Thursday, May 24, 2012

Your Iron's Auto-Off Feature: Friend or Foe?

Most irons seem to have one these days: the auto-off feature, that little mechanism that causes your iron to go into a "stand-by" mode when not in use. It cools down the iron's plate completely when not in use for a certain amount of time. In the case of my iron (which is the Rowenta Focus, if you're curious), the iron shuts off if it's been out of use for 8 minutes.

Now, there are times that I appreciate the feature. Safety first and all that. I've never been good at remembering to shut off hot things. Jeff has been terrified to find (on more than one occasion, I admit) that I've left the gas burner on after cooking. I mean, the thing has flames coming out of it! It's not exactly inconspicuous. So if I leave the house and have that "OMG I think I left the iron on" feeling, I don't have to fret. Also on the safety front, it's worth noting that my iron turns off after only 30 seconds if it's horizontal and not in use. Clever, huh?

On the other hand, the 8 minutes allotted for the vertical position seems a little stingy, right? That's just about enough time for me to sew a seam or complete some other mid-project tasks. You know the drill: when you go back to iron, the thing has shut off. Reactivating the iron (and waiting for it to heat up again) becomes one of those irksome sewing activities that takes the place of actually sewing.

If I had to choose again, I would probably still go with the auto-off feature rather than not have one at all. (So perhaps, in answer to the title of this post, it's my frenemy.) But perhaps there's an iron out there that's geared to people who might leave their iron idle for more than 8 minutes at a time? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this matter!

111 comments:

  1. I also have a Rowenta and agree that the 8 minute shutoff is bad for sewing. I think 15 would be more reasonable.

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  2. It's now a habit that before I begin a particular section of sewing I go shake the iron to wake it up in preparation for pressing. I'm very pro the auto-off otherwise my house would have been burned down by now.

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  3. My current iron (a chi, like hair straighteners) doesn't have one. It terrifies me.

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  4. You may want to check out this iron with a 30 min time to auto shut off and some more cool features. Oliso Pro SmartIron with iTouch technology TG1600. It is also yellow. BTW, I have no connection to this company, I am a quilter and lots of quilters use this iron to combat your frenemy.

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  5. oh yeah, I dislike my auto-off feature. I understand the need, for safety, but I need more time!

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  6. Someone needs to invent a remote control for irons, so that when you're sitting at the sewing machine you can give it a whap to wake it up.

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  7. I got rid of my Rowenta, for several reasons, but among them was the auto-off. I have a gravity feed now, which I love. I just have to make sure that I turn it off when I leave the house.

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  8. I hate my iron. To wake it back up after it auto-offs, I have to physically unplug, wait a bit, and then plug it back in.

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  9. I absolutely hate the auto-off feature on my iron. I was trying to use fusible interfacing the other day and it took forever to finish just a small section because my iron kept shutting itself off. It's nearly impossible to keep at a steady temperature. Are there any good but inexpensive options for irons without this "feature"?

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  10. Why not a power strip with a timer? We leave our irons on "all day" (maybe 12+ hours), and having worked with both domestic and industrial irons, my experience is that the danger of fire is very minimal. The only 'smoke' I've seen resulted from the hot sole plate resting against something flamable (wood).

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    1. I'm with you...when sewing I have run off and left my old style steam iron (down even...ok so I am a little absentminded) and come back hours later, nothing...no big deal..paranoid people. Hate those shut offs!

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  11. I swear my iron is sentient and intentionally annoys me. It inevitably turns itself off 5 seconds before I need to use it. Like..every...single...time.

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  12. Ha you have it so good!
    My old sewing set up consisted of one plug at my sewing desk.
    So it was plug iron heat up...press pieces, pin,unplug. Plug in machine, sew seam,unplug. plug in iron, press open, then unplug, plug in overlocker ...etc
    So tiring.

    However I recently discovered this new fangled invention called a 'power board'. I'm flying now, the iron issue hasn't even occurred to me.

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  13. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I still have the same basic iron my mom sent me off to college with in 1995, taped handle where the water reservoir once leaked and all. I've gotten so used to the auto-off feature (clearly they've had them for awhile, judging from my iron, lol) that if I've been working on something that doesn't involve the iron and then go to sit down at my machine, I'll put the iron down horizontal for a second, then vertical again, so it'll be ready when I get up from the machine. I'm so used to the habit the auto-off feature doesn't really bug me.

    Now that being said, I'm about to finally have my own craft space where my iron won't be within an arm's stretch of my sewing machine, and I bet I'll forget and then it'll really bug me!

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  14. I have a new iron and it turns itself off after, like, 30 seconds. Or, so it seems. It is freaking crazy and I hate it so much.

