The best irons for sewing

March 30th, 2009
black-decker-d2030
Well this is for the ladies who wanted to know what iron I use and recommend…I think deciding on what iron to buy is almost as important as what sewing machine to buy… but honestly you don’t need to buy the most expensive one to get great quality. As with anything, just because something has a large price tag doesn’t mean that the quality is the best.

When I went shopping for a new iron I did a lot of research, & originally I wanted a Rowenta. Mostly because they’re made in Germany, and I’m a massive fan of German engineering. Plus they’re expensive and so of course seemed like ironing heaven. However after looking into it though I found that many people had been unhappy with theirs shortly after purchasing, for a number of reasons, but mainly because it either stopped heating up well or plastic parts broke. That really worried me. I don’t mind spending money on something good quality, but it has to actually be good quality!

So, I widened my view & went to my favourite sources for reviews

  1. Consumer reports
    I love consumer reports. They are unbiased and rate items purely on performance. Funnily enough, I’ve found that the most expensive items are rarely the most highly rated!! Based on their extensive testing & consumer questioning, they rated the Black & Decker D2030 the highest, and the two most popular Rowenta models 3rd and 4th. So I moved on to my next decision making criteria…
  2. Amazon
    I looked up some Rowenta irons & the Black & Decker iron on Amazon. Now don’t get me wrong, the Rowenta irons were still really well rated by customer reviews, but the Black & Decker was just rated so much better. Plus after reading the reviews I found that a lot of experienced sewers were in love with it, and that many more people had reviewed it than any Rowenta irons (and if you have done as much statistics as I have, you know that the larger the set of data is the more reliable it is).
  3. Google – No link here… you know what google is!
    I just googled the two irons, and had a look at random websites reviews of them. I didn’t weight these as highly in my decision making, but same thing. People loved their Rowenta’s but they did tend to be a little disappointed with the quality compared to price, and there seemed to be a lot of complaints about them being really heavy. And as before, people loved their Black & Deckers.
So in the end I finally decided on the Black & Decker D2030. And it’s a fantastic iron. I’m so happy with it, and one day when it does finally wear out, I’ll be getting another just like it. I really love it’s features:
  1. It’s lightweight, so your arm isn’t dead after a lot of use
  2. It has a stainless sole plate, which makes it easier to clean
  3. It doesn’t hiss or spit
  4. Has a nice & powerful steam shot/burst of steam when you need it
  5. And it gets beautifully, super hot, and quickly
So after all that, I recommend the Black & Decker D2030. It has all the features you will need, it’s reliable and it’s affordable, priced betwen $30-$50. My second choice would be a Rowenta, you are still going to get a really great iron, but they do seem to come with their own set of problems, plus they tend to start at $100, so perhaps the price doesn’t really match the quality?So there’s my two cents! Of course this is just my opinion, and I’m sure there are many many people who will disagree with me, and if you are one of them and are a total Rowenta die-hard, I’d like to apologise in advance for bad mouthing your much loved iron!

21 Responses

  1. gwensews says:

    I’ve had many, many Rowentas. Every one leaked. I had a commercial gravity flow iron that went bad. I have the D2030 now. It was cheap. It works. And when it starts spitting, it goes in the trash and I’ll buy another.

  2. knitmachinequeen says:

    I’ve used Rowentas for years and have never had problems of of them. I also use a Euro Pro 8000 (?) and I love it too. After about 10 years it started leaking but I was able to disassemble and repair it myself. It hose had gotten brittle on the end. I would rather spend money on a good iron over a sewing machine anyday. Pressing can cure all kinds of sewing foulups. Not to be controversial I will never own an auto shut off iron. I need the iron ready when I am. I don’t want to have to bother with always waking it up. Was sewing with a friend one day and it is what she had. It drove us both nuts and it didn’t heat up as well as what I was used to. Thumbs down to auto shut off irons.

  3. sewducky says:

    That’s what I use, actually. Stole it off my last boyfriend with his ironing board and never felt bad.

