“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Iron „
I needed a replacement iron after the one I own at my caravan recently developed a fault and wouldn't heat up to a decent temperature to do the job it was designed to do. I decided to buy something that was cheap just to put me on until the end of this current season and as my clothes mainly consist of tee-shirts, jeans and shorts I wanted something that was functional but didn't want to spend a huge amount on anything too fancy or an overpriced brand name. Whilst shopping in Tesco a while ago I had a look at the range of appliances they had on offer and in the end settled for the subject of this review, Tesco's own-branded 1700 watt steam iron, model number IRSS1611. What drew me to this particular model was it's price and even though I knew that something which cost less than £7.00 was never going to be top-end I thought it would be fine for the small and simple amount of ironing I end up with each week so paid my money and took a chance on it.
Tesco's IRSS1611 is as shown in my picture, it comes packaged in a simply-designed cardboard box complete with instruction leaflet and a small water container and is mainly constructed of thin, light-weight plastic. Mine is light blue in colour and features a stainless steel soleplate and has a water capacity of just 200ml. It's not a large iron measuring less than 30 centimetres in length and around 15 centimetres in height and weighs 1.25 kilograms so is not heavy by any stretch of the imagination. It features a temperature setting dial, variable steam adjustment and a water chamber which gives the iron the ability to produce blasts of steam to help remove creases from clothing and for all intents and purposes looks like any other iron that you might have seen before albeit a plastic-y and cheap one.
It is easy to fill with water, the supplied container has a spout and once full and switched on there is a red indicator light which turns off to indicate that the iron has reached the temperature it has been set to and is ready to be used. The plastic handle feels robust enough to hold with relative comfort and as the iron isn't heavy the sweeping ironing motion isn't too much of an ordeal and doesn't make your arm or shoulder ache whilst you set about the task of working your way through a pile of clothes that need de-creasing. Although the iron is undeniably cheap looking and feels a little on the too-light side it actually performs better than I first imagined and in use this little iron manages to efficiently work its way through all of the clothes I have pitted it against and overall it managed to exceed my expectations.
I'm not the worlds greatest ironer and don't relish the thoughts of tackling huge piles of clothing so tend to do my washing once a week and then iron them as soon as they're dry. Because I mainly wear tee shirts and casual shirts along with jeans or shorts my ironing pile consists of cotton-mix clothing which come out of the dryer of from the washing line relatively crease-free and I admit to buying clothes that I know won't cause me too many problems when it comes to washing them. I suppose I'm a typical bloke in that I don't tend to fiddle around with the temperature of my iron and just set it to it's maximum temperature and hope for the best when it comes to ironing the clothes I present it with and for me this method seems to work.
On tee-shirts this iron glides easily over the fronts and backs of them and does remove creases with relative ease, the surface area of the sole plate is a little smaller than other irons I have used in the past so it does make the job of ironing a little longer than I'm used to but it's only a matter of a few seconds or so and nothing to really complain about. I find that on maximum 'cotton' setting the iron produces a surprising amount of heat and the steam button produces a large blast of steam as and when needed. This is a handy function for removing creases from denim I find and for a little iron this packs quite a steamy punch and again would probably surprise those who dismiss it as something too cheap to be any good. I've used the iron on a few occasions now and quickly became used to how it felt in my hand and whilst it is smaller and lighter than my old irons and doesn't have the same weight as some of the higher priced ones I think that it's well worth the money it costs to buy.
It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination though and this wouldn't be an Iron I recommend to families or for anyone who has a lot of ironing to do. For a single person who has only themselves to look after then it could be well worth taking a chance on especially if you only have a limited budget and only have a small amount of ironing to do on a semi-regular basis. The IRSS1611 is not the best iron I have ever used and there are some niggles with it which do annoy; the catch that opens to allow water to be put into the chamber doesn't close properly and the irons' construction is very cheap and I doubt that I'm going to get many years service from this particular iron. Saying that though I didn't buy this with the expectation of it lasting me for years on end, it was an essential, cheap purchase which I needed to make and I didn't want to spend a lot on a well known brand name so do think that the old adage 'you get what you pay for' more than applies in this iron's case.
I wanted something that would get rid of creases and this iron does this well and for now I can put up with its limitations and cheap appearance. It gets used once a week for around 30 minutes and for that it's fine, it wouldn't win any awards for its design or feel and compared to higher price models it is a budget option however if you're an infrequent ironer then it could be one to consider. I've ironed cotton and denim with this and on both it tackles creases with only a fair amount of elbow grease needed, the sole plate is the most important part of an iron in my opinion and the one on the IRSS1611 is smooth and glides across the fabrics I have put it up against. The temperature setting seems to be responsive enough and it does generate a good blast of steam when needed. The cord length is generous so there are no worries about having to locate your ironing board too close to a plug socket and being smaller than a lot of other models finding a place to store the iron whilst not in use shouldn't prove to be too difficult.
All in all this is a good basic iron that performs its task well despite its lightweight, plastic construction and for less than £7.00 I can't be too critical of it. Being a Tesco branded appliance it can only be found instore or online at the supermarket itself and overall I would recommend this one if you're looking for something cheap and functional. Three stars as a rating seems fair to me, I knew that when I bought this I wasn't going to get a top-end, high quality iron but it provides enough heat to get rid of the creases in my clothes and that's all I wanted and expected from it. It's definitely best suited to anyone who lives alone and doesn't have a great deal of laundry to do and it's on that basis that it does get the thumbs up from me. Thanks for reading my review.
Please note that this also appears on ciao under my username.
Short name: Tesco IRSS1611