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    1. I have two Rowenta irons. Both of them annoy the hell out of me. They shut off if I set it down for 20 seconds, and I am constantly having to shake it, bang it on the ironing board and turn the thermostat up and down to get it to come back on. When it is on, it works better than any iron I have owned, but the question is, how do I keep it from shutting itself off when it is in active use? I have spent over $180 on these two irons, and I would not recommend Rowenta to anyone.

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  15. I have a Rowenta too and I love its steam. But clearly I realize it was not meant for seamstresses who need to iron a facing...Hope the product manager is listening...it would be nice to disable the feature if needed

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    1. YES - it would be REALLY nice to be able to disable the auto shutoff feature. For those of us who actually put our iron and board away after each use ... we do not need an auto shutoff feature because we are unplugging it and storing it away when we are done with it!

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  16. Our iron is ancient. Not *as* ancient as the one my dad uses for building model airplanes... that one is probably 40 years old. Ours is maybe 25? They're pretty simple pieces of equipment, and I don't find my mom's fancy Rowenta iron to work better than Dad's or ours.

    I did most of my learning to iron with Dad's, and his doesn't even have an on/off switch that you're allowed to use, so it's habit that you unplug it when you're done. It's used for heat setting plastic, and you just do not touch that heat setting. Ever.

    For pressing clothing, I learned very quickly that the same habit works fine. Pick an appropriate heat setting for your fabric, and unplug when done, even if you're just stepping away for "a moment".

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  17. I hate auto shut off. I have a gravity feed iron. I was nervous about forgetting to turn it off. I pluged the iron into a power strip with the radio. When I need to turn the iron on I flip the switch on the power strip and the radio turns on as well. That way if the radio is on I know the iron is on. This has worked perfectly for me. Iff I hear music coming from the sewing room I know the iron is on.

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  18. I'm so against the auto off feature when my iron dies I hunt down the same 80s model I've been using since, well, the 80s. I'm quite lucky in the fact that most second hand stores have oodles of them and I can always find a couple for three or four dollars. I have a backup iron that has the auto off feature and EVERY time I want to hurtle it against the wall.

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  19. I need that safety feature because I'm known for forgetting to unplug my iron. However, I really hate it when it shuts off when I am fusing interfacing or steaming fabric! It isn't standing still for longer than a count of 10 and then I move it, but it shuts itself off. That drives me crazy. The time before it shuts off needs to be longer.
    Hugs, Phylly

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  20. Haha, I've gotten a bit peeved at my iron's auto shut off. I never checked how soon it is that it turns itself off - but it seems ridiculously short! My sewing machine is near my iron so I usually reach over mid-work and give the iron a little "wake up" jiggle so its nice and hot for when I'm ready to press.

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  21. I was just encountering this issue last night. I would sew my seam and then go back and my stinkin iron would be off. I guess auto off is better than a burned down sewing room.

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  22. That is one of my biggest annoyances while sewing. Plus I may have 2-3 dresses going at once and I will make a pack of stitches then want to iron, but it has shut off.

    Of course mine is about to be replaced as the water reservoir has started leaking and if I were doing formals right now it would be a serious problem. However I have been doing a lot with cotton, so it hasn't hurt me yet, but that is the key word YET!

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  23. I hate my iron's auto-off feature so much that I've literally used the iron about three times since I got it as a high-school graduation gift in 1996. I keep borrowing my mother's late-1960's fire-hazard iron instead. We're just very careful about turning it off and unplugging it.

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  24. Mine has auto-off, but it doesn't seem to turn on that quick. I'll have to time it, but think it's more like 12-15 minutes. I don't mind though, that thing heats up quick!!!

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  25. My iron doesn't have an auto shut off and there have been a few times I realized I left it on for a few hours (although fortunately when it's been on a low setting, not high). 8 minutes seems really stingy. Even if you were ironing, it could take that long to find the next thing to iron depending on how organized you were going into ironing. Wouldn't it be nice for that to be a setting? Like a range of time (say 8-30 minutes) you could adjust to the kind of ironing you typically do.

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  26. My iron heats up completely in about 30 seconds, so waiting for it to reheat is a non-issue. Also, I compulsively unplug it before walking away from it, so I don't think my auto-off has ever been used.

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  27. I love auto-off. My iron is almost always on because I forget about it.

    My iron lives right next to my sewing machine, so when I'm getting close to a point where I'll want to press, I just reach over and give it a little shake to wake it up.

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  28. I have a Rowenta as well & I've always hated the auto-off! I've gotten in the habit of giving the iron a good shake every few minutes, just to ensure it'll be on when I need it to be (it sucks to start pressing a difficult seam & realize your iron has shut off!). At least it heats up fast, I guess!