    I eat irons and this one’s been dropped and abused and it still works. Great iron!

  4. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for that information. I had one Rowenta when I first started sewing, and to be honest, I didn't think it was any better than the $15 Walmart iron I had replaced with it. I am definitely going to check into that Black & Decker.

  5. lsaspacey says:

    Wow, what perfect timing! My mom's old Black & Decker is finally dying(it must be at least 15 years old) , it's the only iron I've ever used for sewing and I didn't know if if was still considered a good brand. Thanks for this!

  6. Laine says:

    I have the same black and decker and love it!

  7. Sara says:

    I got the oliso Touch & Glide, which is the one with feet that lift it up and down so you don’t have to set it on its end while sewing. In general I like it — no spitting, easy to fill, and most of the time the fact that it just raises itself up when I let go of it, is great (every once in a while it’s annoying, and I do find that when working with other irons I forget that I need to set them on their side, and I risk burning clothes or board!).

    I feel like it is probably not getting as hot or giving me as much steam as other irons would, and so I keep thinking about replacing or augmenting it, but for now it’s a really good choice.

  8. Sewing Machine says:

    A week or two ago I stumbled across this site and have been following along. I thought I might leave my opening comment. Im not sure what to write except that I have loved reading it. Nice website. I shall keep coming back to this blog frequently. I have also taken the feed to get updates.

  9. sabrina says:

    Hi Megan,

    Just plan to buy a new iron and found this post. Just want to ask you, after a year, do you still love this iron?

    thanks,

    sabrina

  10. Meg says:

    Hi Sabrina, yep I still love it! Though I don’t expect it to last forever as it was quite cheap!

  11. John Pilla says:

    We have an old T-Fal, about 15+ years old. I did a LOT of research then, and now the non-stick plate is about useless. My wife irons a huge load each week, and wants a god iron. I’ve narrowed it down to the Rowenta DZ5080 and the
    B&D D2030. Both seem to have their share of leaks, and not lasting. We want a good value iron that will last at least 10 years! Oh well. From my research, and your website confirms it, the B&D has the slight edge. At $65 for B&D and $75 for Rowenta, still a lot for a 2 year iron! Lets hope the B&D lasts longer, than that.

  12. Donna says:

    Wow! Talk about timing, I have just ordered a new iron. I too was being drawn to Rowenta until I read reviews. After all, they are sold in all the chain crafty stores so they are especially suited to crafters, right? Anyway, with the cost and all the reviews not being stellar, I went with a Reliable brand iron. It had great reviews and at $99 bucks, it is the most expensive iron I “will have” ever owned. Not to mention, it is orange :) I wanted the one with the big tank thingy but figured, for the money, I needed to make sure of the quality before I drop the same as a car payment for it. I ordered it from Allbrands and am waiting patiently for it to arrive…….. From everything I read when researching, Braun make a good iron too but I couldn’t find one that would work in the US. Right now, I have put away my Shark iron that was good in the beginning but only lasted a year before it quit producing steam (well, occasionally it would spit a little steam out. I do have hard water so I should probably get distilled water or at least boil some.) And the auto shut off, grrrrrrr! It wouldn’t stay on for any length of time. So, currently, my Sunbeam Steam Master is back out. At least he still steams and the auto shut off is 1000 times better on it. It heats back up quickly and that helps.

  13. Sharon says:

    For piecing quilt blocks you need good steam iron with very few holes on the sole plate at the top and a flat surface at the bottom. This allows fabric to dry after passing through steam as is passes over the bottom of the sole pate. I cannot find anything indicating the number of holes in the sole plate except those with 300-400 holes. Does anyone know of an iron I am looking for?
    Thanks Sharon

  14. Jenn Quick says:

    My husband bought a Singer iron attached to one of those big water container thingys, it produces so much steam my glasses fog up, but it has about 10 holes at the top and the rest of the plate is smooth. For my money, I have owned a few irons and I will always choose a Phillips over anything else. A great iron with a very long cord (handy when you live in a very old house with too few power outlets!).

