I can't tell you how important my kettle is to me. I rely on it almost hourly when at home to supply me with sustenance in the form of tea and coffee. Much the same as the TV is the focal point of the lounge, the kettle is very much the focal point of the kitchen (for me anyway). If it was possible, I would have everything else in the kitchen arcing around it as it sat proudly displayed on a stone pedestal akin to the golden idol in Indiana Jones. Although, I'm told this idea has major design flaws.
However, as much I value the sacred kettle, I also value my hard earned cash. For this reason I decided to go for a standard model rather than pay extra for one with all the bells and whistles that I didn't really need (I've never found myself waiting for a kettle to boil thinking that it would be much more fun with an illuminating boil feature).
So, for the price of around £15 I went for the Breville JK46 kettle and am still using it today - five years later.
=== Getting started ===
Fortunately, the set-up involved is minimal. It comes fully assembled in the box with a laconic set of instructions and the odd bit of plastic packaging. Before you start using it, all you have to do is rinse the inside thoroughly with cold water to eradicate any sneaky contaminants left over from the manufacturing process and then boil it a couple of times disposing of the water each on each occasion as an added precaution.
The kettle's main features are:
- 1.7 litre capacity
- 360 degree rotational base
- Concealed heating element
- Water indicator window
- Adjustable power cord
- 3 kW energy usage
=== Design ===
I really like the design of this kettle and feel it fits in well with the rest of my kitchen. The white colour looks clean and neat when sat on my kitchen worktop and I prefer the simple design to some of the more audacious styles available. The conservative styling of the kettle means that it will fit unobtrusively into your kitchen if that is your aim.
The jug style of the Breville means that it is narrower than some kettles and therefore doesn't take up much worktop space, with the 17cm base its widest point. My pedestal arrangement would surely have taken up a lot of space but as it stands, the kettle fits neatly towards the back of my kitchen side out of harm's way.
Ergonomically, I find it really easy to use because of this jug design with the handle providing full control over the kettle even when full. Pouring is effortless and the chance of hot water splashing over the side and onto your feet is minimal because of the smooth water flow from the spout. It may seem unnecessary to mention something such as water flow but I have used some kettles which make it difficult to avoid anything other than a surging gush of water from the spout. Thankfully, such crises are absent from my five year history of using the Breville.
=== Filling ===
I find the kettle quite easy to fill for the most part however the hinged lid does cause some minor annoyances when filling it from the kitchen taps. The lid is easy to lift using the grey lever and clicks back into place with satisfying authority; however the hinged design means that when I tilt the kettle to fit it into the sink the lid sometimes decides to flip back down, causing some mild tutting and displeasure. This is not too vexing though and I much prefer this design to a removable lid which I would surely have lost within days of purchasing. Although, I would have liked to see a feature that holds the lid open rather than a loose hinge and feel this would have made it easier to fill for people not blessed with ample sink space.
The kettle also features a transparent water level indicator on each side showing the water content clearly and allowing for more economic filling. The fact that there is an indicator on both sides makes it ideal for both right and left handed brewers - a feat further accomplished by the fully accessible rotational base.
The non-slip base is attached to a 70cm power cable with any unrequired length easy to wrap around the underside of the base into the designated groove. I have mine positioned very close to a power socket so a lot of the cable is surplus to requirements but I found it easy to wrap the excess underneath leaving me with only a small neat piece of cable on show.
Capacity wise, the kettle boasts a 1.7 litre maximum which equates, in Breville terms, to 8 cups. However, I find this misleading because I, like a lot of people, use mugs for my tea and coffee rather than teacups. Therefore I find that the 8 cups actually equates to around 5.5 standards sized mugs. This is still a decent capacity though which makes it ideal for family use, unless you have a sixth person who scoffs at the fact that he/she only receives half a mug of coffee. I generally fill my kettle to the 4 cup mark which gives more than enough for two drinks at a time.
=== Boiling ===
Once filled, the kettle easily slots back into its 360 degree base (whichever way you approach it!) and initiating boiling is done by pressing down on the plastic switch which illuminates blue to highlight 'boiling in progress'.
