You either like chrome or you are forced to live with plastic. There is no middle ground. As I have settled into my flat I have slowly replaced all the cheap, practical plastic appliances with lovely shiny chrome (I like shiny things) whilst keeping them looking shiny can take allot of effort I have always found it to be worth it. This kettle is the final piece in my collection and I can honestly say I am impressed with its ability to boil water; naturally it comes second to its shininess.
The kettle is cordless and means it is practical and safe to carry around the kitchen. At 1.7 litres it is more than sufficient for anything but the largest of family gatherings. The lid can be opened with a little button; I personally think it is a part that is likely to break sooner than later. When you flip the switch it lights up and is a handy way to verify if the kettle is boiling if you have difficulty with operating a kettle. Inside the kettle is a removable mesh filter which is handy so it can be cleaned.
Unfortunately there are some draw backs to the kettle. There is no window to see how much water is in the kettle, which I find highly inconvenient. You have to open the lid every time and check that the water level is above the minimum line, but like I have already highlighted, boiling water is only its secondary function. Care must also be taken if you do decide to use it. Due to it being chrome it conducts heat rather effectively and can become very hot to the touch.
My dad bought this Russell Hobbs Kettle when the element in our old plastic one blew.
The main advantages of this kettle is that it's cordless, meaning you don't have to keep unplugging it to pour, you simply lift it off the base. I think this is safer, before it means you don't accidentally try and pour when still plugged in, and end up with a mess.
The 1.7 litre capacity is slightly more than some kettles, but it sufficient enough to get several cups of tea or coffee out of when there's family and friends around, as well as two hot water bottles when it's cold. There is a button to press to flip the lid open, which saves you fiddling around trying to get it off as well. The handle is plastic, which doesn't heat up when boiling water, making this kettle easy to handle.
The switch is located at the bottom of the kettle, and lights up when the kettle is turned on, making it very easy to make sure it is turned on, even if you can't hear the water starting to boil. If you lift the kettle off from the base while it is boiling, the switch automatically turns off, which is a great feature I feel, as you have to switch it on again if you need to further boil to kettle when you put it back on, which stops it boiling unnecessarily if you do not. Very handy when you are cooking, and your attentions are otherwise diverted.
There is also a filter by the spout, which filters out impurities.
What I most liked about this product was how much nicer the stainless steel looks than a plastic one, which will always, in my opinion, look tacky in comparison. However, looks aren't always everything.
While there is a maximum fill line, it is inside the kettle, which means you cannot tell from the outside whether you've overfilled it or not. I didn't even notice it at first until my dad pointed it out, before then, I simply felt it was guesswork whether or not I had overfilled the kettle or not. There is also nothing to indicate how much water you are boiling, whether it's expressed in cups or litres. Again, guess work. There is no clear screen to even look into to kettle to see the water line. You have to open the lid every time to check what's in the pot. I think this is very inconvenient and not user friendly. Especially when you're trying to be green, and not boil more water than is necessary, you end up guessing and over estimating by a few cupfuls, or end up having to actually pour in cupfuls of water to make sure. I think this is a big flaw in the design of this kettle, especially when the world is trying to move towards a more environmentally friendly place.
As the body of the kettle is made of stainless steel, is heats up quite a lot during the boiling process. I feel this wastes energy, as the heat escapes via this. And if there's a little water left in the kettle after you've poured a cuppa, it cools down quicker because of this, meaning more energy is wasted when next boiling. It also means you can accidentally burn yourself on the body if you forget or haven't realised it's recently been boiled.
All in all, a stylish kettle, but not the most user friendly out there, nor environmentally friendly either. I would definitely choose convenience over style when it comes to a kettle, and wouldn't recommend this kettle to anyone who likes practicality.
This is your typical Russel Hobbs kettle, they are basically look the same and have the same features. Such as rapid boil and so on. They all mainly are steel although I actually own a plastic one which chages colours when it gets hot which is quite good. I have had a few problems though with Russel Hobbs, twice actually. One the lid broke and burnt all the cupboard above it while it was boiling. And the other, just randomly stopped boiling properly. It would only half do it and then stop. I personally recommend Russel Hobbs kettle's even though they tend to break. They do look stylish and are a ice look in the kitchen. But honestly dont expect it to last more than a few months. You can pick up these kettles farely cheap though like when there on sale and other times. Go out and buy it... its a good price for a stylish kettle.
There's not much I require from an electric kettle. Firstly, it has to boil water quickly and efficiently; secondly it should be easy to fill and pour; thirdly it should be safe and reliable. Apart from that, looks don't concern me a lot although price does. Handy features I look for include a fill-level indicator and an on/off light, although I consider these as desirable rather than essential. I initially preferred plastic as less likely to burn hands but my children are old enough now to understand not to touch hot surfaces.
Our old Morphy Richards Filtermaster was obviously on its way out. It took ages to heat the water and it never seemed to quite get to the boil. Worse, the immersed element had turned black and pieces of it were coming off and getting into the water. The filter wasn't doing its job very well and cups of tea often had black specks at the bottom. Yuk! Time for a new one.
First port of call Amazon UK backed up by a report I have from Which? Curiously though, the Which? Best Buys got quite mixed reviews from Amazon customers, with most complaints being about reliability. The commonest faults seemed to be leaks, lid mechanisms jamming or breaking and the plastic body or lining of the kettle affecting the taste of the water. Further investigation revealed that limescale was the main culprit with lid mechanisms failing and that glass and steel bodied kettles had fewer problems with tainting the taste of the water. Leaks seemed to be more common with Philips kettles while Russell Hobbs had more problems with the lid mechanism. My conclusion was that I should probably look for a glass or steel bodied Russell Hobbs kettle; the problem with limescale shouldn't arise since we live in a soft water area. My working budget was £20-£25, which ruled out the glass kettles.
Having completed my research I remembered that I had seen a Russell Hobbs kettle on offer at my local Co-op supermarket at £19.99. Checking the model number, this turned out to be the 18152 and the price lower than Amazon or any other on-line offer I could find for this model. Better still I could have a proper look at it, get it straight away and get my Co-op membership points. Which is exactly what I did.
The kettle comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a slightly misleading picture of the kettle on it. What appears to be thick vertical black line on the side of the kettle is in fact a poor representation of a reflection from its polished stainless steel body. Inside the kettle was well-packed protected by a plastic bag and more cardboard. The instructions come in an 8-page A5 size booklet which has a clear legible typeface and line drawings as illustrations. It is all in English too. The instructions are clear and well written covering safety, normal use, regular maintenance and advice to prolong the life of the kettle. One thing I learned is that I should descale my kettle even in a soft water area; I won't get limescale but I will get phosphate scale, and this can be invisible apparently. There is also some information on disposal and recycling. Because it is a cordless kettle there is a separate base with the cord and pre-fitted moulded plug attached.
Following the instructions (and common sense!) I didn't fill it with water and make a cup of tea straight away. No, the first thing to do is fill, boil and empty three times to remove any dust or other residues from manufacture and packing. Filling is easy I found either through the spout or the lid, which opens to almost 90° with a light press of a button at the top of the handle. The lid clicks shut easily too, and this is important or the cut-off mechanism may not function and the kettle boil dry.
Sitting the kettle on its base, plugging in and switching on by pressing down the illuminated toggle switch at the base of the kettle produced an immediate powerful-sounding noise like a steam boiler - which is what it is I suppose. I was quite surprised how loud it was although with time and use the sound has reduced a little (I understand this phenomenon of noisy boiling occurs when there are no nuclei for steam bubbles to form on, which would be the case with a brand new polished stainless steel kettle). The concealed element is 3kW and justifies its claim to be "rapid boil".
Once ready to make its first cup of tea I refilled with fresh water viewing the level through the transparent indicator in line with the open-style handle. There is no coloured float but the indicator is quite large and easy to read in both daylight and artificial light. Unfortunately, this kettle can't do a one-cup boil; the minimum is two cups (0.6 litres). The maximum is 1.7 litres or enough for six good sized cups or medium mugs. Boiling up for this first cup of tea was again quick and rather noisy. The water reaches a vigorous boil for four or five seconds before automatically switching off. The kettle pours well without drips or splashes unless you try to pour very fast (not a good idea with boiling water). The open handle is comfortable to hold and the kettle feels balanced in your hand although quite heavy if filled to the maximum level. The verdict on its first cup of tea was a definite thumbs-up: properly hot tea with a good fresh taste (no trace of a taint).
Having used the kettle for a while now, I can confirm that it has continued to perform well. The only criticisms I have noticed is that the polished steel does pick up scratches easily, presumably from the kettle contacting the tap or the side of the sink when filling. (I'm talking here about fine scratches that you can only see close up, but noticeable all the same. Russell Hobbs advise not to use any abrasive or solvent on the kettle which seems to rule out metal polishes, otherwise I'd be tempted to have a go with some Solvol Autosol.) You also need to give it a wipe over regularly with a damp cloth to keep it shiny and clean. The style looks quite elegant with the mirror finish being set off by the black base, handle and lid. It looks good in my kitchen, which is mainly white with oak effect worktops. The base has good rubber feet that don't slip and the whole thing feels stable despite a much smaller footprint than our old kettle. The cord length can be adjusted by winding it around once inside the underneath of the base. However, it was still a bit too long - my kettle sits very close to the plug socket - and I have used a cable tie to shorten it further.
The filter works well and I never see bits in my tea now. It is easy to get at with the lid open and can be removed and refitted by hand without difficulty, unlike the Morphy Richards which needed a flat knife to lever the filter out.
Considering Russell Hobbs' strong brand reputation I was a little disappointed that the guarantee is only for one year. Past experience with this brand suggest that it should last for many years but only time will tell!
The 18152 Russell Hobbs Polished Stainless Steel Kettle would make a stylish addition to any kitchen / It offers a 1.7 litre capacity removable washable filter cord storage and a 360? base for right and left handed users. / Short name: Russell Hobbs 18152