Monday, December 12, 2011

irons

Ironing is a big part of quilting...there's no two ways around it. There's a whole lot of math involved, too. I do WAY more math than I ever dreamed I would, all in the name of quilting. However, that's a subject for another day!
I've gone through a bunch of irons since I've been married. I've probably gone through between 12-14 irons in the past 14 years. I've kinda lost count, but I know it's a LOT. I should add, that once I started quilting over 11 years ago, my iron usage has gone up 1000%. At least. :) It absolutely makes sense that I've gone through a few irons since then. All that to say, when the folks at Panasonic asked me to test and write a review of their 360 degree cordless iron, I couldn't say no.

I really enjoyed giving this iron a test drive. I'm not a girl that likes change (my husband would laugh out loud at that understatement), so it took me a bit to get used to it. But I've been using it for a week and a half or so, and I'm loving it.

What I like about this iron:
The look. Silly, I know, to say that first, but it gives a good first impression. It's modern and sleek. I love that it's simple in design and very straightforward to use. All good things.
Ease of use. This iron has a simple push button to select the temperature rather than a dial feature. LOVE. THAT. The light flashes until the iron is up to temperature, which is very helpful. It also has a 10 minute auto shut off feature.

The weight. This iron has some substance to it. It's heavy (but not annoyingly so), which ensures a nicely pressed seam. I found it to do extremely well when I was piecing scraps together. The weight helped the scraps (even strings!) to lay flat. And to me, those are some of the toughest blocks to press well.
Carrying case. The iron comes with a clip on cover that has a handle, which doubles as a carrying case. An excellent feature if you want to take it to along to a quilt retreat or class. It's also handy just for storage. Not that the storage thing would happen in my house. :) But still a great and well thought out feature.

Detachable water tank. The tank detaches from the iron so you can fill it easily over the sink or wherever and you don't need to worry about spilling water all over the iron itself. The tank clicks back in place easily after it's filled.

Cordless. No need to worry about getting your fabric tangled in the cord when you are ironing! Also, the power base has a retractable cord, which is a super nice feature.

What took a bit of getting used to:

The football shaped sole plate. There is no flat bottom on this iron. I've been ironing for well over 20 years and it's hard to NOT just set the iron down just anywhere. When using this iron it must always be returned to the power base. I can see why the design is such...the shape allows you to iron in any direction at any time (the 360 degree feature). It's actually quite smart considering the fact that it's a cordless iron...it needs the power base to heat the iron, so it's very helpful to HAVE to place it in the base every single time. This feature did take some getting used to, but not a deal breaker.
Where it's a bit weak:

Heat. When not using the steam feature, I felt like the iron could/should be just a smidge hotter. However, when using the steam feature, I was very pleased.

A few other minor things to consider:
The power base remains on the ironing board (or wherever you choose to place it in your work area), so it will take up some space, somewhere, even when you are ironing. Very minor detail to me, but something to consider.

The cordless feature. When ironing large pieces of fabric (like the backing of a quilt), it doesn't have the constant heat source of a corded iron. I found it helpful to place the iron on the base periodically during the ironing process to make sure the iron was good and hot before continuing on. Usually this coincided with my need to readjust my fabric on the ironing board, so it wasn't a big deal. However, if you were ironing several large pieces in a row, I could see this becoming an issue.

One small story/confessional:

The day I got the iron, I was ironing and talking on the phone at the same time. Needless to say, I was distracted and I happened to set the iron down on the ironing board without thinking, rather than on the power base. (Force of habit!) The iron fell to the floor and I was so shocked/scared/surprised all at the same time. I felt completely horrible! The water tank had detached, but had not broken--thankfully!! I popped the water tank back in place and continued ironing. So, through that dreadful experience, I am happy to report that the iron is rugged! I assure you, I haven't dropped it since. In all fairness, I have dropped my other irons before, too, and it's always a scary experience. Thankfully I didn't get burned!

Overall I'd rate this iron 4.25 stars out of 5.

