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The Best Iron For Quilting… Which One Do You Use?

Hello Everyone.

I’m working on a several posts about interesting artists, glorious fabric and more. But first I have to ask you for some expert advice. I’m in the market for a new iron and would appreciate it if those of you who quilt and sew would be so kind as to tell me what kind of iron you use. I’m looking to get one that is heavy and high quality. I don’t need all the bells and whistles, I just want one that can produce serious steam action without leaking. Any suggestions?



P.S. Check out this opportunity to win a $50 shopping spree from a CraftSanity sponsor. A winner will be picked on Monday, so act fast.


Comment from Sally
Time: December 6, 2008, 8:08 pm

I’m looking again too, and had used a Rowenta Professional iron at a sewing retreat that was very nice. I wish I had written down the exact number (they have a couple models with professional in the name)- it looked similar to the photo in your post. What I have found annoying about my current iron is that there is a space between the soleplate and the body of the iron, and when ironing seams, they can get caught. Also large steam holes near the point can fold back those 1/4″ seams and make you crazy!

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 6, 2008, 8:18 pm

I don’t think expensive irons are worth it. I know not everyone agrees with me. I just buy a basic iron and use it until it dies (about 3 years on average, I’d say) then I buy a new one. I insist on a non stick plate since I do lots of fusible applique and inevitably some sticky fusible ends up where it doesn’t belong. I hardly ever put water in my iron, I prefer to use a spray bottle and mist the fabric then press. I find that easier to control and more effective than steam. Plus, I prefer a dry iron for applying fusible webbing and if there is already water in the iron and I wish it were dry, it’s not easy to empty out. Good luck. I’ll look forward to hearing what you choose.

Comment from tasha roe
Time: December 6, 2008, 10:14 pm

i purchased a Rowenta on saleat Kohls for around $60. I am pretty sure it retailed for around $100 – thinking it’s this one –
Surprisingly i have been very pleased with it. the sole plate cleaner was purchased and used a few times (great purchase!!) to keep it nice and tidy.
hope that helps. :)

Comment from Bev
Time: December 7, 2008, 3:05 am

I went to a sewing class this weekend and they had 4 irons. The best, and the favourite was a Breville. Do you have those in the US? It was great! Basic edition, not too expensive. Excellent steam control.

Comment from Tracey
Time: December 7, 2008, 5:21 am

HI … Ricky Timms reckons all steam irons are ‘incontinent’ because they all eventually leak! I have to agree to some extent. I have an expensive high steam Vaporella Iron by Polti – which is really good BUT i have found you need to let the steam generator come up to full steam pressure before you use them or they too spew water and calcium (we live in a hard water area). For quilting I use a good quality dry iron during the construction stages and then use my Polti to finish it when its complete. Using the dry iron during construction means you dont run the risk of fabric shrinkage from the steam – especially if you dont pre-wash your fabrics. Hope that helps??

Comment from Debbie Grifka
Time: December 7, 2008, 7:33 am

I have a Rowenta DZ1500 (or something like that) that I got on sale at JoAnn for about $45. I like it better than the $20 irons because I think it gets hotter faster and you can turn the steam on or off depending on what you are doing. I also like that it is heavier than the cheap ones and I think this gives me a better pressing result. Also, it is not an auto shut off iron. I find auto shut off highly annoying!

Comment from Penny
Time: December 7, 2008, 8:45 am

I’ve been happy with my Black & Decker Digital Advantage iron (no. 2000). It has automatic shut-off, but it comes back up to temperature very quickly. The “digital” part is the real plus, as a display tells you if the iron is up to temperature, it beeps when it gets to temperature, and a light goes out when it shuts-off. I find I no longer am annoyed by automatic shut-off because of these features, and I’m glad for the safety feature, as I don’t always remember to turn it off when I’m done. I think I paid about $35 at Walmart a couple of years ago; newer models available for reasonable prices on Amazon. I also have a small Black # Decker travel iron that works very well–I use it for ironing right at my sewing table.

Comment from Joy Upper
Time: December 7, 2008, 4:11 pm

I like my Black & Decker travel iron, they are inexpesive, light weight, & small enough to pack inside portable sewing machine bag. It’s a lot easier to use for small projects, like childrens clothing, craft projects, etc.

