This is a great iron with some great features. The best thing about it is its ability to generate steam, it has a handy, well positioned button under the handle which you can hold down while ironing to make it produce masses of steam. I find this particularly useful as I have some cheap polo shirts to wear for my student placements, which were always creased, however much they were ironed. But with this handy steam generating button the t-shirts come out great with very little effort at all. The iron also has all those regular features of temperature control, the ability to turn the steam off when necessary and a great, smooth plate for ironing, to help it give that great finish.
We have had this iron for over a year and its given great performance and no problems at all. It is definitely the best iron I've used and it's saved me buying a load of new t-shirts for placements.
I purchased this model to replace a Morphy Richards Steam Generator Iron. It was the old style Generator, with a tank that you fill with water which could be placed either on the ironing board or on the floor etc. I thought it was a brilliant purchase at the time because it half price in the Curry's sale. At £89.99 for one year's usage, it turned out not to be the bargain I was hoping for.
The model I used, which I should have written a review on, but didn't, if only to dissuade people from purchasing it, was rather flimsy plastic, leaked water, and the lead became frayed and wires exposed. Well as you all know, water and electricity do not mix, so out went the MR Iron with a shout of 'Good Riddance'.
It's replacement, manufactured by Bosch IS a steam generator iron, (practically pumps the steam out at full force) but it is the shape of an ordinary, standard iron. This means it's easy to use and store, as you are not storing the iron but also a cumbersome tank. This iron is classed as a Hybrid, a fusion of the best features of both versions. This is what sold it to me, after doing some research.
Being a new alternative to the market, the price is quite hefty for an iron, at £99.99 from Argos (catalogue number 925/6037). A quick Google will tell you that it is available at various online retailers for less than that though, but it will be money well spent.
I prefer a heavier iron, I know some do not, so this most definitely is not the iron for you in this instance. It weighs a whopping 3lb 4.5ounces or almost 1.5kgs (without the lead and plug). This is perfect for me as I don't want anything to tickle the surface, I want those creases squashed, flattened and banished, and don't they dare return!
This iron is very comfortable with its handgrip. It is textured so your hand, after hours of ironing (it is in my house) remains firm. The grip isn't at all cushioned, but although it is plastic, it has a rubbery texture. It is very ergonomic, for left and right handed use. It's a simple thing, but it makes a difference.
What I like about this appliance, is that there's no faffing required. It is filled up from the from with tap water, and away you go. It is supplied with the tiniest little jug you ever did see, and you would be filling it forever with that. I just use my normal 1 litre household jug and pour in water until it reaches the very useful water level indicator.
The capacity of the tank is 400ml, and although it has a very impressive steam output, I can easily iron for over an hour without the need to refill. This is such a handy feature. If I have to stop to refill, I tend to think oh well, that's enough for now, but with this iron, it's like having Duracell batteries - I go on, and on and on....
The wattage of this iron is 2800 watts, and while that means nothing whatsoever to me, steam output does. This gives a burst of steam equivalent to 200g a minute for stubborn creases and hard to iron fabrics, such as denim. Powerful, it really is! It also gives a mighty 70g per minute steam output when ironing generally.
A handy feature on this iron, which is not on more basic models, is that is also is able to steam vertically. Ideal when you just want to take a few minimal creases out of clothes while they're still on the hanger. Why is it that when you iron clothes, put them in the wardrobe only to take them out, they're creased again? One of life's little mysteries that is! Just a quick burst of steam will sort that out, no worries.
You could also steam the creases out of nets/voiles while hanging at the window, or freshen up curtains between washes, as the steam is so powerful as to kill the bacteria that cause lingering smells.
For extra stubborn creases, there is also a spray feature at the front of the appliance. This will spray a fine mist over the exact area you need, it and not a full dousing around the room, like on other irons I've owned.
The steam is also variable as to what temperature you are ironing at. You are also able to vary it further, higher or lower by a slider button where you thumb is placed. I'm a lazy ironer and everything gets ironed at full blast yet nothing fazes this iron, it can cope with whatever I do. I hate fiddling; it takes up too much time. I'd rather be doing something more enjoyable than ironing.
The temperature control dial is on the large side for an iron; a good 1.5 inches or more; no less. It is angled and not flat. This makes it easier to use while handling the iron. It also gives a satisfying gentle click as you turn the dial.
There are the standard one dot (which applies to synthetics), two dots for silks and woollens, and the three dots, which are standard for maximum, and this setting will comfortably cope with cottons and linens. This is standard on all irons, not just this hybrid one, so making the transition to one of these irons will be effortless.
Alongside the dots that allow you to control the temperature, there is one more feature on this dial. It is situated at the other end (if that's possible, with it being circular, but you know what I mean. :O) )It is the Anti Calc button. This feature should be operated once a month in areas with hard water. The Anti Calc removes the calcium and lime scale deposits and stops them building up in the appliance and preventing it from working. We've all seen the Calgon adverts for washing machines - this is the same sort of thing without the extra outlay.
Ironing is a dream with this iron, due to its ceramic soleplate. Ceramic is known to heat up quickly, and enables the iron to glide effortlessly over the fabric, minimising creases and cutting down on elbow grease required.
The iron has a button groove for getting between those pesky buttons, and it has a nice point to it to get into hard to reach places. The iron itself, and so too the soleplate, are quite wide and so in turn will iron quite a big surface area at one time. This in turn cuts down the amount of ironing back and forth needed, and reduces the time spent at the ironing board. Woo hoo.
Now I must mention, the main selling points which sold the iron to me where:
1. The extra long three metre flex. It didn't mean I was restricted to one corner of the room to iron, I can stand within a reasonable distance of the plug socket, but where I could have room to iron with ease and comfort i.e. in front of the television. Who says you can't kill two birds with one stone? Make ironing more enjoyable I say!
2. Anti drip. This meant that as long as I had the iron up to temperature before I begin, the iron will not leak, and drip and leave nasty wet splodges over the clothes; that you then iron dry and they go all brown! YUK. Nothing like that happens with this iron.
3. The best feature of all - Auto shut off. I am the most forgetful of people and also distracted easily. I have regularly left the house for the day, to return and find I've left the iron on. Anything simple can distract me, be it the doorbell, phone or just the kids wanting my attention. Nowadays, I do NOT buy any iron, not just this one, unless it has Auto Off! I know what I'm like and for peace of mind, and safety no-one should buy an iron without this feature, in my opinion.
The iron turns itself off if placed soleplate downwards without moving for around a minute. It also turns itself off, if it is not used while resting on its heel for nine minutes. Nine minutes is plenty enough time to stop the kids squabbling and get back to your ironing without it turning itself off, if it was a shorter space of time, you might find yourself constantly having to power it back up. Nine minutes is also long enough a time to presume you are not coming back anytime soon, so it saves prevents nasty accidents happening. When this feature is enabled, the power indicator light flashes on and off, to let you know.
All in all, I love this Bosch iron (as much as you can love an iron that is). It takes the best features of both designs of iron on the market and hybridises them in this wonderful appliance. It has these ease of use of a standard iron, with the water capacity and steam output of a generator iron. Blo*dy Brilliant!
Surely Dooyoo has it wrong with listing battery life, so I'm going to mark it at five stars anyway :o)
Short name: Bosch TDS1135GB