This is my first fancy flat iron. I've had a few cheapies and thought that they were all created equal... but was I wrong! There is no comparison and I will never go back. My first amazement is how soft my hair is after I use it to flatten my hair. My old one made the ends of my hair brittle and prickly. I have pretty coarse asian hair, so I thought this was just the way my hair is naturally after straightening. After one use of the Amika flat iron, my hair is smooth and soft. The floating plates keep from pulling my hair too much but keep a good grip to either flatten or curl my hair. Also the Amika styler's top tip doesn't get so hot where you can't hold it to get an extra grip. My other ones got too hot to handle sometimes. I'll definitely be using this for many different styles from curls to pin straight to waves.