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Black+Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel Review

This affordable iron is a bit leaky and has awkward handling characteristics, but it has high heat, great steam, and a clever retracting cord design
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Black+Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel Review
Credit: Black+Decker
Price:  $40 List
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Manufacturer:   Black+Decker
By Rachael Lamore and Adam Stout  ⋅  Mar 13, 2024
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 14
  • Ironing Performance - 40% 7.8
  • Steam Output - 25% 6.5
  • Heating - 15% 6.9
  • Detailing - 10% 3.7
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5.2

Our Verdict

We appreciate the Black+Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel's high heat capability and powerful steaming abilities. If you're mostly ironing cotton, linen, or polyester, this iron could be a great choice. However, it struggled with silk and satin fabrics, and we had mixed feelings about its ergonomics. The retractable cord is a convenient touch for storage, but it's also a bit short, and its positioning is detrimental to the iron's handling and maneuverability. We also noted a fair amount of water leakage with this product, and we didn't find its handle design and button placement to be very ergonomic. Be sure to see how this iron stacked up against the others in our best clothes iron review.
REASONS TO BUY
Powerful steam bursts
Very affordable
Convenient retractable cord
REASONS TO AVOID
Leaky
Short cord
Poor maneuverability

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line This budget-friendly iron suffers from awkward handling and leaks a bit, but it compensates with its impressive heat and steam capabilities and convenient retracting cordA little clunky, but an impressive iron overall, with strong steam performanceAn iron that easily tackles most wrinkles quickly and efficiently regardless of the materialGood ironing performance and detailing work, but uneven heating keeps this iron from being even betterPortable for traveling, but lacks the punch needed for regular use
Rating Categories Black+Decker Vitess... Hamilton Beach Dura... Black+Decker D3030... Black+Decker Profes... Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Ironing Performance (40%)
7.8
7.4
8.3
7.8
6.8
Steam Output (25%)
6.5
9.5
5.6
5.5
3.0
Heating (15%)
6.9
7.5
7.2
6.7
9.5
Detailing (10%)
3.7
5.8
7.9
7.9
5.6
Ease of Use (10%)
5.2
7.0
7.0
6.5
4.7
Specs Black+Decker Vitess... Hamilton Beach Dura... Black+Decker D3030... Black+Decker Profes... Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Measured Steam Output 111 g 196 g 87 g 82 g 12 g
Measured Average Temperature 298 °F 309 °F 304 °F 293 °F 347 °F
Number of Steam Holes 26 192 23 18 7
Wattage 1200W 1500W 1600W 1500W 800W
Weight 2.6 lbs 3.4 Ibs 1.9 lbs 2.1 Ibs 1.3 lbs
Cord Length 7.6' 8.1' 8' 9' 8'
Soleplate Material Non-stick Non-stick Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Non-Stick

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


One of the Vitessa's defining features is its retractable cord reel. It's great for storage, but the cord is a bit short.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Ironing Performance


Testing for this metric was conducted by using the iron on a variety of fabrics and scoring its performance on each of them. Those fabrics were cotton, linen, silk/satin, and polyester. The Black+Decker Vitessa did respectably well overall, with superior performance on linen and polyester but the lowest performance of the test cohort on silk and satin.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - the entire soleplate on the vitessa reached 300 degrees and over...
The entire soleplate on the Vitessa reached 300 degrees and over after a few minutes.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Our first test material was cotton, where irons are usually used on their highest temperature setting. Running this iron across the fabric, we immediately noticed that it felt hot, with heat radiating off it. This was also where we first noticed that the retracting cord on the Vitessa, although an excellent idea, is short and sometimes gets in the way when maneuvering around the board. The Vitessa could smooth out nearly all of the wrinkles on cotton, but it stalled out on one stubborn deep wrinkle we set up for these tests, which hardly any iron could remove.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - the vitessa is one of the top performers for ironing polyester.
The Vitessa is one of the top performers for ironing polyester.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

As we mentioned, this iron's performance on linen and polyester was fantastic. We were able to smooth out our linen test sheet in around three passes, and we were able to clear up the notoriously stubborn polyester in around a dozen passes, which made the Vitessa one of the top performers for ironing polyester.

