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Not All Kettles Are Equal
Russell Hobbs 14101
Member Name: dharma-queen
Russell Hobbs 14101
Advantages: umm, it boils water?
Disadvantages: filter is not great, lid loose, minimum marking 1lt, flimsy on/off switch, build quality
The Russell Hobbs 14101 is a stainless steel jug kettle with a 3kw concealed element and a maximum capacity of 1.7l. It swivels 360 degrees on its base and has a red power on neon indicator at the bottom of the kettle. It has a limescale filter and you can wind the excess cable beneath the stand. It has a boil dry cut out and it comes with a one year guarantee. You can but it for £22.48 from Tesco direct (and only Tesco it seems) but I wouldn't if I were you, its rubbish.
Why do I dislike this kettle so much, well there are many reasons. Firstly though I shall mention its good points. Whilst it is not the quickest at boiling water, it's not bad. This is what it is designed to do so this is pretty important and it does alright. It is easy to fill from the tap, the lid is easy to open (too easy) and the water level gauge is easy to read. It's not very heavy and the handle is easy to hold. It looked nice when new. The cable can be wound round the bottom of the stand so there is not too much excess to get in the way. Rather handy when worktop space is at a premium.
Right, now the bad points. One of my main gripes with this kettle is the limescale filter. We live in a hard water area so the kettle furs up with limescale very quickly. The filter does not fit in the kettle properly, there is a gap at the bottom where it sits in its holder, so limescale flakes can get through and end up in your tea. Not very nice at all. The filter is pretty easy to remove and clean, probably because it doesn't fit very well in its holder, but it isn't very sturdy. Ours has a rip in the mesh, which you also don't want, as this too lets flakes through. I must point out I only noticed the rip after the kettle had died otherwise action would have been taken much earlier.
The lid does not fit the kettle properly and it comes open very easily. There is a button on the lid that you are meant to press in to open it, but that is not needed, there is nothing holding the lid shut except gravity. I can hear a rattling around in the lid when I move it so I will assume the mechanism to hold the lid shut broke, but it did so a long, long time ago. The button is quite stiff to push in, probably because it hasn't been used. The lids lack of catch makes filling the kettle very easy but also means when pouring boiling water out it flaps open.
The kettle exterior is very hard to keep clean. This is probably true of all stainless steel kettles but it shows every fingerprint and every splash and dribble of water. Judging from the water marks and amount of limescale around the spout and the trail from the spout to the base of the kettle, it wasn't that great at pouring, dribbling water down the kettle in the process.
The water gauge ranges from 1 litre to 1.5 litres with a marking for its maximum at 1.7 litres. Now I don't want to boil l litre of water every time I want a cup of tea so a lower marking would have been useful, therefore when filling the kettle I never looked at the water level window and just guessed. The minimum the kettle can boil is two cups but there is no marking for this. This is not very useful and I always ended up overfilling the kettle and pouring more away that I used. This of course is very wasteful of energy.
It appears the kettle is pretty shoddily made. Apart from springing a leak, the fid not fitting and the limescale filter tearing, the on/off switch is rather flimsy. The switch is located at the bottom of the kettle below the handle. To turn it on you flip the lever type switch up. But once up it wobbles about a bit and one some occasions when I wondered why the kettle was taking so long to boil I would find that the switch had fallen back into the off position. This is very annoying, the slightest touch will make the switch turn off, the kettle is not sturdy or well made which I find surprising as I thought Russell Hobbs was a respected brand.
The kettle sits on a swivel base so can easily be used by both right and left handers, but the power on light is only on one side which would only be visible to right handed people.
Not a biggie, I think we all know how to use a kettle, but the instruction manual is pretty useless. It consisted of a diagram and 2 ½ pages of information, most of which was the important safeguards e.g. don't open the lid whilst the water is heating. The writing is small and the lines are close together so it would not be easy to read by someone with sight problems. The kettle body gets very hot when used so it is best not to touch it or you will get burnt.
So in summary don't buy this kettle. It is badly made, the lid is loose and swings open easily, the limescale filter is rubbish, the on/off switch is wobbly, it is hard to keep clean, and the water level window does not have enough markings on it. Rant over, I'm off to play with the new kettle. Tea anyone?
Thanks for reading. Also on ciao as rd52169.
Summary: do not buy
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