Comment from Sherri D
Time: December 8, 2008, 10:31 am

I own two Rowentas and won’t buy one again. I don’t think they are worth the money. I would like to try a teflon coated one as I often get sticky goo on the bottoms of my irons. I like my mini Clover iron too. My next iron will be a small version of a real looking iron though. Again, Rowentas are nice but I don’t think they’re worth the money. Both of mine will squirt out water when I least expect it. I would buy another Clover mini iron again though….but this time spend the money to get the interchangeable heads.

Comment from Jeanne
Time: December 8, 2008, 8:43 pm

I’m a big fan of the Black & Decker Digital Advantage 2000. Lots of steam when I want it, no steam when I don’t, and despite the fact I’m hell on irons because I leave them on for hours when I’m piecing, my first B&D lasted 5+ years. It didn’t survive being knocked off the ironing board several times within a week (don’t ask) but I think that falls under the heading of unusual stress.
I have had Rowenta irons in the past and hated them. Lots and lots of leaking, definitely not worth the money

Comment from Chriss
Time: December 10, 2008, 6:11 am

Hi Jenniefer,
I’m Chriss from Chicago! (smilin’) I just found your podcasts and L_O_V_E them. I know some people are star struck with the hollywood crowd, but I am craft struck. I love your interviews because I feel I really get a glimpse at the artist’s process and their day to day life. I love your writing style as well.

Ok. Irons. I have a real cheap Black and Decker and a Rowenta that I too, got on sale at Khols. I prefer the Rowenta. It is heavier and for some on the heavy duty collage I make, I need it to be heavy. I have embedded all kinds of things in Golden Tar Gel, then seal it with a Teflon ironing sheet and a very hot iron. (I learned this technique from DJ Pettitt-she would be a great interview) I totally gooped up my Rowenta in this process and that sweetie pie cleaned right up with a cleaning kit. Ok…thanks for the chance.

Merry Christmas


Comment from Tara
Time: December 10, 2008, 8:27 am

Rowenta, Rowenta, Rowenta – the best one you can afford! The weight is fantastic, the steam can’t be beat. Hands down, the best (IMHO)!

Comment from CashmereLibrarian
Time: December 11, 2008, 10:56 am

No on Rowenta! When they work, they’re amazing, but who wants to pay over $100 for an iron that dies after three months (has happened to me > 4 times)? Buy a Black and Decker Digital Advantage, on sale, for all the reasons above.

Comment from Jaye L
Time: December 12, 2008, 8:09 pm

Check out Quilter’s Home. His Posse did a taste test (just kidding) on irons this month. I just got mine yesterday. I am with Jeanne on the Black & Decker Digital Advantage. She made me buy that iron and I haven’t been sorry. Cheap irons are better, though I have to say I have never had a Rowenta or anything expensive.

Comment from Skooks
Time: July 20, 2010, 4:28 pm

Ok, I am a million years behind on this discussion, but I’m wondering what you ended up getting and if you’re still happy with it?

Comment from Suzanne
Time: November 30, 2010, 12:43 am

I just want an iron that will not shut off. Is any company making an iron that will not shut off until turned off? Help me, price is not an issue, what should I buy

Comment from Earl
Time: February 13, 2011, 10:38 pm

Hi – just thought I would let you all in on my opinon of the Euro Stream encse you come across it at a craft – quilt or home show. I bought TWO… (slow learner!) They are wonderful irons WHEN they work. I live in canada and the service dept here is a Redfern company. They are SLOW… and like to tell you (when they answer) that you are using it wrong or not using good water in it. (read excuses) they DONOT stand up. Last around a year… (noticed that they have reduced their warrantee period since I bought the first one but that really doesn’t matter cause I sent one back twice – they lost it once and didn’t fix it the second time) ANyway they look so PERFECT at the shows… and when they work they are wonderful – they just don’t work for long – they spit, overheat, melt, run out of water quickly and are noisy. If you feel like spending $300 a year on a iron give them a try – one of my friends has one that they bought when I bought my first one – no problems with it

Comment from Lisa
Time: June 16, 2011, 9:36 pm

Rowentas have declined in quality and I would never buy another. I have owned 3 – the last 2 leaked within a few months of spending over $100 each and I will never own another one. My first Rowenta 20 years was awesome but that’s because they were made well that long ago.

