Return to the Appliances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Irons: anything new under the sun?

Posted by herring_maven (My Page) on
Tue, May 21, 13 at 18:32

My spouse performed a Newtonian experiment this weekend, reaffirming that an object in straight line motion (a falling steam iron) will continue in straight line motion until acted upon by an external force. In this case, the force was another object, a hard floor, and the first object shattered. It was kind of a blow to nostalgia as well as to the iron, because our venerable iron, a T-Fal Avantis 130, was made in France, a subspecies of iron that I suspect is now as extinct as the dodo. But the French iron now must be replaced.

Last time we needed an iron, we read reviews at Amazon and elsewhere, concluded that the Rowentas are overpriced, and -- even the top of the line made in Germany Rowentas -- overrated and non-durable, and that is why we purchased the T-Fal, which has been quite servicable for close to a decade.

A review of the same kinds of reviews this week leads one toward the conclusion that naught has changed in regard to the relative value of Rowenta irons, but there are two new contenders for the position that the T-Fal took when last we were in the market: one specific model of Black & Decker, beloved (apparently) of Consumer Reports, and several models of Panasonic that are made n China even though Matsushita, the parent company of Panasonic, is headquartered in Japan. (And the T-Fal FV44x6 models wait in the wings for us to rediscover the brand.)

I am intrigued by the "360° ironing" idea featured in certain Panasonic models: the soleplate is shipped like a canoe or kayak with points at both ends, so (Panasonic claims), the clothing one is ironing will not bunch up by the retrograde motion of a squared-off rear of the soleplate; and the underside of the soleplate is slightly curved, to allow even some sideways motion when ironing. It all sounds logical yet too good to be true, and I wonder if any members of this community have had sufficiently extensive experience with both conventional irons and a Panasonic 360° model to give the latter a thumbs up or a thumbs down. (Of course, the reviews on Panasonic's own website all give glowing approval.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Panasonic's pitch for the NI-W810CS


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

You had an iron for years before dropping it? I'm impressed. We (mainly DH) drop irons on a regular basis. Or else they go bad in various ways. We must get a new iron every couple years or so. I'm afraid I can't speak to the Panasonic, but boy, are you right about Rowentas. I splurged at one point, hoping that the extra expense would mean a longer lasting iron. Wrong. Currently, we have a Proctor Silex that DH bought at Rite Aid. It works fine. And if we drop it, at least it was cheap.

The Panasonic does sound nifty, though, and I know their microwaves are good. I have a Panasonic portable phone from 1994, and it still works great. So I trust their electronic products. I'm interested in the responses you get, so I'll know what to buy when we drop the Proctor Silex.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

The best iron is a steam dryer. :) The second best is at the cleaners. (After eliminating most items that need to be ironed from your wardrobe. Something I did when I retired.)


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

I have a Panasonic - it is terrific. The only complaint I have is that the water reservoir is a bit small. I am been dissatisfied with two Rowentas - but my Panasonic has been fine for over 2 years, and the reasonable cost was the icing on the cake.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

I'm with hollysprings - if I can't shake it out of the dryer and hang it then I usually don't buy it. I think I did a little too much ironing as a kid because I loathe it that much. :/


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

There are also Reliable irons, the Velocity series get good reviews on the sewing sites. I have a Reliable Iron Maven steam generator and I lurve it. It's just not very portable.

I bought a made in Germany Rowenta years ago and was not impressed when it started leaking and spitting and then just stopped producing steam altogether.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

On the endorsement of pheasantfarmer (thank you) and some additional positive reviews on amazon.com posted even since I started this thread, we pulled the trigger and ordered the Panasonic NI-W810CS.

The price differential for the '810 over its little sister '750 apparently is based solely (unintentional pun) on the ceramic coating -- vs. a titanium coating on the '750 -- of the soleplate on the more expensive '810. The size of the differential is surprising, because the T-Fal FV4476 has what appears to be a similar ceramic coating on its soleplate, and the FV4476's total price is only double the price difference between the two Panasonic models.

The big issue with all consumer grade irons seems to be durability, and we'll need some time -- we hope, years -- to determine whether our choice was the right one; in the meantime, some laundered but wrinkled dress cotton shirts here will welcome any replacement to our deceased former T-Fal. Thanks to all for your comments.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

Well, I'm sort of an ironing freak and I love my T-Fal that I found at K-Mart for about $38. It's purple. Gets nice and hot and produces good steam. That's the one tip I got from all the reviews--don't push the "amount of steam" control past medium as that seems to cause leaking. I leave it in the middle and have had no problems in the 6 months I've had this iron.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

Herring,
I'm in the market for a new Iron and was considering the Panasonic.... I'd love to hear your review after ironing a few of those shirts!


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

About the Rowenta.

I bought one from Target some 9 years ago (paid in the range of 45-50 bucks, don't remember). Made in Germany.

Similar to a Mercedes-Benz, the Rowenta I have has superb mechanics and crappy, crappy electronics. After a year of use, the internal motion/attitude sensor started acting up, therefore I did the only logical thing (beside discarding it): took it apart and removed the useless "protection" electronics.

It has been working flawlessly ever since.

Since the new irons have much more electronics, I would stay away from a German-made one, except if you want to gut its electronics; in that case you will get a wonderful appliance that will last a looooong time.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

About 4 years ago we got a Panasonic cordless steam iron. It works great, and love that it easy to iron cloths without a cord always getting in the way. It was about $90 at that time on ssale.


 o
RE: Irons: anything new under the sun?

" (Of course, the reviews on Panasonic's own website all give glowing approval.) "

LOL! I wrote a negative review online of Vermont Country Store's wood folding drying racks a year or two ago. Instead of allowing it to appear on their site, they sent me three more cr@ppy wood folding drying racks in compensation. ~rolls eyes~ Lesson learned: now I try to avoid purchasing from any mfr. or vendor whose site reviews have nothing negative on it.

@herringmaven - I hope the new iron will give you decades of reliable service.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Appliances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here