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Waxing irons

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Svend:
Hey Guys,

My waxing iron is getting cranky with old age.  Can't seem to keep a stable temperature, and I'm never sure if the number on the dial is anywhere near what I'm getting at the baseplate.   It's not an expensive one, so I am happy it lasted this long.  I am looking at getting a high quality one, thicker baseplate perhaps digital. 

Does anyone have a recommendation?

Is there any advantage to digital over standard? More stable temperature? More narrow temp. band? More accurate?

Looking forward to hearing back.  Thanks in advance.

HighAngles:
I have the U.S. version of this Wintersteiger one: http://www.tognar.com/tognar-tank-wax-iron-230v-eu-au-nz/



It has a nice thick base, but heats up fairly quickly.  Good stable temp control through an active thermostat control.  IMHO you don't need to go digital unless you're really anal about ensuring that the iron is at a very specific temp.  Not sure where you might find the U.S. version, but you might try Racewerks or Artech Ski.

Svend:
Thanks -- I'll check around for that one.  It may be that this iron is marketed under a different brand name, with just a different colour body.  I've seen that with other irons, my KUU included. 

And thanks for the feedback about digital.  I kind of thought as much, and that a standard dial control would be fine, as long as the thermostat inside was a good one.

Update:  found the 120V version of the Wintersteiger at Racewax.com.  Very reasonable price, too. 

dan.boisvert:
I use this one: http://www.artechski.com/Swix-Performance-Wax-Iron-T73-6303.aspx#.UQCPneg1qX0

I had the Wintersteiger one HA uses, and had worse luck with it than he seems to have.  I gave mine away pretty quickly so I'd have an excuse to replace it.  I found that the base plate wasn't thick enough to melt hard waxes evenly.  I'd get 1/3 down the ski, the thing would stop melting wax, and I'd have to wait for it to get back up to temp to continue.  Since a motionless iron is bad juju, it made for a lot of aggravation for me.

The Swix T73 I have now has a thicker base and tighter temp regulation, so it'll keep melting wax down the entire ski with no problem.  The only things I'm not wild about with it are the handle and the base plate bevel.  The handle curve isn't symmetrical, so it can be tough to find the balance point sometimes.  The base comes from the factory a bit concave, which I think is intended to trap a pocket of wax, but I found it aggravating in use on alpine skis.  Sanding it flat made it work a lot better.

If my T73 ever dies, I'm replacing it with the Holmenkol digital one with the cork handle.  It's stupidly expensive, but I used one at a shop in NH, and it didn't annoy me at all; it just worked exactly like I thought a wax iron should work--nice handle, great temp regulation, thick base that spreads wax well, etc.  I figure the extra $200 is worth it for so much less aggravation over the lifetime of the product..  :D

Svend:
The Holmenkol list price is darn high, but some online sites are selling it for less than $200.  I'd be happy to pay this for a quality tool that I use weekly. 

Check out Boulder Nordic Sport:  https://www.bouldernordicsport.com/shop/p-649-holmenkol-digital-wax-iron-110v.aspx  I assume that's the one you mean?

Funny you should mention hard wax and poor iron performance -- that's what finally made me decide to chuck my old KUU.  The recent cold spell has me applying hard wax, and the iron just did a miserable job of it.

Good comment on the concave base plates -- I'll stay away from those.  Grooved ones make more sense, and I like the concept of the Wintersteiger in that the curved sides help to channel the wax in toward the base and away from the edges.  Smart.

Thanks Dan.

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