As some of you might be aware from some other recent reviews, we've recently moved house. We previously lived in a 1970s semi where all the walls were painted, but we've moved to a 1960s semi where the previous owners were keen on wallpaper.
To give you some idea, one bedroom had nine individual layers of wallpaper and lining paper; they'd just kept putting one on top of another! Several rooms have also got the dreaded woodchip paper, which in itself has also been painted.
Up until now we had no need for a wallpaper stripper. We considered hiring one, but with the quantity to do, we felt it more economical to buy one. There are a lot available, but this one at only £20 on Amazon had excellent reviews. The machine comes in four sections: a lead, a water vessel, a pipe and a plastic oblong you hold on the wall (I'm sure it has a proper name, but I can't think of it!)
The machine itself is very easy to set up. You simply connect together all the parts, fill the reservoir with water, and switch it on. In effect, it works just like a kettle. An element inside the water reservoir heats the water; the difference is that when it's boiling it keeps boiling rather than switching off. It takes about 10 minutes to come to the boil, and I gather that the water lasts for about 70 minutes.
Once the water is boiling, steam is send up the pipe and into the plastic oblong. You hold this part against the wall in order to moisten the paper, and make it easy to strip. For the best results, I found that you had to hold it in place for 10-15 seconds before moving it. Of course, once you're going, you get quite a good rhythm in operation because as you're holding it in one place, you can be stripping the previous with the other hand. You have to be a little careful as the pipe does get quite hot, and some hot water drips from the top.
Overall, it's tackled all the jobs we've set it with ease; even the dreaded woodchip. Given that my arms begin to ache before the 70 minutes is up, I'm not sure whether it lasts that long or not; 45 minutes is about my limit! Its great asset is that it's so simply to set up and get working. No instruction manual was needed, and I only glanced at the pictorial diagrams on the side of the box.