The Black+Decker Vitessa's middling performance on silk and satin materials dragged down its overall score in this metric as it did with many other irons. With over a dozen passes of the Vitessa, we only saw a 60% improvement in the smoothing out of our wrinkly silk and satin materials. As we kept ironing, we could feel the plate start to catch and stick to the fabric; however, using the steam function did make working with silk better overall.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - the vitessa was one of the leakier irons we encountered throughout...
The Vitessa was one of the leakier irons we encountered throughout our testing.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Steam Ouput


To evaluate steam output, we fully filled each iron's tank, weighed it, preheated it for three minutes to bring it to temp, and then ironed with it for two minutes using the steam function. Afterward, we reweighed the iron to calculate grams of water converted to steam per minute. We abstained from using steam burst functions that would skew results. The Vitessa scored in the above-average range in this test, but we noticed it leaks a bit of water, which skews its result.

The Vitessa's initial mass when full of water was 1514.9 grams, and 1403.7 after the three-minute preheat and two minutes of ironing. That would be a total of 111 grams of steam produced.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - logging the soleplate temperatures on the black+decker vitessa...
Logging the soleplate temperatures on the Black+Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel.
Credit: Rachael Lamore

Heating


To test heat output, we set the iron's heating element at its highest temperature and allowed it five minutes to warm up before taking readings from four temperature probes connected from the iron's soleplate at the top, bottom, middle-left, and middle-right. The Black+Decker Vitessa scored an average temperature of 298 degrees Fahrenheit, with its highest concentration of heat coming from the middle-right probe and its lowest heat coming from the bottom at 274 degrees.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - soleplate temperature logger reading of the black+decker vitessa.
Soleplate temperature logger reading of the Black+Decker Vitessa.
Credit: Rachael Lamore

Detailing


This metric measures the iron's prowess at detail work like ironing around buttons, creating specific shapes, like pleats, and how it glided and handled on the fabric. Things like weight and handle ergonomics also came into play here. The Black+Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel wasn't an exceptional performer in these tests.

The Vitessa weighs in at 2.6 pounds, placing it near the middle of the pack for heft, but our main complaints are that it doesn't feel as balanced for good handling as others, and it leaks a little water. The cord coming off the side instead of the rear causes some issues with turning the iron in certain directions. We also noted a slick handle and somewhat awkwardly placed buttons, which can lead to accidental inputs. However, we did come to appreciate this iron's narrow design and the thin plate lip that make getting under buttons a breeze.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - the black+decker vitessa's thin soleplate and narrow tip made...
The Black+Decker Vitessa's thin soleplate and narrow tip made ironing around buttons easy.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Ease of Use


This metric evaluates a few different areas, which include cord design, ease of water filling, temperature indicator, and quality of the water spray mechanism. Altogether, the Black+Decker Vitessa came in near the bottom of the group in these tests.

As we've mentioned, this unit's retracting cord is a neat feature until it isn't. Throughout our testing, we felt limited by its length and maneuverability, especially when turning the iron, because the cord comes off the right side of the iron instead of the rear. We also dinged it a few points for having a less than ideal fill port that is so narrow that a lot of water splashes off the side of it during refills at the faucet. The max fill line is slanted and a bit confusing to understand as well.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - a slick handle material and oversized buttons make accidental...
A slick handle material and oversized buttons make accidental presses too frequent on the Vitessa.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

As to the temperature indicator, the Black+Decker Vitessa features a light that turns on solid when it's plugged in and begins blinking to indicate it will turn off soon if left upright and unused. It includes a dial for different settings, with a chart on the machine correlating each setting to fabric types, making it easy to use and read. However, there's no clear indication of when it's fully heated, leaving users to gauge readiness based on the solid light being on for a few minutes.

The Vitessa can produce a powerful burst of steam with a tight cloud formation around the iron, and it's capable of delivering multiple bursts consecutively. However, the steaming effect is somewhat limited. The spray function produces a clumped spray of water that doesn't evenly cover a wide area of fabric and tends to make the fabric excessively wet during ironing. Using the spray function also resulted in water stains on the satin fabrics.

black+decker vitessa advanced cord reel - the placement and shortness of the vitessa's retractable cord made...
The placement and shortness of the Vitessa's retractable cord made maneuverability an issue.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Should You Buy the Black + Decker Vitessa Advanced Cord Reel?


If you value the convenience of its retractable cord and you'll primarily be using it to iron cotton, linen, or polyester, this is a great fit. However, it falls short in many other areas. This is not a particularly great iron with regard to ergonomics, and we didn't find it well-optimized for some detailing tasks.

What Other Iron Should You Consider?


If you were drawn to the Vitessa for its retractable cord, you might enjoy a cordless model like the Panasonic Cordless Advanced Ceramic. If you want something capable of greater detailing chores, check out the Rowenta Pro Master DW8360.

Rachael Lamore and Adam Stout