An iron is an essential tool when making quilts and for general sewing. I’ve got several which I keep in my wonderful cabin at Strictly HQ but when I was offered the chance to test out the new Oliso SmartIron Pro Plus, I couldn’t wait.
The box arrived and I expected to have to sit down, cup of tea in hand, and read through the manual. Nope! A simple three step start up and you are away. Fill whilst unplugged, choose your setting and steam level, plug in and, when the green light is steady, away you go. The side fill tank is so much easier too.
The new TG1600 has improved what is a first class iron. You may have seen these on YouTube or vlogs – irons that, when let go, arise magically to reduce the risk of scorching, burns and tipping. You touch the handle and the ‘legs’ slink back in leaving the new diamond ceramic-flow™ soleplate to smooth those wrinkles and banish creases. It really is a thing of beauty. The plate is also designed to ensure a swift and easy clean when using fusible products. (Although, woe betide anyone that mucks up my new iron!)
One feature is the 1800 watts of power. I suppose I don’t normally worry about this but I was surprised at the speed it heated up, so it’s obviously made a difference. Something which also makes a difference is the extended 30 minutes shut-off facility, added especially with quilters in mind. The irons I have either don’t have a cut off or power down just as you need to use them. Really annoying when you have lots of units to press and find the iron has gone cold.
Another thing I loved about this iron was the extra long power cord – 12 feet! This makes using in the cabin a dream as normal irons can be a little limiting. The cord also pivots a full 360 degrees giving easy movement in any direction.
But let me talk about how it actually works in an operational sewing studio. Well, let’s just say it has become one of my favourite tools. For those who want to take their piecing to the next level, pressing is one important element. One of my previous blogs covers pressing which you can find here. This steam iron certainly takes pressing up several notches. I don’t always keep water in my irons in the cabin as sometimes the water can go a little yucky if left for a while. This is not something I needed to worry about with this iron. The wide, side fill tank is not only easy to fill but easy to empty. This is recommended if leaving for a few days. The steam shot is good, powerful and can be used when pressing or when upright – handy if steaming clothing when dressmaking.
As stated the cable length made it easy to move around with but I did find the iron a little heavy. This could be that my other irons are quite light in comparison. Having said that, the weight is well balanced and a heavier iron is helpful in getting a good flat finish. Now we come to the actual rising feature of the iron. I simply say – I love it. It took me a while to get used to just letting go of the iron rather than standing it up every time. After a little while of using it, this did become natural. I also realised that the claim that it saves the strain on the wrists was true. I found that just letting it go rather than lifting it certainly reduced strain. Of course, I’ll have to watch I don’t do that when I go back to my household iron!
Overall this beast is certainly worthy of adding to your craft room. A solid piece of equipment, in an attractive bright yellow, is perfectly designed for the quilter.