Well... the Sultra Bombshell is actually much smaller and lighter than the Hot Tools one! That must count for something in itself. It looks so simple though, with only one temperature setting - you literally can only switch it on or off (it heats up super fast though). I was a little skeptical, but after my awesome experience with my Ghd flat iron which also only has on/off yet works like magic - I was willing to give this a chance to prove itself too.
I had never used a clipless iron before, so the very first time was a bit awkward. I watched some YouTube videos beforehand, which seemed easy enough - just get a strand of hair and wrap it around the iron, hold in place for 5 seconds or so and let go. But some of my curls still came out kinky the first time. I wore the glove that came with the iron, but it made my hand so hot and I wasn't really able to get a good gage of how much hair I had left that was uncurled. So I ditched it the second time and every time after that. I actually find it much easier without the glove. Just have to be careful not to touch the iron and burn my hand.
The learning curve was rather short. My second time was much better than first time already! I find that with the Sultra Bombshell, the curls come out looking more like beachy waves rather than prim-and-proper curls, which is exactly what I like. The best part is that the curls stay curled pretty much until I wash my hair, and I don't have to use any hairspray or other hair products at all! If I curl my hair the night before and sleep on it, they still look good the next morning. Sure they will relax a little, but there is no need for touch-ups. I think my old Hot Tools iron worked well in the beginning. But as it aged, I found that I had to put hairspray in my hair after curling, or else the curls would fall out within a couple hours. The Sultra Bombshell has many really good reviews, and considering the price tag, I hope it will last this way for years!
This is what it looks like right after using it, so the curls here are as tight as it gets:
I got mine from Sephora when they sent me a 15% off coupon, so it knocked off a few bucks. I've been using it at least once a week for the past couple months, and have no complaints so far! I hope this turns out to be a good long term investment!