For the impatient people out there, like myself, here is a run-down of the boiling times which you can expect (and yes, I admit to having nothing better to do):
2 cups: 59 seconds
4 cups: 1 minute 34 seconds
6 cups: 2 minutes 45 seconds
I refrained from inflating my electricity bill any further but we can assume that 8 cups will take less than four minutes to boil. I think these are fairly rapid times and I certainly have never had any issue with waiting around too long for the boiling to finalise. Here, the high (3 kW) wattage is responsible for the fast times and ultimately means that there is less standing around and minimal 'Sonic the Hedgehog style' tapping of one's feet waiting to make a brew. The time required to boil enough water for one cup of tea standing at less than a minute is something to be applauded in my opinion.
When boiling, the noise is quite loud not unlike any other kettle I have used but this is not an area which concerns me because I actually like a loud kettle so that I can hear when it has finished boiling from the next room. Having said that though, I have used louder kettles and the Breville has the upper hand as far as rattling is concerned; with the kettle showing very little shaking in the final stages of boiling.
=== Durability ===
As mentioned at the start of this review, I have been using this kettle profusely for over five years and I am amazed that it is still going strong for the price I paid. The only thing revealing its true age is the filter inside the spout which has lost one of its three mesh windows under the strain of fuelling my caffeine addiction. I don't find this a great problem though as two out of three filters are still intact (the bottom two) providing a suitable barrier to prevent any bits of limescale or other invaders from gate-crashing my beverage.
I use a descaler to clean my kettle every couple of months and find that although limescale does build up on the sides of the Breville, it is easily removed. The concealed element is mostly as new and only a few outer areas have succumbed to impossible to remove limescale residues.
=== Overall ===
Overall, I am very happy with this kettle and even more so considering I paid such a low price for it. The fast boil times and simple design make it a welcome kitchen companion which cannot be faulted durability wise. The faffy lid and slightly broken filter are not enough to undo years of reliable service and I feel very happy in highly recommending this Breville as a cheap and dependable kettle. You can currently buy the Breville JK46 from amazon.co.uk for £20.00 including free delivery; a very respectable and worthwhile price in my opinion.
After five years of continuous and frequent daily use, the Breville continues to show my other kitchen appliances how it's done. Toasters have fallen, washing machines have conked out but the might Breville stands tall; unrelentingly in its pursuit to provide me with hot water on demand. If my kitchen design idea wasn't so "inappropriate", then the Breville would be highly deserving of that stone pedestal.
Thank you for reading :)
There's nothing better than a hot cup of tea or coffee in the morning to set you up for the day ahead is there? Well, not for me personally as I'm not a drinker of either, however, like every other household in the UK, a kettle is still a invaluable appliance in our home - remember boiling water on the stove? You get what I mean. People seem to go through kettles like there's no tomorrow (if this site is anything to go by), however, I'm here to tell you about my one and only kettle that has served me well for around 2 years now.
This Breville kettle is available in both white and silver (we opted for the silver one to match our other kitchen appliances). The kettle is currently available from Amazon for the very reasonable price of £19.99, making this a middle of the range kettle with a lot to offer.
I don't want much from a kettle, well who does? The ability to boil a few cups of water or so, without the risk of scolding myself from leaks is all I ask. Is that too much? I don't think so. Fortunately the Breville JK46 doesn't think so either. The Breville does look deceivingly small, when, infact this little gem has the capacity to hold 1.7 litres of water (quite impressive if I do say so myself). What really struck me about this kettle was the fact that it utilises two capacity indicators. This may not seem such a problem if you're of the majority of people who are right handed, however, if you do happen to be left handed this can pose a considerable problem as you'll be forced to continuously turn the kettle around to monitor how much water you have filled it with. This kettle abolishes that, with two capacity indicators which clearly indicate how much water is in the kettle at any given time. The indicator quite ingeniously tells you the water limit in cup sizes, the sizes range from 2 cups (which is the minimum amount of water you should add) to 8 cups. I'm unaware of whether this is a standard feature on kettles, because my kettle fascination, erm, well, never began to tell you the truth. However, this a great little feature, which will no doubt be priceless to a left handed person. The cup sizes are very much generalised and will easily fill standardised mugs. Although, if you own mugs the size of the Central Perk mugs in Friends then it's likely that you'll need to fill the kettle a little more to compensate.