Comment from Ruth Williamson-Kirkland
Time: July 3, 2011, 3:52 pm

I used to just SWEAR BY Rowentas. They were simply great – strong, consistent, hardworking and LONG wearing. That was an iron I had for 25 years. Now I have had expensive “Professional” Rowentas x 2 that each lasted about 6 months. I just got an expensive Oliso but those darned “legs” that are supposed to be so great in that you do not have to set your iron upright between uses, so slows me down. This iron’s weight and glide and steam are good (only used one month) but I am going nuts trying to learn NOT to leave it in an upright position and it does slow me down.

I guess I will try a cheap Black and Decker. Even if I have to buy one every year it will be cheaper than those “darned” Rowentas that cost an arm and a leg and seem to be no longer a good and reliable brand. I think someone is “cheating” us on Rowentas now days from all the similar feedback I get from quilting friends.

Comment from Jeanne Ulsh
Time: November 16, 2011, 2:09 pm

I have 2 Black and Decker 2000. One works great, so I bought the second one. It leaks horribly. My ironing board, and my hand, gets soaked. B&D didn’t care, just said we’ll give you something off a new one. I’ll never again buy a B&D iron.

Comment from Jeanne Hendricks
Time: February 10, 2012, 6:22 pm

well, after reading all comments, I guess “you pay your money and you take your chances”…..after going thru 3 Rowentas, and one expensive Oliso, perhaps I will buy that B & D…wish I had my Mom’s old GE….it does look exactly like the B & D model, or the Classic steam from Country Store…anybody tried that???

Comment from Linda Diebert
Time: February 27, 2012, 10:28 pm

I’ve used the same Rowenta Professional for the past eight years. It is an automatic shut-off, gets hot quickly and does not leak. This is the best iron I’ve ever had. I would buy another Rowenta, but am concerned that the newer irons are not the same quality as the older ones (like the one I have).

Comment from Lynn P.
Time: September 25, 2012, 8:34 pm

From what I have read, Rowenta use to be made exclusively in Germany, hence the great quality. Now they are made primarily in China and the quality has really declined. Some are still made in Germany and those are the ones to invest in. I don’t have one…my old iron just died and I’m researching the net for a new quilting iron…and came across this thread. Thanks for all the great info.

Comment from Susan B.
Time: October 3, 2012, 11:24 am

I have owned a Rowenta Master DG580 steam iron for the last 6 years that has been great. Well last night it stopped producing steam, but everything else about the iron was working normally. Today I called an authorized Rowenta service center, as the Rowenta customer service number from their website would not answer. I was told my Rowenta Master DG580 is obsolete, and parts are no longer available. I am disappointed that Rowenta expects customers to spend hundreds of dollars every few years. After reading the negative reviews about Rowenta today on this website as well as others, and the current status with manufacturing in China, I will not be taking a risk with Rowenta in the future.

Comment from Becky
Time: January 3, 2013, 9:36 pm

I had this same iron for about 2 months and the spray and steam buttons on the top stopped working. Quality is not nearly as good as the more expensive Rowenta irons. I feel it was a total waste of my money. I now have to purchase a new iron. I’ve used Rowentas for years, but thinking of trying something new.

Comment from Shirley
Time: January 15, 2013, 1:21 pm

I can tell you what not to buy…Oliso TG1600 i touch…no good! leaks terribly and the handle gets hot.. I too in am in the market for a new iron. My Black and Decker lasted more than 20 years before it leaked. I am open to suggestions too.

Comment from Susan
Time: February 27, 2013, 1:45 am

I say “No” to Rowenta! I agree with the comments. The older ones were probably better quality, but newer ones are junk. I purchased one a year or two ago and loved it. Great for sewing, good steam and it didn’t leak. But now I am looking for a new iron as this one (DW1700) quit working properly today. Got hot then the light started blinking and it shut down. Plugged back in and it did the same. According to other posts on the internet, this is a common thing. Not sure what to do now. I want a heavier iron for sewing, but don’t want to pay a premium price if it is only going to last a couple of years. Hope to find a heavy-weight, with good quality and reliable. Maybe one doesn’t exist in our throw-away world.

I see some comments about irons either without auto shutoff feature or one that can either be turned off or programmed for a certain length of time. Can anyone tell me which brands might have these features?

Thanks for all the comments.

Comment from Pat Burrows
Time: January 31, 2014, 6:50 pm

I’ve used Rowentas for years but have decided they just aren’t worth the cost anymore. My first Rowenta Pro was made in Germany and lasted about 15 years. The last Rowenta I bought was made in China. I’ve had it 6 months and it’s about dead. No more for me.

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