Product Type: Russell Hobbs kettles
Newest Review: ... easily when it gets covered in dirt. I'm a messy cook (just ask my other half) so this is handy, plus, as it's steel, it doesn't stain and... more
I'm not bubbling over with excitement.
Russell Hobbs 18681 Auto
Member Name: Thony
Russell Hobbs 18681 Auto
Advantages: Looks good, quick boiling, decent capacity, multi-directional base
Disadvantages: No fill level window, builds limescale quickly, boils over, too hot to handle.
I was recently given this kettle by the in-laws because they thought our old kettle was dangerous. Something to do with the melted plastic and metal pin which had welded itself into the wrong place leading to a dodgy connection. Some people eh?
In the past I've always bought supermarket value range kettles and have never been able to understand why people would pay more for such a simple appliance. Will I be going back to the value range with this kettle eventually breaks? Yes. Read on to find out why.
It's a pretty standard kettle design, nothing to write home about. It's brushed stainless steel with a pop up lid on top and a power switch below the handle which lights up when in operation. It connects to a circular multi-directional base and holds 1.7L of water.
I will (grudgingly) admit that the brushed steel looks better than the white plastic of my old kettle and wipes down easily when it gets covered in dirt. I'm a messy cook (just ask my other half) so this is handy, plus, as it's steel, it doesn't stain and doesn't look too grubby after being picked up with dirty hands.
It boils quickly enough even when full to the maximum mark so I'm not waiting around groggily (a.k.a grumpily) for my morning coffee.
As mentioned above it contains 1.7L of water which is more than enough for a few cups of tea and enough for a big pan of pasta for two people. If you have a larger family (or a larger appetite) it might take a couple of fillings for enough water for a pasta meal.
As the base is multi-directional it requires slightly less thought that other kettles to replace after use. It's not something I've ever struggled too much with on other kettles so isn't really a selling point.
So, why am I going back to value range kettles when this breaks? I've found I have a few niggling issues with this kettle that my previous didn't have.
There is no window on the side of the kettle so you can't see how full it is without opening. There's a maximum fill mark on the inside but its small and when combined with the small top opening it is hard to see. The means you boil more water than you need.
The element covers the entire base of the kettle rather than a coil. This probably speeds up boil time and means there's no minimum fill but the increased surface area means it builds up limescale quickly. I live in a hard water area so you quickly start finding lumps in your tea and have to get the de-scaler out.
When filled to the maximum mark the water will sometimes bubble out the spout when it comes to the boil. This not only presents a risk of scalding but also an electrical hazard.
It's not a gripe specific to this kettle, rather all metal kettles, but I think that metal is a poor choice of material for the main body. When the kettle has boiled, and for a while after, the body is very hot and it would be very easy to burn yourself. It's too hot for me to touch with my asbestos fingers so would pose a serious risk to a curious child or even a sleepy adult. Also, and I'm happy to be corrected on this, as the body conducts more heat than a more insulating material, more heat will be lost to the surroundings making the kettle less efficient and wasting electricity.
The power switch on the body of the kettle seems a little flimsy. I can easily imagine it snapping if pressed too hard by a caffeine deprived individual or a heavy pan accidentally knocked it. Other than this switch the build quality is good.
I've made some complaints about this kettle but some are just me being picky whilst others I think are valid safety concerns. Still, this is a perfectly good kettle and I'm sure will offer me a good few years of service. I didn't buy it myself but its currently going for £17 on amazon which is a reasonable price for a metal bodied kettle.
Summary: Adequate kettle, but I wouldn't choose one over a cheaper value range model
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