    I'm pretty bad about remembering to turn my iron off too, so I devised my own ~safety~ feature - I keep it plugged into a power strip that also has hanging lights plugged into it. I always turn lights off when I leave the room, so if the lights are on I know the iron is still on too :)

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  29. For exactly the reasons you stated I hate, hate, hate the auto-off feature on my Rowenta. I actually had to do a fair amount of shopping around to find and iron that didn't have the auto-off.

    I have my sewing machine, serger and the iron all plugged in to the same power strip. When I want to sew I flip one switch and everything comes on. The lights on the sewing machines remind me that the iron is on as well. This has worked great for me, haven't burned the house down yet, lol.

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  30. I am a long-time Rowenta fan. My last iron didn't have an auto-off feature, and I loooved it--but frequently would get to the studio in the morning and hear that tell-tale *click* indicating that the iron was cycling on, which is to say, that it had been on and hot ALL NIGHT. My more recent Rowenta is the same model as yours, and the shut-off made me nuts. I've now got the Oliso that a couple other commenters mentioned and I LOVE the 30 min auto-off feature--much more reasonable for most sewing. Once you get used to the always-horizontal-iron-on-legs thing, it's pretty great.

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  31. I'm not sure what kind I have, but I constantly wonder about this, too. It shuts off eventually, but it hasn't happened while I was actually sewing, just when I've left it on and left or something. I'm curious to find out, now.

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  32. I'm with everyone on disliking the auto off feature. However, I am concerned about the safety factor as well. I found a solution that works for me. I have a steam generator and I adore it! I will never go back to a "standard iron" again. I plug my iron into a powerstrip and use the power strip to turn the iron off/on. Also in the power strip is a task light which is aimed at my ironing surface. The light is also switched "on". If the light is on, the iron is on. The added feature is the improved visibility when ironing - great light to see what you are doing.

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  33. I have a Rowenta as well, and have bittersweet thoughts about the auto-off feature. The first thing that comes to my mind is that it is great if you have children in the house. I am always scared that a baby or child will pull on the iron cord or touch the plate while I'm not looking and burn themselves. So for that, I love the auto-off feature. However it really doesn't give you quite enough time in-between ironings before shutting off. I think maybe 15-20 minutes (or maybe an adjustable timer) would be better than 8. It is no fun having to wait five minutes for the iron to heat up every time you have to press a seam!

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  34. I was just complaining about this last nite to anyone who would listen or care and of course, I should have known Gertie and you all would understand! I like the powerstrip and radio idea so at least I'd have music to shake my iron awake to :)

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  35. I like the shut off feature for safety's sake. But I wish it wouldn't shut off so quickly.

    piece peace said:

    You may want to check out this iron with a 30 min time to auto shut off and some more cool features. Oliso Pro SmartIron with iTouch technology TG1600. It is also yellow. BTW, I have no connection to this company, I am a quilter and lots of quilters use this iron to combat your frenemy.

    May 24, 2012 7:57 AM


    This iron sounds like the answer I've been looking for. I wonder if I can use a JoAnn coupon to buy it?

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  36. I am an oddity in the garment sewing world as I turn OFF my iron between trips to the pressing area. Why? I use a domestic iron that I *love* and domestic irons aren't made to stay on for 4+ hours at a time. Mine takes less than 30 seconds to heat up (including producing steam), so I don't feel frustrated. It usually takes me almost that long to arrange my fabric.

    Industrial irons are another story. They can take a good 10 minutes to heat up, so turning them off would be foolish. But I don't have one, so not my worry.

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  37. I hate the iron off feature. My last iron didn't have it, but my new one does. I have an obsession with HEAVY irons, but don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it. A first born child, probably. I have left my iron on for days before, and I know it's a matter of time before something bad happens, but when I'm sewing, it makes me nuts. My new iron shuts off automatically, and the first time, I can reset it by putting it down and then back up. The next 500 times, I have to unplug it to reset it. I'd love to have a gravity fed iron, and it's on my to buy list along with a Wolf Dress form. I have the materials to make a duct tape one for now, but I'm not sure it will ever get done - my husband would enjoy the process too much..hahaha.

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  38. It sounds like I'm in the minority, but I don't mind the auto-off. I also have a Rowenta and I find that, even if it has gone off while I've been sewing, it also heats up SO MUCH FASTER than my previous iron (a Black & Decker) that I'm never waiting around more than a few seconds before I can start using it again.

    That being said, the 30 second shutoff irritates me sometimes. It always goes off when working on turning over a long seam allowance or something where I don't want to lift it up and take the pressure off.

