If you've been quilting for a while, you've most likely seen someone using an Oliso iron – whether it be a quilting retreat, YouTube tutorial or even in your local fabric shop. They are easy to spot because they come in adorable colors like pink, purple, yellow and blue. Not only that, they are branded as "smart" irons.
But what makes an iron a smart iron? Is it part robot? Oliso, are you selling adorable robots just like the cute droids from Star Wars?? Am I going to open an iron-sized box to find a pink BB-8 who irons my clothes??
In this honest review we'll answer that question and unpack all of my thoughts on the hype surrounding the Oliso TG1600 smart iron.
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A Brief Background
For the last few years, I have been using this Rowenta iron and I genuinely love it. I would still be using it if Oliso had not reached out and offered to send me an iron to review. A couple of things I specifically like about my Rowenta is the weight (I like a heavy, sturdy iron) and the pointed tip is excellent for pressing seams.
I should also mention that I do not put water in my iron (I always keep a fine mist spray bottle handy instead), so I will not be testing the steam feature on the Oliso. All other features will be taken for a test drive, though.
A quick note from Suzy! I also don't put water in my iron because I find that it shortens the life of an iron and inevitably leaks. Also when I'm not paying attention those leaks turn into scorched fabric and a nasty looking ironing board cover. Just wanted to reiterate what Rach already said. OK, back to the review!
Oliso Iron: Initial Impressions
Oliso was kind enough to send me this OLISO® PRO™ TG1600 SMART IRON. My first impression was that if it really did all of the things listed on the box, I was going to be majorly impressed.
This Oliso Pro iron is just the right amount of weight, which you know is important to me. I like some power behind my press! It's actually very comparable in weight to the Rowenta iron I had been previously using. This iron also has a nicely pointed tip, which is perfect for precise pressing. (Say that five times fast!)
Shortly after plugging in, it was ready to rock 'n roll. (I am working with 100% cotton fabric today, so the heat dial is turned all the way up.) According to the spec sheet, this iron uses 1800 watts of power. Compared to my Rowenta, which uses 1700 watts, I couldn't tell a difference in the time it took to heat up.
What is noticeably different between these two irons is GLAM appeal! My Rowenta can't hold a candle to how cute this iron is propped up in my sewing room. Seriously, if you're into pretty notions, how great is this Oliso iron paired with the Ruby Star Society ironing board cover?! These two are totally made for each other.
Features of the Oliso Iron
The water reservoir is easily accessed on the side of the iron and a handy water cup with a pour spout is included with the Oliso iron as well.
Another notable feature is the auto shut-off. If the iron is turned on but not used within a 30 minute time frame, it will automatically shut off. Additionally, it will turn itself off after 30 seconds if the iron is knocked over on its side.
What makes this iron "smart" and sets it apart from other "unsmart" irons is the iTouch/autolift feature. Simply touch the handle and the iron lowers, ready to press. When I take my hand off, these little feet or "scorchguards", if you want to be technically accurate, lift the iron off the board, preventing scorches, burns and tipping.
Working with these little feet is the biggest learning curve for this iron (for me, at least.) After years of automatically propping an iron up when not in use, it will take a bit of time to ditch that habit. It's muscle memory at this point! The Oliso iron gets placed flat when not in use, and the feet prop the iron up as soon as it detects there is no longer a hand on its handle.
A close up shot of the little feet can be seen in the first photo below. As soon as the handle detects touch, the feet disengage (as seen in the second photo below.)
The Oliso Iron In Use
Now it's time to put this iron to work! The day I took these photos, I was finishing up the binding on one project and getting ready to start another Tail Feather quilt, so the iron saw plenty of use.
After using this Oliso iron for a few days now, I can say that I do like it. It has a nice weight, a nice pointed tip, and the iTouch feature is pretty neat.
I will say that this iron comes with a learning curve, however. It's been hard to get into the habit of using the iTouch feature. I'm constantly still propping the iron on its end when I'm done using it. Part of me is nervous that I will eventually get used to it and then make the mistake of placing a non-Oliso iron flat when not in use.
Overall, it has been a great iron so far and I can see why so many quilters out there rave about it. The fun colors alone are reason enough for many.
Have you tried an Oliso iron? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!