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

2:47:00 PM

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

*Please note: Links marked with an * are affiliate links to Amazon.com for your reference and convenience.

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.
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® Pro™ Smart Iron with iTouch® Technology 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 Amazon - but my opinions are 100% genuine and 150% candid.

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12 comments

  1. Thank you for the honest review. I am lucky enough to use my sister's Oliso during my two month-long visits every year. We do a lot of quilting during my visits! We also notices the squeaks. Not that it's any big deal but we have wondered if something could be lubed to minimized.
    Squeak and all it will continue to be on my wish list till Santa come through for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Lace Faerie!

      I'm not sure that the mechanisms which control the feet could be oiled; the unit is pretty self contained, I think you'd have to remove the plate to do it and not sure if oiling would disrupt the electronics?

      Here's hoping that Santa brings you what you want, hehehe!

      Delete
  2. Erin, what a thoughtful and accurate review. I too have this same iron. I came from a Rowenta background, the latest one being the Steamium, the one with 400 holes. While I liked it well enough, sort of, I developed a soft tissue issue in my wrist and realized I was lifting 5 pounds of iron and water. Some bought this same Oliso you have, and I am very happy with it for all the reasons you listed. And I didn't even notice my symbols were wearing off until you mentioned it. I also did not realize that I could fill my tank with two measures of the cup. Glad to know I am I am in such good company!

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  3. It's good to have an honest review, especially after you have used it for a long period of time.

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  4. I, too, treated my self to this iron and I loved it...until the thermostat went out just 15 months after I bought it. One day it just decided not to heat. I'm glad I kept my Rowenta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy cow, Liz! That's not good - and that would have been after the warranty period was up. Gar!! Did you happen to try to contact Oliso regarding it?? I wonder if it would be worth a shot, you never know. 15 months is NOT a long enough life for an iron, especially a $200 one!

      Delete
  5. I, too, invested in this gem. I love everything about it EXCEPT emptying the water. It really is a pain. I have also noticed that slight feet raising lag, but it isn't too bad. I know that I will have to replace mine with another like it when this one dies because I will never be able to remember to stand an iron upright after using this one. I'd burn the house down!!! ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness. I've already tried to burn the house down the first time I used my Clover mini iron. Oops.

      I'm ruined! hahaha!!

      Delete
  6. I was swing at a friend's house recently who has an Oliso iron, but it's blue, so probably a different model than yours. It did drive me a bit bonkers to hear that constant squeak whenever the feet pushed the iron back up. I honestly did not like that iron and would never purchase one. They are way too expensive and that is what stopped me right there from even considering one. And after using my friends all day while we sewed for 15 hours, I don't think I would want an Oliso even for free. I have the top-rated Black and Decker iron from Consumer Reports that cost me about $70 several years ago. I do not stand my iron up, but instead place it down like the Oliso, but onto a silicone iron rest. No squeak and I have kept my iron on the silicone mat for years. Even my friend who owns the Oliso ended up buying a cordless iron that she likes so much better and it was only around $60. I personally think the Oliso is a lot of hype. I could buy several irons for the price of the Oliso.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely not for everyone, that's for sure!

      I have a friend who sews professionally, and she swears by Black and Decker irons. She's tried everything from the top steam model Rowenta to the cheapest Walmart buy, and Black and Decker comes out on top every time.

      The silicon pads, I have heard, are wonderful! Thank you for mentioning them Daryl!

      Thanks for leaving a candid review for us, Daryl!

      Delete
  7. I have the pink one you mentioned. I feel like it doesn't get hot enough and I'm already having issues with the steam holes clogging and I've had it just at a year. Maybe I just got the wrong model. :(

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    Replies
    1. Hey Cathy,
      Oh no! I don't know if there's an output difference between the models with respect to heat. Hmm. Do you have yours plugged in on a circuit with a lot of other stuff on it? If you can have your machine and iron on 2 different circuits from the breaker box this might help?
      As for the clogging, Oh no! Have you tried contacting Oliso about these issues? They may have some suggestions for you. You never know, either, what they might do for you. A little bit of sweetness goes a long way. Let me know if you contact them and what they say. I'd be interested in their response or level of helpfulness...
      Keep me posted!

      Delete

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