U YHGFAZ47My sewing came to a standstill when my iron broke. I’m also one of the few who prefer to iron my clothing before wearing. I just think clothes that have been ironed and pressed hang better and I look better because of them. So the ironing had stacked up. I received the new iron on the 27th. I must give the shipper credit. Even though I asked for expedited shipping, they indicated from the get-go that it would not be here until the 28th. To my delight, it arrived a day early.
My new iron is the Rowenta Steam Generator Model 8430
I wish that I could say I was in total bliss but I”m getting my thoughts in order to rate this at Amazon.com. I’m thinking of both the features I truly love as well as the disappointments I’m ex
On/off switch- Missing Poor Zero Stars. Rowenta, REALLY? It was necessary for me to find and install a power strip of 6 outlets to run this single device. That’s not a small deal. I not only had to find a power strip, but a power strip with a 18 foot cord because the outlet I can use is on another wall and the cord must go up and over a door. Then the bookcase which covers the available outlet had to be moved from the wall and returned to position. The power-strip becomes my on/off switch which is far preferable to moving the book-case every time I want to turn on the iron. Where did Rowenta get the idea that every household in which an iron is used, has a perfectly placed outlet? I know the concern is fire and that most professionals will recommend that all devices be unplugged when not in use. But let’s be honest, who does that? In practice most people leave their lamps plugged in all the time, not just when they want to read. Seriously, do you unplug the microwave after each use? Consider your electric clock and coffee pot. Really think you’d get up in time and that coffee would be ready if you plugged them in only in time for the alarm to ring? Truth is this is good ideas which isn’t easy or always practical to implement. To me a better safety measure would be an improved plug that would shut down immediately in response to power surges sufficient to cause combustion (and be able to turn it back on). I appreciate the effort to engineer safety into my iron, but Rowenta, you get nothing for this. It is a great big hassle which as caused me an additional expense to use an already expensive item.
Weight of Iron-Excellent 5 Stars The iron weighs the perfect amount. It is heavy enough to flatten out wrinkles while light enough that I don’t strain. The Reliable Iron Maven, for example, made my entire arm and shoulder ache. Never any issues with the weight of all *4 Rowentas I’ve owned.
Steam cord-Excellent 5stars It’s the right length for all the chores that I do. It’s been warm but never unpleasant. Apparently the insulation is enough to protect me from harm while still preserving and delivering the live steam. I’ve never had any steam-cord issues with the first 3 irons. This is a well designed component which lasts the life of the iron.
Water reservoir-I’m going to rate this on several parts.
Visibility- 4 Stars- Being visible is a real help but I have issues because of the location on the shoe.
Placement 4Stars- At first I was afraid front position/location might be problematic. My sewing room has to be organized in a certain way because of what I want in there and how I like to work. The front position does take more effort to peek into but that is not a deal breaker. I did think the side placement of the 8030 was perfect. I think the reason for the change might be related to the new decalcification system.
Capacity-4stars I’m sure this has a smaller capacity than the 8030. If I ironed once a week or once in a while for an hour or so, I might be happy. But I consider myself a dressmaker. As such I have the iron on for hours and need hours of steam most days of the week. Every ml of water is appreciated.
Reservoir Access- Usable 2 stars
The access port (not sure what to call this) is a small stiff lid that sticks up on the outside, front edge. The wrong place for me and it’s really small. I was looking for a door something close to the size like on the 8030 and missed this little port at first. This door sticks up forming a block. I have little maneuvering room and have yet to fill the reservoir without spilling water. It’s usable but already I’m tired of filling with water and then mopping up the generator, stand and floor. Hopefully in the next 20 months I will find a solution. (21 months is the longest these irons have lasted for me.) I rather expect to break off the little door which Rowenta will not see as a design error but rather a user error. BTW I thought the previous model’s big door was both perfectly placed and sized.
ETA I’ve now placed a funnel next to the iron and use it when refilling the reservoir. Thankfully, I no longer baptise the entire area and floor. It’s an extra step, extra minor expense, but doable. Still this is more of an unsatisfying situation and I won’t upgrade the Usability star rating.
Over all I’m not happy with the reservoir but it is usable and visible and I can adapt.