The spout of the kettle is relatively wide, definitely wide enough to easily fit a standard size tap, as this is how we generally fill our kettle. If you do like to fill it by lifting up the lid this is again made very simple with the inclusion of a stylish little handle that blends in well with the overall design of the kettle. The handle lifts well, with minimum effort. Something I would have liked to see, however, not a necessity would be a 'pop up' lid. With that inclusion, not only could I have named this review 'once you pop, you just can't stop' (inventive eh?), but it always seems to be a much more efficient method of filling the kettle. The handle of the kettle is extremely easy to hold and there is a decent sized gap between the handle and the kettle itself, to accommodate for larger hands to use without fear of burning them. It's best to grip the handle right in the middle, as, unfortunately the top and bottom do become rather hot during the boiling process. The handle is wide enough to enable a sturdy grip, to eliminate the risk of dropping. Pouring is very easy, no matter how full the kettle is as it never feels too heavy. The water comes out in a steady flow due to the nicely rounded tip of the spout, effectively eliminating the problem of boiling water being splashed everywhere.
The base of the kettle has a non-slip surface, which always comes in handy. The cable itself stretches to about a metre in length, very useful if you don't have a power supply too close by. However, if you do and you don't want a metre of cable trailing on your kitchen worktop then there's an invaluable solution to this. The base of the kettle houses a cable storage place underneath. The cable can neatly and easily be wound up in the bottom of the base to be concealed. Cleaning the kettle couldn't be easier. It contains a removable limescale filter, which requires no fiddling to remove and place back inside and the kettle is big enough for a brush to be inserted to clean all aspects of it.
The on/off button is clearly situated at the top of the handle and is easily turned on and off. A blue LED light will illuminate upon switching on and will remain illuminated until the kettle has fully boiled. Upon boiling the on/off button will automatically return to its off state and remain there until next use. Unfortunately, there is no real indicator as to when the kettle has boiled, ok so the LED light switches off and the on/off switch will appear in the off position, but what if you're in another room? There's no noise that sounds (if you discount the very quiet click upon the on/off button changing), a whistling noise would have been useful, but the kettle is quick enough to boil, so that you shouldn't need to venture into another room for a rest from a terribly long standing period of waiting. Although this isn't a 'fast boil' kettle it is relatively quick - managing to boil the full capacity (1.7 litres) in around 3 minutes, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is pretty impressive and as most people will only need to boil 2 to 3 cups of water at a time you're looking at a mere 90 second waiting time. Unlike our previous kettle, this doesn't feature a 'keep warm' button. This feature was invaluable if we had boiled the kettle but didn't need the water straight away, the keep warm feature would keep the water at maximum temperature for as long as you liked. A power hungry feature, but a useful one at that. Unfortunately after numerous problems with that kettle, we opted for this more simple model, sans all the flashing colours and keep warm feature. Upon boiling, however, the water will stay hot for around 10-15 minutes, so it's clearly well insulated. The kettle itself does become very hot to the touch though, something which could be a major set back if you happen to have children. As it stands though, this is only a minor issue as it all seems to be swings and roundabouts in terms of pros and cons.
All in all this was a great buy and it proves that you don't need an all singing, all dancing appliance to do the job. This cheap kettle with its understated, yet stylish design will be a great inclusion in any kitchen and is a well worth purchase.
"Kettle's broken" innocent enough words uttered by a fellow colleague who clearly had not anticipated the pandemonium that would break out among ten tea addicted staff members. It begin with the women laughing gaily as they joked about whether it was switched on at the mains, followed by the men with their tools trying to raise some life out of our long serving Russell Hobbs. A dear friend who's passing was mourned. We survived for a whole two hours before the issue of a new addition was brought up, it felt like a legitimate mourning period so I was dispatched to our local supermarket, Morrisions with instructions from the boss that it was not to be too expensive and instructions from my colleagues that it was to be a fast boiler with a large water capacity.
