Thread Number: 73159  /  Tag: Small Appliances
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Post# 966259   11/5/2017 at 18:41 by seedub (South Texas Hill Country)        

Hive mind: I'm looking to spend less than $50USD. What's both reliable and a good performer?

Thank you.






Post# 966264 , Reply# 1   11/5/2017 at 19:15 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Check fleaPay and other places for

launderess's profile picture
NOS vintage steam irons. Streets ahead of the stuff offered today and were built to last.

Today's offerings even from such so called TOL brands like Rowenta leave much to be desired. You're lucky to get a few years of even light use before they die.

Something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Old-Stock-O...




Post# 966265 , Reply# 2   11/5/2017 at 19:24 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
I completely agree with Launderess’ recommendation to go vintage. We have a Proctor Silex steam iron that we bought at Goodwill Thrift about 10 years ago for $3.99, it was like new when we bought it. The warranty expiration date is July 74’, so it must be a 73’ model. There are no new irons on the market that will ever get as hot as a vintage iron an they aren’t as heavy, so it takes a lot longer to iron with one of the new irons.
Eddie


Post# 966267 , Reply# 3   11/5/2017 at 19:37 by johnrk (Houston)        
NOS vintage irons

are the way to go. I just saw an NOS Sunbeam on EBay for $50 in box. I just bought a cool lime-green NOS Proctor Silex on EBay for $45. Actually, I use an Elnapress almost all the time, but these are just so beautifully made compared to the Chinese crap sold today.

Post# 966300 , Reply# 4   11/5/2017 at 21:24 by seedub (South Texas Hill Country)        

Thanks again, everyone.

Post# 966315 , Reply# 5   11/5/2017 at 23:36 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Not sure I agree about some of the newer premium irons.  I have a 10-12 year old Rowenta that I would not give up for anything.  It has weight behind it, generates a good deal of steam and makes ironing quick and easy.  I've gone through lots of older irons in the past, GEs, Sunbeams, Proctor Silex and on and on.  None have made ironing as easy as the Rowenta.  I was out of state for a bit, used my cousin's iron -- it made it very clear why people HATE ironing.  It was the worst POS I've ever used.  It was light, generated little steam and made what would normally be a 60-90 second ironing job easily twice that long.


Post# 966320 , Reply# 6   11/6/2017 at 00:08 by johnrk (Houston)        
Rowenta

I also have a Rowenta over a decade old. I agree about their beautiful construction. But that's not new...

Post# 966349 , Reply# 7   11/6/2017 at 07:24 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
Funny story about irons...

My partner and I just got back from a holiday in New Zealand.

He likes his clothes ironed "properly" and quite enjoys ironing. I would rather not iron on holidays. When we book accommodation, he likes to stay at places that have iron and ironing board supplied, at least every few nights.

This trip, early on we had a run of places supplying cheap, rubbish irons that spat brown spots and made ironing a trial. He spat the dummy one night and said "tomorrow before we do any sight-seeing, we are going out to buy a DECENT iron. At the end of the holiday we can give it to an opp shop."

We came back next day with a $39 Kensington iron, a "high end mystery brand" iron. It had 2400 watts heating; auto-off timer if forgotten; easy to fill water inlet; longish cord; adjustable steam and shot of steam and spray; ceramic soleplate. A lovely iron to use but its gaudy purple water tank is too opaque so you can't see the water level inside. (It looks like you should be able to, but you can't.) He really liked it, so it followed us around New Zealand for three more weeks. He liked it so much it came home with us in his suitcase...

Now we are home he is happily using our Philips iron, which is a delight. The purple Kensington waits for our next holiday...

which leads to a question --- how many watts do US irons use? Aren't US power outlets limited to 1700 watts? Here is AU no one would buy an iron under 2000 watts, most are 2200 to 2400 watts. More watts = more steam...


Post# 966352 , Reply# 8   11/6/2017 at 07:43 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I use many different old ones

Like all my appliances, I rotate them, I have probably 50 irons, I like my 1950s Westinghouse with the open handle , hard to fill but the easiest iron to use, for heavy fabrics NOTHING equals a vintage Presto!

Post# 966395 , Reply# 9   11/6/2017 at 12:00 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
U.S.A Irons

launderess's profile picture
Historically ran anywhere from 500w to a bit over 1kW.

Today however most are around 900 watts or below.

Thing to remember is watts are watts; but have nothing to do with how hot an iron will get. That is determined by the thermostat.

