“ The Russell Hobbs 20550-10 is a very well built and easy to use iron. Whilst it is a little more expensive than other alternatives, it irons very well and makes light work of big loads. „
As do much of the population, I hate ironing. I have gone through many irons in the hope that when I stumble across a great one it will make this mundane, unthankful chore one of life's great pleasures! I have not yet found an iron that has had that effect, unfortunately, but this Russell Hobbs iron is my favourite so far!
The factor that drew my attention before anything else was the price. Its RRP is £50 which I think is a bit too expensive. Personally, I can't justify spending that amount of money on an iron. At the time of purchase, however, this had 50% off the cost, making it just £25 from Argos. At this point I should really have had a look at its features etc but, I'm ashamed to say, I took note that it was white and red in colour, looked smart, and decided that would go well in my kitchen! Very superficial I know, but true.
Closer inspection when I got the item home revealed what a good purchase I had actually made. Aside from looking nice, I noticed that the iron itself is very light in weight compared to my old one and has a lovely soft handle for comfortable use. Unbelievably, I decided to try it out straight away and was happy with the iron. I filled up the water tank (it holds 300ml), and a temperature light indicated when the iron was ready to use. It only took a matter of seconds to heat up and it was ready for use. The long 3m lead meant that I could stand in my desired ironing position in front of the TV and still be able to easily reach the end of the ironing board. It gave a lovely, smooth iron thanks to the ceramic soleplate and seemed to glide effortlessly over the laundry. The end of the iron is quite slim so I felt like I could iron sleeves etc more precisely. The iron also features a 130g shot of steam for any stubborn creases which I found useful, especially for use on clothes which have gone crispy on the washing line!
The appliance comes boxed with comprehensive instructions and a filling jug included. The instructions are very thorough, covering every detail you could wish to know about the iron! I didn't read it cover to cover but I did notice there is a very handy safety feature to the iron - if it knocked over or left unattended for more than 30 seconds it will automatically shut itself off. Particularly handy in a busy household with people and pets dashing everywhere doing 20 things at once.
All-in-all I highly recommend this iron. It makes the best out of a bad job!
Before I go any further with this review, I have to state that I am not a huge fan or ironing. Indeed, it is something that I would rather escape at all costs and would rather wear clothes not needing the touch of an iron. However, with work it is not practical to do so. Therefore, I have always approached the act of ironing as part of the Sunday evening ritual that is the transition between weekend and working week. For over 15 years I have had Tefal iron and given it some reasonable use. It still gave my clothes a crisp crease and flattened them properly, so I would probably not have bothered changing it. Except for the not so tiny problem of the staining on the base. After one too many white shirts was smeared by the mark I decided that its useful life was at an end. Therefore, I resolved to hunt for a new iron.
After a search lasting literally seconds (I am a man, I went to the first place that had irons!) I found myself on the Argos website. Having some Christmas vouchers to spend, I figured that this was the best time to spend them. Looking through the online catalogue I confess to being baffled by the plethora of choices on offer. It was like a rainbow of confusion. I was all-at-sea in the ocean of irons. So, I decided to take a bit of an educated gamble. Knowing that Russell Hobbs are a decent make, I found this particular model. It had lots of things written about it (more of this later) but most importantly to me it was (and is) on sale at half its usual price and can be bought for £24.99.
Now, I did look at the site to try to find out a little more about what I was buying before I nipped out to get it and I managed to find out what was, for me, some key facts. Then, being a man, I totally forgot them and went and bought the iron anyway. When I got it home I was very impressed. At first glance it looks sleeker and more modern than my old iron. The cut away rear base and the flowing purple sections seem to give the iron an almost elegant look. One thing I noticed straight away was that it was lighter than my old beastie. Even full it weighed in at less than the old faithful. Apparently it weighs 1.28kg but I am assuming that is the empty weight as a full tank takes it to just over 1.5kg. My old one may have been only a couple of hundred grams heavier but that can add up to a difference with a larger load of ironing.
My old iron was very simple. It had an easy to set heat gauge, steam and water squirt buttons. That was pretty much it. So, it was with some trepidation that I viewed the unfamiliar layout of my new device. It is much like cars and mobile phones, each manufacturer has some subtle differences in the layout. That being said, the central dial is reasonably obvious to use. I say reasonably because I didn't notice what the dots to indicate heat aligned with initially. There is a raised purple line (on the purple background!) under the dial (when in an upright position.) This allows a quick twist to set the temperature and I must admit it got up to temperature very quickly, as indicated by the small light in the handle. This is a bit awkward to see if holding it, so I would prefer a slightly different location but it is no real big deal.
