In the past, I have been a huge fan of the Reliable Digital Velocity v100 iron. Mine, which arrived in October 2010, has seen heavy use since that time. I use it almost daily, often for many hours.
Then, earlier this week, it died.
Looking back, I realized I had a clue that I wasn't paying attention to. The last few times I refilled it, I would later notice wetness on the ironing board. At first I thought I was being sloppy while pouring in the (distilled) water, but the last time I was careful and there was still quite a bit of wetness. I believe that the leak shorted out the electronics, because I can no longer get anything to display on the digital readout.
At first I was pretty irked. This is an expensive, premium iron. It should last longer than 3 years, right?
But what to replace it with? Up until it's mysterious leaking and sudden death, it behaved perfectly. It heated up fast. It produced tons of steam, even at the lowest setting. I loved that I could override the auto shutoff feature. It has a substantial weight, which I want in an iron. (Though if you have weak wrists, it may not be for you.)
I know there are many fans of gravity feed irons, but I am not ready for that investment or for the care and feeding of a gravity feed iron.
As I was mulling over this crisis (seriously, I can't sew without an iron!) I did some calculations. I had the iron for 35 months. The cost for using the iron came to less than $4 a month.
I realized that this cost is completely worth it to me. I ordered another Reliable V100 Digital Velocity Steam Iron, which will be arriving next week.
Meanwhile, I ordered something I've been wanting for awhile. I ordered a dry iron, the Continental Electric CP43001 Classic Dry Iron. This iron does not produce steam and has a perfectly flat sole plate, so it's very nice for fusing interfacings - no little "circles" of unfused interfacing where there are corresponding holes in the sole plate.
It arrived today. Within minutes I was fusing the interfacings on my current jacket project.
I love it! This is a small iron, but it has some heft to it. There are no computerized bits to break down. There is no water reservoir to leak or spit. There is no automatic shutoff. (Though I plug my irons into a power strip that also has a light, so I know right away if my iron is on.) It isn't super fast at heating up, but it did get quite hot. It also feels less stable than my Reliable, so it's extra important not to leave it on where it can tip over and start a fire.
It was so weird to use such a quiet iron! No steam means no noise. No purring, nothing. I felt very retro while using it - wearing an old-style apron over a fitted dress would have completed the "June Cleaver" effect.
This iron will be a great supplemental iron and a backup for my seam iron. (One of these days I will get a clam-shell press...)
On another note, Margy and I are participating in a little sewing challenge, in the sense that we are both sewing up the same fabric. I hope to make some major progress on my project this weekend, though my kids often derail my plans at the last moment, so we'll see!