As is the current review-writing climate, having reviewed my new Dyson vacuum I thought I'd review another household appliance, but this time an old one.
---A pointless review since it's an old model?---
Although this is a consumer review, it is of course pretty useless to the 2011 consumer since the Breville KT10 kettle is sadly no longer available.
However, my review serves to promote Breville appliances in general. Along with my Breville Toaster (a review may possibly follow if I can remember to take photos of my toast), both are still going strong since receiving them as wedding presents in May 2004. Unfortunately the marriage wasn't so strong or successful, but that's a review for another occasion.
-----The Breville KT10 Classic stainless steel traditional kettle-----
--Why did we get this model?--
My ex and I had an Argos wedding gift list, mainly because it was easy for guests, with gifts to suit every budget. We were actually extremely lucky with our wedding gifts...and even luckier that by far the majority of them have outlasted the marriage. Better still, since I bought the ex out of the house, by far the majority of household items have remained with me - and too right, since he can afford all new items while I'm left review writing to make ends meet (!)
I have just looked through our wedding book (bring out the violins), and discovered that the kettle (described in our wedding book as "Stainless Steel Kettle") was given to us by MY aunt and uncle, so it is by rights MINE anyway.
I imagine that my ex chose this 'old-style' kettle as we/he wanted to go for a Stainless Steel/silver coloured look in our kitchen, not that we'd actually bought a house at that point but wanting a traditional/homely feel when we did. Prior to this I think I'd have associated Breville mainly with sandwich toasters, but judging my this kettle and my toaster, Breville are good for other small household appliances!
--What did it cost?--
Unfortunately I didn't keep a copy of our Argos wedding list with the prices on or a catalogue from that time (wish I had now - but I hadn't discovered Ciao/dooyoo then!)...I have just been on the Argos website on the off chance that they kept old gift lists, but it doesn't seem that they do!
No idea what it cost, and no way of finding out really (I have spent too long searching the Internet to no avail), but an educated guess would say somewhere in the £20-£30 region.
--Using the Kettle--
The specifications/ bits which a consumer would find useful if this model were available:
* 3kW Fastboil
* Concealed element - this means that it has an element which you cannot see - it's in the black base that the kettle stands on (I believe) - I have read complaints that concealed elements make for a noisy kettle, and also that metal kettles make more noise - However, this is NOT a noisy kettle by any means.
* 360 rotational base - this is the black thing that it sits on
* Hidden cord storage - I don't even notice the cord as it goes round the back of the kettle
* Non-slip feet - three little bits on the bottom of the base which ensure it doesn't move on your work surface (mind is pretty much stuck to the window sill)
* Removable, washable lime-scale filter - we don't have limescale up in Workington, and as a result I have never removed the filter or cleaned inside....dirty me...
* Neon power indicator - this is the red light which is lit while the kettle is boiling
* 1.5 litre capacity - for the purposes of this review I was going to fill up the kettle and then measure how much water it would hold. But then I realised that I could just look up the product specifications, and found that it holds 1.5 litres.
* Apparently with the box it weighs 1.8kg. I have weighed the kettle and found it is 940g when empty, so that is more useful.
It's dead easy to fill (even if your sink is full of washing up) as it's short and fat rather than long and thin. Simply take the lid off the kettle and fill (if you've recently boiled and are wanting to fill and boil again, be careful of the heat - but this is the same with all kettles).
There is a red bit inside with the maximum fill level, and it would be pretty difficult/stupid to go above this level. I think it's perhaps harder to assess the minimum level, but it's not rocket science making sure that you have enough water in it to boil. Some people might not like the fact that you can't see at a glance on the outside of the kettle how much water is in it/how many cups this would fill (as it doesn't have a display on the outside). However, I think that you get used to your kettle and know how much water is needed.
--Making it work--
After filling, simply press down the lever/switch thingy at the bottom of the kettle and wait!
--A watched kettle never boils?--
It generally does in real-life, unless you forget to turn on the switch by the plug socket (which I have done, and then poured cold water into my ex's coffee) - of course with this model you should notice as there is a red light when it's on and in use. And obviously the water heating/boiling sound should give it away.
For reviewing purposes I filled the kettle to capacity with cold water, and then boiled whilst clock/kettle watching. It took 3 minutes and 51 seconds.
This sounds like a long time (to me anyway - it felt like ages!), however I NEVER fill it to capacity as am generally only making between one or two cups.
Now I've boiled the kettle I must have another cup of coffee even though as I write this review it's nearly bedtime - but coffee's the only hot drink I drink, and I don't 'do' decaff unless forced to when not at home.
Writing this review I realised that I've never actually cleaned the kettle. I looked inside and saw that it doesn't actually need any cleaning, it looks pretty good. As said, limescale isn't an issue in this area.
I must've wiped the surface of the kettle several times over the years, but having taken photos for my review when posted on Ciao I was struck by how filthy it looked, so took a Brillo pad to it - a minute later it was as good as new!
--Is it just me who loves this kettle?--
No, I HAVE managed to find a review from someone who had been using the same model daily for 10 years until May this year when a fuse blew in the element.
So, hopefully I have a few years left in mine. It has been used pretty regularly over the years, and I am drinking more coffee than ever, so boiling it numerous times in a day.
Unfortunately it does look like when the element goes that that will be the end of it...
--The crack in the kitchen window?--
This was one I took to the slightly psycho psychotherapist. Last November I noticed a crack in the kitchen window, which happens to start where the steam comes out of the kettle if it's facing the window. I couldn't help but see it as a sign that the cracks were beginning to show, and symbolising my imminent mental collapse. I have no way of proving or disproving that this is due to the kettle, but to be safe I now make sure the spout faces away from the window (although the crack does seem to be expanding - but that's ok, I'm double-glazed for when it does collapse). Regardless of whether or not the kettle is responsible, I don't think this can be blamed on Breville, it would've occurred with any kettle.
-----Recommended? And my final comments...-----
A whole-hearted YES. However, since it is no longer available this review is somewhat redundant.
HOWEVER, the "Breville VKJ458 Traditional Kettle - Stainless Steel" looks to be fairly similar in style/design and is currently available in Argos for £29.99. If my kettle should fail tomorrow this is quite possibly what I would replace it with....on the other hand I might go for something completely different (or cheaper - like the £4.72 Argos value one I bought for work) as a step further in removing traces of the ex from my life.
But really, why change? The ex made a lot of bad decisions and choices, but I think that this kettle was a good one.
Review on Ciao with pictures of me drinking coffee....
Short name: Breville KT10