Tap Water usage-Excellent 5 stars. One of the real selling points of Rowenta is the use of tap water. My water is exceptionally hard and I generally mix half tap and half distilled. Distilled water alone will not produce steam. I know because I tried. Tap water alone is guaranteed to kill all irons. The few quilters in my area concur ‘irons just don’t last’. The calcification kills them which is why I was so pleased to see the new decalcification system.
Decalcification System- Not rated I’m tickled to see an easier way to clean and decalcify the interior of the iron. To be honest I didn’t ever clean the last iron. It’s a big hunk of junk to lug to the kitchen sink and back. It won’t fit in the bathroom sink which is close to the sewing room. Even trying to flush using Rowenta’s hose changes my bathroom into a water hazard. I can’t use the bathtub to clean the iron. Bending over the tub hurts my back and is not going to happen. Next in the house is a kitchen sink. But I’m telling you it’s a long haul for this little ol’ lady. (BTW does Rowenta really think it’s the 20-somethings that buy $300 irons? I really think it’s us middle to elder age ladies passed our prime physically, who desire real performance from irons and fork-out the $$$). Back to the decalc system. I’m glad to see it and will make an effort to use it, but I can’t rate it now. Just not enough experience to say more than ” KEWL IDEA!” I do hope it works. I so want to give this 5 stars but actual performance is going to make the final decision. I am glad not to even have to think about messing with that hose and flushing routine. Which brings me to:
Emptying after each use-Zero Stars. Again, I’m a little old lady which I suspect would be the average consumer for this type item. I suspect this because it’s not my 20-some DIL that irons. She heats clothing in the dryer for 10 minutes and then is gone. She and her peers don’t own irons; never look at irons and generally regard the iron as a “quaint, museum-worthy device “. It’s puny old ladies (like seen in the sewing seminars) that roger up the $$$. Puny old ladies that can’t see moving a book-case out-of-the-way to unplug their iron and then haul the iron to the sink to dump the residual water from a little hole. (I wear powerful glasses too.) I can’t even understand why I’m dumping the water. Are parts going to rust? I thought everything was plastic. Is the evaporating water depositing too many minerals? Even if I dump the water, minerals will be left behind since I can’t get in there and wipe it all down. Oh and guess what, I’m not getting anything beyond a bit of water into that chamber and I’m having a hard time doing that.
Color – Well lets include foot print, shape, sex appeal- 4stars. I kind of liked the black but I’m OK with the white. I do know that white will reveal more of the spray starch I use and the dust which will occur. The foot print is about the same as previous models. I think it’s a little narrower and a bit longer. I think the foot print changed along with the placement and size of the water reservoir to accommodate the decalcification system. What is most important to me is that the entire device still fits on the same stand I was using. For me that means, I don’t need to rearrange or acquire another bit of furniture. I did that with my first Rowenta. These babies are so large that I felt I was losing use of half the ironing board. Initially I was quite stunned at how much room the steam generator needs and would have rated it low. I’ve now adjusted my sewing room and so I’m OK, happy even, but I miss the sleek, sexy, slightly-dangerous visual-appeal of the black finish. I liked the black better.
Steam Button placement- Excellent 5 stars. Not sure of the terminology, I’m referring to the button you push to actually release steam through the hose and onto your fabric. It’s in the perfect place for me. I have and iron with the release-button on top and that’s an ergonomic nightmare. It didn’t take long for my thumb to be swollen and sore. Rowenta has engineered this button so that it is easy to use. It’s a natural action and, in earlier versions, never tiring.
Amount of Steam Generated Another topic with several factors.
True to all previous Rowenta steam generator models, the 8430 produces copious amounts of steam, if on the cotton setting. I’ve not seen another iron which compares. Even the irons my sewing center provides (purportedly excellent steam producing), aren’t nearly as capable. It out produces the Reliable Iron Maven, the other steam generator briefly in use at my house. For its maximum steam I’d give it 5 stars but….
