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I was perfectly happy with my Philip's kettle until it developed an erratic tendency to not switch off after boiling. Not quite getting into the habit of always staying near the kettle, every so often I would walk back into the kitchen to find the room filled with steam and the kettle still boiling away in a hectic fashion. So I decided to look for a new kettle and searched quite extensively on the internet and then visited local electrical stores because I think a kettle is something you want to get your hands on to see how it feels and operates. I arrived at the Breville VKJ187 Jug kettle and ordered it from Amazon. It cost a little more than I had initially planned to spend but it covered all the requirements I was after.
This Breville kettle is stainless steel and painted a deep cream colour. For when the kettle becomes hot the areas you need to touch, the main handle and the top of the lid, are a matt black plastic. I'm pleased with how it looks, the retro style works well in my kitchen. It has a robust feel to it, yet it is light to carry and it stands on a circular non slip base. The cable is very flexible so arranging the length I needed to reach the socket and then storing the excess cable into the base was quite easy to do.
It has a removable lid which I prefer as I fill with water from the tap rather than a filter jug. The lid pulls off easily and re-locates securely. Inside the kettle directly behind the spout is a removable particle filter which is straightforward to slide out and rinse through. The fine mesh is really quite strong so I feel confident this will last well without tearing or bending.
The pouring spout is excellent, you can be quite precise and there are no drips. My hands are quite small so sometimes I find kettles awkward to hold when filled to full capacity but I'm very pleased with the whole balance of this kettle, it is easy to control and comfortable to hold when refilling with water, carrying when full and pouring.
It is high wattage at 3kW and so boils quickly. This leads to my only criticism, the loudness of the heating up and boiling process. I've mainly owned stainless steel kettles and know they can be noisy but this kettle is particularly loud, once it is switched on the gurglings and rumblings do rather dominate the kitchen. Actually I can go upstairs whilst the kettle is working and know the exact stage it is at.
It has a 1.5 litre capacity and a clear plastic water gauge behind the handle. A blue light illuminates the water level whilst the kettle is operating. Initially I wasn't sure whether this was necessary, thinking you only need to see the water level when filling the kettle but it is quite handy to be able to double check the water level at a glance as the kettle begins to heat up. The on/off switch at the very top of the handle gives a satisfying deep click sound when you turn it on or off and this kettle reliably turns off after boiling point is reached.
I can say after a year the kettle works as well as it did when I first bought it and has also remained in good condition in terms of looks. Easy to clean inside and a durable exterior. I don't think I will be needing to look for a new kettle for a very long time. I'm impressed and very satisfied with this well designed quality kettle.
Currently on sale for £44.99 at Amazon. I have taken away one star due to the loudness issue but wish it could be only half a star. Recommended.
Thanks for reading this review!
© Lunaria 2012
Also posted on Ciao, same username.
Up until recently, we owned a scruffy plastic kettle, which somehow had managed to last 15 or 16 years. The plastic was discoloured and crumbly and the element was fuzzed up with scale and when we had our kitchen done back in December, we decided to retire the thing for its own good (and the fact that it didn't match my posh new units!).
I am not a big spender, so opted for a cheap replacement, which lasted about 3 days and conked out. My husband decided to take matters into his own hands, accused me of being stingy, and said we should splash out on a decent kettle for once. His choice was the rather retro looking Breville VKJ187, which cost £39.99 from our local Currys store.
I must admit, I would not normally spend this much on a kettle, but this was a thing of beauty, a cut above the rest. The kettle is cream coloured stainless steel, which matches the units in the kitchen realy well. It is really easy to keep clean by just giving it a wipe over now and then with a damp cloth.
The kettle is really easy to use. It slots into a circular base, which plugs into the mains. The black lid fits securely, but is not difficult to remove. i usually fill it with a jug, but you could fill it straight from the tap. The capacity of the kettle is 1.5 litres, which equates to about 7 cups. There is an indicator along the back of the kettle, which allows you to easily see the water level without opening the kettle.
You switch on the kettle by pressing a silver button which is located at the top of the handle. Immediately, the water gauge along the side of the kettle is illuminated by a blue light, which looks really nice. The kettle does not take very long to boil, and the kettle switches itself off as soon as it has boiled. Pouring the water is easy, as the kettle, though solid and robust is not overly heavy to lift and the spout is just the right size and shape to avoid drips and spills. There is a limescale filter located just inside the spout, which catches any bits of scale and prevents them from going in your tea, essential if you live in a hard water area, as we do. The filter is removable and washable.
I have had the kettle for 6 months now, and it still looks as good as new and I have not had to descale it yet as it has not accumulated much scale, having no large metal element in the bottom, like my previous kettle. This kettle is a joy to use, and I am glad that we invested a little extra money when we bought it. The kettle looks well made and good quality and is showing no signs of wear and tear, and I truly believe it is a product that will last us many years (and cuppas) to come. The kettle looks stylish and because it is a classic design, it has a look that will not go out of fashion, and also a look that would complement any kitchen, whether modern or traditional.
Breville also make a toaster to match the kettle, but I do not currently own this. You can buy the two together for £68.98 from Currys.
Breville VKJ187 Stainless Steel Kettle in Cream Blue illumination on boil 1.5 Litre capacity 3kW concealed fastboil element Easy view rear water gauge Limescale filter 360 degree base Cord storage & non-slip feet Cream stainless steel finish / Short name: Breville VKJ187