There are the two standard buttons for water and steam shot (though reversed from my old model!) and in front is a lever to control the amount of steam produced. The instruction leaflet informs you of the correct settings to have set in particular instances, so is very useful. The water tank flap is in front of this and lifts up to reveal a circular opening to fill the tank. One thing I noticed was that the small jug provided needs at least 3 refills to fill the water tank completely, so it would be more efficient to use a household jug.
The last button is one that I am very excited about, as I never had one before. It is the self-clean button. Thank goodness, cleaning an iron has never been my idea of a fun job, manually scraping out scale etc is a laborious task. I must say that I have not used the button yet, as the device is still so new but I am looking forwards to giving it a go. I am sure that the novelty will wear off but it does advise that you use this feature at least monthly in normal water areas and more in harder water areas. As I don't want to buy a new iron again, this is one thing that I am going to try to keep on top of.
The acid test was in the using. I honestly believed that an iron was just an iron. Much the same and the same kind of results. Boy, was I wrong! My new beastie slid effortlessly across all my ironing and steamed stubborn creases out of existence with an ease seeming magical. Indeed, were I from the Middle Ages I would have burnt it as a witch there and then. In much less time than usual my ironing was done. That's a winner right there.
Any other time, I would have left it at that, got on with my life and thought no more about it. Now, however, an insidious force has crept into my life. It causes me to consider things more deeply and research actual facts about things. It is safe to say that my time on Dooyoo has caused a change in the way of looking at things. In fact, I was so disappointed that this item was not in the Dooyoo register that I forwarded it as a product suggestion and here we are!
Therefore, I went back to the website and looked a little further. What made my iron a good one (to me?) I am not going to post the entire tech specs but want to aim what I hope are the main points (and some explanation) in the direction of a Dooyoo audience that is quite capable of reading the side of a box.
Number 1. It has a ceramic soleplate. Even before I looked it up I knew this was a good thing. It is very hard wearing and non-stick. The heat is distributed very evenly and I found this was very much the case in my ironing. There was no one part that couldn't do the job. This is the main factor in the easy glide over the fabrics. It is the best type of soleplate to have and I ,for one, am never looking back!
Number 2. Steam output. Not being an expert, all I knew was that more steam is good. This one delivers 40g/min or a steam "shot" of 130g/min. Looking at some other models, this compares well to ones selling at around the £30-£40 mark. All I know is that it is plenty for my needs, though I would look for higher if I were doing a lot of heavy fabrics.
Number 3. Auto Shut-Off. Yay! Ever been worried about being distracted in the middle of ironing? Well, this shuts down after 30 seconds if soleplate is down or 8 minutes if upright, so that eliminates much of that issue.
Number 4. Cleaning. Already mentioned self-clean facility but it also has an anti-scale build up fitted and is anti-drip to eliminate mess.
Number 5. Wattage. I had no idea why this mattered until I checked. This is a 2600w iron, with most of its fellows being 2400w. I obviously thought more was better. Jeremy Clarkson's cry of, "Power!" ringing in my ears. Apparently this helps to speed up heating time and increase performance, so is pretty useful.
Number 6. 3m cable. Seems a basic thing but my last one was 2.5m, as are many others today. I found that the extra half metre made it much easier to get my iron plugged in and the ironing board to an effective position. (Namely with me being able to see the TV!)
Number 7. 300ml water tank. This holds more than enough liquid for me to get through a good few irons without needing to change it.
As I said, there are other things mentioned but these were the ones that really seemed to matter to me. What they added up to was a very good iron. The fact that it reduced my ironing time due to its effectiveness leads me to be extremely pleased with my purchase. At £24.99 I am sure that you will be hard pressed to find a better iron. At its ostensible "normal" price of £49.99 I am not sure that it would be as much of a leader. Yes it does well against most in that price range but there are irons at that price better in every category, so I would not pay the full price for it.
I heartily recommend this to anyone who has to do a reasonable amount of household ironing. The build quality is good at the price I paid and is a touch of quality among those of a similar price range. Well worth the 5 stars at the price I paid.