Is it possible to get orgasmic over an iron? I suppose it is, but it’s probably listed in some book of psychiatric disorders, and well, I don’t want to be the one who gets diagnosed with such an ailment. But it is possible to get positively elated by the thought of an iron that actually does its job — and lives up to the hype. Case in point is the Black & Decker F67E Classic Iron. I happened upon this savior of my clothes on Black Friday while trolling Amazon for holiday gifts. I wasn’t in the market for an iron, but I did get sucked into the comments on the product. Review after review claimed that this was “the only iron you’ll ever need.” At first, I was skeptical mostly because the Black & Decker irons I’ve purchased in the past were horrible appliances that, yes, did press my clothes, but often did so as it leaked water through the steam holes, scorched fabric and then baked it into the iron, or had a power steam feature that only worked sporadically. I cursed Black & Decker — a brand I used to associate with quality — and vowed never to buy another one of their products. Why should I? The clothes I buy aren’t the most expensive, but they aren’t exactly cheap, either. And since I’m one of those people who likes to have ironed shirts and dress pants, is it too much to ask that the iron used to press these garments doesn’t ruin them?
So you can see my reticence when I saw the Black & Decker label affixed to The Classic iron. But before I get to the glories of the Classic Iron, let me introduce you to quite possibly the worst iron ever made: The Black & Decker Quickpress.
This white devil was waiting for me at my local Lucky supermarket after our other iron (which was probably a Black & Decker as well) was leaking rust onto my clothes, and I needed to replace it. Originally priced at $24.99, this iron was being discontinued by Lucky and they sold it to me for $5.99 (I only learned of the discount when I was checking out and the clerk informed me). “Wow,” I thought, “I sure am a savvy shopper.” Convinced of my prowess as a consumer, I brought the iron home, and we used it without any real problems for about a week. After that, the trouble began. The first problem was the steam surge. Billed as an extra blast of steam to get stubborn wrinkles out of clothes, it did its job for a week, and then stopped consistently working. Then, my wife used it to iron a table runner, and it scorched the fabric — even though she didn’t have the iron on the maximum setting. I was able to get the burnt fabric off the iron, but after a few weeks, bits of fried fabric started to accumulate until it got to this point:
I’d had it. My disgust with this vile metal monster from the bowels of hell had reached critical mass. But I was stuck. Paralyzed by the thought of throwing good money after bad on another iron that I had no idea if it would work or not. I knew I had to act because my clothes weren’t going to iron themselves, and that’s when I got sucked in to my savior:
It took some time for the Black & Decker Classic Iron to arrive in the mail from Amazon, but once it did, and I unpacked it, I could instantly feel the quality. The first thing I noticed was how heavy the iron was. I’m not saying this thing was the weight of an anvil, but it had some poundage to it. The second thing I noticed was that the materials Black & Decker used to construct the iron were very durable. Sure there’s a fair amount of plastic, but it’s a hard plastic that will certainly take years of use (and, at times, abuse). The third thing I noticed was that it did not come with a steam surge option. I was a little stunned. How would I get those tough wrinkles out? Well, as it turned out, the weight of the iron is such that it doesn’t need any extra steam shooting into the fabric. And if you’re ironing a pair of pants and want that crisp seam up and down the legs, you can get that without really pressing down hard with the iron — something I used to do quite a bit. It’s the same with ironing a shirt. The fact that the iron is heavy and that it has an aluminum surface (without all that non-stick crap) gives it the right combination to iron your clothes without much effort.
And now, a side by side comparison between my laundry savior, and its evil brother:
See how much wider the Classic is compared with the Quickpress? That gives you the ability to press a larger area of clothing. For example, when pressing pants, it’s important to keep as much of the cloth under the iron as possible as you push and pull the iron up and down the pant leg. If you don’t do this smoothly, you’re going to get a number of crooked seams that run down the leg of your pants and, well, instantly marks you as an incompetent douche.
And when it comes to the controls of the iron, there’s something to be said for simplicity. The Classic has one dial that gives you a number of heat settings, a button on top to activate steam, and a large opening in the front that allows you to fill the iron with water if you want to steam iron clothing or fabric. Now look at the Quickpress. Two buttons on the top that will apply a steam surge and spray water if you really want to get rid of wrinkles in your clothes. Both didn’t work all that well. Notice the little lever on the front that’s labeled “max and min?” It didn’t do a goddamned thing. The dial for the heat setting did work as advertised, but the most inane thing was the opening to fill with water. For some reason, there was something that periodically blocked the opening to the reservoir and wouldn’t allow me to fill it with water. I would sometimes bang the iron on the side of the countertop to loosen whatever was causing the blockage, and it sometimes worked to unclog whatever was blocking the fill tube. Finally, the Quickpress is a light iron. It doesn’t have the required weight to properly iron your clothes, which means that the whole point of the ironing is defeated.
So, if you’re in the market for a new iron that is a bargain at $19.00 on Amazon (normally $29.99), plunk your money down on the Black & Decker F67E Classic. It’s made with quality materials, it seems very durable, and, most importantly, it does the job that other irons I’ve owned really haven’t.