At some point, I’m going to have to talk about my pressing station in my sewing room. I was hoping my pressing station and iron would be updated by the time I wrote this post so I could talk about how much I love it all. However, I can only talk about my upgrade plans and even more unfortunately talk about how much I dislike my current stuff. I’m totally prepared to be sent to the time-out corner for the hatred I have for my iron. Let’s just get this over with, shall we!
I have the most basic ironing board possible. I think I bought it at Walmart eons ago. I have big plans for updating this area, but life has gotten in the way of making that happen. The goal is to get rid of my ironing board and add a full pressing station.
I hope to use the BROR workbench from IKEA and create my own pressing surface using wood, quilt batting, and fabric. I have my pressboard complete; I just need the workbench. Our IKEA store was closed for several months because of the pandemic, and when they opened up, it was during a surge of cases, so it didn’t feel safe to go shopping. We’ve been very disciplined about social distancing. Eventually, I’ll make it to IKEA.
Sorry, this is going to get negative fast. I hate everything about the most beloved iron out there, and I hope I don’t get struck by lightning.
I think every sewist bemoans their iron. They leak. They scorch. They take too long to get hot. They’re constantly turning off. They don’t hold enough water. They produce too much steam or not enough steam. There are blogs and blogs and blogs about what is the best iron and not surprisingly, my iron, has received a lot of mostly positive attention. I have the Oliso pro iron and I’ve disliked the iron from day one.
For starters, the iTouch technology doesn’t work with my hands. I was able to palm a basketball with one hand by the time I was in the first grade. I either have too big of palms or too long of fingers, features that are great for playing the piano and swimming! I naturally have paddles for hands and really long flippers for feet. However, I can’t grip the iron well enough to get the iTouch technology to work. It will continuously activate and deactivate while in use. I was furious when it would deactivate and extend the lifters in the middle of ironing. It just left me with a wadded mess of wrinkled fabric. Grrrr. I’ve had to turn off the iTouch technology permanently. Now, I just have a costly basic iron that isn’t that special.
The smooth soleplate does prevent dimples and impressions in the fabric, except you get this MASSIVE unpressed area where the front lifter extends from the iron! This is probably the main reason I hate this iron. The front lifter that normally extends when the iTouch is activated is an unheated void at the tip of your iron. If you are pressing fusible interfacing, that whole area is left unheated and unpressed. I find this annoying.
Moreover, the front lifter doesn’t always fully retract, ruining pressing by catching and snagging fabric. I really have no idea how people like this iron? The Oliso FAQ page says the lifters won’t snag fabric, but it does and all the time!
The bottom of the iron has a large yellow lifter. This lifter, too, has a habit of not fully retracting even though I’ve turned off the iTouch technology. This lifter loves to grab onto the edges of the fabric and wrinkle all to heck when ironing.
Basically, this iron can ONLY be used as a pressing iron. If you try to move or glide your iron over fabric the front and back lifters associated with the iTouch technology will snag and wrinkle. And you’ll always have that massive unpressed divot from the front lifter.
Water and Leaks
My iron is now 2+ years old. Conveniently it has lasted longer than my Rowenta and T-fal, I’ll give it that, but it will leak water on any setting lower than full whack. And yes, I understand that as I turn down the temperature I have to also adjust the amount of steam. Thankfully it doesn’t leak water when set on the highest temperature.
I hate how incredibly small the water tank is and that it takes multiple attempts to get it filled. The fill cup isn’t that big, though they claim it is. It takes 2 of these cups to fill the iron. That’s two trips to the faucet. I will easily empty the entire reservoir making a basic t-shirt. It probably takes me an hour to make a shirt. If you plan to sew longer than 45-60 minutes, you will have to re-fill the reservoir. If I’m working on pants, which take 3 to 4 hours, I have to fill the tank at least 3 times and that’s 6+ trips to the faucet. Ridiculous.
Most of the time, the iron will never automatically generate steam. I’ve tried tap water, which clogs up the iron and has stained my fabric with white shards. I’ve tried distilled water even though they don’t recommend it. I’ve tried a combination. Right now, I mix distilled and tap.
If the iron isn’t completely full of water, it won’t automatically steam. The only way I can get the iron to steam is to repeatedly push the steam button over and over and over again. I’ve pushed that button so many times that the symbol has thoroughly rubbed off! I don’t use the other button to squirt water, as you can see.
This iron does not get nearly as hot as my previous Rowenta and T-fal. The cotton/linen setting is only barely able to heat cotton, let alone press out any wrinkles. According to Wikipedia, it is recommended that an iron reach 400ºF for cotton and slightly higher for linens! The Oliso only heats up to 200ºF, and I can supercharge it to almost 270ºF using the radiative power of my ironing board cover and mat. That is not hot enough to iron out wrinkles!
I confirmed my thermometer with the Cricut Easy Press set to 300ºF.
I really don’t like the Oliso Pro iron. I’m probably going to be forever condemned as a sewist for saying that, but oh well. The iTouch technology is a waste of money! The iron itself is less good than the $30 irons you can buy anywhere. The reason I’ve kept this iron for so long is that the next iron I buy, I want it to be a good one. I haven’t decided what that is yet, but it most likely will be a gravity feed system or an iron station. I’m taking recommendations.
I’ve enjoyed your sewing room tour. I too have an Oliso, and will echo every negative word you’ve said. I splurged on it even though I already knew better. I’ve never had a ‘professional’ or ‘upscale’ iron that worked satisfactorily. My best irons have been the discount store models with no features other than spray and and ‘shot of steam’ buttons.
Oh whew I figured I was going to be kicked out of the sewing group for not liking the Oliso! Thank you for your feedback about irons. I’m definitely still on the fence about what iron I want to get next.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Man, I love a bad review (who doesn’t?). I have one of those $30 irons. I dropped it on the floor a view times and broke the reservoir; it still works, but now I keep a spray bottle nearby, which happily I like better anyway. No mineral deposits, no unexpected leaks or bursts of steam. Just spritz-spritz-spritz and refill maybe once every couple of days. It won’t make you love your current iron, but I recommend a $2 spray bottle until you upgrade!
I may have to try the spritz bottle because I think all irons are going to have issues with leaking and steam.
I’m done buying expensive irons–the spendy ones crap out just as quick as the cheapies, in my experience! I’ve purchased 2 Black & Decker Digital Advantage irons, and for ~$40, it’s okay if they poop out after 3-4ish years. (Although I will say my current DA iron has been going strong for almost 6 years!) I don’t use steam while quilting, so I also bought a dry iron from the Vermont Country Store–it gets incredibly hot and is very heavy, so it’s perfect for setting quilt seams!
LikeLiked by 1 person