“ Brand: Tesco / Capacity: 1.7L / Power: 3kW „
I would describe myself as a savvy shopper and enjoy seeking out bargains in a bid to save a few pennies. After years of nagging my husband, he has finally come around to my way of thinking, as previously he would make purchases without even thinking about the price. When our trusted Breville kettle packed in shortly after Christmas I carried out a little research to find a suitable replacement although I must admit that I'm somewhat of a snob when it comes to kitchen appliances as I like them all to match.
As a result, I selected a model that was listed on the Tesco website, which offered a sleek and contemporary chrome finish and I provided my husband with the details so that he could make a purchase from our local store the following day. However, despite initially agreeing with my choice, much to my dismay and horror my husband took it upon himself to choose something completely different, as he alleged "it was cheaper" and he presented me with a box containing a WHITE kettle! The model in question is Tesco own brand, namely JKR17 and this review discusses my thoughts and experience with using it.
After providing my husband with a few choice words, I removed the 1.7 litre cordless jug kettle from the box and cannot admit to being impressed with its rather basic appearance. Pushing my negative thoughts to the side, I decided to put the 25 cm height kettle to the test and see if it lived up to its rapid boil claim. Filling it with cold water is via the lid, which is released by gently pressing the fairly large button located on the upper section of the handle. As a result, the lid shoots open rather rapidly and if there happens to be any splashes of water resting on top, you get yourself a free shower in the process with any remaining droplets of water running down the sides of the kettle.
The plastic casing of the kettle has been manufactured to a good standard and is considerably robust, which I had not expected for a supermarket branded kettle. The kettle displays a water level indicator albeit a little narrow with the accompanying instruction booklet stating that the minimum filling level is two cups. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the indicator begins with an icon depicting four cups up to a maximum of eight, it's a bit of a guessing game when judging how much water is required for two people. Whilst the reverse side of the kettle displays litre measurements they are confusing due to the odd increments of the small black dots.
In addition to the small cup icons displayed on the side of the water level indicator, there are black dots located above and below each cup increment. However, there is no logical explanation for these markings as they are unevenly spaced, so I get the distinct impression that the design of this kettle was carried out in the pitch dark with a pot of black paint and a brush! Whilst the indicator is fairly easy to read in natural light it can be rather difficult to see in strong sunlight, so on those occasions I have to move around the kitchen armed with the kettle until I am able to see it properly.
I was surprised by the lightweight of 1.1 kg when the kettle is empty, so it is extremely easy to lift and would be beneficial for those people who suffer with mobility issues in their hands, arms and fingers. In addition, the kettle is suitable for both left and right handed use. The handle is well shaped offering an easy grip and does not offer any heat once the water has boiled. Whilst the power cord isn't particularly long, it is sufficient for a cordless kettle. However, there is where my grumbles begin, as I find the base far too large, so it takes up quite a lot of room on our kitchen surface and I would have preferred the design of the base to be smaller with the kettle being slightly taller.
Whilst this isn't a safety concern, unfortunately, the kettle does not sit firmly on the base where it tends to rock back and fore, which I find a little annoying. Clicking the sturdy plastic "on" switch, which is located directly below the handle, triggers the blue illuminating light, which is more of a gimmick that a necessary feature. Within a few seconds, due to the rapid boil feature the 3 KW kettle begins to sound rather noisily and on the first few occasions of using I found this extremely irritating, particularly as none of my previous kettles would offer any noise until they were nearing boiling point.
Despite my moans and groans, I would have to agree with the rapid boil claim as it takes one minute and fifty seconds to boil enough water for four cups although here comes another grumble. Unfortunately, the kettle fails to switch off when it reaches boiling point and continues for a further nine seconds, which results in a fair amount of steam and of course, energy wastage. Pouring from the kettle is rather hit and miss because when it is tilted too far forward the boiling water runs everywhere instead of where it's intended. However, my husband has informed me that he only occasionally has issues and that I'm "doing it wrong". The filter cannot be changed although I cannot admit to being bothered by this and as we live in a soft water area we have not experienced any issues with limescale.
On a positive note, the kettle is much easier to clean that a chrome kettle and one wipe with a dampened cloth is all that is needed. I've had a few wicked thoughts of accidentally on purpose dropping the kettle on the kitchen floor in the hope that it will break, so that I can purchase the chrome one that I originally chose, but knowing my luck, the kettle would stay perfectly intact and instead I'd break the kitchen floor tiles!
You've probably guessed by now that I'm not too impressed with this kettle and as a result, it receives three stars from me. If you are interested in purchasing I would advise that it is only available in white and is currently priced at £11.96 where it has been reduced from £15.97.
Please ignore the last three in the list of Quick Rating Criteria at the end of this review, as they do not apply.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading
Tesco sell a range of their own supermarket branded kettles - some of which are better than others. Today I'm testing their JKR17 jug model which can be picked up for £15.97 both in store and online. I bought the kettle a few years back, but it has since been relegated to the cupboard due to a couple of newer kettles that I have purchased since.
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In terms of its appearance, the JKR17 isn't an especially nice looking appliance - it's very plasticky and rather bulky. The lid is perhaps the ugliest part, with a raised bulge that looks a little out of place. That said, the overall build quality feels sturdy, and the chunky handle makes transportation easy. The lid is opened via an easy to press button at the top of the handle, and is simple to close with a firm push. Inside the kettle there's the obligatory limescale filter, which can be removed and does a good job of stopping those nasty flakes entering your cuppa. The water capacity is a fairly healthy 1.7 litres - although this is marked on the water gauge in 'cups', with the maximum being eight.
The kettle is quick to boil with a 3Kw element, and the sides are fairly well insulated to stop hands being scolded. As a cordless model, the JKR17 features a nicely designed base which allows 360 degrees of motion, and a power cord which will be plenty long enough for the average user. In terms of the downsides (aside from its appearance), the kettle isn't the best pourer, demonstrating a slight amount of dribble when pouring slowly. To be honest, this is the main reason why I don't use the kettle that often; I end up with spilled water on the surfaces, which isn't what I want from my water-boiling appliance!
Additional Features & Final Word
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So far, my write-up has probably led you to believe the that the JKR17 is a rather dull model - and for the most part it is - however, it does have a fancy feature in the form of a blue illuminating water window. This adds some much needed glamour to the appliance, although it can't disguise the fact that it's not an especially exciting device. At the end of the day, the Tesco JKR17 isn't a bad kettle by any means, with plus points including good build quality and a fairly light weight - however, it won't win any design awards, and the dribble is a little off-putting - 3/5.
Capacity: 1.7 (Litres)
Limescale Filter: Yes
Size: 17.5 x 25.5 x 24.5 cms
Rapid Boil: Yes
Short name: Tesco JKR17