Monday, April 23, 2012

initial impressions - gravity feed iron

First, a little background:
Rowenta DG-580 Steam Generator
March 28, 2007 - March 16, 2012
Rest in Peace
When I birthday-gifted this Rowenta to myself, I thought it would last a good long time.  Little did I know that its reputation wasn't the best and some folks got only two-three years of use.  Mine operated well for almost five years.

This object, some sort of tool located from within the garage by my husband,
served as the water tank knob after the original broke . 
The situation deteriorated.  Steam is not supposed to come out of the iron like that.   
I loved that iron!  It was not perfect - far from it.  It loved to spit and hiss, but I just held it vertically and shot steam until the hose cleared, and then it worked fine.  That iron would have made a great weapon.

At first I tried to get by with something less expensive.  I had used cheap irons before, with decent results, but the leaking was unacceptable.  I don't know - maybe it was defective, so I returned it.
I am not mentioning any names, but I did not like this iron.
Then came the big debate - what to buy?  Good steam generators are so expensive.  And how long would it last?

You already know the answer - I went with a gravity feed iron.  Based on user reviews, this is the Cadillac of irons, the Naomoto HYS-58.  I got mine from Cleaners Supply which has a great price, a fair amount of information on their website and nice people who answer the phone.

This angle shows how the water supply hose and the cord are joined with little plastic rings.
Nice cutting board, too, eh?  My husband gave me that when we were dating.  Little did he know how it I would use it.
This is pressing table (which my husband built for me right after we got married - he was catching on.)
What do I think of this iron?  I should be loving it.  But truth be told, the iron and I are getting off to a slow start together.  I am still getting used to it.  It's heavy.  The cord and hose combination felt very awkward at first, but I am used to that now; I barely notice it, so that is fine.  One concern I have is that it makes the room very warm.  I suppose the steam generator was insulated and that's why I never noticed much heat from it.

The pointy tip is great and I'd hate to go back to a rounded tip.  Ironing shirts is a breeze and the results are beautiful. And it is fast!  It heats up in just a few minutes (the steam generator took 10 minutes) and there is no need to iron back and forth, because wrinkles disappear on the first pass.

Assembly was simple, but I admit I didn't get it right on the first try.  Installing the hook in the ceiling was very easy.  I used a plant hook with a toggle bolt.  If I had it to do again, I'd buy a lighter iron.  This one is over 5 pounds, and it just feels heavy.   It still seems odd to set it right down on a thin rubber mat, too.  I am not sure the wood cutting board it the right thing, either, so let me know if you think I should try something else.

I guess it's just hard to say goodbye to a good friend like the Rowenta!

In sewing-related news, I turned a t-shirt into a tank top:
This was a gift from my husband who has me completely figured out now.
It was too small as a t-shirt, so I chopped off the sleeves and finished the edges with clear elastic tape and the overlock stitch on my sewing machine.
This will be a great top to wear to Zumba!
Happy sewing!


27 comments:

  1. I placed my rubber mat on top of a ceramic tile. I found that the rubber mat got rather hot when I have it on for a while. When I first got the iron my ironing table was on a larger wood door shelf where I kept the iron. The wooden counter got hot and was discolored. My dh vetoed keeping it directly on the counter and added the ceramic tile under the pad. I would find something nonflammable to put the iron down on.
    I found the weight of the iron took a bit of getting used to. I like it for pressing, not necessarily for ironing a lot of things. It's tiring and in the summer without ac, it is definitely hot.

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    1. ceramic tile! That sounds better than wood, plus I don't want to ruin my nice cutting board.

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  2. I am envying you so much... I seem to go through irons like I don't know what. At present I have 3 in the house - only one works. The DeLonghi steam generator pooped out. The newest Rowenta pooped out for the second time, and I'm not too keen on paying the fix-it bill for the second time around. I'm back to an older Rowenta that my uncle fixed for me (lovely black tape on the cord now), and I'm not really happy with it anyway. So - please tell me that it makes much more sense to just pay out the price of a gravity feed iron than to buy (and collect?) irons at the rate of one per year. Question is - how long will the gravity feed last? Sorry about my rant - did you figure out that this is a really sore spot for me?

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    1. Irene, I understand completely! I refuse to spend so much for tools with a short life. The whole reason I went with the gravity feed is precisely because it should last forever. If might need repair, but parts aren't expensive. My recommendation would be to consider a gravity feed and they sell them in the $100 range and those have very good reviews, too. In retrospect, I probably over-spent. And this is just my opinion, check the weight and get a lighter one. 5.5 pounds is a lot.

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  3. Great review and I love your new tank!

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    1. Thank you Bunny, I'll be testing it this evening at my zumba class :)

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  4. I had a gravity flow iron. I hated it. It was too heavy for one thing. I was not sad when it broke.

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  5. Can't you just set the iron rest on your pressing table? I've had mine on my ironing board for around 10 years and have no trouble at all. I use the stiff iron rest rather than the flexible one that came with the iron, but either way, I've never seen a need to put something between the iron rest and the pressing surface. Am I missing something?