  15. Reyna Lay says:

    Hi, it’s been a few years since this post. Wondering if you are still using the same iron or if you repurchased a new one since then. I need to buy one and I was going to buy a rowenta but now wondering if I shouldn’t. Thanks!

    Reyna

    • Meg says:

      Hi Reyna! oooo yes you’re right, this post is a few years old! Since then i’ve updated to a Rowenta steam generator. I haven’t used a normal rowenta iron – but i adore the steam generator. I think i will need to do an update post!
      XOXO

  16. Brenda Pawlowski says:

    Have been reading some of your blogs and ran across this one regarding irons. Thought I’d like to add my 2 cents in. I have a Sussman gravity iron that I will finally be updating and using again. I used it for almost 20 years before “remodeling” took over the house. Now it’s time to start again with my sewing. Oh yes, about 50 years sewing experience and I’ve gone through my share of irons. During the remodeling I had to buy another iron – and did buy a Rowenta – it’s been a decent quick-grab iron but it seems the temperature is not where it should be now. Also, this iron takes more “ironing” to get done what I used to do in half the time with my Sussman. The weight simply is not there. Sussman irons have been made for more than 50 years. Gravity feed means you basically have a bucket of water hanging from your ceiling (or wherever). There is a demineralizing ??stuff?? at the bottom of the water tank that filters your water. Eliminates many spotting problems. Water, being gravity fed, flows through the iron. The result is more steam. The iron is heavy, aboiut 4 lb. It’s not an impossible weight to deal with but it does take some getting used to. Iron sets flat on a special mat. I just priced a new Sussman, $269.00. Thats about $100 more than I paid for my iron years ago. What is the difference in the results of using a Sussman over a Rowenta? Plenty. When you iron a shirt with a Sussman and hang it up – it is almost completely dry. When you do the same thing using a Rowenta, there is enought steam/heat left in that garment to let it wrinkle. The combination of the gravity feed and heavier iron pushes the steam out of the garment as you iron. It takes fewer passes with the iron to do a garment. Over time with more ironings, you actually reach a place where you just need to touch up areas on the garment. The ironing finish will stay in the garment through a few washes. Wrinkles don’t happen when you hang a dry garment. My Sussman has been a good iron for many, many years. If I had to replace it, it would be with another Sussman. One that comes close to the Sussman is the Naomoto at twice the price. The new boiler-type irons, I can’t comment on. I don’t know that I would want to mess with them. First of all, you have to have a table to set the boiler on. I don’t think I like the idea of having a boiler unit setting on an ironing board, especially if there were small children in the house. One main difference between my Sussman and my Rowenta – when the Sussman is on – it’s on. There is plenty of steam for easing seams, setting them, shaping bias or laces (watch your fingers). Plackets and collars come out crisp. Setting a crease is a breeze. Temperature is constant and reiable. This is NOT crafting iron. The Rowenta will turn off after a few minutes of non-use. Tip the iron too drastically when you are steaming a collar and you could dump your water. Here’s a warning about the Sussman. Pad your ironing board well. I actually wore out an the older board I was using when I purchased my Sussman.

    One last tip. The best ironing board covers & pads are available in Austrailia. Pricey but designed to do the work.

    • Liz Knowles says:

      Hi Brenda
      I have a Sussman that I’ve used for twenty years but it needs a new tank & hose assembly. Do you have any idea where to purchase one? The place I used to gobyo for parts went out of business. Thanks!
      Liz

  17. [...] awesome beast pictured above – I did a post wayyyy back at the beginning of this blog recommending a budget iron I really loved, you may enjoy reading (though beware it is [...]

  18. [...] It’s cheap and will not have many of the essential features needed for sewing. Even Megan agrees with me on this one. She recommends the Black and Decker D2030 (pictured top [...]

  19. [...] the B&D one has to be at least as good…. if not better than my ailing Rowenta.  (Plus Megan and Consumer Reports likes it [...]

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