The folks at Panasonic are offering a discount to all my readers. The coupon offer is for a $20 instant rebate at checkout for the 360 Freestyle Cordless Iron while supplies last. Enter the code FREESTYLEQUILTER at checkout. The offer is valid through Wednesday, 12-21-11. Also, there is free shipping for a limited time on Panasonic.com.

edited to add: You must use all caps for the coupon code, as it is case sensitive. I hope that eliminates any further problems at checkout.

This iron could make someone (you?) a dandy Christmas gift!

39 comments:

**nicke... said...

i saw the iron on happy zombies blog the other day. it looks like a great iron and thanks so much for the honest review!

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the review! One question: Could the base be mounted on the wall? Or would the iron fall out?

Cheryl said...

My daughter used to call the iron "that sewing thing" since that is all it ever gets used for at our house. Thanks for the review!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I am missing a gene, the ironing one! Can't iron, won't iron and yet I've picked a hobby where it's a must. madness! I also can't do maths, maybe a need another hobby?!!

car54 said...

Oh cordless would be such a luxury for me--the plugs are in very incovenient places in my sewing room. It would be so nice not to have to wrangle the cords when I am ironing!

Karin said...

I want one! I hate when the cord gets tangled in the quilt when ironing! I can't get it now, but this will definitely be my next iron! LOVE the detachable water feature - can you iron with it when it's not attached? (sometimes I iron things that you cannot use steam on)

Kimberly said...

As someone with 3 babies and multiple animals, the cordless would be great for me. Either my husband and I are always sprinting across the room and having no cord in the way would be phenomenal.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Thanks for the honest review! The cordless feature is very appealing...

Erica said...

Thanks for the review! I need a new iron....very badly...

amandajean said...

suzanne,

Wouldn't that be a great feature? I looked on the iron base and there are not any places where you could attach it to the wall. if it were attached vertically, the iron would fall out. however, if you are handy (or know someone that is!), you could probably rig something up...perhaps a wedge shaped holder...to attach the iron to, which could in turn be attached to the wall. but it isn't designed to right out of the box.

hope that helps!

amandajean

amandajean said...

karin,

you can turn the steam feature on and off. so you wouldn't need to remove the water tank to dry iron...just turn off the steam.

amandajean

mammafairy said...

I am glad that a cordless iron is back on the horizon,as when my last one went, I had all the frustration of getting used to the wretched cord again!
I can see an unnecessary purchase coming up...

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

There are a few irons I would like to have at my finger tips. This one is one of them. But I recently (over a year ago) bought myself the big Rowenta steamer iron and I love it. Maybe I can sneak another iron into the house?! LOL!

Chase said...

It is great review and thank you for sharing! I like lots steam when I iron and often get burn/ heated! My Rowenta iron died last month! I had to pick up a random one in local store. Well, I just have a silly question to ask. Do people separate their irons when they making quilts and ironing shirts? I have been use the same one and maybe it was overly abuse, so it stop functioning.

Julierose said...

Hi Amanda--I got myself a Christmas present (yay!!)--this cordless iron is just what I've been looking for; {heart} The coupon code worked just fine...Thank you Julierose

Pam at Antique or Not said...

Wow, I can't believe that no one thought of making an iron cordless until now...what a great idea!

I'll have to check this out.

Hugs,
Pam

Live a Colorful Life said...

I periodically check the review on the Reliable iron. http://www.amazon.com/Velocity-V50-Compact-Vapor-Generator/dp/B003XU6AIU/ref=sr_1_13?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1323733856&sr=1-13

Because it's orange. And that's a good enough reason for me. But the reviews are kinda "iffy." Which is a bummer (for me...) because it's such a luscious color. Okay. Anyway.

I really enjoy your honest review of the iron. It looks like a definite possibility! (even though it's not orange...which would then make it nearly perfect--just in case panasonic is reading this...)

The Paisley Abbey said...

I got this iron for Christmas last year and love it. The fact that it is cordless is awesome!
:)
Courtney

quirky granola girl said...

thanks for the honest review. i hate tangling the cord in my fabric to be ironed. and i desperately need an iron that is heavy. my current iron is so light to be unhelpful.

Anita said...

