Hi Everyone! Boy, I had intended to hop in here and check in with you a few days ago, but with all that’s going on it just didn’t happen. I hope all of you are safe and getting in some fun sewing/quilting time as a stress reliever. I didn’t make as much progress as I wanted, but I was able to do some quilting so I’m a happy camper. But because I didn’t make the progress that I planned, I don’t have a finished quilt to share with you. Hopefully it will get finished today. Fingers crossed!
I drafted this review a couple weeks ago. I wanted to let it simmer a bit before I shared it, just to be sure I wasn’t too quick to rush to judgment. Today is a good time to share it with you.
From the time I first saw the Oliso iron, with its Scorchguard feature, I’ve thought how cool is that? I have always believed it would be a great iron to own, and I feel like it must be worth the cost because so many people are excited about it. Still, in my mind it’s a lot of money for an iron. A lot. The iron I currently have works great, and until it decides to die I won’t be buying a new one.
So, when I received the Oliso Mini iron for Christmas, I was super stoked. I could have a piece of Oliso, and since it was a mini it wouldn’t be replacing my full size iron but would have a place of its own in my quilting studio. Best of all, it was a gift and didn’t cost me a dime.
After using it for a few weeks, I decided to share my thoughts on the performance of this tool.
What’s in the box: The iron comes with attached power cord, and a removable trivet. The trivet is used to rest the iron on while you are using it and while it is hot. The mini does not have the self-lifting feature of the large iron, so you shouldn’t forget and leave it sitting plate down on your ironing board. When you are finished using the iron and after it has cooled, the trivet stores on the iron and has a loop on the top so the iron can hang up out of the way.
The iron is a steam iron and has a fairly large water tank for a mini iron. To access the water tank, just lift the cover that is toward the back of the iron. It’s easy to fill right from the sink or using a measuring cup. I like that the water tank is easy to reach and fill.
I think the placement of the fill hole is a design flaw. The first time I used the iron, I hung it up using the loop on the trivet once I was done with the iron for the day. Even though the fill lid was snapped securely in place, the iron leaked. On all the irons I have owned, the water reservoir is filled from the front (or top) of the iron. And most of those don’t have covers over the fill holes. I’ve never had one leak unless I overfilled it.
The Oliso Mini Iron is not meant to sit up on the back end like most other irons are. The cord comes out on the end, and even though it can be moved to either side it doesn’t like to be moved making it difficult to sit on end. I’ve worked with the cord for a few weeks thinking I could make it more limber with some use. It does move to the side a bit easier now, but the iron is unsteady when I set it up on its end. It wants to wobble, so I’m forced to rest the iron on the trivet.
I have a difficult time trusting that the iron won’t melt the trivet that comes with it so I’m always wanting to place the iron on it’s end when I’m not using it. That leads me to the heating of the iron.
Even though I worry about the iron melting the trivet that comes with it, the first couple of times I used the mini iron I didn’t feel it got as hot as I would have liked. I had the heat turned up to the highest level and it kept clicking on and warming and never totally heated up. The third time I used it the heating was better, however, the small SteamFast iron I already own has a much better heating element.
The steaming isn’t much better. The iron has a Steam Burst feature that is activated by pressing two buttons on either side of the handle. The iron only releases steam if those buttons are squeezed. I usually don’t use steam when pressing quilt blocks, but I do use it when pressing wavy borders on quilts I have loaded on the longarm. And I need it to be continuous steam for those borders. Having to squeeze the Steam Burst buttons repeatedly makes an already tedious job that much more irritating.
The size of the iron is perfect for a mini iron. It’s great for travel, easy to take to class or retreat. I also like that it’s not super tiny, but large enough to make fast work of pressing larger quilt blocks. I really like the way the sole plate extends beyond the front of the iron, which would be really great for pressing open seams on a quilt block, especially if the iron got hotter.
The teflon sole plate is smooth and glides effortlessly as I’m pressing my fabric. But the ergonomic handle leaves a lot to be desired. It’s difficult to grip because the Steam Burst buttons are placed in such a way that I have to grip them when using the iron. Also, even though the iron is bigger than my SteamFast iron, the handle is not nearly as easy or comfortable to use. If it was even just an inch longer it would help. You can see in the pic below the handle hits in the middle of my palm which doesn’t allow for a good grip. I can iron for much longer periods of time with the SteamFast than I can with this Oliso. I feel like I don’t know where to put my fingers!
So, even though I hate to admit it, I am very happy I did not buy this iron for myself. If I had, I would have been terribly disappointed. Because it was a gift I will keep it. It will be good to have as a backup in case something happens to one of my other irons. At least until I can replace them. To be perfectly honest, I’m simply not impressed with the Oliso Mini Iron.
I had really hoped that my experience with this particular iron was a fluke – that I had received a bad unit. However, I have talked to a couple other people who are also owners of the Oliso Mini and they stated they had some of the same issues. I know they are two separate irons, but I would have to think twice about purchasing the full size Oliso after my experience with the mini. Do you have a travel/mini iron that you love? Or do you own the Oliso? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about it. Let us know what you use in the comments.
Okay friends, it’s your turn to share your projects on Main Crush Monday. What are you working on that has you excited to be in your sewing space? I can’t wait to see what you’ve been doing. You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how: