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About a month ago I was happily (ish) ironing away when I noticed little wisps of smoke coming from my iron, at first I thought I had got something stuck to the soleplate so I gave the iron a vigorous rub on the ironing board, only to see that it had burnt my new ironing board cover. I took a closer look and realised that the iron was making a strange crackling noise and the smoke was now pouring from behind the sole plate. I quickly unplugged the iron and marched outside with it to allow it to cool down and prevent a major incident. Once the iron had cooled down I noticed that a massive crack had appeared in the soleplate and it was scorched, I wisely decided it was time to buy a new iron. After the spontaneously combusting iron, that was a Russell Hobbs 14723 Steam Glide and the one before it that was a Breville who's wire wore through and I nearly electrocuted myself I decided to choose a different brand. After a quick peruse of the internet I picked a Phillips GC3320, I would like to tell you that this was an informed decision after reading plenty of reviews and looking on price comparison websites, but I can't. I chose this iron as it was a middle of the road price, about £40 and it claimed to be light weight and it looked a bit pretty. Right on to the important bits, the iron has an extra large water inlet, allowing for easier filling. The iron comes with a rather ugly mini jug that holds 300ml of water, just the right amount to fill the irons water tank, I only used the mini jug once and it is now languishing in the bottom of the box with the over large instruction sheet. To fill the iron is simple you need to unclip the cover over the water inlet and slowly pour water into the iron till it reaches the full marker and then clip the cover closed. The iron comes with long 3m cord, which I find really good as it allows me freedom to roam over the whole of my ironing board rather than just one end, the cord is covered in fabric, hopefully this will keep me safe from electrocution. The cord also swivels where it goes into the iron, this also allows for ease of movement. The water tank on the iron is very clearly marked and I can see when I am running low on water, I can usually iron for about 40 minutes on a full tank with the temperature set on three and the steam set on two. The iron gives out 35g of continuous steam; I am not sure what that means. All I can say is I am comfortable with the amount of steam produced by the iron; I don't disappear in a cloud of steam but there is enough to remove wrinkles without leaving clothes damp. The iron has a 100g steam boost, this is achieved by pressing the button on top of the iron with the steam symbol on it. I don't feel the need to use this but when I tested it, it gave out a good steady jet of steam. This jet of steam can also be used vertically for removing the creases from curtains. The soleplate of the iron has been designed to help the iron glide over fabric smoothly; so far I have had nothing stick to the iron and can say it glides beautifully over all types of fabric providing you have the temperature set right and avoid ironing the printed parts on t-shirts. The iron has a pointed tip; this is great for navigating my way around buttons and into the tight areas on shirts and trousers. The iron has something called a Double Active Calc System that actively prevents scale from blocking the steam vents. The iron needs cleaning once very two weeks and instructions for that are on the instruction sheet. I have had the iron for over a month now and have to admit I have not cleaned it once yet. Shame on me as I am sure regular cleaning will help prolong its life and hopefully prevent spontaneous combustion. I have rambled on about the features of this iron enough now and want to discuss my ironing experience. The iron is really light weight. Even when the water tank is full it puts no strain on my wimpy arms, I find the iron glides smoothly over all types of fabric and creases fade away. The amount of steam produced is ample, when I fill the tank I get about 40 minutes of ironing done before needing to refill. The box claims to make ironing three times easier, I partly agree with this statement, the ironing does seem to be a bit easier and does not take me as long to do, the only way ironing could be three times easier is if there were three other people ironing for me. In conclusion I think this is an excellent iron for the price paid, £40, but I would not pay more for it than that and until I can afford to farm my ironing out each week it will have to do. Thank you for reading.
PHILIPS GC 3320 STEAM IRON ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST! Irons don't last long with me. I can't see why this is because it isn't as if I use them very often. Really my irons have it easy! I don't iron anything that doesn't need it, in fact I'll stand by the tumble dryer giving things a short turn around to help decrease them and then smooth out the creases with my hands. I will then carefully fold the clothes. But then I suppose, on the few occasions that the iron just has to come out of its home in the cupboard, the ironing bag, by then is usually quite full, and the iron will have to work hard. Well, whatever the reason, I have bought many irons in my married life, of almost thirty-three years, and they have been made by many different manufacturers. I don't like to pay too much for an iron as I feel however costly the iron, whatever special functions it has, it won't last that long; If I'm lucky two years but often only about eighteen months. But I still like to purchase a well-known brand of iron because in the past I've bought cheap store irons, such as one from Sainsbury's, which lasted much less time than usual. I didn't like it even when it did work. I have a problem with muscles in my hands and I really must have something that's easy to operate and glides well. The cheap irons I have bought haven't been up to much and were a false economy, as far as I'm concerned. But I am fussy with irons. There are a few things that I want and yet I don't wish to spend more than £35 or so. I find usually when an iron goes wrong it's sudden. I remember though that one I owned had started to leak just a little when the tank was filled, and this but gradually got worse. In that case I had time to do a little research and choose an iron that I thought was a good buy and also look around for the best price. However, my last iron, a Tefal, went wrong very suddenly. It