The CHI Professional is a top-notch iron that was closely edged out by the Rowenta DW5080 Focus in our tests. It eliminated stubborn wrinkles across a variety of materials and was among the best models because of its high steam output and fast heating. The interface is easy to navigate and well-suited for all types of ironing, from large sheets of fabric to intricate garments. It has a lower list price than the Focus but if you find them for comparable retail prices we recommend going with the Rowenta, though neither disappoints.
CHI Professional Review
Pros: Rapid heating, good steam output, smooth glide
Cons: Difficult to fill
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|Pros||Rapid heating, good steam output, smooth glide||Great glide, steam output, precise||Great steam output, glide, precise||Decent steam output and ironing performance||Decent glide|
|Cons||Difficult to fill||Expensive||Very expensive||Doesn't excel in any particular aspect||Low steam output|
|Bottom Line||A great choice if you're willing to spend extra, but not top dollar||The clear choice for quilters, sewers, and sharp dressers that demand high performance||A top notch model for anyone that demands high end performance||A reasonable performer at a relatively low price, but there are better budget options out there||Has a maneuverable soleplate, but lacks a bit of steam power|
|Rating Categories||CHI Professional||Rowenta DW5080 Focus||Rowenta DW7180...||Black & Decker D2030||Ultimate...|
|Ironing Performance (30%)|
|Steam Output (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||CHI Professional||Rowenta DW5080 Focus||Rowenta DW7180...||Black & Decker D2030||Ultimate...|
|Soleplate||Non-Stick/Ceramic||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Steam Output Test||35 g/min||38 g/min||29 g/min||24 g/min||19 g/min|
|Temperature After Two Minutes of Heating (degrees F)||440||400||430||420||390|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We were impressed with the CHI's ability to eliminate stubborn wrinkles across a variety of materials. It earned an 8 out of 10 in this metric and was a runner-up to the Editors' Choice Rowenta DW5080 Focus. Its soleplate is comparably pointed towards its tip and the main body is narrower than that of both Rowenta models. We didn't notice much of a difference when using these models side-by-side. The CHI was especially effective at ironing linen and cotton, where its high temperature and steam output leveled any wrinkle we threw at it.
The CHI Professional had one of the highest steam outputs in our tests, with a measured output of 35 g/min. We experienced minimal water leakage through the steam holes and found it to consistently put out plenty of steam. The steam bursts are powerful but not as intense as those of the Rowenta Focus. This wasn't much of a drawback and we never felt that the CHI was short on steam.
Ease of Use
The controls of the CHI are almost identical to those of both Rowenta models, with steam burst and spray buttons under your thumb and a dial to control temperature and steam output. Our testers found it easy to inadvertently hit the steam adjustment dial, which was slightly annoying. Overall it has a great interface that is easy to adjust for a wide variety of materials. The hole for filling the iron with water is large but doesn't have much space around it so we typically spilled some water every time we filled it up.
One thing that we miss on the CHI is an indicator light to show when the iron is properly warmed up for use. The instruction manual says to let the iron preheat for two minutes after plugging it in. After two minutes it was always ready to go, regardless of which temperature setting we put it to.
The CHI Professional heats up faster and more intensely than any other iron in our review. In our tests, it beat out both Rowenta models by reaching a temperature of 440 degrees F in two minutes. Even though there is no temperature indicator to show when the iron is ready, its rapid heating made the CHI one of the most convenient irons in our review.
With a list price of $70, the CHI is more affordable than most of the other high-end models that we tested. Its features match those of irons that list for over $100. If you can find the Rowenta Focus on sale for less than $70 then that is a better deal given its performance but we think that the CHI is a noteworthy runner-up to the more expensive Rowenta models.
If you're looking for a high-quality iron but don't want to spend quite as much as you would on a Rowenta model, then the CHI Professional is a good option. The Rowenta Focus typically retails for a comparable price so we advise buying that if it's on sale. Ultimately the CHI is up for any ironing task you have and it is a versatile top performer.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata