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The latest in a long line of cheap kettles that pass through my kitchen, the Russell Hobbs 13775 is a luxury product, by my standards. Living in a hard water area, I get through kettles very quickly due to excessive limescale. Although the price of the kettle does not seem to affect its longevity, I decided to splash out an enormous £29 on this kettle, in the hope that it may provide something a little more than my usual Sainsbury's versions.
The 13775 is a stylish little number, sporting a black exterior with chrome spout and lid, which gives it the look of a rather tubby penguin. A thick and solid black handle arches from the top of the kettle and provides an excellent and safe grip. This handle never gets hot or affected by steam. The chrome lid has a black plastic finger grip handle inset into it, which is also unaffected by heat and very safe to use.
On one side a clear red light lets you know when the kettle is in operation. A very large water level indicator is situated behind the handle and indicates 1 litre, I .5 litres and 1.7 litres. A black lever underneath the handle flicks upwards to switch the kettle on, and flicks down and off again once the water has boiled. I was pleased to see that this lever is larger than I have found on other kettles and is therefore much easier to use in a hurry.
At 3Kw, this kettle gives a fast, if rather noisy boil. It has a capacity of 1.7 litres which is plenty for my usage.
As with most jug kettles nowdays, it has a concealed element, which helps enormously in fighting the build up of limescale. The size of the top opening is big enough to let me put my washing up brush down inside the kettle and scrub away any limescale build up on the bottom or walls of the kettle. There is a small removable spout filter than clicks in and out very easily. This filter collects a huge amount of white limescale; I clean it nearly every week and the mesh is almost solid and white.
The kettle is cordless and comes with a round power base. The kettle can be rotated for left or right handed operation, but if it is used as a left handed kettle the user cannot see the on/ off light, which is only on one side of the kettle (the side visible to the right handed user).
The base unit has a cord concealing system for extra safety - the cord can be shortened and wound around inside the base unit to eliminate the risk that is associated with long trailing cords on kitchen worksurfaces.
~~Longevity and Durability~~
I have owned this kettle for six months, and I suspect that it will last no longer than my cheaper Sainsburys versions. A rather alarming rattle comes from the innards when I shake it, giving the impression that some vital nut has fallen off and is rattling around inside. This can only be bad news. The kettle has also become noisier and noisier as the weeks pass.
I like the black sides of this kettle, as they are not marked by water stains like the chrome-walled versions. The spout filter is still intact after being removed and scrubbed free of lime scale on a weekly basis. A rather unsightly problem is the white lime scale that collects on the inside of the wide mouthed chrome spout. It is impossible to clean this off, but is very obvious.
Although I think this Russell Hobbs kettle was a good buy, and offers good value for money, I cannot see that it offers anything more than the Sainsbury's version that is sold for £20. In size, shape, capacity and appearance these kettles are very similar - and I feel that next time I will opt for the cheaper brand.
I am now returning to this review after having owned the kettle for a grand total of 18 months! The paintwork is chipped in many places, both on the side and the rim - and I am a careful user. The boil has got noisier than ever, to the extent that I have to take the phone into another room when the kettle is boiling. The filter has come apart, the netting separating from the plastic surround.
After a relatively short period of time I am replacing my £30 kettle. As I look back to my original words I can see that they were true - splashing out £30 on a Russell Hobbs Kettle did not give me better value for money.