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My mum bought me this kettle for Christmas, and looking at the price, I've got to say I think it's a bit expensive for a kettle. But then again I'm not a kettle expert, and I'm not really sure how much people generally pay for kettles. But it is a good kettle. My other kettle was God knows how old, passed down from my grandma, and I'm not even sure what make it was - but it took ages to boil. This kettle, even when full, is a very fast boiler, powered by 3000 watts. And it looks good - sleek and shiny stainless steel with a nice and smooth rounded top, and a clear water-gauge that doesn't seem to get too clogged up with condensation, making the digits hard to read. It pours well and is sturdily made. What more could you want from a kettle - apart from it being a bit cheaper, I suppose, as if I hadn't had it bought for me I doubt I would have been willing to spend much more than a fiver on a kettle.
Like most people I suppose we tend to find our household appliances only have a certain life, and so it was that I found myself having to go and replace our kettle. Our previous kettle, and not the subject of this review, had given us 7 years' service before dying all of a sudden one day - up to then it had served us well, and as it turned out given us rather high expectations as kettles go; it's one flaw (apart from no longer working) being that a replacement would be the best part of £100, it being a Siemens Porsche designed kettle. Times is harsh and so it was that I was despatched by my husband on a kettle search with the instruction to find something "like" our departed kettle but for under £30.
Let me tell you why then that I bought this kettle....well firstly I picked it up for £19.99 at Sainsbury's, which at the time seemed like a bargain, especially as it came with a 2 year guarantee and had been reduced 50%, I think as it was the last one left. Apart from looking at the price of this item, on first sight I thought it looked good design wise, and having got it home and used it for a while now I still think that it is true. It's all stainless steel and shiny, in fact it looks so good that I'm pretty sure that it is the one that Jamie Oliver has on his unfeasibly tidy worktop in his newest TV programme, if it's not the same one it's definitely a clone.
Secondly, another thing I like is that this kettle has an easy to read water gauge in the body of the kettle - something which I had become accustomed to in my previous kettle and which didn't seem to exist in many kettles in my price range. Another good feature is that it has a hidden element - I like this as it makes de-scaling in a hard water area so much easier, and the mesh filter in the spout is a boon in this respect also. Talking of the spout, this kettle pours really, really well. It's easy to use as the nice wide opening to the lid makes filling it easy - again, looking at other kettles that is something I found to not be true of all kettles, some of which looked as if they might be pretty hard to manoeuvre under the tap. The button at the top of the handle can be pressed to pop open the lid, which again aids filling. The kettle swivels through 360 degrees on the base and it even has a pretty blue light in the switch at the bottom of the handle when in use. The black button in the middle of the lid has no actual function and is, I assume, just a design feature.
So how well does it actually work, looks aside, when actually being used to boil water?
Well the good news is that at 3000watts it is a fast boiler. Having been used to a double wall, cool wall kettle which wasn't hot to touch even on boiling (which this kettle is), on first use I did find it frighteningly loud, (my previous kettle was completely silent), however on further use I've found the sound to be like that of the kettle of my youth, and actually quite like the fact that you can tell when it is boiling or close to boiling. The cord length is quite generous and overall I'm pretty impressed with the build quality too - I find the stainless steel actually quite easy to maintain at shiny, though the handle seems to be less well built and may, I fear, wear badly over time.
I do miss having a cool wall kettle I have to say, just because it seems more safe, and I also find the base to be rather thin and flimsy - it's not quite heavy enough so I find replacing the kettle on it after filling or boiling not as intuitive as I would like. That said, as I said at the start I did have high expectations and possibly comparing this kettle to a high end expensive kettle is not really that fair, in all honesty though compared to my former ridiculously expensive kettle this appliance bears up remarkably well. It has many of the features that I've grown used to having, without the price tag and it certainly boils water very quickly, and has a good capacity at 1.7 litres - as mentioned before the gauge is really easy to use and as you can see exactly how much water you have you can avoid wasting energy by boiling too much water.
Overall, at the price I paid and even at the £34.99 this kettle is listed at on Amazon I think this appliance is a good buy, so far I'm pleased with it and have found it to be a good replacement for my previous kettle. I've given it 4 stars purely for the lack of cool-wall, and for the fact that I'm not sure how solid the button on the handle will be over time, but essentially if you are looking for a kettle that looks good and boils water quickly, you could do far, far worse than buy this one. Recommended by me.