Nobody likes ironing. It is a chore that some would rather pay to avoid. But if you tally up your dry cleaning charges, perhaps it will give you the motivation to do things yourself. If ironing is a pain, that is where a steam press might help. The SteamFast SF-680 is a popular steam press that could potentially help you to save time ironing as well as your laundry bill. But does it? Let’s see in this review.
SteamFast SF-680 Digital Fabric Steam Press Review
The features of the SF-680 include:
- Nonstick pressing plate
- Stainless steel body
- Digital controls
- Auto shut-off
- Steam burst
- Size: 8.19″ (H) x 25.59″ (D) x 21.38″ (W)
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The SteamFast SF-680 is a table top steam press for varied types of fabrics. You can control the temperature or fabric settings via a digital panel with nylon, silk, wool and linen options available. The pressing plate is a nonstick Teflon surface, so it does not stick and ruin your garments.
For stubborn wrinkles, you can spray water onto the wrinkled spot or activate the steam burst function. The button is at the side of the handle and pressing it once will release a burst of steam onto the fabric to relax the fibers to smooth out wrinkles and freshen clothes. The tank can hold about 10 ounces of water and the unit has a dual vaporizing method to reduce moisture when steaming. Distilled water is recommended to be used.
There is an On/Off switch with the unit with a red indicator light on the control panel to let you know when the unit is powered up. You will also know when the pressing plate is heating up by checking for a green light while the steam burst is ready for use when a yellow light illuminates on the digital display panel.
The SteamFast SF-680 also has an auto shut-off function for safety. If the pressing plate is closed, the heater will shut down in 10 seconds. You will need to lift the plate back up to restore the heater functionality. If the pressing plate is left lifted up for 15 minutes, then the auto shut-off will also kick in and power to the heater will be cut off. Resetting the On/Off switch or pressing the temperature control buttons will regain functionality of the unit.
The cord length is about 6.6 feet and the unit weighs close to 21.5 lbs. It is not too heavy to move it around and there is a knob at the top to lock the pressing plate and ironing board together for easier moving and storage.
Should You Buy The SteamFast SF-680 Steam Press?
- Simple digital controls – The digital controls is easy and intuitive to use. It is simply a matter of pressing the left and right buttons to get to the desired temperature level.
- Saves time ironing – The pressing area of the SF-680 is about 9 times larger than the soleplate of a conventional iron. Once you get used to pressing, you would probably be able to cut down on your ironing time by half. Ironing large items like bed sheets and table cloths is definitely faster too with a steam press.
- Hot – The pressing plate of the SteamFast SF-680 is hot enough to produce crisp-looking clothes. The wrinkles are also easily taken care of with the steam burst or water spray.
- Price – The price is not too expensive for this unit. You can get it for about $250 at the time of review, about $30 cheaper than the popular Singer ESP-2 although the prices do fluctuate. The price is also not much higher than what you would pay for a quality steam station such as the Rowenta DG8430. (Note: We have since seen the Singer ESP-2 being sold for less than the Steam Fast SF-680 at times.)
- Takes time to heat up – The SteamFast SF-680 takes a few minutes to heat up, much longer than your regular iron. For instance, you can get the Oliso TG1100 to heat up in a minute but you won’t enjoy the same speed with this steam press. So, an iron may still be faster to set up and use for those rush jobs in the morning before work.
- Opening can be wider – The pressing plate opens up at an angle. This opening can be wider because some users have complained that they have the tendency to hit their hands against the hot pressing plate when adjusting their garments on the board.
- Slow steam burst function – A few users have noted that the steam burst needs a while to regain its functionality after each use. So, if you are super quick in re-adjusting your garments, you might need to wait before the steam burst is ready for use again.
The SteamFast SF-680 is not commercial presser and hence, you do need to check the measurements before you buy. Some people have found it to be a tad too small as the pressing area cannot fully accommodate their shirts and pants. Men’s clothes, especially, may be too big for the board and hence, what can be done with one press with a larger steam press like the Sienna Empressa will require twice the action with the SteamFast SF-680.
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However, if the size fits, it is hard to find a major fault with the SteamFast SF-680. It is reliable and works nicely to give you professional results for your clothes. The price is fair and although more expensive than regular irons, you will cut down drastically on your ironing time and there is no more frustration over leaky irons. To us, this seems like a fair trade-off indeed, given the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews for the SF-680 steam press.