An Invention Almost Better Than Sliced Bread

It’s been a while since the onset of the specific technology which led to the phrase, “Better than sliced bread”. Since the turn of the century (the 20th century), to be exact. And during the time span between then and now the technological curve has taken a sharp bend and continues to do so today.

Growing up I witnessed very few spectacular inventions. My parents had the same rotary phone for who knows how many years before upgrading to a push button phone and continued to use that same phone for at least 30 years. I used the same black and white television from childhood through my sophomore year in college. Who does that anymore?

So what does all this have to do with sewing and quilting?

Technology and the always changing landscape of new and improved products. Every day – every few hours someone has or is in the process of inventing a better mouse trap.

The better mouse trap I’m speaking of here is the Oliso iTouch Iron.

I’ve been using mine for almost 2 years now and for the most part I have no real complaints. Maybe, except for the color. The gray and white is not bad but I wanted yellow…not a huge big deal.

However, for all its technological advances, the greatest attribute of this iron is safety. The design and functionality have incorporated a special feature called “Auto-Lift Technology” that renders the iron pretty much impossible to burn anything or accidentally tip over.

The iron is never in contact with any surface unless your hand has a firm grasp on the orange dotted sensors placed across the top of the handle.

Grasping the handle automatically lowers the iron onto the ironing surface. Once you remove your hand a set of “Scorch Guards” lower, lifting the hot sole plate off the fabric and will remain in this position until you grasp the handle.

OK, So It’s Safe But Is it Any Good at Ironing?

The short answer: Yes.  This iron also includes the same features you would find in a typical iron found in use in many homes today – a reservoir for water, steam and spray settings, a fabric and temperature selector, and a pointed tip for detailing.

Another nice feature is the light display. When red this alerts you that the iron is off or has automatically shut off after 8 minutes of non use. (There is Pro version of this iron that will remain on for 30 minutes of non use). When the light is green this lets you know the iron is on and ready for use.

If a more traditional ironing experience is preferred the iTouch feature can be switched to the “Off” position. When not in use simply position vertically as you would a traditional iron.

Getting back to safety – even with the iTouch feature turned off, should the iron accidentally knock over into a horizontal position, the scorch guards will automatically engage to lift the sole plate off the fabric.

With these safety features you may be thinking they must have skimped on the remaining attributes or reasons for purchasing an iron in the first place.

Q: What about leakage through the steam outlets from the water reservoir when the scorch guards are engaged?

A: They have that covered. The iTouch iron has a “zero-drip” feature that automatically shuts off steam anytime the scorch guards are extended.

Q: Is there more than one steam option?

A: Actually, there are 3 options for water or steam delivery.

1) A simple spray which is good for removing wrinkles.

2) Burst of Steam – A strong downward steam delivery when temperature is set on the wool/cotton/linen setting.

3) Vertical Steam – Useful for removing wrinkles from curtains or garments oriented in an upright position.

What is Not to Like?

Now that I’ve covered the positive features of this iron it seems only fair to discuss the two items I’ve discovered, so far, that I’m not entirely thrilled with.

The first: The noise. Each time the auto-lift feature is engaged it makes an annoying noise. I don’t quite know exactly how to describe it as it is not terribly loud but it is there. Over time, I’ve learned to tune it out – somewhat – however, there are days when I really don’t care to hear that noise each time, I grasp the handle.

The second is the overall weight of the iron. It isn’t heavy – 3.7# however, I had a much older iron – just an iron with no bells or whistles. It was smaller than the Oliso but significantly heavier. Somehow, the design of this older iron made ironing much easier and quicker. One run over a wrinkle and that was it – gone forever! With this, and every newer iron I’ve owned in between required many runs back and forth before removing a wrinkle.

Overall Verdict

As you can see, the positives far outweigh the only two negatives I have encountered with this wonderful iron. The safety features alone are worth the price of admission!

I would love to hear about your experiences with the Oliso iTouch iron.

There are also so many other great ironing products on the market – let me know your experiences with another type or brand of iron and which brand you prefer!

I’m always on the look out for a better mouse trap!

18 thoughts on “An Invention Almost Better Than Sliced Bread

  1. Beauty In A Maze says:

    This is a definite upgrade from the iron I remember my mom ironing clothes with when I was a kid back in the 90’s. I still remember the smell the steam had when she would sit it up after finishing a section. I personally loved the smell, but I’m pretty sure that iron didn’t have any safety features because my mom would always just tell me to stay away from it so it wouldn’t burn me or fall on my foot. 

    Not only do I love irons, I also love how warm my clothes were during the winter months after they were ironed. With this particular iron in your article, it’s nice to know that they’re still around and that companies realize they need to have safety features. It makes me realize that maybe some companies actually do care about the well-being of consumers and their families. My mom would love this!

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for your comments and a sweet trip down memory lane!  When i discovered this iron I was amazed that they were able to develop this technology yet at the same time I also question why hadn’t they done this sooner?

  2. Sydney says:

    wow this iron seems amazing you mentioned the weight, do you think it’s lightness might make it easier on someone wrist? Sometimes I find that if I’m ironing for a long time I get fatigue in my arms and wrists. Of course my iron is older and heavier and it’s losing its touch on getting wrinkles out easily. I’m in the market for something New 

    • Susan says:

      I would say the weight is definitely a positive factor, as well as the overall ergonomic design.  When I’m making a  quilt I can sometimes spend a lot of time ironing and haven’t noticed the soreness (and sometimes numbness and tingling in my hand or fingers) as I have experienced with my older iron.