I don't need an iron right now, since I found a perfectly good one at goodwill, but that iron is about the wierdest I've ever seen! It looks like it's alien to our planet. =) I'm glad it survived your fall. =) Thanks for sharing about it with us...I have a heads up for next time I drop my iron on the floor...since mine did not survive. =(

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Great information! And funny, too, as this is just a modern version of the irons women used 100 years ago. Shaped exactly the same way and "cordless" as they heated on top of a hot stove. What's that saying that everything old is new again?

Erin said...

Oh, I need a new iron so badly! I asked Santa for a new iron this Christmas, let's see if I get one... :)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Interesting. Let us know how you like it in another month or so, okay?

Love Of Quilts said...

Good info! What I would ask you before buying one is are you going back to your old iron. Merry Christmas Trish

Annalia said...

I've been having ironing issues in my new house. The first time I plugged my iron into an outlet in my sewing room, the outlet caught fire. (old house)

The other place it's convenient for me to sew/iron, it a main traffic thoroughfare in our home. Bleh. Luckily(?) I haven't been doing much piecing lately.

So...maybe such an iron would help...plug in one location...iron in another?

Ati. said...

Thanks for your information Amanda. I have to look for it in Europe! The shipping costs are too high and the voltage doesn't fit. We have 220 V.

Thimbleanna said...

Very interesting CrazyMom! I've been very lucky ironing-wise -- I think I've only had 3 or 4 irons over the last 30 years or so. One was a fantastic Rowenta that I still have as a backup that's almost 20 years old. They don't make them like that anymore. I know that because it's follow-on Rowenta only lasted 2 years. Grrr. I just got an Olisio a few months ago and I love it. Like your new iron, it took some getting used to (you don't stand them up like normal). I'm just hoping it will last -- I wonder how long before the little hydraulic feet wear out. Your Panasonic iron reminds me of a modern version of the old-timey irons that they used to put on the stove top to heat up. Very Cool!

Esch House Quilts said...

Thanks for such an honest review. I love the idea of the detachable water tank - I'm always spilling water all over my ironing board!

Dixie said...

Panasonic is just full of it. Their online order site would not complete the order. I tried 3 times. So, wondering if I had ordered 3 irons, I called them just now check. The automated phone system did not understand the word "iron" so it took a while to get transferred to a person. No order had been placed so we did the info thing and at the end she said your coupon came up as invalid! Proceeding with the order anyway because I need an iron and surprise! The total was the same as the online total with the coupon applied.

Anonymous said...

I just used the code on Panasonic.com and can't wait for my iron to come! P.S make sure you use all CAPS when entering FREESTYLEQUILTER

Char said...

I was sold when I first clicked on your post and saw the picture. Thank you so much for the review!

Mama Pea said...

How fun to get this opportunity. I found it really interesting to read your review. I have always shied away from cordless irons for the reasons you mentioned (not a constant heat source). Thanks for the helpful review!

Suzanne said...

I'm glad to hear your review!

Monika said...

Looks great but the New Zealand Panasonic site hasn't got it yet - will have to check periodically!

VarrĂ³ka said...

Thank you! Great info :) I would like a steam station. I earn the best one. I was watching the Philips. :)
Good work with the iron!!

AmyMay said...

Even with $20 off, that iron costs WAY more than I would spend on something like that. I paid $25 for my iron 8 years ago and it still works perfectly. I'll stick with my "old" corded version lol. Thanks for the review though!

amandajean said...

Trish,

Nope! Not going back to my old iron...not until this one gives out. :)

Amanda Jean

QuilterBee said...

I've had my Maytag cordless iron for about 7 years and I love it. But they quit making them when Maytag was bought out by Frigidare. I bought an iron caddy that screws onto the end of my board, my iron stay there...perfectly :o) I believe it was $6. I thought about buying the Panasonic but I don't like the shape of the sole at all. Not practical for me. Maybe they'll come out with one with a flat back. Thank you for sharing this iron as I'm going to need another cordless when mine peters out. Amie in Tn. :O)

Christine L said...

Amanda...I am curious to know if you still LOVE this iron. I know your review was awhile ago. I think I want to venture into the Cordless realm... getting a bit frustrated with my iron cord in the new setup I made for my ironing board :) THanks in advance.