-stick iron that was pretty nice.

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  15. I have given up on inexpensive irons. I purchased an upper end Rowenta several years ago and it still works like a champ (watch I'll go home and it will be broken by the failure to "knock on wood" before bragging, er commenting). I bought a back-up in case it breaks, but still clicking along. Good luck with your new purchase!

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  16. I do not use steam, and love my Rowenta's. For pressing seams while piecing, I love the small "travel" size. It is light- weight and doesn't aggrivate my old joints.

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  17. I seem to have the same problem with irons. I purchased a Rowenta for around $40 at Bed Bath and Beyond and so far it is my favorite iron!

    Glad nothing serious happened.
    Lynn

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  18. I don't use steam, and I have an old iron I've had for years. I really don't like it, but since it still works, I keep it. I'm afraid to buy an expensive one because I know I'll drop it!

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  19. By the way I'm mom to twin girls - keeps you busy!

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  20. That was scary. I'm a cheap $9 black and decker walmart girl :)

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  21. Wow! I like Rowenta's!!! Good luck!

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  22. I agree I love my rowenta. Got it at target with a gift card so it only cost 25. My husband loves it too and uses it on his work shirts. My mom has had hers for at least 6 years

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  23. I think it's Bonnie Hunter that says the sure way to kill an iron is to put wate rin it. So, I no longer put water in my Rowenta. I keep starch and a spray bottle filled with water on my ironing board.

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  24. I have had my Rowenta for over 10 years and no problems. It also has auto shut-off which is a great feature for forgetful me.

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  25. OMG! That's super-scary!! I have a cheap Sunbeam that's been OK, but not great. I recently splurged on a much more powerful (I went by the W rating) Roweta iron in the 40-50 dollar range, and wow, did it make a huge difference! I love it, but it does occasionally drip and sputter... But the "more powerful" makes a big difference! Hope you find a good one!

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  26. I keep thinking I should just steal my mum's. It was a wedding present in 1967 and still works!! I think it's a sunbeam, so nothing fancy even.

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  27. That is one heck of a scary experience!! What is it with irons??!! I buy them in the $80 range but they just don't seem to last longer than a couple of years!! Someone told me to use 'distilled' water... let's see if that helps!

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  28. I've had a Rowenta for more than 10 years - I bought it after my mom raved about hers. It's so nice - I use it constantly and it works perfectly, always!

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  29. I love my Rowenta but be sure to get one made in Germany NOT China - it should say where it's made on the box.

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  30. I've had my $90 Rowenta for 9 years so already it's a better bargain than the rate you're going through the cheapies! My sister-in-law always had cheap irons until she came to visit and used mine. It converted her straight away--a nice heavy iron makes a big difference!

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  31. (A follow-up after reading the other posts--I totally keep water in mine and abuse it in all sorts of ways but it's still doing well at almost the decade mark.)

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  32. I've been loving this one that I bought two years ago.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002R5A0GU/ref=asc_df_B002R5A0GU2009706?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B002R5A0GU&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12382473401346036234&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=
    Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Yes. :)

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  33. i've used a Rowenta happily for the last few years. I just had the travel sized iron which heats up really well and has done well. They usually have them at Bed Bath & Beyond and they have coupons so that helps with the pricing!

    At work we have Oliso's and they are fab! Of course, that's on the high end of the price range, but they are nice.

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  34. First off, you should definitely contact consumer relations and report the issue. Perhaps it is a man.defect? I have a t-fal iron for the past 6 years and am very happy with it

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  35. I am in TOTAL LUV with my Reliable (orange one)Iron. I bought it from Kelly at I Have a Notion.

    I have had LOTS of diff irons (in my 35 years of ironing)
    ...from cheap to expensive and this is my favorite...so far. I was using LOTS of the spray quilty starch to get the wrinkles out. Now, with this steam generator iron...the wrinkles are out with little effort.

    I hope you find YOUR favorite soon. It's frustrating to have an iron that doesn't behave well =(

    hugZ,
    annie
    anniesrubyslipperz.com

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  36. First - thank God your house didn't go up in flames! Eeek! Had to giggle at you running outside and turning the faucet on it - awesome idea.

    Whomever invents an actually good, reliable iron is going to make a fortune. I have yet to find any that are more than just serviceable.

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  37. Wow, that's crazy! I'm a devoted Rowenta fan, although you MUST get one made in Germany. The ones made in China are not the same quality, at all. I've had my Rowenta for 13 years and it's still hot as ever. Sure it was nearly $200, but over 13 years and still going strong? I'd say it's money well spent :-)

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  38. It is such a toss up. I have an Oliso that I got in December.I did have one leak all over the ironing board. But it specifically states to empty the water when not in use. Lesson learned and it has not leaked again. I love the amount of steam. There seem to be good and bad in all price ranges. I got a $10 cheaper from the dollar store and it heated well. But it spit when water was added.