Have vintage irons without any thermostat that pull only 600w or so, but if left long enough will get hot enough to burn yourself, surfaces and start fires. This and will instantly scorch any fabric.

USA power outlets are limited to wattage x volts. So a 20 amp circuit at 120v in theory can pull a max of 2500 watts. However modern code says no appliance should draw more than about 80% of total wattage available. With most appliances going for less. That and or state they should be on a dedicated circuit

A 15 amp circuit at 120v is around 1800 watts. At 80% that gives you 1400watts to play around with. Most small appliances like irons will stay around 1000 to maybe 1200 watts max as they can then be used in either the more common 15amp instead of requiring 20amps.

There are more powerful circuits such as 30amps and above, and or at 220v, but those are normally for appliances that draw huge amounts of power; electric ranges, ovens, dryers, some air conditioners, etc....

You now understand why front loaders with heaters in USA often have such puny heaters. If they go with a 15amp plug you're only going to get around 1kw or so of power.


Post# 966469 , Reply# 10   11/6/2017 at 19:45 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Black and Decker still makes an iron very similar to the old GE irons, very heavy. But they are made in China and I hear that quality is hit or miss.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO fan-of-fans's LINK


Post# 966475 , Reply# 11   11/6/2017 at 20:49 by johnrk (Houston)        
Chinese GE

I had one of those retro GE irons from China. Lasted just long enough for the warranty to run out.

Post# 966480 , Reply# 12   11/6/2017 at 21:21 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        
We love our Panasonic

We've had two of these, the first one broke when it fell off the Ironing board.

The soleplate is smooth and easy glide, steam generation is great, its not too heavy and once you get used to the Double pointy ends its great for business shirts and the such that have lots of narrow spaces to get into.



CLICK HERE TO GO TO brisnat81's LINK


Post# 966509 , Reply# 13   11/6/2017 at 23:25 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

I would die for that Philips "Wardrobe Care" ironing station.
It's an ironing board with suction/blower/heater and it also comes with a built in iron and a steamer.

For now I have a tiny Philips travel iron that I brought from Brazil (Super cute by the way and excellent for such tiny iron.)

When I buy whatever iron, it has to be with a separate boiler or, If I'm lucky, i'll find the Karcher iron to use with my professional steam cleaner.


Post# 966525 , Reply# 14   11/7/2017 at 04:48 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Probably should move some things on

launderess's profile picture
Maybe mark them up and sell them on....

Bought a NIB Presto fancy jet vapor steam iron; used it once and that was that. Went back into box and has been sat sitting ever since.

Ditto for a Rowenta huge iron from 1980's...

Both still had the labels on their soleplates, never touched, etc....

Also have several NIB but used older irons like a Presto dry iron, Eureka cordless, Westinghouse open handle, and could go on. All never see really much use.

Tend these days to go for my Sussman Aquamatic pressure steam iron, or the large steam boiler iron. As such the rest are sitting round gathering dust. Do use the dry irons sometimes when doing linens, but even then prefer the Sussman.

Naomoto gravity feed iron that hasn't been used in ages as well.

I like older commercial/industrial irons (have a Cissell and Hoffman too) because of their heft and mass, usually via a cast iron soleplate.

Once one gets used to the weight it works a treat. Also the mass holds heat so the iron remains rather constant in temperature. This is important when dry ironing damp linens since the cold surface of fabrics cools the iron. You notice this with irons that have temperature indicators how the light goes on and off.

Largest regret is getting suckered into the older vintage Presto "Vapor Steam" irons. The ones that look like this:



Post# 966526 , Reply# 15   11/7/2017 at 04:51 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Probably should move some things on

launderess's profile picture
Maybe mark them up and sell them on....

Bought a NIB Presto fancy jet vapor steam iron; used it once and that was that. Went back into box and has been sat sitting ever since.

Ditto for a Rowenta huge iron from 1980's...

Both still had the labels on their soleplates, never touched, etc....

Also have several NIB but used older irons like a Presto dry iron, Eureka cordless, Westinghouse open handle, and could go on. All never see really much use.

Tend these days to go for my Sussman Aquamatic pressure steam iron, or the large steam boiler iron. As such the rest are sitting round gathering dust. Do use the dry irons sometimes when doing linens, but even then prefer the Sussman.

Naomoto gravity feed iron that hasn't been used in ages as well.

I like older commercial/industrial irons (have a Cissell and Hoffman too) because of their heft and mass, usually via a cast iron soleplate.

