** Background **
Over time I have become 'chief ironer' in our home as my wife doesn't like the job. Don't get me wrong the prospect of being faced with a pile of creased clothes, an ironing board and a suitable appliance doesn't exactly fill me with joy but stand me in a room with a CD playing full blast and I will happily work my magic on the pile and transform a creased rag back into life as a wearable piece of clothing.
Unlike vacuum cleaners which we have managed to wear out a significant amount of over the years I have had a successful long term relationship with my old Morphy Richards Iron since it was given to us as a wedding present back in 2002. However in October of last year my old faithful, trusted iron refused to heat up anymore so was sent to iron heaven and off to Argos we went looking for a suitable replacement.
** Choosing the iron **
The first thing I noticed when sourcing a new iron was just how much they differed in price; from nasty looking 'budget' ones costing a fiver up to ones that sit on their own steam generators for almost £200. Not having the budget to indulge in a high-tech, top of the range iron but also deciding that a too cheap one would be rubbish we eventually settled on this not-so-expensive Kenwood KB9188 Steam Iron that was on offer at half price from £30.00 down to £14.99.
Kenwood as a brand will probably be recognisable to the majority of readers but for me was more associated with food mixers and in-car sound systems. However I figured that Kenwood was a decent brand and making a snap decision on how nice the iron looked I parted with the cash and 5 months later the iron is still going strong.
** The iron itself and using it **
Ours (well, mine actually) is two-tone grey in colour and has a nice, sleek look to it. Pictures of the iron online actually look better than it actually is in the 'flesh' and without being overly critical it does have rather a 'plasticy' look to it, however any doubts that I first had when removing it from the box were quickly replaced when I felt the weight of the iron itself. Weighing in at 1.22kg it has a decent, substantial feel that belies its plastic appearance and its 'soft grip handle' fits comfortably in your hand allowing a decent grip without being too hard.
Featuring a shiny, stainless steel soleplate with holes to allow the steam to be blasted through your clothes it glides across fabrics without catching or snagging the material and functions exactly as you would expect an iron to do. It has 2000 watts of power which generates 30 grams per minute of steam output and a 55 gram shot of steam if you have a particularly stubborn crease that won't shift with a simple glide over and from experience I do find that the steam shot is effective and banishes creases with little effort.
A red temperature control light is featured on the iron so know when it has reached its optimum ironing heat and the dial setting is easy to follow and set if you need to lower or higher the temperature to suit the fabric you are ironing. Filling the iron with water is easy as the 'front fill' system allows you to add water (tap water is fine) in an upright position or even when it is sitting on its soleplate and the 320ml water tank capacity holds a generous amount of water so you shouldn't need to frequently top up the water if you are doing a light load of ironing. If you live in a 'hard water' area and are prone to limescale the iron even features a self clean function, personally I haven't had to use that facility as our water is soft and limescale isn't an issue for us but at least it is there if needed.
The iron comes attached to a 3 metre power cord which allows you flexibility to where you can set up your board and iron and I find that I can manoeuvre around quite easily and have plenty of cord left dragging on the floor to stop me getting tangled up or in a fluster.
Using the iron a few times a week I can confirm that it heats up quickly, glides over all fabrics without effort and does an excellent job of removing creases from all types of clothing from delicates up to denim. Obviously the thicker the material the more work the iron has to do but I haven't found anything that the iron can't cope with and even bone-dry jeans and thick flannel shirts become crease free and looking back to being their best after a going over with this Kenwood iron.
** Conclusion and recommendation **
I have no criticisms with this iron whatsoever and for the price I paid I consider it to be money well spent. For a standard mid-priced functional steam iron it does exactly what you would expect and is very user friendly with no areas of concern. 5 months on I still use it every week and it works as efficiently today as it did the first time I used it from out of the box so I would have no problems recommending this iron to anyone.
As with all technology things move on and this particular model (the KB-9188) seems to be a bit tricky to track down, I have seen it in Argos and online at Littlewoods but there are now newer models to choose from. If you are in need of a new iron though and this one is available or indeed any other from the Kenwood brand I would certainly recommend them to anyone.
A perfect 5/5 dooyoo star rating from me for all the reasons stated, thanks for reading my review.
Kenwood KB9188 Steam Iron...
I have always had really cheap irons until I decided that the time spent ironing was twice as long with a cheap iron. I paid out only a fraction more than I would usually when this Kenwood iron was on special at £10 from Argos. Its original price was around £15 but considering I usually only had Tesco Value Irons for less than a fiver this one cost the price of a couple of irons would usually do.
I would have to say however that it was a total brilliant purchase on my behalf. The price paid was a bargain and I can't believe that I have been using cheap irons all this time. The Kenwood iron is heavy in weight and high in watts (2000). This means that it is able to sail through the ironing at a super quick time, I am not having to push hard on the clothing or go over it several times with just one swoop from this fine piece of equiptment and the garment is pressed to a high standard.
The iron has a nice long wire from plug to appliance which means that the clothes will never be tugged at with the cord. The iron holds a good amount of water but could do with a larger capacity because when the steam function is set to max the water disappears within the space of four or five items of clothing.
The steam function however is brilliant and you can really get things iron well with this set to a high ssetting. There is also the option to change it from low, medium or high heat settings and there is a garment description for those who don't know which setting they should choose.
All in all this iron has done me proud the half a year or so I have had it. It is well worth awarding a 5 star rating and a VERY HIGH RECOMMENDATION. It is doing the job well and was at an affordable price. I could ask for no more.
I hope this has been of some help to you.
Kenwood Steam Iron.
> Ergonomic steam and spray buttons (big)
> 2000 watts
> Front water refill for ease of use & access (you have to lift plastic lid in order to fill it, which is a plus because water doesn't splash out)
> angled water spray for stubborn cases
> durable stainless steel soleplate
> comfortable grip handle/soft grip handle
> adjustable temperature control for all fabrics
>360 degree rotation on swivel cord.
> 3m power cord, (v handy)
> large 320ml water tank capacity
> self clean function for easy de-scaling (since I'm used to older irons, I don't yet know how this works)
> 0-15g/min variable steam max 25g/min boost steam output/variable steam
> anti drip function prevents water stains at low temperature.
>aesthetically good, 'cool' looking iron, nice design, colours grey/black and white work for it.
> comes with 1 yr warranty
>water level indicator
I purchased this iron yesterday from Argos priced at £14.99 and I have to say it is the best iron I've used. I chose to opt out of being a cheap 'Challenge' (argos make) iron because I've used the cheapest one before and my gosh it's awful to handle. I was going to buy the £7.99 challenge iron but then thought, well why not spend a little more on something a lot better that will last?
I've used Phillips as well but you have to make sure you clean and take care of the iron or it will spew limescale stuff all over you work clothes!
If, like me, you absolutely detest ironing, well this Kenwood iron makes it a little bit easier. Its not too heavy, it glides nicely over the clothes, there's a fast heat up, the red light indicator comes on to show that its heating up to right temperature and switches off to cool down to maintain that temperature. It's not a bulky iron like some I've used, in fact it's pretty streamlined as far as irons go.
I like to make sure my clothes are looking good and ironed well and it definitely helps to buy a good make, like Kenwood or even Russell Hobbs.
The 3m cord is incredibly handy if its quite a stretch to the socket or if the cord has to wind around the ironing board.
If you buy it from Argos, at the till they offer you an extended three year warranty on the iron at a small price (I'm afraid to say I can't for the life of me remember the price but I am very sure it was £2.99).
This is a really great iron and does the job! Great price too.
Short name: Kenwood KB-9188