My first real love of the hair appliance kind. I love, love, love this thing and I've had it since 2003. I still remember... it was my first ever eBay purchase and I panicked because I'd hit "pay" twice (by accident.. or was it anxiety?) and thought I'd committed to 2 of them. Not that it would have been a bad thing... I'm a twin and I actually have a "thing" about twos, but it was not my intention and the seller was a gem and fixed the problem, probably realizing I was another "newbie"... and took pity on me, haha!
So yes, I adore thing thing. Having long hair, the 1 1/4" plates seemed like a smarter choice than 1" and after trying a 1", I do prefer a 1 1/4". It still does bangs, flips, curls, whatever you want. I love that the plates are floating (they aren't fixed, but they gently rock a bit when you press on them) so they "fit" together better. Mind you, these fit together "dead perfectly". (Excuse the bad English...). One end of the plates doesn't touch while the other end is still "open". I love how well this is made. The edges are nicely rounded so those flips and curls are easy and I've never had this snag my hair. Having blonde hair also meant I preferred a variable heat setting since blonde hair is more fragile than darker hair. Owning a CHI with no temp. control was just out of the question. Results are always shiny smooth hair. Don't forget to use heat protectant!
The following comments are in regards to how well it's made and some care tips:
This thing is hardy! I dropped it in the sink (you know how those stupid bathroom cupboard knobs can catch the cord and pull it from your grip?? It was either catch a hot iron with my bare hands or... you know the rest!) Well, one of the plates fell out and was hanging by wires! I thought it was finished, but the plates still worked! I eventually discovered a glue that worked on cooking pots & pans, car parts, etc...and lo and behold, flat irons! IF you ever have a casualty where the plate falls out of your flatiron but it still works, get yourself to a hardware store and ask for this glue called "JB Weld". It will not only glue your iron back together, but it withstands up to 550 degrees F. (You're welcome!) It might smell a little the first few times you warm it up again but it does go away over time.
So yes, I still use this 11 year old iron! Even after owning a T3 Flat iron that died out of the blue for no good reason... after the warranty of course, and even though I still have an FHI Platform (which is also very good), this one is still my baby.
Some words on cleaning. I find the best way to keep it clean is to clean it after every use. I typically let it cool a little and while it's till warm, I wipe with a damp towel. I always use a heat protectant and as you know, stuff builds up on the plates. if it's hardened on and the iron is cold, I'll use a paper towel dampened with alcohol and add sprinkle of baking soda which should gently help scrub the baked on gunk without damaging the coating on the plates. (Don't, however, use alcohol to clean the rest of the iron, unless you don't mind removing the logo/letting. I found that out the hard way. A spritz of Windex on a paper towel helps clean hair product off the rest of the iron without removing the lettering.)
Definitely one of the best investments I've ever made. :)