I live in an area with particularly hard water and, as I have no softener fitted, I seem to go through kettles (and irons) at a great rate of knots. Each time I shop for a kettle I have few criteria:
1 - the kettle must be cordless with a 360 swivel base : I don't want to faff having to locate the kettle the right way round on the base and I don't want to be tied to a flex.
2 - the kettle must be as space saving as possible : I'm not short of space but a kettle is a utility item not a thing of beauty.
Other than that, I'm not that bothered: or so I think.
As I get through so many kettles price IS a bit of an issue but only in so far as I don't want to be throwing too much money away each time, but, if I like a kettle then I'll spend on it.
The Russell Hobbs Montana was one of just a couple of kettles in Argos that met my criteria and, not being bothered to shop around, I just went for it. In use it meets my criteria but I wouldn't buy another one. Here's why.
The kettle is a less than attractive silver plastic colour. It looks rather cheap and nasty but, as a utility item is more than OK. The handle of the kettle is a soft-touch rubber which does feel quite odd at first if you're used to hard plastic handles but I've quickly warmed to it. The kettle is well balanced, even when full, and so carrying a full kettle is neither hard no a safety hazard.
The kettle sits on a round base with a connector for the kettle in the centre. It truly is a 360 degree swivel base and it is incredibly easy to locate the kettle on the base from a multitude of angles. The base cord is long enough for most people's needs and the cord storage facility actually works so that you don't have a trailing flex across your work top - simply wind the cord in the base to the desired length and clip it.
Filling the kettle one has a choice: fill through the spout (which has a filter) or through the lid. I find that it's easy enough to fill through the spout although this is not going to wide enough for many people's liking. The alternative of the lid is also easy but there's a catch (quite literally). To open the lid you have to turn the knob on the top of the lid - this is easy to do with one hand - and the lid will open to an angle of about 80 degrees (so not quite straight up). The slight angle of the lid might make filling through the lid awkward if you have limited space under your taps although anyone with a high arm tap will be fine. The issue comes when returning the kettle to the base. To shut the lid you either have to press it quite firmly (and risk breaking the catch) or turn the knob again. On a couple of occasions I've found that the lid hasn't quite shut tight and for me this is a real issue as, when you come to pour the boiling water out of the kettle there's a risk that the lid could open and you could tip water out over yourself. I'm now very careful after a couple of close calls.
There's a slightly opaque viewing window on either side of the kettle making it easy to see how much water you have. A common issue for me with water level indicators that use a ball is that they fur up too easily - at least with a viewer you can always see even if the view gets a bit cloudier the older the kettle gets.
The kettle has a concealed element which, in theory at least, means that it's easier to clean and arrest any limescale build-up. Whilst I'd agree with the theory I've found that a concealed element will fur as quickly as a traditional element after a while. There's a standard illuminated power indicator too and the on/off switch is easy to operate.
The kettle is advertised as a rapid boil kettle. A full 1.7l of water will take 3 mins 45 seconds to boil. How this compares to others I don't know as I have never timed anything else! It's adequate for my needs though although I'd prefer something a bit faster. One point to note though is that the boil is vigorous and, if you have a completely full kettle you need to watch for slight splashes - again a safety issue.
Being plastic the kettle is easier to keep clean than a metal stainless steel kettle but you'll still see more watermarks than you would on a white kettle. The spout has also scratched quite a bit in light use and makes the whole thing look rather cheap.
Because of the potential safety issues I wouldn't consider another one of these. It's functional but not the best.
* Powerful 3kw rapid boil element
* Multi directional 360 degree base with cord storage.
* 1.7 litre capacity.
* Boils the water quite fast
* easy to use
* good water capacity for when you are making tea for loads of people
* Hinged Lid
Ok, now this is a nice kettle. I make loads of cups of tea (cannot do without a tea all day long) and this is completely worth the money in my opinion.
Now it really does boil the water quite quickly and when you make a lot of cups of tea, that is quite important. I hate waiting for the water to boil, and therefore should you hate waiting for the water to boil, then do buy this kettle.
I should mention that the water capacity of this kettle is 1.7 litre, cannot really comment too much on that as I am usually boiling the kettle for only one person. However I would have thought that 1.7 Litre should be more that enough for anyone.
I have always found that the lack of a cord on the actual kettle (it sits on the base unit only) is really good. I hate it when I boil a kettle and then cannot take it over to another counter to pore into the cups (or saucepan, etc). That is a definete plus for this kettle, if it is important to you, then I do recommend this kettle.
Must admit that I am not completely sure about the colour (it is Silver after all) but then I am not the biggist fan of silver. You must make your own mind up whether it will fit into your kitchen and match your other appliances.
Now I must say that this kettle has begun to leak on me now when I am pouring the water into the cup and is really beginning to annoy me. Didn't have any problems at first, but now really annoying me, so I think I will soon be replacing it. I have had it a little while but thought I should mention it.
All in all a nice kettle that is recommended.
Verdict: 3 out of 5
Short name: Russell Hobbs 11403