Torn between these two seemingly different criteria and unable to check out Dooyo's recommendations first I was forced to make an impulse decision. The selection of Morrisons kettles was wide and varied, I spotted the Breville kettle which on the box is sold as Fastboil Jug Kettle (on the manual it state model JK46) and costs £18.99. I thought this was a fair compromise, any cheaper and it looked like I would be back again in a few weeks and more expensive would undoubtedly see my boss turn purple.
**Looks and features**
The kettle is white and substantial. It leans slightly to the one side caused by the generous spout which later proves useful for the 'jug' element, although its not about to win any style awards it looks good. The kettle comes away from the power base, convenient as you don't have to negotiate wires as well as water. The product has a fast boil 3000w concealed element and twin water windows so you can clearly see the water level and if so inclined watch your water boil. The on and off switch illuminates blue and the kettle features a removable, washable anti scale filter. The kettle holds a maximum of 1.7litres or 8 cups. I think you would be pushed to get a larger one and as of yet I have not had to fill it up twice to accommodate everyone in the tea run. The power cable is wound inside the power base which means you can have it a length to suit your plug points keeping the whole appliance compact and neat.
The instructions stay that the kettle should be filled to maximum and boiled, this process is to be repeated three times. Normally I ignore such things but the strong smell of plastic after the first boiling was a good enough prompt that maybe these were one set of instructions I should be following! After its three boils it was all ready to go. To boil when full it takes approx 2 minutes.
The water boils rapidly and when done the illuminated switch goes off. I thought the noise levels were average. The jug element and large shaped spout makes for really easy pouring and the kettle is wipe clean which is handy in a communal kitchen. All in all a successful first attempt!
**Additional bits and bobs**
The instruction manual advises that the kettle keeps on litre of water at 90 degrees for five minutes, an energy saving device so you don't have to reboil. It also gives very straightforward instructions about how to remove the limescale filter. The filter is designed to limit the lime scale in your drinks and also on the kettle's element so occasionally needs to be washed. One problem was that I couldn't remove the filter even with the instructions, more likely to be my failings than the kettles but it felt like it would break if I tried any harder. The kettle also has a one year guarantee if used for domestic purposes only.
On the whole a solid new addition, easy to use, attractive and a good price.
The Breville JK46 is a value-for-money, basic, white-plastic jug kettle. Although inexpensive, it still boasts many of the same the features as the higher-priced models, and its simple design is quite stylish.
~ Appearance ~
The kettle is a jug shape in pure white plastic with a chunky hoop handle. Close to the top of the handle is the rocker-style on/off switch. On each side of the kettle there is a large curvaceous translucent window, with a gauge marked in 'cups', that allows you to see how much water is inside. The natural way the broad spout emerges from the main body of the kettle, and the way the solid handle follows a generous curve down the side, is very organic; there something fundamentally feminine in the design. It is saved from being all white by the use of some silver/grey plastic trim around the base and on the lever used to open the hinged lid. The overall appearance is very smart.
~ Summary of main features ~
3KW fast-boil jug kettle.
Capacity is 1.7 litres (approx. 3 pints).
Twin windows that show water level in 'cups'.
Illuminated on/off switch.
360º base unit (incorporating excess cord storage).
Heating element concealed beneath floor of kettle.
Lime-scale filter is removable and washable.
~ Usability ~
Before using the kettle the instruction booklet tells you to fill to the maximum level, boil, and then pour the water away to discard any residue left from the manufacturing process. Also, you should remove the lime-scale filter (near the spout) and rinse it. This was when I discovered two small problems. Firstly, due to a funny smell from the new kettle I boiled with fresh water twice instead of just the recommended once and found that boiling twice in quick succession can cause the handle to feel rather warm. Secondly, no matter how I pressed, pushed, or pulled I was unable to remove the scale filter.
The circular power base has the cylindrical docking unit protruding vertically from its centre, which means the kettle can be seated on the base facing in any direction. This is convenient for left-handed and right-handed users. The base unit also allows for any excess length of electrical cord to be stored underneath and has several gaps for the cord exit from.
