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I bought this iron when I broke the steam controller on my previous Tefal iron. Apart from the flimsy control I'd had no other problems with the iron so was happy to stick with the Tefal brand. The iron has a ceramic sole plate which Tefal call Ultraglide, when you touch it (after it has cooled down obviously) it feels very smooth and shiny you can see why it glides effortlessly along the clothes when it is in use. On the sole plate there are plenty of steam holes - 64 to be precise which are mainly located on the centre of the plate, along the edge and top point of the iron. It is these holes which provide the 0-32g/minute steam output and 90g/minute shot of steam for more difficult creases. With a cord measuring over 2m in length, I'm not confined to standing right next to the plug socket when ironing although it does get in the way occasionally. The cord is an "Easycord" which when in use is supposed to keep the cord out of the way of your hand or the item you are ironing, although in all honesty I haven't really noticed that much difference to the normal style of cord. In fact when I saw the iron in the shop I thought it was a cord storage system, thinking you could press the button and the cord would wind up. But no you have to wrap the cord around the iron yourself when you have finished with it. The filler for the water reservoir is different to other irons I have used before; the iron has to be laid flat in order to fill it rather than being stood on its base. This means filling when the iron is in use is not ideal as not all ironing boards come with a plate to rest the iron on. The iron also didn't come with a water jug, so you either have to use another jug or fill directly from the tap. I had a spare from a previous iron so it's not a huge issue for me. The handle is a good size for both myself and my boyfriend and although the grip isn't especially soft it doesn't get too uncomfortable when in use. When filled with water the iron feels quite heavy, but not so that it is too heavy for use and your arm gets tired. It just feels like a good weight for making ironing a little bit easier. If it were any lighter I'd feel like I had to use extra pressure when ironing. The heel end of the iron is a good size and slightly wider than the iron itself so that when you stand it up, it doesn't feel unsteady. It has four heat settings - silk/synth, wool, cotton and linen I have found these to be quite accurate when using them on different materials and I have so far avoided burning anything from having the iron too hot. There is an orange light which goes out to indicate the iron has reached temperature. It doesn't take long at all to heat up. It also has 3 levels of steam settings; the heat dial has dots on it to indicate which level of steam you should use for the temperature you are using. I don't tend to use the third level though as this uses a lot of water and means numerous top ups. There is a button at the top of the handle on the left for when you need an extra steam boost, next to it on the right is a water spray button to moisten the garment. The iron has a vertical steam feature so that you can use it to remove creases from hanging garments such as suits or curtains, but I haven't used this so can't really comment on how well it works. It also apparently has an anti-scale system, which living in a hard water area would come in handy. I have noticed that the steam holes are showing signs of lime scale though which is entirely my own fault as I have not paid any attention to the instructions for cleaning the iron, which they recommend is done once a month . Having said that, I haven't noticed any shots of lime scale coming out when I use the steam boost. I should probably be a bit more pro-active and de-scale it. I'm going to give the iron three stars, it's not the worst iron in the world but there are probably better available if you shop around. Please ignore the battery life rating as this is not applicable to the iron. I paid around £27 (inc VAT) for this iron about a year ago in Makro, it is available from Amazon for just under £30.
Short name: Tefal FV4355