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My husband does most of the ironing in our household so took responsibility for choosing a replacement iron recently. He returned with this decidedly masculine looking black and grey Philips Azur - a product described on its packaging as 'a power tool for ironing'. (I did suggest that I'd prefer a prettier iron but my husband said that he'd prefer a wife who ironed. Fair point!)
This heavy beast (at 1.6kg) is surprisingly comfortable in use. The soleplate simply glides across the fabric, involving almost minimal effort to move it about. The weight also offers a little reassurance and makes the product feel sturdy and robust. The combination of its effective steam power and the sheer weight of the iron, makes short work of creases across even the thickest of fabrics including denim.
The steam function can either be operated continuously or applied as a single more powerful burst of steam, to tackle a particularly stubborn area or crease. One of the massive benefits of the 2600 Watts this uses is that it heats to the required temperature very quickly, although does take a while to cool down after use. It also consistently maintains the heat setting, however long the ironing chore might take. The main irritant is that the iron goes through water very quickly too, as the capacity of the water tank is pretty limited. I also find it a little fiddly to fill with water, despite a handy lift up lid and the small pouring jug provided.
The iron itself is idiot-proof to operate, with a clear dial to select the required setting, depending on the fabric, and a sliding control to adjust the power of the steam. Both controls are pretty responsive and self-explanatory. The 2.5m cord is adequate and features a handy clip to simplify storage after use.
This also features a self-cleaning 'calc clear' function, helping to prevent the build up of limescale inside the iron. This nine step process isn't my idea of 'self cleaning' though, particularly as this is recommended to be carried out monthly, making it a pretty tedious and long-winded process. Fortunately, there have been no signs of any limescale build up on the soleplate which is actually pretty resistant to scratching or other damage. (Having accidentally melted some iron-on name labels, I can confirm that substances can be wiped off the soleplate easily, with prompt action!)
Whilst the only thing that makes ironing enjoyable is a cleaner (or a husband) who irons, the Azur does come pretty close. On those occasions when I'm obliged to iron, this does help to get the job over with quickly and with pretty impressive results.
Having paid £44.99 from Argos back in February, this is admittedly an expensive iron but does come with the reassurance of a two year's manufacturers guarantee. Argos are currently charging £59.99, which is a little more than I'd be willing to pay, so shopping around may be advisable.
Created with an optimal design and weight to manoeuvre the iron easily over garments / even into the hard-to-reach areas / Together with its powerful steam performance it gives you all you need for perfect results / The unique steam tip combines the prominently pointed front of the soleplate with special elongated steam slots in the tip / to reach into the smallest and most difficult areas for the best ironing results / Short name: Philips GC4890