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  39. I must be a lucky gal...I've owned my iron for 15 years with no problems at all! It's the "classic" Black and Decker that my grandmother also had for 20+ years...made of mostly metal and heavy. I think they're only about $30 bucks too which is great!

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  40. OMG! That's terrifying! My iron sucks, so I can't recommend it (black and decker) but I have heard great things about the Rowenta irons. They have one for about $60 at Costco right now, but I'm sure you could pick one up at Bed Bath and Beyond or someplace like that.

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  41. Glad you caught it in time. The best iron I ever had is also a Rowenta that I got at Big Lots. I've had it now for about 10 years. The only problem I've had with it is that it doesn't like being dropped repeatedly on a cement floor. :( The steam doesn't work because of that, but I think that's more an issue with the drop, than with the brand. :D

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  42. I always bought the cheap $20ish ones from walmart and never had a problem. Lucky for me, my brother-in-law gave me his really nice one when we moved here. It has a vapor attachment to it, and it works fantastic! The only thing I don't like is that the cord is attached to the vapor container, and it's not as long of a cord, which is a little limiting sometimes. Glad your scare was only a scare! Make sure you complain A LOT when you take it back.

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  43. I had a Rowenta that leaked like a sieve. Now I have a T-Fal & I don't add water. I don't steam things, it can cause distortion,esp. on bias edges. If I need extra help on wrinkles, I have a spray bottle on standby.

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  44. My husband bought me a Velocity, the orange one that was featured on Sew We Quilt during the Wantobe Quilter campaign, and I love it. It doesn't leak at all, as my previous iron did. You can shut off the auto shut off if you are running back and forth with quilt pieces. It resets when you unplug the iron. I got it from I Have A Notion. It was about $100, but worth every penny.

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  45. I got a Panasonic cordless iron for Christmas. I love it. I don't sew every day, but it's gotten a lot of use in the last 5 months. Bonus: it's so pretty! (Which were the first words out of my mouth when I opened it up on Christmas morning.)

    http://amzn.com/B000P6CRLO

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  46. Wow...we sure do have love/hate relationships with our irons, huh? I'm still searching for THE ONE, so these comments are interesting.

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  47. I've been through many irons! The Rowentas are nice but don't seem to last very long before they start leaking. For the last few years I've had a Reliable. I absolutely love it! It's got lots of great features, never leaks and has lasted longer than any other iron. It is a little pricey but worth it! Good luck!

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  48. I actually have a shark that i bought on amazon and haven't had any problems. I would suggest you call customer service for shark and tell them about all the hassles you have with your iron. I have done that a few times with other appliances and they usually make good... You can even post this link on their facebook page... good luck. I think with anything sometimes you just get a bad one.

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  49. I have been a lurker on your blog for some time now, but I had to chime in on this. I have had very similar iron problems for a while, and then just before Christmas I got a Rowenta Focus. It is AMAZING!! I use it almost every day and have had no problems. My fabric and my clothes look better than ever. They are a little pricey, but Joann's carries them, and with a coupon, I think you could get the focus for around $50.

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  50. I have a really nice Rowenta and it does the leaky thing, so I'm really stumped. $$ doesn't seem to be the whole answer!

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  51. Whoa! I'm so glad it didn't end up worse! I had an iron die earlier this year and it was sad (I was smack in the middle of fusing a whole bunch of tiny pieces down!) But luckily it just stopped working and didn't go up in smoke! My new iron is from target in the $30 range and it works well - nothing spectacular but well enough and it doesn't leak. BUT it has an auto shutoff which I don't really care fore. Good luck in finding a good replacement!

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  52. That is just about the scariest thing ever! I'm glad you were there when it happened and you were able to do something about it.

    I LOVE my Rowenta. I think I've even dropped it once or twice (on carpet) and it still works great.

    I was using my Mom's 30 year old sewing maching once trying to finish a ruffle on a quilt, and IT started smoking! I had a similar reaction and ran outside. It was only smoking a little so I didn't put water on it, which is a good thing because the thing actually still works. We just don't sew fast for long periods on it anymore....

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  53. I have a T-fal iron that I've had for about three years now. I think I paid $30 for it. It does occasionally sputter, but generally only if I've been ironing things on and off for a couple hours. When I use water in it, I only use filtered water. I prefer a dry iron, so the iron is usually empty, and I have a spray bottle nearby if I need some steam on a stubborn wrinkle or crease.

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  54. Although my Rowenta is heavy, I do like it for my piecing. It has a great steam function. Good luck!

