* Prices may differ from that shown
Ironing has to be one of the most hated chores in our household and there is unfortunately no escaping it, unless we want to walk around looking like shriveled up prunes of course! This task calls for a good iron in a household with six family members needing clean clothes daily, this is where the Russell Hobbs 17880 steam generator iron came into our life. We had never owned a steam generator iron before and it was a new adventure for us, we didn't want to spend a fortune as after all we were not sure whether this type of iron would work for us so we purchased this at a reasonably cheap cost of £89 in Comet. It was on offer at the time of buying some months back and from looking around the various websites selling this model - the average price seems to be around the £100 mark.
*** Some information on the Russell Hobbs 17880 iron ***
The Russell Hobbs 17880 is a high pressured steam generating iron that produces up to five times the amount of steam as most conventional steam irons. It's rated at 2100 Watts so it's quite powerful and uses a fair amount of electricity during use compared to some smaller irons, the iron is designed to make ironing quicker and easier than a conventional iron so the energy use may actually decrease compared to some conventional irons of a similar wattage. The steam generator has a large 1 Litre water container which means less refilling compared to most conventional irons with smaller containers.
*** Setting the iron up for the first use ***
This was a very simple process with only some minor assembly required. The iron was well wrapped in the box and the instruction manual provided rather clear images of how to put the thing together without causing any stress. Once the iron was together with the reservoir filled to the MAX line it was as simple as plugging the iron in and waiting for it to warm up. There are two buttons on the irons base which control the steam flow from the base and the heat of the irons ceramic heat plate, we prefer to use both the irons plate and steam together as we find the results better than just either settings on their own but the option is there if they are ever needed on their own! From the first use we were impressed by how quickly the iron warmed up from cold, the average time from plug in to the ironing of the first garment is roughly two minutes.
*** Ironing with the 17880 ***
Now steam generating irons are supposed to make ironing easier and I can agree with that statement after experiencing this lovely machine. The ceramic plate glides over clothes with ease and the steam is very highly pressured at an apparent 5 bars of pressure, this sort of pressure blasts creases out of clothes and it generally makes ironing a breeze. The iron is very light to move around as unlike most steam irons, the steam generating components are all contained in the base unit - the water too! This has created a light iron that glides over clothes with ease unlike some of the heavier conventional types; the pressure of the steam also helps with the gliding actions so this could be a perfect iron for anyone with wrist / arm aches, pains or problems. The steam flow is controlled on the top of the iron by a standard button as found on most conventional steam irons, the button is easy to press and it's very responsive with the smallest of touches.
The iron has a temperature selector built into the unit to control the temperature of the hot plate; the markings on the dial are quite small and are hard to read so a bit of guess work is needed here but it certainly works well. The different temperature settings allow the irons to be used on many different types of materials without causing heat damage. The soleplate is actually nonstick and it seems to handle t-shirts with small designs stuck on with ease, many of our past irons have destroyed t-shirt designs whilst running over the rubber stick on type of designs but this iron seems to run over them without issues - I wouldn't recommend trying this though, maybe we've been lucky so far....
*** General maintenance etc. ***
This iron is generally very easy to maintain, apart from refilling the water container when its empty there's not much more to do unless you live in a hard water area. There is actually a filter built into the water container to help with the scale buildup caused by some areas water supplies, we have soft water and do not need to replace this filter as often as some - we've owned the iron for a good six months so far and it's still working well. If the steam output noticeably drops then it's time to replace the filter, they can be sourced from Russell Hobbs but I'm unsure of the price as we have not had to buy one. Apart from the filter change the only other maintenance is to descale the boiler; this sounds easy using vinegar as described in the manual.
*** Quality and reliability ***
The quality of the iron is generally very good, it feels solid, has nice and responsive buttons and it generally feels very well built. The generator base is quite heavy and feels solid with no strange noises heard after a shake test by myself and the same goes for the iron, it's generally a very solid piece of kit. All of the cables, pipes and connections feel extremely sturdy and I doubt that they'll ever break or leak. The iron base has a rubber seat to rest the iron on to cool down after use, this is very safe and the iron stays attached to the base even after a hard knock from passersby. The feet of the generator are rubber which stops any dangerous movements during use making this a safe and practical iron. We have used this iron almost daily for six months now and it still works perfectly like day one, the 12 month guarantee that's included has yet to be needed but it's always there for the next six months so we are not too worried at the moment.
*** Any disadvantages? ***
The only slight problem that I can think of is the noise that the generator creates during use. Every five minutes of so the generator pump kicks in and the noise is rather loud, loud enough to interrupt the watching of the TV during the ironing. The noise is a hard one to explain but it's an annoying noise that pulses for a good two minutes at a time and it does a good job of annoying everyone in the room that are trying to relax. This is obviously a minor problem but in my honest opinion I never expected an iron to make more than a hissing noise during use, this one is different though!
*** My overall opinion ***
I think this is an excellent iron that does the job well; it would be perfect if it wasn't for the loud pumping noise during use but this may not be a problem for some users that don't watch TV during an ironing session. The iron is well made, irons well and it definitely speeds up the ironing when compared to a conventional steam iron. I used to hate ironing before owning this beast and it has definitely changed the way I look at the sport, yes - Ironing is now seen as a sport in our household! I highly recommend this glorious product!
Thanks for reading
The new Steamglide Steam Generator from Russell Hobbs has been specially designed to maximise ironing performance with the minimal of effort / Producing non-stop / high pressure steam / it makes ironing a breeze! Amazing Steam Output / Generates up to 5 x more steam than a conventional steam iron / making ironing much easier and quicker and produces amazing results / The Steamglide Steam Generator is easy filling thanks to the 1.0 litre detachable water tank / you can iron for longer periods without having to constantly refill the tank! The tank can even be refilled whilst the steam generator is turned on! Amazing Glide / The non stick ceramic soleplate gives you that ultimate gliding experience / Non-stick / tough and very smooth / Short name: Russell Hobbs 17880