  3. Daniel says:

    Great review Susan! I think that every house should have this iron primarily because it is safe for usage which is most important for me. New Year is coming and I think that this would be a great present for my mom, she have one very old iron that is not that good enough. As for the price, it is not expensive because it has so many nice and helpful features.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for your comments!  It is a nice iron and I suppose you do get what you pay for however, it would be nice to see a price drop.  Something to keep an eye out for as it get closer to Christmas!

  4. Leo says:

    This is wonderful, especially the new security feature that turns off the iron when the touch is missing (normally in vertical position). We all have listened different news of iron forgotten in the plug, which have damaged the home (in fire) and set in risk the neighbor one. Thus this feature is more than enough to buy this new technology of iron. Thanks for the post.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for your comments!  

      Your statement about fire hazards and the safety feature is a good point and something to remember when looking at the price tag.  When comparing it to the potential cost of having a fire in your home, it doesn’t seem so expensive!

  5. Florence says:

    I like this iron box ,I have lots of burnt clothes from forgetting to move the iron box when distracted into multitasking . I like that it has a mechanism to keep it from scorching clothes,I also like the fact that they keyed in all the steam issues so it still works like an ordinary steam iron ,I would like to find out how much it costs in comparison to regularly iron boxes ? thanks for sharing.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for your comment!

      I do have to confess that this iron has me a little spoiled.  Just yesterday I was using a “regular” iron at a quilt group and had to keep reminding myself to turn the iron into the vertical position.  I’m so used to just letting go of the handle and iron automatically raising up off the surface. 

      The link I’ve provided takes you to the Oliso website and will show the price there.  However, I would keep an eye out for discounts.  The closer it gets to Christmas the greater the potential for a drop in the price!

  6. Barry says:

    Hello there. Hope you are having a good time with the season and happy Thanksgiving to you. Thank you for sharing this useful information regarding the Oliso iTouch iron. I think this product is awesome. In my years of ironing experience, I have not seen any iron with such a feature. To me, the cons are not issues at all.

    • Susan says:

      In all reality, the only significant con (which I didn’t mention in the post) is the price but even that outweighs the safety features!

      Thank you for your comment and wishing you a happy Thanksgiving as well!

  7. Danny says:

    This looks like a really solid and reliable product; thanks for sharing! I had a look at the price point and it’s pretty high; do you think this is more than justified by the overall quality of the product? How long will this last? Sorry if you’ve already addressed this comment at any point! I notice as well that the description is of a ‘sewing’ Iron; how does this differ from a regular one? Is there any difference? Thanks again.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Danny,

      I do agree, this is a solid and so far, reliable product and yes, it is priced rather high.  That is the one aspect I wish the company would improve upon.  

      I’ve had mine somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 years and have never any problem with it whatsoever.  I have a friend who is still using hers after 5 years.  This iron hasn’t been on the market too terribly long – maybe since 2010?  (Something else for me to research!) so I’m not able to comment on it’s longevity beyond this 8 – 9 year time span. 

      Regarding the difference between a “sewing” iron and a regular one – my guess it is again the automatic lift technology.  For those who do a lot of sewing and quilting this auto lift feature is a huge time saver!

  8. Vicki says:

    How amazing. My friend who does a lot of quilting really godd do with one of these irons as they sound so great from what I have read here so I will give her your link so she can do some shopping 🙂

    So great to see how technology has improved irons especially for type of work and good on you for this great article explaining everything so well

    • Susan says:

      Hi Vicki!

      Thank you so much for your comment!  

      This is one invention that has taken it’s sweet time making an appearance!  If your friend does decide to buy I don’t think she will be disappointed!

  9. Stephen says:

    What a technology, Susan, wow! I mean I have used different irons since i was born into this 20 century, I have never come across an iron of this sort with all these technological advancement. The Auto-Lift Technology is still surprising to me since i have not used such an iron in my life. This is real safety indeed. Not like the irons I used to have some years ago that will burn your clothes if you make least mistake.

    I have one which even though doesn’t burn my dresses, I don’tr like the way it is. I often find it a challenge using it to iron my while cloth since it dirty them more often. This Auto-Lift Technology is just amazing to me. It is indeed a great improvement in technology as far as irons are concern. I’m just thinking about how to get one for myself. I surely need to include this in my budget because I need to get this Oliso iTouch Iron.

    I wish all companies who make irons incorporate this technology into their design, thereby making our irons very safe for use. Nevertheless, as I said, I’m surely going to add this to my budget and get one for myself. 

    thanks a lot for sharing this useful information. It was good i read this article. You opened my eyes to something new I have never come across in my life.

    Stephen.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m so happy you found this information useful!

      I too have used many irons in my lifetime and I have to admit there was one I used in the mid 1970’s that was my all time favorite.  Nothing fancy – just a simple iron you plug in, turn on and turn off.  If GE could resurrect that same iron and add the auto-lift technology (and lowered the price!) I would be buying that as well!

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