With most things, I tend to go for the cheapest option, but I do love my tea, and having given up smoking years ago when pregnant with my oldest son, tea and books are my only real guilty pleasures for myself. I drink a lot of tea, and I do believe a steel kettle makes a nicer cuppa than a plastic one as plastic does leave some smell and taste, where metal does not- or if it does I can not detect it.
When my last kettle died, I immediately turned to dooyoo for guidance in finding another. Sadly, I couldn't find a review for this one, but Nar2 did have a review for an earlier Breville kettle , which he was very happy with. For those of you who may be new to this site Nar2 is the god of appliances - he knows everything there is to know, so his reviews are always my first port of call before buying any new items.
This was also on special at Argos. I am not certain but I believe I paid between £25 and £30 for this. It is currently a whopping £54.99 which I do find excessive - especially as Amazon sells this for only £29, but a kettle is something I really couldn't wait a week on, and my husband really freaks out at the idea of boiling water in a saucepan and dumping it into a cup in case some one should find out - as for me - I could care less as long as I get my cuppa.
This kettle is uses 3kw and is listed as a rapid boil kettle. I honestly didn't think it was that fast until I timed it for this review. Sometimes it seems to me that it takes ages to boil. But from a cold start it took 3.5 minutes to boil just over 8 cups of water, which I suppose is fair enough. A single cup of water, again from a cold start took only 1 3/4 minutes.
This has large clear plastic panel on each side meaning you can see the level as you fill whether you left or right handed. These are marked with a little cup for 4, 6, and 8 cups. Tiny lines are used to mark other levels, 1 -3, 5 and 7. I find these difficult to use and the only real way for me to heat a single cup is to use a cup to pour the water in. For two cups or more, I just guess at halfway to the 4 cup mark. The water level is very easy to read when this is in operation as it has a soft blue light, but it can be more difficult when just filling from the sink. This has a 360 degree base, so you can have this facing whichever way you prefer. I measure the electrical cable at 24" which is shorter than I would like, but this seems to be standard now. You can wind extra cord up under the bas if you wish. but mine is stretched to the max as it is.
The element is concealed, which is something I really like as it makes cleaning out lime scale so much easier and there is nothing to rust and add nasty flakes or flavours to my tea. This has a section with holes in front of the spout, but it does not have a wee screen like many of my older kettles to filter lime scale or bits of rust. As it easy to clean and there is nothing to rust, I don't see this as a problem. Like all stainless steel, this will get water spots on it, but these are easily wiped off with a damp cloth.
This is listed as 1.7 litre capacity or 8 cups. However 8 US cups is 1.89271 litres according to Google. I do have one tea cup which measures exactly 1 US cup - but I prefer a bigger cuppa being a greedy soul. You could stretch this to eight real cups though, as you need room for milk, and likely do not want to fill a kettle to the brim for fear of scalding yourself or your guests, but you would really be stretching it. I would prefer to make no more than 7 cups of tea with this, which is more than enough for us on most occasions anyway. We have overfilled it a bit in a pinch and has worked with no problems.
I have only had this kettle a few months, so I can not honestly comment on long term reliability. The problem with an appliance like this is that if I wait long enough to state how reliable it is, it is not likely to still be available new to consumers as newer models replace the old quite frequently. I do update any appliance review when the appliance dies, as can be seen by my previous kettle reviews, so if you are reading this without an update at any time in the future, you may safely assume that it is still working.
I haven't had any major issues with this product. I do have some concerns about the boil dry feature. It is certainly possible to turn this on and have heat with no water in it. I do not know how long it is meant to go before it cuts off - and I'm afraid to destroy my kettle trying, but it continues to heat long enough for me to feel uncomfortable with it. I have not removed a star though as it may very well kick off before reaching dangerous levels --- I hope. If I had not checked for this review, I would have never noticed it, and I do keep my water in my kettle so it is always ready for my next cuppa. I have found that it is easy to scald yourself if you want to open the top just after boiling to add more water, but this seems to be the case with most kettles. It is heavier than a plastic kettle, and I do struggle with the weight, but I doubt this would be an issue for most people, and even it is, metal does weigh more than plastic - it isn't something the manufacturer can alter. I do think this is fairly loud as far as kettles go as well, but this isn't something that annoys me. It does annoy my husband though if I leave the kitchen door open when boiling the kettle, but I really don't see how you can avoid the sound of boiling water with a kettle, and slightly more or less noise is not nearly as important to me as a good cup of tea.
This does not quite compare with my Russel Hobbes 14101 which boiled the water to such a high temperature that it made tea as thick as mud ( OK slight exaggeration there) within seconds of dropping the tea bag in. I loved it, but my husband thought it was unsafe, and I'm sure he was right as I have poured more than one kettle over myself due to hand problems. Sadly besides heating super hot, it also leaked terribly so was returned. But I don't think I can fairly mark a kettle down for not boiling to such an exceptionally high temperature which was most likely a health and safety fault. This does boil water quickly, and it boils as hot as any kettle I have owned except for the Russel Hobbes. It is easy to clean and it makes a perfect cup of tea, which is really all I care about. I really do love this kettle. I can't say it is the best kettle ever. As long as kettle does what it should there isn't much to distinguish them. Any good quality stainless steel kettle with the same wattage is apt to be much the same, so I do find price to be the major deal maker or breaker when choosing a new one, but if you can get this for a fair price, I am happy to recommend it.
Short name: Breville VKJ670