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I should start by saying that I absolutely detest ironing! I don't know why exactly but it is the one job that I will put off until it really needs to be done. This iron goes a little way to easing this issue, I don't think ironing could be made any better let's put it that way.
My journey with steam generator irons stems from doing the night feeds of my first born, I was actually watching one of those shopping channels that you only ever watch when there is absolutely nothing else on. They were demonstrating the benefits of these irons that have their own pressurised base that produces steam. It seems the theory is that the steam does all the work of getting rid of the creases. So I started to look at the options. You can spend anything up to £300 on one of these irons. Seeing as I hate the job I wasn't going to invest so much. This model seemed to cast the right balance of price and performance, at the time I paid just shy of £100. The set up is large and heavy and consists of a large basin with what looks like a traditional iron attached via a flexible hose. I leave the base on the kitchen side and rest the iron piece on the ironing board. You fill the base with water which you can hear pumping into pressurised part ready to produce steam. You have to give the system a few minutes to start up before the iron will shoot out steam. Now for the magic-the steam actually does the work!! Holding a button under the handle shoots out steam from the iron plate and this steam just glides through creases. It makes ironing as easy as it can be, in fact with some of the children's clothes I literally only have to iron one side effectively cutting the process in half. I also find the iron brilliant for fussy and delicate items as you can simply hold the iron plates away from the garment and use the steam. No contact with the hot plates protects the garment while the steam gets rid of the creases. the manual instructs you to empty the water at the end of every ironing session, I have to be honest and say that we don't do this, the iron is permanently set up in our utility and leaving the water in has not caused any damage so far.
As much as I hate ironing this appliance makes it just about bearable! Be careful with the steam though it is hot and noisy!
I really dislike this iron, I'll admit I dont do a whole load of ironing in a week but I dread using it!
Firstly it weighs a fair amount, make sure you have a very strudy ironing board to take the weight, when it's full of water even more so! (holds alot of water, one of the few good points).
When the iron itself is picked up from the base its actually very light, feels a bit plasticy but easier on the arms. The real annoyance is the noise! It's so loud people leave the room when watching tv, it lets out random burts of steam that seem unnecessarily harsh and have burnt. Within an hour the whole room has shot up in temperature and the air is moist with steam, save a fortune on facials.
Because its main aspect is the steam it goes through a lot of water and fast! It also sometimes leaks a fair amount of water that has condensed in the pipe between the base and the iron and goes all over the clothes. I'm also having trouble with the temp dial, its either too cool or so hot it gives that awful shiny burnt sheen and because there's no water spray feature its hard to get rid of!
I really am trying to grasp around for anything I like from this iron, the size of the hot plate is quite good for smaller garments but I really am clutching at straws because I just think this makes ironing more stressful than it needs to be
Having read the reviews on dooyoo and Argos about this particular iron, I was eager to go and buy it. I have always wanted a steam generator iron having heard excellent things about them.
The Philips steam iron is blue as you can see in the picture, but rather than just being a normal iron, it has a base unit attached to the iron which one fills with water and steam is generated through the iron.
The iron itself has the usual settings of an iron with labels such as cotton, wool, nylon on the temperature settings so that you can work out which temperature you need to use to iron your garments. I think it is standard but as I have never owned a normal iron I am not 100% sure.
Instead of filling up the iron itself with water, you fill the base until, you can probably get about 2 mugs of water in the base unit (maybe 3) and this lasts around 30 minutes, generating steam for the full time. There is a min/max fill level so it is clear to see when the water is running out and the base unit can be filled up at any time during the ironing process, you do not have to wait for it to run out completely.
The iron is easy to manoeuvre and you don't feel as though the base unit is restricting movement at all which is something that I was concerned about.
You can iron normally without steam, or at the press of a button you can get a blast of steam through the iron. You can iron 100% of the time in steam mode by clicking the button and locking it down. This switch is conveniently located where your thumb is and feels very natural when you iron. The only thing I would say is because it is so convenient it is really easy to switch it on by accident which is not the best if it isn't pointing the right way. I've had a few unintentional iron saunas!
With regards to cutting through the creases, the iron glides effortlessly over clothes and major creases can be ironed out in seconds with the steam option. It truly is a fantastic iron and one I would highly reccommend. But...as this is a review, I feel it is only fair to point out the negatives.
1. If you don't use steam mode for a while and then switch back to it, the iron drips out water rather than steam for the first few times.
2. The base unit is bulky and heavy and you need to have the storage space for the entire unit, much more space needed than your average iron.
