Un-sponsored, un-censored, un-biased review: The Oliso Pro itouch TG1600 Iron

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sew at Home Mummy.com: a candid review of the Oliso Pro TG1600 Iron

Almost a year ago I purchased the Oliso® Pro™ Smart Iron with iTouch® Technology TG1600 through Massdrop. The iron regularly retails for just under $200.

I'd like to preface this review with this: I purchased this iron. This review has not been solicited or sponsored by Oliso in any way - I'm just offering up my 100% honest, unfiltered review of the Oliso TG1600 after over a year of relatively heavy usage.

I would also like to note: I have used this iron exclusively for over a year. I think it's important to put that out there - most reviews of products are done in the first few weeks of owning the item, and what's an accurate review if you're still in the Honeymoon phase of ownership? Most products preform well in the beginning.

I did a lot of research before purchasing this iron. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to drop a huge amount of money on an iron, I'd better know what I was getting into.

The reviews on the internet and by other well known quilters and quilter bloggers were pretty good, but I was skeptical as most of these are usually sponsored (i.e., Oliso or a vendor sends one to them to use). I basically had my iron purchase narrowed down to this iron and another top of the line brand, also at a higher price point. I took the leap, and bought it.

The thing that sold me on this iron was the no-touch system - if you've never seen it in action, I have a video below - but basically, you never have to stand/flip your iron up, it has little feet that pop out from the bottom of the iron when it senses your grip has left the handle, which prevents scorching - but more importantly for me and my previously injured shoulder, the repetitive motion of flipping my iron up each time it's not in use.

If you click {here} it'll bring you to the Oliso TG1600 site where you can read all of the specifications on the iron, and if you're considering it or one of the other models, make sure to read and compare all of the specs, because some of the models are quite a bit different from this one.

So. Here's my un-censored, un-sponsored, un-biased review of this iron. Hang on to your wrinkle-free panties, readers...

The Pros:

The iTouch Technology:
As I mentioned above, I had a previous shoulder injury (torn pec minor) several years ago that I've never really totally healed from. That said, any repetitive motion on my right side (like extensive ironing or cutting) usually leaves me out of commission for a day or two afterwards. I've noticed a massive difference in my endurance during long sewing days and my shoulder is a lot less sore now since this iron has been added to my arsenal.
Un-biased, un-sponsored, objective review of the Oliso Pro TG1600 by Sew at Home Mummy
the Oliso TG1600
image courtesy of Oliso.com


The extra large fill tank:
I love that this iron takes literally twice as much water as my old iron, a whopping 12.7oz of water - and comes with it's own little filler cup. It also does not require filtered water. As a matter of fact, the instruction manual actually says not to use filtered or distilled waters.
Un-biased, un-sponsored, objective review of the Oliso Pro TG1600 by Sew at Home Mummy
Extra large fill tank
image courtesy of Oliso.com

30 Minute Shut Off:
LOVE this feature. The iron stays on and hot for 30 minutes before it goes on standby, and when it does, you just have to touch the handle for a second to re-activate it. In the past, the short shut off time on other iron brands has driven me absolutely crazy. My old iron had a 7 minute shut off. I was constantly waiting for my iron to re-heat. Not anymore.

Fast heat time:
I timed it at 80 seconds to full high heat. Much faster than my old iron. I'm not sure if this time would be dependent on the user's electrical plug/source/outlet (probably?). I also run my iron through a surge protector power bar, which I'm sure adds some resistance.

The ironing experience:
The fancy feet and technology is nothing if the iron doesn't function well as an iron. I have to say, I continue to be impressed with its functionality each time I turn it on. 

Pressing with steam: The Oliso TG1600 has steam holes all the way down the plate, and the steam from this iron is awesome. Like, watch-your-fingers-you're-gonna-burn-them awesome. It has 4 steam settings (none, low, medium, high), and I've so far had no issues with calcium or mineral deposits blocking the steam holes or coming out on my fabrics while pressing. As soon as your hand leaves the handle, the legs pop out and the steam shuts off.
Un-biased, un-sponsored, objective review of the Oliso Pro TG1600 by Sew at Home Mummy
steam holes on plate
image courtesy of 
Oliso.com

Dry pressing: It's hot. Really hot. And again, maybe it is because I was so used to my crappy old iron, but the first time I used the Oliso TG1600 on high heat, I scorched my fabric. User error, totally, but man, this iron has great heat and great steam - and I haven't noticed a reduction in either over the last year of use. The iron seems to be as good today as it was over a year ago.

The Cons:

The delay:
There is a slight delay in the handle recognizing your grip and the feet retracting - it's really small, but it's there, and so I had to teach myself to slow down a bit when pressing to allow the feet to retract, otherwise it catches on your fabric and things get scrunched.

The fill cup: 
I wish it was larger. The tank takes exactly 2 of these cups to fill; it would be nice if I could fill it without making two trips to the sink each time.

The "squeaks":
Watch the video I took below, and turn up your speakers. When the feet drop from the iron face to stand the iron up, and when they retract into the face plate, the mechanics make a little "squeak!" sound. At the very beginning, when I first started to use the iron, I'll be honest - the squeaks were making me crazy. But, honestly, I quickly got used to them and didn't really even notice it anymore until I was at the Fall Chicago MQG retreat last year and people were giggling at the sound, making jokes that it sounded like I was passing little farts over in my corner.
video
For me, not a deal breaker but if you're sensitive to noise, it's not a silent mechanism.

Sporadic leaking:
Twice over the last year, something weird has happened with the iron and in both instances the same set of circumstances led to the iron dumping its' entire reservoir on my ironing board.

In both situations, I had decided I was done sewing for the day, shut my iron off, and then realized I still had more to do. I added water to the tank, turned it back on, and on heat up, the iron dumped the entirety of the tank onto my board.

This has only happened twice, and, I did contact Oliso support about it. They were very quick to respond (they phoned within 1 hr of my initial email to them) and walked me through some trouble shooting. They also recommended I send the iron into them to have it serviced. Because I don't have a backup iron, and they couldn't guarantee a fast turnaround, I decided not to send it in.

Worn Symbols:
The embossed symbol on the iron's steam button are starting to fade, showing their wear already, which I'm surprised about and a little disappointed in. Not something that would make or break the deal for me, and I haven't bothered to email Oliso about it since I highly doubt there's anything they would do about it. Still, at $200, I would expect the embossing to be more colorfast.

Emptying the water reservoir:
According to the manufacturer's instructions, at the end of each use you're supposed to let the iron cool fully and then empty the water reservoir. This is a difficult task to say the very least. It's next to impossible to remove all of the water from the chamber, no matter which way you tip, tilt or turn it. To be honest I've gotten pretty good at only putting as much water in the chamber as I think I'll need for my sewing session. It's too much of a pain in the butt to overshoot on this, better to underestimate and save fighting with it.

Color:
I really wish that the limited edition pink version in another model # came in this model number. I love pink. And who doesn't love supporting breast cancer awareness? The yellow is catchy, I'll give you that. This is a minor point. Not a deal breaker.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this iron is a good fit for me. It most definitely helps with my shoulder injury, and more than that, it's a great iron. The steam is fantastic on it, as is the heat. I've used fellow quilter's and sewist's lower priced, major brand irons and the heat is comparable, but I feel the steam on this iron is exceptional.

Ultimately, in my opinion, with the higher price point on this iron you're paying for superior steam, the convenience of the iTouch technology, larger water reservoir, and the 30 minute shut off time.

I like it. If the iron proves to have extensive staying power, and if in several years I have finally driven it into the ground, I'll replace it with the same. Without a doubt.

I recommend this iron for those whom are concerned about repetitive strain type injuries or those who have arm and shoulder pain aggravated by repetitive motions and who do a lot of pressing, or who partake in long periods of pressing. This may be the iron for you.

If you're the type of quilter who wants the latest and greatest gadget, this again, is probably the iron for you. It's pretty freaking cool.

If you happen to have the Oliso TG1600, I'd love to hear about your experiences, so leave a comment below! And if you're thinking of purchasing one and have any questions about the iron, let me know. I might be able to answer them.

Please do note that this post does contain an affiliate link to Oliso - but my opinions are 100% genuine and 150% candid.
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Some posts on this blog may contain sponsored reviews, products and/or affiliate links, and are noted as such. Regardless of this, I would never recommend a product or company that I didn't truly believe in, use myself, or think was relevant to my readership and content. For more information on how sponsorship and affiliates are chosen for Sew at Home Mummy, click {here}.

