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Fold Down Rotary Iron : How to choose, What to buy

Updated on November 15, 2016
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John uses his scientific & research skills (PhD) to develop and test reliable 'how to' guides and reviews about technology, equipment, apps

Tired of all the hassles and discomfort of the pile of washing that needs ironing? Well now you can sit down, relax and iron in comfort and at great speed with a new or used the fold down rotary iron. This is one appliance that you have done without for too long. It is so easy to use with a wide roller that you can easily to use to press a wide range of items from pants to shirts, curtains, tablecloths and bed linen, all with a crisp, even and very professional finish.

The roller temperature is thermostatically controlled and the unit heats up in a couple of minutes and maintains its temperature under all sorts of loads. The roller speed can be adjusted electronically to suit the type of laundry being pressed and to suit your own personal working speed. Most units are operated using a foot pedal, which allows you to sit and relax while you iron. Any adjustments can be made very easily and simply

Open End Design
Open End Design
Commercial Unit
Commercial Unit

How to Choose a Fold Down Rotary Iron

The first question is whether you want a rotary iron for commercial use or for use at home. Models specifically designed for home use are available and yo may want to choose a second-hand commercial model if you have a large family or you are running a bed and breakfast business wen there is a lot of ironing to do. Having your own unit will save you money in the long run.

How do you decide what size rotary iron to buy? How to Choose a suitable model?

Width of the Iron - The first thing to consider is the width of the largest items that you need to iron on a regular basis. This will determine the width of the iron you will need to do the job.

Amount of Ironing Needing to be Done - Obviously if you have 10 large sheets to wash once or twice a week then you will only need a moderate capacity unit. But if you need to iron 50-100 large size sheets every day you will need an iron with a larger capacity

Wet or Dry Washing - If you intend to take washing that is wet, coming straight from the washer spin cycle (with about 50% water content), you will need an iron that can deal with this. This will require a double roll iron with a hot bed between the rollers to dry the sheets as they pass through the unit. Tumbled dried laundry can be pressed with a smaller unit that does not ave the extra heating capacity.

Variable Speed - Look for a unit that has a variable speed controller so that you can easily adjust the speed for you own preference and for the particular items being ironed.

Heating bed steel or aluminium, and thermostat - Aluminium is preferred becausesteel can rust and also develop hot spots. Check that the heater unit is large enough to handle the amount of ironing you need to do and that the thermostat control is efficient?

Safety Features - Look carefully at the safety features - Make sure that the iron has a full length safety bar that you can use to instantly stop the machine and lift the roller up if fingers get trapped in it. Also check that the unit has a hot plate emergency cut-out switch that instantly shuts the unit down?

All Controls are Simple to Use and Easy to Understand - Make sure that the controls are simple and easy to use.

Comprehensive Warranty, Read the Reviews, Try before you Buy - Check the details of the warranty to see what is and is not covered. Read the reviews and if possible find someone who has the model you like and get a review from them and try it for yourself.

How to Choose a Fold Down Rotary Iron for Use at Home

The example chosen is the Miele rotary iron, which is the most popular one for home use. The Miele rotary iron is very easy to use, and has a wide roller. It can be used to professionally and quickly press everything from pants and shirts, to sheets and other bed linen, curtains and tablecloths.

Professional results - Look for a unit that has a versatile operation and that is easy and comfortable to use, with good safety features.

Wide width roller - Choose a unit with a wide roller width that allows you to press everything from shirts to tablecloths.

Choose a unit with an Open end Design - This is very useful for ironing items with awkward shapes such as blouses and shirts. With the open end design these items can be passed over the open end without being folded, which makes the job easier.

Easy folding - Make sure that the pressed items are automatically fed onto the laundry shelf beneath the roller in even, and soft folds. Also ensure that there is plenty of space between the roller and shelf to allow for large items to be pressed and softly folded.

Comfortable ironing position with lots of leg room - Make sure that the unit if comfortable to use.

Foot Pedal Controls - Make sure that when the foot pedal is pressed the heater plate contacts the roller and the rotation is started. This is important because it means that both your hands are free to help feed the laundry smoothly and precisely into the machine. It is also important that the roller can be rotated by hand when feeding in laundry. this provides extra controls when starting larger items that need to be kept square.

Safety Features - Make sure that the unit is fitted with an automatic finger guard device that will activate a safety switch will stop the roller turning and easily allow the heater plate to be lifted off the roller. Make sure the unit is fitted with an emergency stop button and that it is easily accessible

Variable roller speed Controller - Make sure that the roller speed can be fully adjusted for the type of laundry being pressed and the speed that the operator likes when ironing.

Fold Away Design - Check that the unit cane easily folded away and set up again. Also check that the unit is easily moved when folded. (Transportation wheels are fitted).

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© 2012 Dr. John Anderson


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  • mactavers profile image

    mactavers 5 years ago

    Interesting Hub. My grandmother used a mangle to iron sheets and towels in the day when fabrics were mostly cotton. From the prices listed for the new rotary irons, at roughly $2,000, most buyers would need to have a commercial use to justify the cost over the purchase of an ordinary iron.

  • diogenes profile image

    diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

    Useful hub. But do people still iron? I bought a brand new steamer 2 years ago and an ironing table and haven't switched it on yet!

    All blue jeans and cotton tops.