I can no longer control the amount of steam. This is a big disappointment to me. Rowenta has now decided to link the amount of steam to the heat setting, IMO completely contradicting the purpose of the separate steam generating chamber. My understanding was that steam was produced in a separate chamber so that the desired amounts of steam would be released no matter the heat of the iron. Because of the separate chamber the iron could produce continuous steam regardless of temperature setting and without spitting. Usually, I like a medium amount of steam released at all times. Occasionally I want a huge blast of steam and then I usually want it to be continuous for several seconds even minutes. It’s a practice which can really beat difficult wrinkles into submission and absolutely makes pleats and creases permanent. Rowenta has decided that I get big steam with cotton, medium with wool and a little bit for synthetics (unless I want no steam). Which makes the steam button an issue. Previous models were an ergonomic delight. To control the amount of steam with the 8430 I’m constantly pressing and releasing the button, for me a very repetitive motion. I’m feeling it in my wrist and lower arm. I’m feeling the effects of repetitive motion and over worked tissues i.e. muscles complaining that this is a lot of work. Remember I’m the little old lady yada yada yada. The button is not the issue for me, it’s the fact that I no longer am able to control steam volumes with a separate control but must press and release the button repeatedly. I give this combined heat/steam delivery ZERO stars. I think this is a step backwards.
Finally, even with pressing and releasing the button, I run out of steam. There’s just not enough steam in the chamber to press at medium steam an entire shirt. Not the way I do it. My best solution so far is to press for a few minutes and take a break. I suppose I could resort to using a spray bottle. But then why did I a steam generating iron.
While I put the other ratings right by the side of the topic, this time it’s below because I want to really think about this. IMO the steam generation feature of the Rowenta iron has gone from 5 stars to 3 stars overall. The 8430 produces more steam than the common household iron but is very disappointing in the amount, the control and sustained use. The 8430 is a step up from the common iron, but not nearly as good as the earlier Rowenta steam generating models. It is workable. It is satisfactory. But it’s not something to brag about. I can’t see anyone buying this based on my experience. YMMV
Misc Thinks I like about the Rowenta as always, the iron does not turn itself off. Automatic shutoff irons usually turn off and cool down just before I need them which definitely increased total ironing time as I have to wait for the iron to heat up, again. And again. And a-g-a-i-n.
In retrospect the previous model 8030 was probably model inadvertently designed exactly for me. I’m not sure how they test these new models. Does Rowenta rely on people reporting back or do they do testing? Do they test for short periods of time or over an extended period? Do they have large spacious floor or do they put the iron in a typical work environment? Do they ask people’s experiences or impressions? On first impression, that of looking at pictures on the internet, I thought this model would be fine excepting the lack of the on/off switch. From the pictures, I would have given it 4 stars. I’m surprised to be disappointed with actual use. I bought this model because I was very satisfied with previous models. My objections to the 5030 was **lack of water reservoir visibility. I loved the 8030 despite it’s cleaning routine and ***it gave clear signs of its pending demise. Over all I’m disappointed that both the 8030′s survived less than 2 years and BTW, the first 8030 I religiously unplugged and hauled to the sink for cleaning, every month, had a shorter life span (14 months) compared to the second (21 months) which I left in place, never disturbed, never cleaned beyond wiping down with a soft cloth.
I do think for the cost these little jewels should last 5 years. I did not purchase extended warranties. I read carefully and realized that for double the cost of the iron, nothing which broke would ever be covered i.e. everything which could happen to an iron was excluded. (Oh and I would be required to haul the iron to the sink every month or the warranty and extended warranty are violated.) As I read I realized that the extended warranty covered only manufacturing defects, and limited ones at that. In my personal experience, manufacturing defects show up in the first 30-60 days. Paying double to ensure that some factory worker did their job correctly is not worthwhile.
Even though I’m disappointed in the 8430, I’m keeping it. Why?? Well I couldn’t find another 8030 to purchase (from a reliable source). While there are more 5030′s available, visibility and easy refill of the water reservoir are deal breakers for me. I have budgetary restrictions. Those professional steam generators are just not in the budget. I’m no longer satisfied with the amount of steam that the “best” home irons generate. I’ve tested several. They never make the grade. The other alternative seems to be the gravitational feed irons -can’t remember exactly what they are called but you have to hang a bag. It would require rearranging my room, new furniture bits. But the biggest downside: people who’ve used both steam generators and gravitation feed tell me that the gravitational iron will not deliver the same amount of steam. While the 8430 has some disappointments for me, it still better than a home iron and the best I can buy.
* DG5030(2008,18 months), 8030(2010,14 months), 8030(2011, 21 months), new:8430 (approximate purchase date and life span)
**In my haste to replenish the water (because I thought there was more in the reservoir than there really was), I misthreaded the closure.
***First the steam button wouldn’t always disengage requiring the iron be powered off. The cover at the bottom of the reservoir started floating (resecured with a rock); and one of the hinges broke (not fixable)