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  39. Hate it. My Rowenta (a basic model, but still, $40 was a lot of coin to drop on an iron) lasted exactly as long as the 1 year warranty. The deal breaker was the auto off. It malfunctioned and I had to shake the thing violently while cursing in order to get it to turn on. Not a fan. Then again, the cheapy-cheap Sunbeam I bought to replace it has the same feature, so I guess it's the wave of the future. BOOOOO

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  40. So, it seems to me that auto-off is for people who are ironing laundry, and thus would have a quantity of clothing to iron, one item after another, and not for seamstresses, who iron, sew for awhile, iron again, sew for awhile, etc.?

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  41. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the energy-efficiency of auto-shutoff irons. Have you looked at the wattage ratings on your iron? It's ~1700 watts!

    Would you run your hair dryer for a day-long sewing session? Imagine your electric bill and the global carbon budget if irons were on for our entire sewing sessions.

    Take a look at the table of wattage use for common household appliances:
    http://www.cornhusker-power.com/householdappliances.asp

    If I know that I won't be pressing for a while, I turn my iron off. When I am done with my sewing session, I unplug it. Otherwise, I let my Rowenta go to sleep after 8 minutes.

    After I am done seaming, I give the iron a quick shake while I trim and grade the seam allowance or lay out the pieces on the ironing board.

    A good iron heats up very quickly, and retains the desired temperature through heavy use. It has more heating elements (resistance coils) than a cheap iron, which heats up much more slowly and cools down in use faster than the heating elements can reheat the iron.

    Don't skimp on an iron. The better ones work better and last longer; in the end, they are cheaper.

    As I wrote in the link below, I paid over $100 for each of my 2 Rowentas. The first one lasted 15 years and the "new" one is still going strong after 8 years.
    http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2009/04/earth-day-2009-resolution.html

    If you think about the full life-cycle costs to yourself and the planet, it pays to buy better. Invest in a good iron with auto-off for energy efficiency and safety.

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  42. Mine has a 15 minute auto off but it beeps at you when it's going to shut off. It makes it easy to keep it going if I'm about to press. My husband is notorious for leaving the iron on, so this is a nice feature. I didn't have a lot of $$ so I just bought the best WalMart had which is the GE Professional Chrome. I've only had it 2 weeks so I'm still getting used to it, but so far so good.

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  43. I just got a new iron because the last one fell off the ironing board one too many times, the last time resulting in sparks shooting across the room. I got a new one that has feet on it; you push a button and the stability feet come out so it sits at a more stable position when not face down ironing.

    It also gives you the choice to turn off the auto-off feature which is kind of nice. There is a little switch for it.

    Its the Hamilton Beach Smart Lift iron. Nothing fancy but I like those two features. Now if only I can get the steam burst button to actually work for me...

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  44. I have an Oliso Smartiron and love it - I think I've done a post but may do another one - delayed auto off - I think mine is 20 minutes and has a ridiculously long (but helpful) cord. . .

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  45. I've never even heard of the auto-off button despite our iron being a relatively recent purchase (having destroyed about 3 irons in the last 10 years by dropping them onto the floor...).

    I usually switch off my iron between uses, even if it's only for a few minutes. It heats up in seconds anyway and is good to go. An auto-off feature would drive me nuts. I think... then again maybe it would make no difference!

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  46. These features are on my iron as well. It can be truly irritating at times!! I love that it is a safety feature but it would have been nice if a setting was put on the iron so I could make the choice as to when it would shut-off in the vertical or horizontal positions. Frenemy is an appropriate name for it!!

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  47. I'm with badmomgoodmom on the energy efficiency issue -- this is one of the main reasons why I really like the auto-off. I used to unplug my iron after every time I used it so that it wasn't on for a three or four hour stretch. It's a lot more convenient to just shake the iron a little to wake it back up again!

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  48. My iron (a tefal steam iron) also shuts off after 8 minutes of inactivity (which means if you didn't press the steam button.

    It's annoying and yeah I wish it would turn off only after 15 minutes.

    BUT there have been countless times when I found I had left it on and I'm glad to have this feature. It annoys me to think I left it on, not really as a fire hazard but just because it reminds me I'm an airhead.

    I LOVE that my iron is a serious steam iron (with exterior water tank) and not a flimsy one with the water inside because it presses like nobody's business.

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  49. I used to hate that my iron has an auto-off feature... Until one day last summer I walked into my sewing room after a few days of not sewing and realized I had left the darn thing plugged in for a few day! Thankfully though, because it did have that auto-off feature, I didn't burn down the place. ;) Since then I've just learned to roll with it, and remember to "wake it up" before I start sewing a seam I'll need to press. A bother, probably, but I'd rather not have any more incidences of my forgetfulness and take a chance with a disaster! ;)

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  50. I used to work in a suit store doing alterations. On slow days sometimes I would get to work on my own projects while waiting for pants to hem. One of my favorite things about sewing there was the industrial steam iron. It was always hot and ready when I needed it, and the huge water reservoir lasted all day, no stopping to refill!

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  51. i don't like my auto off feature. i wish it were a bit longer, because mine sounds impatient, like its hurrying me. And yeah the shut off feature is nice but like you said, it seems as if you sew a seam and it goes off right as i need to use it. its ridiculous! a bit longer would have been nice.

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  52. Hate the auto-off and, in fact, replaced my iron with one without it. I like a heavy iron so I traded up to the Black & Decker classic. I am so slow sewing - it will take me forever to get through stuff (I like going slowly - very zen :)) and thus the auto-off made me nuts. Now I just have a routine - shut off machine, shut off iron, shut off overhead light. Works for me!

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  53. Hey I know this has nothing to do with this post, but, how did your PFF challenge work? You never wrote another post.

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  54. I was part of a Rowenta focus group last summer, and I remember violently ranting every week about how much I *hated* auto-shutoff on my T-Fal and Black and Decker! The 8 minute shutoff isn't long enough, the 30 second horizontal shutoff is TOO long (it takes your carpet way less than 30 seconds to scorch when an iron falls onto it, believe me!)

    My new steam station doesn't have an auto-off. I love it, though I'm kind of terrified of its size and power. You just have to get in the habit of turning off the powerstrip that powers your machine and iron every time you leave the room. :)

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  55. It's super frustrating but I know I need it. I am forgetful and clumsy. Then there's just bad luck: at my last place I walked out of my room with the iron heating up, and my roommate's cat snuck in behind me. He knocked the ironing board, the iron fell off, and I came back to the smell of burning varnish and a big ol' burnt iron print on the hardwood floor. Another time a gust of wind knocked the board (and iron) over. No scar on the floor, just on my nerves.

    I really like the idea of keeping it on a power strip with my sewing machine and a radio. I have problems turning my sewing machine off, too ...

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  56. i've left the oven on all night before. i've left candles burning all night before. i've left my old iron on all night before... actually, i think it was a couple of nights. my new iron only takes about a minute to heat up from cold and beeps when it's ready... i couldn't care less if it turns off on me.

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  57. Wow, this makes me feel lucky. I have auto-off on my iron, but it's much longer than 8 minutes. More like 15 or 20.

    I need the auto-off as well, (I leave things on and forget, and I also turn things off and forget that I've turned them off -- I can't tell you how many times I've run back home to turn off the fire under a pot to find I already did it) so I won't begrudge it but it is frustrating when you are working.

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  58. Frenemy is a good descriptor!

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  59. This is the first time I hear about an auto-off feature, or even a power switch, on an iron.

    Every iron I've ever used has been a steam iron that turns on when you plug it in, and turns off when you unplug it. I don't generally leave it plugged in while sewing. Just like I don't generally leave the sewing machine on while pressing.

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  60. I just got this iron, for Mother's Day and I think the 8 minutes is a little stingy. I have taken to gathering all my ironing so I iron a lot at one time.

    Liza the Blogless

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  61. I also have a Rowenta (and am in love with my iron). Unlike the vast majority, auto-off does not bother me at all because with my old iron I unplugged it every time I left the board and now I don't need to :) My main reason for that habit is cats who bump into things, like sleeping on the ironing board and cosying up to "warm" things and more recently a toddler who doesn't look where she's running!

    I've seen irons which have an audible alert that beep/play a tune to remind you they are on, and a delayed auto-off feature in case you decide to ignore them!

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  62. One word justification for auto shut off: cats.

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  63. It can be irritating, but I have 2 children under 4 years of age... so safety trumps all in my house.

    The thought of a hot iron falling down on their skin makes my heart hurt!

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  64. Friend! I couldn't even tell you the number of times I've gone down to my sewing room in the evening and realized I hadn't turned my iron off the night before. For that little check on my own forgetfulness, I'll take a momentary wait for it to power back up any day. :)

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  65. I hate, hate, hate this feature on my Rowenta...man I miss using a professional iron (also, Rowenta). Planning to get one without an auto-off as soon as possible. To make matters worse the auto-off function on my iron has started malfunctioning & it now turns off while I'm using it & will not wake back up without unplugging it & plugging it back in. I mainly work with cottons or linens & need high heat & steam & time to iron, none of these things work well with an auto-off feature.

