I bought this iron for half price, at around £25 six months ago. I have to say that i love this iron yet it has a major design flaw.
Russell Hobbs is a name I trust with irons, I've used quite a few of them and always go back to them when i'm shopping for a new one. Based in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, the company has been around making household appliances since 1952, when Bill Russell had a disagreement with Donal Morphy (Of Morphy Richards) and joined Hobbs to form Russell Hobbs Ltd. Sadly Russell died in 2006 aged 85 and Hobbs died two years later but the company lives on, making toaster, kettles, food processors and a number of other household goods including irons.
~Digital Iron Age~
This is a digital iron, which was a key selling point when i bought it. The buttons on the top of the allow you to change the settings on a digital screen, also at the top of the iron. Rather than the standard heating system using one to three dots to determine how hot the iron should be, this iron allows you to select the type of fabric the garment is made from. There are nine fabric settings available and once selected the iron with adapt to these settings changing the temperature and options available (On wool setting for example you can not select steam). This works incredibly well, you no longer have to try and guess whether you are about to ruin your clothes because the setting is too high. I've used this iron quite a lot and i have to say that it always gets it right. The digital display is very easy to use, with just a couple of buttons, and the display screen also has indicators for steam and to tell you when the iron is at the right heat. Quite usefully, unlike other irons, you can also turn this iron on and off using the button on the iron (So that you don't have to keep unplugging it from the socket) and will turn itself off if it's been stood on its end for a while I(Not sure how it knows this but it's still very clever). It's sturdy, well built and I've never had any technical problems with it so is very reliable.
When using the iron on clothes, it literally does glide. There's no resistance from the stainless steel soleplate and the iron is the perfect weight to make ironing (almost) enjoyable. It's precise with ironing which is difficult to explain, creases for example are ironed nicely, they are sharp and don't drop out but they are also not pushed downed or flattened which is what i generally find happening with other irons. You can iron over the same section of clothing several times without the material taking some damage. The automatic steam technology, which generates a combination of steam and heat for each setting, combined with the design of the iron make it very easy to use and gives great results. I tend to let my ironing pile up and then do it in one go, resulting in me standing there for hours watching back to back Judge Judy or Come Dine With Me whilst i get the creases out. My arms never hurt after my ironing marathons. I tried using my boyfriends iron for a little while and my arm really suffered from the strain even though I didn't use it long. It also claims to be anti scale (which I've never had a problem with) and the self cleaning mode works really well. It also has a cord that pretty long.
Yet there is a downside to this iron, a flaw that is so stupid it could have been corrected if they'd tested the product better before putting it out there for us to buy. The main body of the iron is purple which is very pretty but is pretty dumb as it makes it absolutely impossible to see the water level contained within. If you contort your body, squint and have just the right combination of light levels from the sun (Little chance of this in England) and bulb you can just about make out a line. It's very frustrating but as the rest of the iron is so good I can't bring myself to replace it. After using it for a while it does get easier to make educated guesses about how much water you need to put in. If only Russell Hobbs had made this section of the iron lighter so that we could see the water level, then it would be the perfect iron.
As of last week it was available from Amazon at £25 but it is unavailable to confirm the price at the time this review was written. Ebay often have it listed in an auction and i have seen it in some larger actual Sainsbury's stores (It is not on their website) but the price fluctuates. Depsite the flaw, it is an excellent iron and is worth the price if found cheaply but i wouldn't pay more than £25 for it (If you can overlook the water issue).
~In The Box~
12 Month Guarantee Card
(P.s. Battery life is marked as excellent, as i had to choose something, but is non-applicable for this product)
This automatic steam iron delivers the perfect mix of heat and steam for the selected temperature / for great results each time you use it / There are nine preset fabric settings to choose from while precise temperature control technology means the heat will be just right / A large backlit LCD display with temperature ready and steam indicators make it easy to see what's going on / With 40g of continuous steam and a 100g shot of steam / it's got all the power you'll need for cutting through your laundry / Short name: Russell Hobbs 14773