Though a domestic clothes iron (new or used) may be a less expensive option, the damage it can cause due to wide temperature swings can end up costing you. A good wax iron only fluctuates about 4-8 degrees Celsius when waxing. A clothing or small travel iron can fluctuate up to 30 degrees Celsius. The wild swing can easily generate scorching temperatures that burn bases or damage your gear.
Choose an iron with
- a minimum wattage of 800 W, and
- a thick (one-third to one-half inch) sole plate with no holes.
If your iron isn't calibrated, what you dial in may not be the exact temperature of the iron. Use these numbers as a guide and adjust down to the lowest temperature that will maintain the wax in a liquid state at a length of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) behind your iron. Using your judgement is always preferred to relying on the dial setting.