Sunday, February 5, 2023


 Quilters have a love/hate relationship with irons. We use one every day we sew, for some of us, that's all day, every day. 

It needs to be hot. It needs to work. It needs to not stick. I need it to shut off automatically so I don't burn my house down.

Until recently, this was my every day iron, Black & Decker Classic. It's heavy, I liked that. It got hot and stayed hot while I was using it and it shut off automatically in case I forgot to turn off the switch to the power cord:

This iron died. Well, actually, it became hellacious. It was working all morning, just fine. I went to use it, a few minutes after the last time I used it, and it was so  HOT it scorched the fabric and melted the thread. The smell of those two things was bad. I immediately unplugged it. It was HOT. 

My husband said the thermostat must have quit. How long had I  had it? I dug out the instruction booklet on which I wrote the date purchased: February 10, 2020, and the price $29.99.  I also bought extra coverage for up to 4 years from the Amazon "protection" company--that cost $3.99. 

I NEVER get 4 years from an iron so it seemed a safe bet the "protection" would be needed. 

It was a simple process to file a claim online. Within less than a minute I received a text saying the $29.99 was being refunded and a return address label was attached. I printed the label, boxed it up, and shipped the dead iron back. They just got it and I'm now waiting for the $29.99. 

In the meantime, I got out my "backup" iron, a Rowenta I never loved but it still works so it gets put to use when an iron dies and I haven't replaced it yet:

My other "go-to" iron I use a lot is this cute little Steamfast. I use it when making circles or bias stems with starch or sizing as it is a breeze to clean the soleplate with a warm washcloth. I have been making lots of circles and stems so I keep it handy:

Time to replace the iron that just died. I figured I liked the Black & Decker Classic, so I would simply "Order it Again". The price now, 3 years later? $43.50. The cost of the "protection"? $8.99. So, no, time for a different iron.

Here is what should be coming in a few days. It's lighter than the Classic and is 1200 watts vs. 1100 watts. It's so cheap, they don't offer "protection", $16.99. 

As long as I get two years from it and it doesn't get super HOT unexpectedly, I'll be happy.

One thing to NOTE: I NEVER put water in an iron. That's the fastest way to kill it. I keep a squirt bottle of water beside the iron when needed for "steam". And Magic Sizing is a favorite. Also Best Press because it smells good. But never water in the iron, no, I just don't do that.

What is your current favorite iron?

Let's quilt.



  1. I use the $29.99 Continental iron but it went belly up due to the cord. Clay would continually repair it. This time I purchased the Oster iron that looks just like your dead B&D. I love it. But I ace one advantage because I hate the auto shut off feature. Clay fixed me a timer box so it will run for an hour then cut off. And I agree on steam irons. Do the same thing you do. It was $44 but where the electrical cord is I won’t have the same issues as the Continental Iron. Great post!

  2. I used a Rowena for years when I was overseas. I do use steam, so eventually it died. My habit is to purchase the Black and Decker like the new one you are getting. I have had two of them for nearly 15 years each. I do not feel bad about throwing them away if they go bad. One tip, I also have a Tefal iron which has a black body and water tank, it works well but can never see how much water is in the tank. No more black irons.

  3. I'm almost the opposite! I cannot stand auto shut off in an iron while I'm sewing. You have to pay quite a bit of $$$ to get an iron without auto shut-off. I have one of those Rowenta irons with the separate water tank and I do love it. Definitely not portable. It's lasted for years, thankfully. I've bought a couple of more traditional irons to take on retreats only to discover that they exceed the allowable wattage. Only someone who sews can get excited about a good iron!

  4. There doesn't seem to be a perfect iron. I have had several brands including Rowenta. It is the cord that I dislike. Then, while at a retreat, I tried the Panasonic cordless iron. I loved it so much that I ordered one that afternoon and it was waiting for me when I returned home. No water for this one. It gets hot enough for me and NO cord!

  5. Oh, I'm so glad to 'hear'/read that someone else's irons don't last longer than a year or two. I don't put water in mine either, but I've still had them quit right in the middle of the day. Knowing this will happen, I refuse to spend more than $20 on an iron and it cannot have automatic shutdown (HATE that!!). The one I have now looks similar to the last Black & Decker shown above but it's a Hamilton Beech as was the previous one, I believe. I've also had the silver and black one - bought because it looked like the GE one that my mom had back in the day and so I hoped it would work as worked but died after a year or so -- so disappointing. :(

  6. I have a Rowenta that has lasted for years and years. I mean, I don't remember when I bought it. I've even knocked it to the floor and only lost a little bit of plastic. I don't use it all day, every day, but I do put water in sometimes. For block pressing I use a cheap travel iron that I never put water in. My first one was $12 and lasted quite a few years.

  7. I use my mother's GE (later Black and Decker) from the 1970s. It looks like yours that died, but it's still chugging along. It's heavy and gets good and hot. I have it plugged into a power strip at eye level; I am reminded to turn it off AND unplug it when it's not in use. I don't know what I'll do when it dies. :-(

  8. My iron recently died (forgot the brand) and my quilting friends said the same thing: get a cheaper model and hope to get 2 years out of it. They added that the expensive ones only last 2 years anyway. I bought a cheap B&D iron from Walmart. I chose it for the price and it's got some green on it -- my favorite color! My only complaint is that it's not very heavy but I'm OK with that mostly. I also NEVER put water in my iron. Good luck to the both of us!

  9. My iron just did the heat AT ALL! I have never had that happen, before.

  10. My current iron is a Hamilton Beach that I probably paid $30.00 for. It’s kind of heavy
    and has automatic shut off which I like. I don’t put water in my irons anymore, they leak and spit if I don’t empty the reservoir
    after I turn it off.

  11. I really hate the irons without stainless steel sole plate. I do a lot of applique and i didn't like the steamfast I was ready to throw it the trash. I was lucky enough to find an old B & D with the linen setting and very heavy and hot!!! I use a Conair travel iron that has no auto shut off ( I don't like those either). I never use the steam setting on any iron I buy because of the leaking no matter what iron you use. It's easier to use a spray bottle.

  12. This is obviously a topic of strong opinions! :)
    Like you, I like my iron hot, inexpensive, with auto-shutoff, and no water in it! I think if my iron did not turn itself off, I would have burned our house down LONG ago!

  13. My irons have been the "under $20" models for quite some time.
    The all die the same way....I don't look when reaching for it and
    sweep it off the ironing board. Oops!