Once one gets used to the weight it works a treat. Also the mass holds heat so the iron remains rather constant in temperature. This is important when dry ironing damp linens since the cold surface of fabrics cools the iron. You notice this with irons that have temperature indicators how the light goes on and off.

Largest regret is getting suckered into the older vintage Presto "Vapor Steam" irons shown below. Have three (one was NIB) and really aren't that thrilled.

Consumer Reports hated these irons and constantly rated them "unacceptable". First and foremost the steam never stops. All that superheated moisture continues to stream out of the iron long as there is water in iron. On warm or humid days it makes ironing that much more unpleasant.


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Post# 966547 , Reply# 16   11/7/2017 at 07:59 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
wattage and steam

The reason watts matters is the steaming capacity.

If you put electricity into an iron, you get a hot soleplate.

Steam is generated when a tank of cold water on board the iron is allowed to drip through a tiny aperture into the soleplate. (The tank of water isn't heated, just the sole plate.) When the dripping water hits the hot metal it instantly flashes into steam. But that drip of water has a cooling effect on the soleplate. If dripping water cools faster than the heating element can heat, then the sole plate cools down and droplets of water escape from the iron, often carrying minerals that stain the clothes.

A GOOD iron will have a temperature sensitive valve inside that opens when the sole plate is hot enough to make steam, and shuts off when the sole plate cools down too much.

A higher wattage iron can reheat the soleplate faster, so the tank can have a larger aperture, drip more water to produce more steam.

We actually have 2 Philips irons at home (don't ask), one 2000 watt and one 2400 watt. They are otherwise basically the same. The 2400 watt one produces amazing steam, but boy it drinks water, too.


Post# 966557 , Reply# 17   11/7/2017 at 09:43 by liamy1 (-)        
Yes same here..

In the U.K.

I have a few irons, I think the lowest is 2400 watt, highest is 3100 watt.

Of course the 3100 watt produces more steam, but the temperature range is the same, but it also drinks water.


Post# 966560 , Reply# 18   11/7/2017 at 09:48 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
About five years ago, I was on a quest for a new iron

iheartmaytag's profile picture
At that time the GE Iron we had quit. After a few use them once $9.99 irons from Wal-Mart, ended up getting a Shark, right price point $59, good features, good weight. I really wanted a Rowenta, but it said "Made in China" on the bottom, and my check book wouldn't let me have it anyway.

Then I found a almost new looking Sunbeam at Goodwill, so with two working irons, I decided to take a look a the GE. Turned out to be a broken wire at the strain relief. I cut the cord off, threaded it back through the holder, and re-attached to the terminals inside. Works like new.

Moral to the story:
Some of the older irons can still be worked on, there are good rarely used irons that show up in the used stores regularly, and there are still new items available that work very well.


Post# 967297 , Reply# 19   11/11/2017 at 09:48 by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture

We have two 19yo Black & Decker irons that we received as a wedding gift.  One is in use, and the other is still NIB.  Love the heft, and they also produce a decent amount of steam to get the job done quickly. 


Post# 967308 , Reply# 20   11/11/2017 at 11:12 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
50 IRONS ?

ovrphil's profile picture
I have just 8...I must be "falling down on the job" compared to Hans. :-)

Ms. Launderess said it : heavier the better and NIB or NOS. I like thrift stores and the older 50's/ early 60's GE black steam irons are nice. I torn apart and restored the black GE H1F91 shown below.

My modest collection, all Thrift Store finds:

1) GE "Light N Easy" Model B009500S (it's cute, that's why I bought it, lol! )Cheap and Light.. 700WATTS

2)Sunbeam-Oster non-stick w/auto shut-off Model 3971 -1200 WATTS

3)Rowenta(Premium) DW 9080 series B - 1800 WATTS - Love big surface and works well -when the temperature knob isn't fall off(haven't figured the fix for it yet).

4) GE Self-Clean II - model H3F240WH(cat no.) or 839- heavy/works well

5) GE spray model H1F91 -RECOMMENDED because it's the old heavy, plows throw it all iron

Hope you find something you like to use - Heavy vintage NIB/NOS (especially after my experience of tearing down and restoring the GE H1F91 GE black steam iron shown - :-/


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 967450 , Reply# 21   11/12/2017 at 07:02 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Early Presto Vapor Steam

Iron, These are boiler type irons, they don't drip water into a chamber for steam to be generated, they heat and boil the water in the reservoir , the steam builds up like a pressure cooker, flows into a tube in the top of the reservoir and is channeled down to the soleplate, They iron wonderfully, but the 1960s Presto irons are to me, the best irons ever built.




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