was my husband actually who was using it at the time (see, he's well trained) and the control for steam/dry iron snapped off. He said he hadn't done anything wrong, it just broke off. I'm not quite sure if I believe him but didn't want to tell him off too much in case he develops a hang up about ironing. But seriously, once that button broke the iron could only be used on dry iron which isn't a function I often use. I have to have a steam iron. WHAT I WANT IN AN IRON (Comes with a maid who likes ironing!) I had to get an iron and get one quick, especially as the iron went wrong at the beginning of January and we were due to go away at the end of that month for my son's graduation. I couldn't get away with not ironing the clothes at this time. Although I try my best to minimise on ironing I am extremely fussy when packing; almost everything has to be ironed before it's allowed in a suitcase. And so off to Curry's we went with a few specifications to remember. These were: *** Sole-plate-It has to be smooth and ceramic. When looking along the shelves of irons in a store I will walk along putting them one by one onto their resting position to see if the soleplate is what I'm looking for. Once I've found a few that fulfil this criteria I look for the nest most important feature. ***Long flex-I can't stand being restricted when ironing. ***Easy to reach and use controls-I have had irons in the past where the adjusting controls are awkward to reach/see due to a bad design. ***Not overly heavy-I think a heavy iron works quite well in smoothing out creases but with problems that I have I need to choose an iron that's not too heavy, especially as, when it's filled with water it will be even heavier and, if used for any length of time, will cause further problems. ***Price-I think a price of £25 to £35 usually gets me what I want in an iron but then most of my irons are reduced in price. I wasn't thinking of any particular brand although I prefer one that is well known and respected for the manufacture of irons. PHILIPS GC 3320 On this occasion I ended by choosing between two Philips models. They were in the same series and there wasn't much difference in price but this was mainly due to the fact that the GC 3320 was reduced in price from £59.99 to £29. 99. I decided on the GC3320 model which cost about five pounds more but had been more than double, if taking into account its original price. DASHING AWAY WITH THE SMOOTHING IRON Now I have used this iron many times and for too many hours, and so has my husband (fair's fair after all) we both think it was a good buy. I like the non-stick soleplate. I feel that a good smooth glide soleplate takes a lot of the effort out of an arduous chore. This soleplate has a nice feel to it and slides easily over most fabrics and doesn't need too much pressure applied. It also works well without steam although I only iron a few things dry and then turn up the temperature and use steam. FLEXIBLE I usually iron in my living room with the television on to make the task a little more pleasurable. Because of the way my room is designed a long flex is a must. This iron has a 3metre flex which is ideal. However, it does tend to kink just a little and my last iron didn't do this. Another important feature, in my opinion, of any iron is a 360 degree cord which this iron has. This makes it much easier to operate. KEEPING IT UNDER CONTROL The controls are easy to use and to reach. No problems at all in this respect. I fill the tank which has a large easy to fill inlet, when the iron is switched off and on dry function. I then usually iron a few items of clothing on this setting and then once the iron has heated up enough I change the control to steam. But I should mention that this iron heats up quickly and you can commence ironing almost immediately. As I iron I will turn the amount of steam (and possibly the irons temperature setting) up or down according to the material I am ironing. As you will know, it's easier to start on a lower temperature and increase as you go because irons take a long while to cool. THIRSTY WORK It is easy to fill the water chamber with tap water. I always keep a jug handy as I tend to do quite a bit of ironing in one session. The iron seems to need filling often although the tank holds 300 ml. I suppose this must mean that the iron is generating a lot of steam which is helping to smooth out the clothes. BROAD BOTTOMED? Yes, the iron rests well on its bottom and feels as steady, or more so, than most irons I have owned. I once burnt a fairly new carpet (mark in the shape of an iron) when the ironing board shook and the iron toppled. Since this happened I'm always very aware of the iron being secure when in its resting position. APPEARANCE I'm much more bothered about the finished clothing's appearance than that of the iron but I suppose the appearance must be a selling point. As irons go it does look nice. It's a baby blue, white and grey in colour and blue is my favourite colour. The cord wraps around the base of the iron which also makes it look neat and tidy. The wide chunky handle looks good as well as being easy to grip. THE TECHNICAL BITS (www.currys.co.uk) Power (Watt) 2300 Watt Steam flow rate (g/mn) 35 g/min - continuous 100 g/min - shot of steam Reservoir capacity 300 ml Type of soleplate SteamGlide PLUS Cermic soleplate Anti-drip system No Vertical Steaming Yes Pressing function (g/min) 35 g/min Adjustable thermostat Yes Maintenance Anti-scale cartridge No Anti-scale system Double Active Calc System (Anti-Calc tablet + Calc-Clean function) Other information Other functions 360 degree cord, extra-clear water level indicator, extra-large water inlet, integrated cord storage solution, fast heat-up. PRICE/AVAILABILITY Currys: £29.99 www.very.co.uk: £35.00 (reduced from £70.00 Wilkinsons £59.00 Tesco direct: £49.97 OVERALL I think that for the price I paid this iron was reasonable and it is a good value purchase. I'm hoping that this iron lasts well. I like the way it glides easily and it has all of the features that I require. However, I think that the former price (before being reduced) of almost sixty pounds is a little steep. However, longevity aside, I did slightly prefer my last Tefal iron when it was in its early days. The Tefal steam iron barely scaled up at all but this one already leaves a small deposit and so needs to be self-cleaned often. Apart from that I think it is a decent iron which is easy to use and performs well, making a task I dislike slightly more pleasurable.
Short name: Philips GC 3320