To open the lid you pull its silver/grey lever back towards the handle, which releases the lock, and then you allow the lid to rest backwards on its hinge. This reveals a very ample aperture for easy filling. To close the lid you just press it down and hear it snap shut. This 'locking' mechanism is a safety feature. If the kettle is accidentally pulled down and hits the floor the lid should remain closed and not shower anyone in hot water. Also, it should make it tricky for a small child to open the kettle, although they could still scald themselves with steam or boiling water from the spout.
When the kettle is use, the water level must be between the minimum and maximum levels. Clear markings on the viewing window mean this easy to judge. The gradations are in 'number of cups' rather than fractions of a litre, and I personally find this very useful.
The kettle is turned on by pressing the clear plastic rocker-style on/off switch at the top of the handle just behind the lid hinge. When set to the 'on' position the switch is illuminated, and glows a pale blue/mauve colour. This is very pretty in a dark kitchen, but in normal or bright daylight it is very insipid and hard to see.
The kettle is very noisy, but fast.
When the water has reached boiling the kettle turns off automatically and the on/off switch flicks back to the 'off' position and is no longer illuminated.
The kettle, even when filled to the maximum, is easy to manage. The handle surface is not textured, but is substantial and can be easily gripped. The kettle's balance is nice and pouring is easy.
Overall this is a great little kettle.
~ Warranty ~
The product has a 12-month warranty against failure from the date of purchase, which is only valid for domestic use of the kettle. This guarantee is worth remembering. In the past I have been let down within a year by various brands of electric kettle; either they stopped working altogether or the water-level viewing windows started to leak. Fortunately, I always save my original receipt and all the original packaging, so I am able to obtain either a replacement or a full refund.
~ Price Guide ~
I purchased this particular kettle from Sainsburys, in July this year, and paid £14.99. A recent check of the Internet shows various online stores currently selling this model for between £14.99 and £22.88.
~ Verdict ~
Nicely designed (apart from the tricky lime-scale filter). Easy to use. Works well, although rather noisy and handle can get hot if used frequently. For the price a very nice little kettle.
© lml888v 2008
~ UPDATE [added January 2011]
~ Obituary ~
My kettle, originally purchased in July 2008, finally boiled for the last time in July 2010. Sadly the white plastic seal around one of the viewing windows began to flake and a leak developed. I was not too dismayed as, for the modest 2008 purchase price of £14.99, this appliance had given 2 years of excellent service.
To be "green" I disposed of my old kettle at a local council recycling depot where there is a special section for small household appliances.
~ Replacement ~
I suppose there can be no greater recommendation of a product than to purchase the same item more than once, and that is exactly what I did. After a brief consideration of other fast-boil jug kettles on the market I judged that the Breville JK46 still represented the best combination of looks, features and price for me. I purchased my replacement kettle in July 2010 from Sainsburys and paid £17.49.
~ Evolution ~
Briefly, my new 2010 version of the JK46 kettle compared to the 2008 model :-
... The small "Breville" logo below viewing window has changed slightly.
... Before-use instructions are now more stringent and recommend filling to maximum, boiling and empting three times in order to remove residue left from the manufacturing process.
... As with old model, I find I cannot remove the scale filter.
... As with old model, I find handle can become warm if kettle is boiled repeatedly.
... Booklet now includes an energy saving claim (not sure it is specific to this kettle or just a general statement of fact) "It is not always necessary to re-boil your kettle. For example, one litre of water will still be at 90°C after five minutes - the perfect temperature for a cup of coffee."
FINAL UPDATE [added January 2012]
My second Breville JK46 has now gone to "Kettle Heaven" and so I can relay the followng data ...
Kettle 1 - Life span : 2 Years Cause of demise : Leaking viewing window
Kettle 2 - Life span - 18 months Cause of demise : Leaking viewing window
Also posted on other sites under the same username.
© lml888v 2008, 2011, 2012
The Breville JK46 3kW Rapid Boil Plastic Jug Kettle is great value and its non-fussy design will work in almost all kitchens / 3Kw fast-boil element 360 degree rotational base 1.7 litre capacity Removable washable lime-scale filter Neon indicator Concealed element Cord storage Non-slip base / Short name: Breville JK46