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Slovenians don't really 'do' kettles; they use a stove top kettle or they use a very small pan with a pouring lip when making (mostly) coffee. When we bought our first place in Slovenia we bought a stove top kettle which boiled quickly and suited us fine. We took it to the new house and when we waited patiently in the cold house for our heating oil to be delivered, we filled the kettle with water and set it on the hob. When after a few minutes nothing happened I started to swear a lot, alerting our estate agent Marko who was patiently waiting with us to introduce us the oil man. After a few minutes of three grown adults being utterly stumped, Marko suddenly realised that this house had an induction hob and our kettle was not compatible with it.
Now if you go out shopping for appliances in Slovenia you will find countless niche products like popcorn poppers, hot dog steamers and electric waffle machines all of which have several brand options, but probably only one or two kettles. In fact we bought ours from the Tus supermarket which had only one kettle available. The price seemed OK and I couldn't be bothered to check the specifications so we stuck it in the trolley. Only one feature stood out and that was the anti-scale filter which is essential in Slovenia where everyone has very hard water.
I don't usually focus too much on brands but knowing the Russell Hobbs name reassured me a little as I didn't have time to ask Slovene friends for a recommendation.
This kettle is white and very simply designed. Actually it feels very plasticky and clunky; you certainly couldn't call it sleek or stylish. It has a 360 Degree cordless base which is useful to me because it means I can grab the kettle easily from either side of the work space: when our hot water failed earlier this year we had to boil the kettle numerous times to fill the washing up bowl but wanted to use the kettle while cooking too and we really appreciated the freedom the cordless base facilitates.
When the kettle is switched on to boil a neon blue light comes on. There's a water level indicator window which could do with being more central on the side of the kettle: as it is it's a bit too close to the handle. However this is on both sides so you don't have to turn the kettle round to see it. The kettle has a 1.7 litre capacity which more than meets our usual needs.
This kettle boils rapidly and makes only minimal noise: this is in stark contrast to a similar Russell Hobbs model we bought in the UK recently. I find that this particular model keeps recently boiled water hot for some time after boiling. The exterior of the kettle doesn't get too hot which is a positive for me as I will always stick my hand on the side of the kettle to see if the water is still hot: this is not always advisable with some kettles.
This kettle performs pretty much as I expected: actually it boils more quickly than I had anticipated so in one way it has outperformed my expectations. I have not been as impressed with the limescale filter: this removable filter which slips into the pouring spout should filter out bits of what Slovenes call 'water stone'. You can slide out the filter to clean it but even though I do this frequently, I still find tiny bits of scale in the bottom of my coffee when I am nearly at the bottom. I have taken to pouring the boiled water through a tea strainer to see if I can catch any more.
The other niggle with this kettle is that the release button to open the lid is horribly clunky and I don't think it'll last very long. Sometimes it sticks so I tend to stick the spout under the tap and fill it that way instead.
In the UK you can expect to pay upwards of £20 for this kettle. Argos currently sells it for £24.99 while Amazon charges £19.97. For the price I paid in Slovenia I was happy enough with it. To get a better kettle there I'd have had to pay a lot more and really made some effort to find something. In the UK I'd say that you can get something a bit better for the same price.
Concealed element for easy cleaning / 1.7 litre capacity / 3 kW / Rapid boil / Boil dry protection / automatically switches off when the kettle is empty / Removable and washable limescale filter / Orange illumination on boiling / Push button operated lid / 360 degree base / Non-slip feet / Manufacturer's 2 year guarantee / EAN/MPN/UPC/ISBN: 4008496728695 / By Russell Hobbs / Short name: Russell Hobbs 18540