The Breville JK58 is a cordless jug kettle which can currently be purchased for £19 from amazon.co.uk. The kettle isn't especially modern looking, with a white plastic exterior that appears decidedly 80's in design - that said, the kettle does feature a blue light which brightly illuminates the dual water windows whilst the kettle is in operation.
Design and Features
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The JK58's lid is easy to open, and is done by pulling a grey plastic tab which activates a release mechanism underneath. When open, the lid remains attached to the kettle via a hinge, meaning it can't be dropped during a tea-making frenzy. Closing the lid takes a little more effort, and is done with a fairly firm press until it clicks into place. The on / off switch is located just behind the lid, towards the top of the handle - and like the viewing window, the switch also illuminates with a blue glow when the kettle is boiling.
The kettle's base is also made from white plastic, and features a standard length power cable to the wall socket - if there's a little to much cord length for your liking, then the excess can be wrapped around the underside of the base in a cable-tidy system. The design of the base is such that it allows the kettle to rotate through 360 of motion whist perched on top of it. Underneath are a series of small non-slip feet - although they do begin to get a bit slippy after around a year or so of use - nothing that some warm soapy water to the rubber won't sort out.
I would class the kettle's spout as easy-pouring, as it transfers the water to your cup without any dribbling. The other good thing is the fact that the steam disperses quite effectively when you open the lid, which makes it thankfully quite difficult to scold your hands. The illuminating water windows (which I mentioned in the opening paragraph) are of an unusually large size, so you can easily tell how much liquid is in the device - the kettle's maximum capacity is three pints (marked as "8 cups" on the water window), which is seen as a regulation 'family' amount these days. As a 3,000 watt model, the kettle is a pretty quick boiler - in fact, filling the jug to the four cup level results in a two minute and fifteen seconds boil time.
Inside the Kettle
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The JK58's element is concealed - so if you look into the kettle, all you'll see is the flat metal floor. Basically, this makes cleaning the device rather easy, and ultimately more hygienic than a raised, twisted metal design. Staying inside the kettle, there's a removable limescale filter, which in theory should stop those nasty calcified flakes getting into your tea. In practice, said filter does a good job, although it's actually quite difficult to remove from the kettle - it's a good job then that it probably won't need replacing, although new ones can be bought for around £7. Cleaning the kettle is really easy, and can be done with a damp cloth - as it's plastic rather than chrome exterior, you don't have to worry about polishing it up everytime it gets splashed.
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If style isn't at the top of your priorities list, I would highly recommend the Breville JK58 as a fast boiling and reliable kettle - its bright blue light is certainly a gimmick, yet it adds some much needed glamour to an otherwise dull water-boiler. Without water, the kettle is rather light, and due to the fact that it has a solid handle and an easy opening lid, I would argue that this particular model would be ideally suited for an elderly user. I've recently read a couple of reviews for this model which suggest it can leak water at the bottom, but I've owned the device for a few years now and have had no such issues - besides, if you do find any problems with the model there's a one year manufacturer's guarantee from the date of purchase.
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Automatic Shut Off and Automatic Switch off
Safety: Boil Dry Protection
Capacity: 1.7 litre / 8 Cups
Extras: Illuminated Water Window
Power: 3000 Watt
Bought this kettle approximately 1 and a half years ago. Initially we were happy with it, but after a few months a problem developed: when the water had boiled and the kettle had switched itself off automatically, after a few minutes it would switch itself back on and start heating the water again. Apart from being annoying and wasting electricity, this was sometimes dangerous if we had just used all the boiled water and put the empty kettle back on its base, then it would start heating despite being empty. If you switched the kettle off manually, instead of relying on the automatic switch-off, this problem didn't occur. This continued for several months; I know we should have taken it back to the shop, but it was just one of those things we didn't get round too! Then a few weeks ago we noticed the plastic on the side of the kettle was turning flaky and starting to develop thin cracks. The cracks gradually spread, and after a week or so, boiling water started to squeeze out through the cracks, drip by drip, and run down the side of the kettle when it was boiling, onto the base which of course is connected to the electrical supply!! Very dangerous! Unfortunately by this time the kettle had passed its one year guarantee period so we couldn't return it for a refund, but I still think it is very bad for a 1 year old kettle to do this. I don't know if the cracking of the plastic had anything to do with the times the kettle had switched itself back on when empty and started heating, but I do know for sure I wouldn't touch any Breville product with a barge pole after this experience!
Short name: Breville JK58