3. The steam generator makes a loud hissing noise when ironing, thus people in the same room who are watching the TV get fed up easily.
That's it ! No more negatives! I heartily reccomend this iron, I believe for its price (£129) it is one of the best in its price range so give it a go!
PS - I have rated battery life as Very Bad as it doesn't have a battery yet dooyoo want me to fill this in!
Before choosing my first steam generator iron I checked out the Which guide for some advice. Their best buys were all coming in at close to £200. The best ones came in at 84% and 83% in the ratings - but close behind were the Phillips GC7330 and GC7230 respectively. And given these were more than £100 cheaper than their nearest rivals, they were much nearer my price range.
I picked up the cheaper of the two - the GC7320 - on Amazon for about £84.
It's a pretty chunky machine so I'd recommend investing in a sturdy ironing board which is specifically big enough for a steam generator iron if you are thinking about getting one of these.
The mains cord on this product is a decent two metres long - this only needs to run from the socket to the ironing board as you've got a different cable connecting the iron to the base.
The base can't be disconnected from the iron so you need to fill the water tank in the base unit while it's on your ironing board. However you do get a decent sized plastic jug to do this and the filling slot is a good size. It's aldo easy to see when you've filled the tank up to the top with the see-through plastic side and maximum fill line.
I did get the fright of my life when it started growling at me. I looked at the instructions to find out this is the noise of the pump sending water to the steam tank - phew.
It takes about two minutes for the system to heat up and you know it's ready when the orange warning light on the iron goes out. The iron itself is very lightweight - noticably lighter than a traditional iron - and it's easy to use. It glides over clothing quickly, giving a crisp finish much more easily and effectively than my previous, standard iron. The tip of the iron is a nice low profile, narrow shape so you can easily get into awkward corners and angles. There's a lock you can put on the steam boost button to enable a constant high pressure stream of steam. Apparently you can get 30 minutes of constant steam from one fill of the tank (can't confirm or deny this myself!). The steam boost is pretty noisy though - so make sure you've got the Eastenders omnibus volume on high!
There's a warning light to let you know when the tank is empty and you'll also notice the pumping noise gets much louder when it's empty - both good, clear indicators that it's time to refill.
Philips recommend that you empty the tank every time you finish using it. Obviously you need to make sure it has cooled down enough to do this. It's a bit of a pain since the iron is still attached but if you empty it with the filling point aimed towards the sink the water is easily poured away.
You're encouraged to rinse the tank once a month or after you have refilled the tank 10 times and there's a Calc-Clean system to help you avoid limescale build up.
There's a plastic cap with a hook on it which fits over the Calc-Clean button which you can use o help store the cables. I don't think I've sussed the tidiest way of doing this yet but I'll keep on trying.
Apparently you can also use the system to steam vertical items - coats, suits, curtains etc but I haven't tried this out yet.
Overall I'm pretty impressed with the performance of this product so far. Sure it's bigger than a larger iron but it makes light work of heavily creased products and will help you pile through your Sunday afternoon shirt mountain in minimum time - and at an affordable price too.
*Updated to confirm that the model I bought is the the GC7320 - thanks to Nixtee for pointing out my typo. Also updated with price.*
This is my second steam generator iron after my first one broke. It is so much better than the first one producing so much more steam, meaning creases just fall straight out. It can be nosiy when generating the steam but I do think this is quite common with steam generator irons. You can also lock the steam button, which is handy.
The water tank is very easy to fill via a little gap on the side with a flip down cover, which again is better than the previous one I had. Also the water tank is huge meaning less trips to get more water and cut into your ironing time.
The cable tidy is a bit useless as it only has a holder on one side so it does not work at all.
Its lightweight compared to my old iron which is definitely a positive especially when it comes to cleaning it.
I bought the Philips GC 7320 in the Jan sales this year, reduced down to a fantastic price of £75.00. I was looking for a iron that was pressurised and offered vertical steam, this offers both.
I have now used this iron 3 times and can say it makes such a difference from the normal irons. I have a terrible habit of leaving Ironing to pile up over a few weeks and I find that Jeans can really get some deep creases in them, this jean gets them creases out with one going over them once, but you do need to use the steam function for this. You can either use a steam blast or consisent steam. I use the steam blast as that is all that is needed in my case.
The only problem i find with this iron, is where the cord goes after use. It's not the nestest iron on the market, but as mine is keep under the stairs and not in eye shot it doesn't bother me.
The iron is also very light, which is good if you have a lot to do like me!
Short name: Philips GC7320