I have an excellent Le Crueset hob top kettle but after having electricity hooked into my large garden shed I decided to buy a small travel kettle to keep in there so I could make myself a cup of tea without having to traipse mud and loose grass all through my living room.
I had some spare Amazon vouchers so had a look on there and found the Russell Hobbs 3061 Classic White Travel Kettle priced at just £11.97 so I bought it along with a couple of paperbacks to take my order over the free delivery threshold, it arrived a few days later and I took it straight down to the shed to try it out. I have a drinking water supply in the shed as it was once used as a tiny granny flat and the previous owner left the sink and taps installed as water is always useful to have in a shed.
I took the very small kettle out of the very large box it came in and filled it up with water. This is the first problem. The lid doesn't really open at a wide enough angle for me to slip it underneath the tap with ease, plus because this is a corded kettle it makes it even more awkward to fill as I have to make sure the rather short power lead doesn't dangle in the sink. Before you say it, it's no easier to fill through the spout because it's too small and skinny to have the cold tap on with any force - I've had to start using a jug every time I want to fill the kettle as it saves time unplugging and transporting the whole shebang to the sink and leaves me less wet than trying to direct the water into the spout.
After filling and plugging in the kettle the light came on to inform me it was working and it slowly boiled. I mean S L O W L Y, I was boiling a few kettle fulls of water to thoroughly clean the inside and at one point I was actually able to go and plant half a dozen bedding plants in the time it took for this kettle to boil the already tepid (from the hot tap) water. This is not good as I am one of those people that as soon as I fancy a cuppa I like to have it steaming away in my hands as quickly as possible, not in half an hours time. The automatic shut off works as it should and my water was not left boiling away for long, it sounded as though the shut off occurs when the water has reached boiling point and stayed there for a couple of minutes.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER open the lid of the kettle after it has recently boiled as the steam that escapes from this kettle is like no other I have ever seen. Absolute clouds of it came out of the lid when I opened it, I am very careful of steam so had my hand well out of the way but still managed to get a sore steam scald on my thumb. The lid locks into place when it is closed and I suggest you keep it well locked until the water is cool enough not to deliver first degree burns. Unfortunately after a week or two the locking ability of my kettle vastly diminished and although the lid still closes tightly I no longer have the added protection of it being locked down after boiling. I assume this is because I have used the kettle quite a lot, when it is actually a travel kettle and not designed for constant use.
Pouring the water into my cup of tea was equally disastrous. Boiling water splashes and drips everywhere, leaking from the spout and trailling down the body of the kettle and even dripping down the power lead which is definitely not good. If I try to pour a cup immediately as the water is boiling then the water spits and gurgles from the spout which is really an accident waiting to happen. After three months use I have never managed to pour a cup of water without making at least one small puddle, and I've tried pouring at an angle, from a height and as close to the mug as possible. It just doesn't work.
I like the water level indicators because there is one on each side of the kettle and this makes it easier for me to fill the kettle from any angle and still see at a glance how much water is in there. I know it's not rocket science filling a kettle with the required amount of water but this is a useful touch, which I believe is to help make this kettle useful for people who are right or left handed. Anyway, if a left handed person has bought this kettle then the water level is the least of their worries to be quite honest!
This Russell Hobbs kettle holds 850mls of water, which equates to just over three mugs worth. This is perfect in my opinion because not only does it stop those silly power wasters who boil a full kettle of water for just one cup of tea, but it also makes this a light kettle to handle and even with the arthritis in my hands I have no problems lifting this kettle when full.
It comes complete with moulded plug and a concealed 1 kW element. I also received two matching plastic mugs and spoons in my box but they are ugly and very functional looking so I will stick to my own mug that is decorated with photographs of Yorkshire Terriers. The kettle also features a water filter but this is basically just a little piece of mesh fixed inside the spout of the kettle, the holes in the mesh look too big to properly filter the water so please bear this in mind if you are planning to take this kettle to any country where the water is likely to need filtering.
I'll keep this kettle even though it is useless because I cannot be bothered to return it when it only cost such a small sum of money, in the meantime I am looking out for a decent travel kettle to replace it and as soon as I get one this Russell Hobbs disaster will be relegated to the 'might come in handy' cupboard.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 3061