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A while back I got my hands on a kettle that was not like other kettles. No, it wasn't anything special really. It doesn't make a hundred cups of coffee with one drop of water, nor does it manage to squeeze enough flavour from a single tea bag to keep the entire WI happy during their AGM. No, when I say 'not like any other kettle' I mean it's not the same size as other kettles, being designed more for travelling rather than using as a permanent fixture in a hotels kitchen.
The clever name for this kettle, this travelling kettle, this travelling kettle that offers more than a small kettle full of water, from cold to hot. The name of this kettle that I have been using quite regularly for a while now is the WAHL ZX643 travel kettle. Ok, when I say the clever name I may have exaggerate there a little, but a kettle none the less.
* What does this travel kettle look like..?
Firstly, as it's a travel kettle it's smaller than your standard kettle, standing only at a mere 200mm in height and is about 120mm in diameter, with the handle sticking out about another 90mm, which does put it in the larger pile when it comes to travel kettles. It can hold a maximum of ½ litres of water without spitting it out of the top when it's boiling.
The main body is made of stainless steal which means that it will withhold the nasty rusting process that some metals can be killed by. The rest of the kettle, the base, the lid and the handle are made of a strong and lightweight black plastic material. Making the two colours of silver and black look good together.
The handle is quite large, compared to the rest of the kettle that is, being made of a strong plastic and having a good size gap in it that accommodates your hand.
On the top of the kettle there is the lid, which again, is made of the same plastic as the handle. The lid has a small notch type insert in the centre which is where you grip hold of the lid in order to pull it open on the hinges type mechanism, like most standard kettles in fact.
On the front, or opposite the handle, which makes the handle on the back, there is the spout itself where the water pours from. This spout is made of the same stainless steal as the kettle.
Finally, on the outside of the kettle, there is a little orange light that illuminates when the power is on.
Now, flip the lid and you'll see there are little marks inside the kettle, showing filling levels up to the ½ litre mark, with indented marks going up in cup sizes, 0.1 - 0.2 and the top fill level being 0.3.
And that's all there is inside the kettle as this one has an hidden element, which means that there's no element showing on the inside of the kettle, all you see is a flat piece of metal that the water sits on, boiling away.
Sadly though it's a fixed cable and is not one of those new fangled cordless kettle, but as the cable is a good 250mm in length so there's no real hassles in tipping the water into the cups when it's boiled.
* What power does it offer..?
It offers 1KW of power which is enough to bring a full kettle to boil in a matter of 90 seconds or so.
* How do you use it..?
You use it like any other kettle really. Pour in some water, hit the power supply and wait till it boils. Now I bet you're wondering why I haven't mentioned 'flicking' a switch? Well, there isn't a switch on the kettle itself. With this one you have to use the switch on the wall where the plug is slotted into. This is the only way to switch this kettle on and off.
It does however offer an automatic switch off safety feature when the water boils away to much... so to speak, although this feature isn't the best but it does stop the kettle from boiling dry and causing damage.
As for filling it, well, you can fill it through the spout or, for less splashing about, you can lift the lid up and fill the kettle through the top.
* Is there anything else to mention..?
Well, apart from the kettle there is a couple of cups that came with it. These cups are also travel cups and are smaller than you're standard cups, which actually comes in handy as they fit nicely inside the kettle when it comes to travelling with it all. Just make sure you empty the water out of the kettle before sticking it into your bag.
* What do I think of this kettle then..?
I like it really, in a kettle sort of emotional manner of course, as it really does come in handy, and not just for when I'm on the move either, as I have used this as an emergency kettle when the one in the house has gone to the big kitchen in the sky and boiled it's last spot of H20
The handle is a good size and strong, plus, it manages to stay cool when the kettle is hotter than that poster of the tennis girl scratching her behind that donned the walls of many teenagers bedrooms years ago.
The kettle does get hot, as you'd expect from a kettle, which means that you will have to let it cool down properly if you want to pack it away into you bag to take with you to your next destination.
It feels sturdy, which is what you need when it comes to something that is designed to hold boiling water, with the handle itself feeling like a standard size kettle. You've just got to remember that it is not a full size kettle, it can only take ½ litre, so don't be inviting the all your mates around for a brew if this is the only kettle you've got in the house.
It doesn't take long to boil a full kettle but as a full kettle is only ½ litre you wouldn't expect it to take too long anyway.
The spout isn't the biggest and can spill water over the sides if you pour too fast, but take your time and most of the water should find the right target.
The only downside is that the kettle does not have the old fashioned on and off switch, which means that it is controlled straight from the plug socket. But this isn't really a downside as the auto shut off does kick in eventually to stop the element from getting damaged if you forget this is on and the water begins to boil dry.
The cups that come with this are ok, if you're desperate for something to hold you water in. They are small, a bit too small really for, but, I suppose, that if you are desperate for a cup then these would do, but, if like me, and you have the possibility of having a decent cup at hand then use your own cup as the plastic cups that come with this kettle are soon forgotten.
* What's the price of this travel kettle..?
You'd have to pay about £15.00 roughly for this travel kettle, but you do get a couple of cups thrown in, even if the cups are only suitable for people who don't drink much hot tea or coffee in one sitting.
* And is it worth the money..?
If you're after a small kettle for taking away with you. Maybe you want one for a small caravan you are visiting, or eve a canal boat you're taking a trip on. Then this is a good enough kettle and should be well worth purchasing.
However, if you want a kettle to use on a daily basis for you and your family of football fans during half time, then this one is not going to make you happy at all as making two or three good size cups of coffee at a time is not going to make you popular before the second half begins.
Short name: Wahl ZX643