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  55. I have a GE iron from WalMart I've been using for about 2 years. It was cheap and it works great! Other than it turns itself off (sometimes when I'm using it), but it works so good otherwise, it's a keeper. It has a steam option that you can turn off (and it DOES turn it off), or you can have varying degrees of steam. I love it! Only thing I'd change about it is the turn-off timer I could do without, but oh well! I say just buy a cheapy one!

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  56. I have the Panasonic cordless iron and I love it!! Fair amount of steam, food heat and it's so nice to not have a cord in the way all the time. My husband even loves it for ironing his work shirts

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  57. I had a black and decker iron do the same thing-with sparks!!! And I too ran it outside and poured water over it! I bought a Shark this time, but am thinking that I am finally going to bite the bullet and by the Oliso I have been drooling over for a while now! Glad that all is okay!

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  58. That's horribly scary! Praise the Lord you walked in when you did. You probably have spent about as much on the last three irons in that short time frame as you would on a nice iron that would hopefully last a little longer that that :) I also have had some bad luck with my irons and almost have given up putting water into them altogether. So good luck Katie I wish your next ironing adventure well!

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  59. I am so glad nothing worse had happend! Hope you find an iron that lasts!

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  60. I have a classic Walmart less-than-$10-iron and love it! It gets hot quickly, irons great, cools off well, and when it wears out, I throw it out and go buy another! My last one lasted about 2 years, so it's a great investment!

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  61. T-Fal is the brand to buy. I too struggled for years and finally went with a recommendation from Consumer's Report. T-Fal is in the top three brands. It isn't easy to find, but look for it! Here's where I blogged about my iron experience last year: http://flourishingpalms.blogspot.com/2011/09/pressing-concern.html

    I'm sticking with this brand!

    Count your blessings, girl! I'm glad you all were safe!

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  62. Glad you caught it in time.

    I received an Oliso iron for Christmas and really love it. I love the built in safety features. I agree with reading the manuals. There were some surprising things listed there.

    Happy shopping.

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  63. Rowenta is the only way to go. I love mine and I've had it for four years and many more to come. The quality is unmatched. You won't be sorry!

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  64. there is no such thing as a favourite iron!!!

    just found you via pinterest, i am a uk based textile artist...lovely to meet you and now following xxxx

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  65. Irons HATE me and I them...I cannot wait to see what you end up getting!!!!!

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  66. I'm still using the cheap iron my sister bought me when I got married 16 years ago (it's most attractive feature: the super long cord). For a while, I worked at Macy's in the housewares department, and we had a LOT of Rowenta irons returned for various malfunctions, so I don't know that you are any better off going in that direction. There was a lot of speculation that quality for Rowenta went down hill when production went to China. Just so you know . . . :)

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  67. Argh! My comment just deleted.

    In short, I was saying that if you iron in generally the same spot and use the same plug, are you using a surge protector and/or do you know if the plug is the issue?

    I've had a plug provide output too large and cause my modems to keep breaking. (overheating and then just shutting down).

    It might be worth considering that, too, and seeing about having an electrician check it out.

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  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  69. Black and Decker currently makes a retro model iron. Its solid metal the whole way down, durable, and (my favorite) on the heavy side, so you don't have to physically press bulky pieces down with your arm, the weight does it for you. I think the design is based on older model Black and Decker's.

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  70. very scary and I'm so glad to read that you were all ok. I keep my iron on a power strip and turn it off at the strip each time. When I leave the room, the power strip's light reminds me to turn it off.

    I bought an Oliso last year and it is great. I've gotten so used to the auto drop down aspect, and love it. I usually don't use water in it, like others I keep a bottle of water and of best press next to my board. I have used water and it has a very nice steam. But I use it the most for piecing and steam can be an issue for piecing so I just don't fill it unless the project I have needs it.

    I had a sunbeam from costco and it was ok, it did spurt a bit but it was too heavy for me. It was heavy on my hand/wrist but I didn't think that helped with how it pressed.

    I have read that the travel rowenta is good for piecing as it is small, gets hot and if you use it on a small hand made board, it doesn't take up much room. Also it is easy to take to classes or sew-ins.

    Michelle

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  71. I bought a "dry iron" from Vermont Country store. It has no steam function so no leaks. There are no holes in the plate, just flat smoothe surface. I LOVE this iron. It was reasonably priced ($30-40?) but it IS heavy...which is fine with me.
    I had one of those Rowenta travel irons, the model before the purple one they have now, and it held up fine for Years and YEARS...but one day, it just went "pop" and the cord exploded, ruined my ironing board etc. I almost bought a new Rowenta travel iron instead of the dry iron, but, all the reviews called the new Rowenta junk!
    I think everyone is right though, if you need steam, just use a spray bottle...I'm sold on temperature and most of the cheap Walmart irons font get hot enough for my taste.
    I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to weigh in..,what DID you end up buying anyway?

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