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  66. I hate the auto off feature. I understand it, but I hate it.
    I use a Rowenta that sits on a water reservoir. It does not have auto off. I have made myself have the habit of turning it off when I step out of the sewing room and unplugging it every night to be sure it is off. I worked hard on that habit since I left it on all night a few times times.
    My family knows the routine and randomly checks, too. haha

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  67. I'm so glad badmomgoodmom brought up the environmental (and subsequent electricity) costs - your iron draws as much power as your tumble drier - and you don't leave it on all night! Although it uses less power to maintain temperature, it's constantly re-heating as it loses heat to the air, so it maintains a high drain on the power source. In contrast, when shut off, it draws almost nil. If you're using it all the time (and seamstresses are!) then this can make a HUGE difference to your electricity consumption, and your bill!

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  68. I have a Reliable 100 that gives you the option to override the turnoff feature. I love it. When I will only have a bit to sew, I leave it on auto-off and override for a day of sewing.

    Also it heats back up real quick and gives a beep when its ready. So I just keep sewing and reading instructions until it beeps.

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  69. Yeah, auto-off's a bitch. Maybe I can figure out how to rig mine with a motion detector or something...

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  70. I don't like it. I have a house with two cats. I discovered the hard way that auto off means that not only do I have to get up and wake it, but should I just leave it there and go see what my child is doing in her room, and maybe play with her for a few minutes before going back to sewing, and it auto offs, the cats may knock it off the ironing board, guess what turns back on!??!!!
    Luckily it fell onto plastic bags and started melting them, rather than onto fabric and started a fire.

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  71. I didn't even know there was auto-off in irons! My iron, my old iron, and all the irons I've seen at my parents' house growing up (I'm 24) have always had to be unplugged at the wall for it to turn off. And to think only a few months ago I asked my electrician husband why irons couldn't have on/off switches...
    It's not like I shop for irons very often so perhaps the technology is out there in Australia and I just haven't seen it in stores.
    When I need to use the iron I just plug it in at the wall. It doesn't take very long to heat up, so it has never really been a problem for me.

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  72. I have a Reliable, too (only 1 other person mentioned this), and I override the auto-off feature if I am sewing, but I leaving it on if I am ironing. I love being able to choose what I want!

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  73. Auto-off is the spawn of the Devil. Seriously.

    I got a gravity feed industrial iron (a Christmas gift from hubby, who sent me to buy it and then give to him to wrap) and it is THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO MY SEWING. Ever. (FWIW, I don't have a serger. But I <3 the gravity feed.)

    It is designed for use in a professional tailoring shop, so it has no auto-off feature. But it is designed for use in a professional tailoring shop, so came with a special silicone iron rest and sturdy parts that won't burn out if left on overnight or for a couple days in a row (ahem). (I do unplug when leaving town, and during thunderstorms ...)

    Also, it weighs 5 POUNDS. It hasn't yet met a fabric that does not lie flat at first sight and beg to be pressed. I honestly think it may be a more important tool than the sewing machine. I will never buy another Target/Joanne iron. This one should last me until I retire, and if it doesn't it was well worth the minor premium (I found it on sale at Banasch's Warehouse for about $130) over a "good" Rowenta or similar. Auto-off can go suck it.

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  74. Reminds me of my new kitchen scale, a very pretty designer thing, which cuts off after 2 minutes. I can't cut my veggies fast enough!!! Very frustrating.
    My iron does not have an auto cut-off, thank God. When I sew I leave it on all day.

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  75. Don't fret the auto-off. Safety is important. These days we are so impatient. I suggest singing and dancing while the iron heats up. Multi-tasking.

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  76. It's funny that you went on with this topic because I had the idea last weekend. I don't have an iron with an auto shutoff and my iron was on the whole night. And I thought about bying a new one with this automatism. BUT: only 8 minutes - that's a no-go. My iron goes a little down after a while and it takes too long to heat up again. So, if I need a new one (or if a want a new one) I'll buy one with on/off for the auto-off feature.
    Thank you for starting up this discussion, it's worthy for the long way to decision.

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  77. For the bubble-headed like me.... the auto off is a good feature. I wish the time were adjustable, 15 minutes would be nicer. But honestly, I would rather deal with the brief time to reheat the iron than worry that I didn't turn it off. I've had that problem with my hair straightner more than once... go somewhere and then worry and stress that I left it on and the house is burning down! Not so far thank goodness.....

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  78. I admit, I've left the stove or oven on from time to time, and it horrifies me too LOL

    I don't have an auto-off feature on my iron, and I have left it on but actually, despite the fact it's just a little iron, it actually gives off a fair bit of heat so that plus the fact that it makes little clicking noises when it's on is usually enough for me to notice it LOL.

