Trib tested: Panasonic 360-Degree Freestyle Cordless Iron |

Trib tested: Panasonic 360-Degree Freestyle Cordless Iron

There’s nothing like the feel of a crisp, freshly-pressed, starched cotton shirt. But it takes a special appliance to get things just right. When my last iron died, it took three purchases before I found the right successor. The man who profits from my stress release obsession with the ironing board says that alone should speak to expertise or insanity.

The new Panasonic 360 Freestyle cordless iron was this expert’s dream machine. Rather than having a flat end on the soleplate, it’s football-shaped. That makes for fewer inadvertent creases at sleeve seams. Of course, the shape means you can’t stand it up while repositioning a garment. Instead, you must place it in a heating cradle. The upside is the plate, which has a retractable cord can be turned around so it works equally well for the world’s left-handed steam fiends.

Although this new iron weighs about half as much as my iron, it seems to function better. It is indeed dripless and works reasonably well as a vertical steamer for light jobs. No question, I’d be happy to have this iron in my laundry room.

— Deb Erdley

Tom Sawyer would have loved the Panasonic 360-Degree Freestyle Cordless Iron.

It’s not only easy to use, but it borders on making ironing fun. Picture Mark Twain’s fictional character getting friends to iron his clothes just as easily as he got Huck Finn to whitewash that fence.

First advantage: It’s cordless, allowing you to set up the ironing board on the back porch or any other remote spot. Second, the iron base is shaped like a football; it’s easy to maneuver through tight corners. Third, the non-stick surface — called Dimple Magic — makes ironing effortless over any type of fabric.

There are plenty of other bells and whistles: A spray mist, that, as advertised, helps eliminate wrinkles; two steam settings for heavy and light fabrics; and a function that shuts off the iron when it is left unattended for 10 minutes or more.

— Rege Behe

The shape of irons hasn’t changed much since Great Great Grandma set those heavy irons — made of iron — on the stovetop to heat. It’s such a basic recognizable shape, an iron even takes a spot as a Monopoly piece. So, if you consider history-making design a big deal, you’ll want to celebrate the new Panasonic 360-degree Freestyle Cordless Iron, which offers many helpful innovations.

This smaller-sized, lightweight iron is pointy on both ends, making it easier than ever to back into pleats or ease around collars. As a steam iron, it offers a push button of extra blasts for stubborn wrinkles — and works well as a steamer using it in an upright position. I tried it as a steamer on a closet-crushed wool blazer, which was freshened and smooth in minutes. As a steam iron, I attacked one of my all-cotton shirts that I usually blast with spray starch to try to tame into submission. To really challenge the new Panasonic, I skipped the starch crutch completely and was happy with the results. The iron moves amazingly smoothly over fabrics.

Other pluses: The water tank is clear plastic so you can see exactly how much — or little — water remains. Press the release button, and it’s removable for easy filling. Being cordless keeps a trailing cord from undoing your work. And the heating base has a retractable power cord, which means packing it up — into its own handy case, no less! — is simple.

I usually don’t get this excited by small appliances, but this one is truly special.

— Sally Quinn

Additional Information:

Panasonic 360-Degree Freestyle Cordless Iron

The claim: Panasonic’s new iron is faster, lighter and easier to use with a double-pointed soleplate that smooths wrinkles in all directions. And with the 360-degree Freestyle, you can smooth wrinkles while moving your arm naturally in all directions. It features a detachable water tank for easy refilling. The iron also can be used vertically as a light steamer.

Cost : $99

Where : Online

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