Sharing the Coupon Love - Supplies Sale

Friday, August 21, 2015

Really quick edition of "Sharing the Coupon Love"!

Craftsy is having a supplies sale right now with up to 70% off their quilting (and other crafty) fabrics and notions.

Last supplies sale they had I managed to pick up a few spools of Aurifil for just over $7. And they had some really cute Kaffe shot cotton bundles I know of that a few people I know picked up!

Head on over to Craftsy if you're in the market for a sale - it runs for only 3 days, 8/21-8/23.

Happy shopping!
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Some posts on this blog may contain sponsored reviews, products and/or affiliate links, and are noted as such. Regardless of this, I would never recommend a product or company that I didn't truly believe in, use myself, or think was relevant to my readership and content. For more information on how sponsorship and affiliates are chosen for Sew at Home Mummy, click {here}.

TGIFF: Farmgirl Apron

Friday, August 14, 2015

A (long!) while back a friend asked me to make her an apron using this tutorial out of an old pair of her jeans.

With the move to the new house, and then the water seeping through our basement walls and into my sewing space this Spring/Summer, I hate to admit it but her project got put to the side.

Well, it's FINALLY done. And I think it looks great! I hope she loves it.
Super cute recycled jeans kitchen apron made by Sew at Home Mummy | http://www.sewathomemummy.com/2015/08/tgiff-farmgirl-apron.html
recycled jeans apron with Lotta Jansdotter trim

The cotton trim is a Lotta Jansdotter print, chosen by the recipient.

It was a lot of fun to do something non-quilty for a few hours!

Linking up with Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday (hosted by Quilt Matters today), Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts today!
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Some posts on this blog may contain sponsored reviews, products and/or affiliate links, and are noted as such. Regardless of this, I would never recommend a product or company that I didn't truly believe in, use myself, or think was relevant to my readership and content. For more information on how sponsorship and affiliates are chosen for Sew at Home Mummy, click {here}.

Sharing the Coupon Love: Kona for 15% off

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick post for today as I am madly trying to finish midwifery infant scale slings for the shop AND  a mini swap quilt!

The Fat Quarter Shop is having an awesome sale on Robert Kaufman fabrics this week. Use the coupon code RK2015 for 15% off all RK fabrics - including Konas.

If you use a lot of Konas, this is a great deal. Especially if you're ready to take the plunge and buy a bolt.

A bolt has 15 yards on it, and if you buy 15 yards you automatically drop the price to $5.59 a yard, then apply the 15% off coupon below and with free shipping in the US the price of a bolt comes out to under $72 - that works out to $4.80/yard.

If you pick anything up, let me know! I splurged and bought a bolt of Kona Iron (I had troubles deciding between Snow and Iron...)
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Some posts on this blog may contain sponsored reviews, products and/or affiliate links, and are noted as such. Regardless of this, I would never recommend a product or company that I didn't truly believe in, use myself, or think was relevant to my readership and content. For more information on how sponsorship and affiliates are chosen for Sew at Home Mummy, click {here}.

Work in Progress Wednesday - Ann Arbor Mini Quilt swap!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This week I've been plugging away at a bunch of projects, one of which the Ann Arbor MQG mini quilt I signed up to swap! This is Chicago MQG's first inter-guild swap and it's been a lot of fun. Can't wait until the next one!

It feels really good to sit down and actually quilt - all of the projects I've done as of late have not been in my normal wheelhouse.

The challenge was to create a mini quilt with my partner's interests in mind, between 10" and 24".

Mine will hit that max mark at 24" square:

A photo posted by Erin Davis (@sewathomemummy) on

The colors in the quilt are all American Made Brand solids, and the background is Kona snow.

Today I'll try to finish quilting it and get the binding ready to go on. I really hope my partner likes it!

I'll blog more about this quilt when it's actually finished, and snap some awesome photos of it to share.

I'm linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!
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Some posts on this blog may contain sponsored reviews, products and/or affiliate links, and are noted as such. Regardless of this, I would never recommend a product or company that I didn't truly believe in, use myself, or think was relevant to my readership and content. For more information on how sponsorship and affiliates are chosen for Sew at Home Mummy, click {here}.