    I do have to unplug mine to turn it off though, so that's also a good thing, as I've got into the habit of just unplugging everything when I've finished sewing :)

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  79. Some other blogs I'm reading have discussed this topic lately. Here's one article: http://eloleo.blogspot.com/2012/05/cool.html

    It's in Dutch, but I'm hoping google translate will be enough for you. Basically, three blogsters that sew a lot seem to be in love with this iron. I don't have one myself, so I can't comment myself, but I just thought I'd share :-)

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  80. I for one simply can't tolerate this feature. It has wasted too much of my time while sewing. Which is why I recommend you check out Atlanta Thread Company. for their Pacific brand gravity feed iron. No auto shut off. I have forgotten to turn it off and the house didn't burn down. But it only happened once and now I have a reminder mantra to keep disaster at bay.

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  81. I received a Shark brand iron for mother's day. I love the weight of it and the extra steam burst feature. It has an auto off feature that I found annoying for a few days until I decided to use the seconds to re-heat to take a few long, deep breaths and do a couple of shoulder rolls. I love, love, love sewing but I do tend to tense up a bit and hunch over when I'm in the middle of a joyful, sewing frenzy.

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  82. I have a Tefal Aquaspeed (its purple - squee!) and it has auto off. From memory the auto off is 8 minutes when it is upright and 30secs when flat. To get around the thirty second problem when pressing something down I always give it a little jerk to the right. Something in there clicks and it keeps going. I don't mind it turning off - it heats up super fast with steam (I don't think it really takes 30secs...). But I'm not too worried about waiting. It is a good time to have a stretch - especially when you are sewing at a friends house and are sitting at a different desk or wherever - which I seem to a lot.

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  83. TORONTO NURSES.
    THEY MARKING TEA.
    IT'S THE DEATH KNELL FOR MP3.
    RORY V.
    IT'S PHYO- PHYCOU ON IT'S KNEES.
    GOT COLHENDO- ROSA KASPAR.
    ROSSYWAR TOSSES DWYT SCHAR.
    BETTER WATCH OUT NOW.
    HERE COME THE DUTCH.
    THEY GOT TCE - KEEP IN TOUCH.
    KSDON- ICEDON- DONSUPPE.
    UTOUTA.TDUCHE.
    AND ALMOVED.

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  84. I've got a Sunbeam steam station type of thing and I love it. No auto off and instead it sits on a silicon pad when not in use. If I want steam it takes a while, but I preheat that if needed and it gives me a really good result.

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  85. OMG, I also hate the auto off feature! I hear ya!!

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  86. My Rowenta Focus does NOT have auto shut-off. I have never owned an auto-shut off iron and never will.

    For sewing, I've switched to a gravity feed iron. I use the Rowenta for ironing finished clothes.

    My habit for many years has been to unplug the iron when I am finished. I had a GE iron for many years which had fallen on the concrete floor in the dorm enough times that it never cooled off if it was plugged in. So, I unplug at the end of my sewing day.

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  87. My iron doesn't have an auto off feature - that sounds REALLY frustrating. But it does have a very annoying reminder that you've left it on too long. It just beeps. It normally happens after about 20mins of not being used which gives me more than enough time to sew a few seams & then iron them. It's also a great reminder when I inevitably get distracted & leave the iron on for too long.

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  88. I have a Shark. Love the iron, hate the auto-shutoff "feature"--even though it does reheat faster than any iron I have ever owned. This is some bureaucrat's idea of safety--one who has never used an iron, let alone sewn anything.

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  89. I don't have auto-off on my Roweta and I appreciate it because when I'm sewing, I'm pressing a lot. I sew on an iron with auto-off at one of my groups, and it's mildly irritating but I deal with it because it's not my iron! In my sewing room, the outlet with the iron is on a switch that operates the overhead light. When the light's out, the iron is OFF. Peace of mind...

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  90. It'd be neat if there was a way to sort of tell it to hold off, like the "your computer will shut down in 59 seconds if you do nothing" bit on your computer. Also, I mourn not being able to use the excuse that I think I left my iron on when I want to leave someplace quickly - it's kind of hilarious. Cheers :)

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  91. Another great feature of the Oliso (I forgot to mention above) is that if it falls off the board (or is knocked off by dogs, cats, or your SO) it automatically turns off at that point. . . Very smart!