    BTW, here's a link to the iron rest I use. http://www.cleanersupply.com/products/product.cfm?pID=1261

    Irene, a good gravity feed iron should last for many years. I've had mine for at least 10 with no trouble whatsoever.

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  6. Irene, I think the flexible iron rest that came with the Naomoto made this newbie a little nervous. You are not missing anything :)

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  7. oops, LisaB! (not Irene) and thanks for the link to the iron rest you use and like.

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  8. I was gifted with a big ol' steamer by my own dear husband last Christmas. It is entirely similar to what dry cleaners use, but on a smaller scale. NOT like the dinky, crappy ones on sale at local department stores, that only lasted one or two steaming sessions. It has its own tall pole to put hangers on while you manipulate the wand. I lurve it. Then, we can use a regular steam iron if the garment is still too wrinkly.

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    1. LinB, every family should have a professional steamer, I agree.
      Smart husband!

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    2. He plans to borrow it to steam labels off beer bottles, and re-use the bottles for home brewing. Bought him a kit in 2007; our master-brewer neighbor's efforts have intimidated him from even trying, yet. I'm hoping that the "sexy" machine to steam off labels will entice him to try a small batch of beer, lol. Need to get fresh supplies ... .

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    3. you are kidding. No you are not :)
      You are a sneaky wife!

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  9. We have this exact iron in the costume shop that I work in. We just put the iron rest directly on our covered pressing table. We have also found that for most pressing applications the ideal temp setting is in the 290 range and this keeps the room from heating up to much and leaving a heat mark under the rest. It also keeps my students from accidentally melting more sensitive materials even with a press cloth. We do change the canvas on the top of our pressing table at the end of each semester so maybe that's why we haven't noticed a burn through where the iron sits. One last thing, this may not be ideal but if you can keep the power cord and the water tube together for a longer distance it is less awkward to move the iron around on the table.

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    1. Pamela, I can certainly keep the power cord and water tube together for a longer distance. And thanks for the temperature suggestion!!
      I will keep that in mind if I see any burn marks on the canvas, too.
      Your experience is really helpful, so thanks for leaving a comment.

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  10. I know so little about irons, so this was a tutorial of sorts. I don't think I've ever had a really good one! I love your new Zumba tee.

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    1. It's a funny thing about irons. I've had a $20 iron that worked surprisingly well and been disappointed with more expensive ones. But then I guess I am a picky ironer :)

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  11. Hi :) I sew for a living :) I have gone through MANY irons over the past 30 plus years :) (15 of those have been sewing professionally) I want LOTS of steam and I PREFER to NOT HAVE that %)#*^*^(#( AUTO SHUT OFF feature :( I LOVED ROWENTA irons in the past. EXPENSIVE but they would last 4-5 years of almost DAILY use. LOTS and LOTS of steam :) YAY!!! The last one I purchased was a LEMON. $100 and in the shop TWICE and NEVER up to the steam output it SHOULD have. My NEW Rowenta has been GREAT but MY FAULT....it has been dropped TWICE in the past year and leaks now and then :( :( POOH :( I am babying it along until I decide what to purchase NEXT :) Your info is VERY informative :) I HAVE learned...USE SPRING WATER (purchased)... NOT DISTILLED. NOT TAP. NOT a MIXTURE..SPRING WORKS BEST... I might do the thing I have done in the past. Purchase CHEAP ($20) with ALOT of steam holes (WORKING HOLES) When I WEAR IT OUT (about one year)..get a new one... I press alot of dressy fabrics. I NEED RELIABLE===NO DRIP===STEAM :) HAPPY PRESSING :)

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    1. The dropping gets you every time!

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    2. I know :( I felt 100000000% DUMB when I DID it too :( SIGH :(

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  12. No wonder I hate ironing - I need a new iron!

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    1. But of course - you can include it in the plan to support no purchases of RTW for a year!

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  13. I've tried a gravity feed before, but like you I found it too heavy. It was just hard to maneuver at that weight. I've never gone fancy on an iron, but I can definitely see the appeal!

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    1. Yes, you nailed it. It is hard to maneuver at that weight.

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  14. http://masinski-kutak.blogspot.com

    Welcome :)

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  15. Ha! My Rowenta steam generator died just about the same time as yours. It was less than two years old. The tank sprang a leak and water went everywhere, including into the electrical components.
    I had a love/hate relationship with that iron, because never a day went by that it didn't spit. I just couldn't get it right. I did love how lightweight it was, and when it worked right, it really worked well.
    I considered the Naomoto, but decided it wasn't in my budget at this time. I ended up with another Rowenta, a Steamium iron, and I really like it. I got it on sale at Macy's, so it didn't hurt my wallet too much. It has a really powerful burst of steam, and doesn't spit at all, so I'm happy with it. At first it felt quite heavy, but I don't mind that now. I love the little extra point at it's tip - really great for hitting details.
    I hope you have a very happy, long relationship with your Naomoto!

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