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  92. After having the same crappy iron for over a decade I bought a new iron just two weeks ago. I love it so much after ditching the old, leaky monster I used to have. However I HATE the auto-off feature. Mine shuts off and beeps loudly at 15 minutes. Sure I guess it's great for safety, but when I'm sewing all the darts in a bodice or pinning a long hem, it's super annoying to hear my iron beeping and then shutting off. UGH

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  93. Yup, everyone has an opinion on this topic! I'm looking up Oliso irons right now!

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  94. In addition to Oliso Pro (which has a 30 minutes auto-off feature), I have found out that the Reliable Velocity irons have a manual shutoff option.

    SueC56

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  95. My iron turns off automatically after about half an hour. This amount of time works pretty well for me, but sometimes I forget it turned off and I get frustrated that my fabric's not pressing!

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  96. I ditched the iron I had with an auto shut-off, and now use a Rowenta Professional Press. Having the iron cold every time I needed it drove me batty.

    My safety solution is to plug the light over the ironing board into the same power strip as the iron, and operate them both by the switch on the strip. If the light is off, the iron is off.

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  97. I had a rowenta for about five months and the auto-off feature went cafooey. It would heat up, but when I tried to use the iron, the auto-off feature kicked in. Apparently, this is a common problem with rowenta irons; my mom had one of hers go bad, too. I hate to say it, but I love my little black and decker I bought as a replacement and it's working out just fine!

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  98. I bought mine without an auto shut-off on purpose. The iron I had before had one and drove me mad. Since I only use it for pressing while sewing, the auto shut off is really not useful to me.

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  99. I've got the Rowenta Master and I absolutely abhor the auto-off. What happens is I'll plug the thing in and wander back to my computer to read an email or something. By the time I remember I was warming up the iron, it's already shut off and gone cool. Restart it. Lather, rinse, repeat, as they say.

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  100. I have a Rowenta Professional iron- no auto shut-off feature. I always unplug my iron after I'm finished using it in case I forgot to turn it off.

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  101. What you said about the gas stove scares me. Its not the flames that are dangerous, its if the flames ever go out and your house fills with gas fumes, it could blow up.

    The idea of an iron that turns itself off kind of scares me. What if it failed? What if I used one, and then went back to the other kind? All theoretical, mine does not have auto-off.

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  102. Oh, I was *just* thinking about this during my latest sewing project. I hate it when I forget that the iron has turned off and go to press a seam, and the iron just spits water everywhere because it cooled down :(

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  103. After all the comments on Oliso I had to google them. Check out the reviews on Amazon. Out of 34 reivews 11 were 1-star with some pretty serious failures/dangers. Yikes. Sounds like a great iron, when it works. I have an okay iron - auto shut off that seems to be long enough. But, I still prefer my mom's 30+ yr old GE. I already got her old sewing machine (which she now misses) - I don't have the heart to ask for her iron too.

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  104. I am late to the stream but wanted to add some info that does not seem to have made it into discussion. My sweet husband, knowing how frustrating I found the on/then/off feature of my iron, ordered a Rowenta especially designed for sewing from our local fabric store. It's called the Rowenta Press and Sew--and it stays on to deliver a great press on call as I sew.

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  105. I have had Rowentas but have had the i300 Reliable steam generator iron for about 2-1/2 years and will not go back. I also purchased the vacuum ironing board by Reliable as a package deal from AllBrands. I absolutely love both. Nope, no automatic shutoff. I hate that feature and the steam I get and the weight of the iron are great features.

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  106. Gee, I just got a Rowenta a few weeks ago. Yes, it has the auto-off feature but it doesn't bother me a lot as it seems to heat up pretty fast. Also, I like the peace of mind of knowing that if I get distracted by the phone or a visitor or need to run out suddenly I dont have to worry about my house catching ablaze because I forgot to unplug the thing! I also insist on the auto-off feature on my curling irons and straighteners too; I'm notoriously bad for failing to unplug those things in the mornings. I had gotten to the point where I was developing an OCD habit of checking to make sure all appliances were off in the mornings making three to four "one last" checks before I could walk out the door. Lol! Auto-off has taken away at least some of that obsession. All in all, I am thrilled with my new Rowenta. After years of purchasing cheaper brands of irons only to have them leak water or worse yet blast rust filled puffs of steam all over my clothes, its nice to have a good reliable iron. I have been very impressed!

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  107. I know that I am REALLY late to this party - but my iron just died and I'm looking for a replacement that has NO AUTO SHUT-OFF and doesn't cost a small fortune!! And I don't want to pay EXTRA because it DOESN'T have a feature. I think it would be REALLY nice if we all simply had a choice - an iron WITH or WITHOUT for those who want/need it or not. Just my two cents - ;))

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  108. Right now I am frustrated as heck because of this feature on my Rowenta, that is how I found your website!!! So, that is the good news. I will subscribe.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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