“ Kenwood / Type: Kettle „
There they were, plotting in the corner of the garage, a gaggle of electrical appliances intent on rebellion. How could I have known what was coming? Firstly, the lawnmower broke bread with its maker. One minute trawling a finite supply of grass, the next the chord cut through and no more exertions available until after repair. With a degree of antipathy, the washing machine was next to revolt resulting in a complete service required at an eventual cost of £180. Not to be forgotten, the Dyson sucked its last as both the chord fell into disrepair and the plastic lip at the bottom fell off like a severed limb at a mad butcher's gore fest. The good people of Dyson turned up on site as requested on the telephone but at an on-site cost of £50 by the time they had done their 15 minutes of salvage work (sacre bleu!). This all took place inside a few days so when I approached the kettle to find smoke rising from the powerbase, there was a certain amount of resignation tempered by the mild thrill of knowing a new one would be required. On this occasion it involved a trip to Argos but for those without the will or inclination to have to experience the effort involved in travelling to a real store there is always the virtual harmony of Argus.co.uk. The world of electric kettles is a competitive one giving the consumer a veritable Pandora's box of choice. The parameters defining a wise choice can be wide and varied but we looked at the following, which carved the path to our final choice (with the slightest of twists in the end): Cost: It's quite possible to pay anything between £7.45 to £49.99 for an electrical kettle. We opted for the Kenwood JK340 at £14.70 as it represented good value for money in a medium range product. Often those at the top of the range offer facilities you probably wouldn't want or use whereas those at the bottom might offer too basic a proposition. Other major players in this market include Morphy Richards & R ussell Hobbs. Features & benefits: It's always a good idea to decide what you want your product to do for you. Obviously, the bare minimum is for the kettle to boil water but you can refine this further into how quickly and what else has it got to offer that you might like? This Kenwood product has a number of things that we liked including: A modern design. You can tell that the CAD people have been to work on this as it looms sleek and is full of welcome curves (a bit like a few of the lady writers on the site?) so it looks good! Hey, we're in the 21st century you know so why shouldn't your kettle look cool? You can pour the water in through the spout or lid. The spout is actually big enough to cope with having a tap inserted into it (unlike some we've had in the past) and the main lid flicks off easily enough with a catch on the side of the kettle requiring the simplest of touches to instigate the release. There is a scale filter underneath the lid, which can be removed and cleaned when necessary. Needless to say that, despite the filter, *lime scale will still build up at varying degrees of rapidity depending on where you are in the **country so it's worth cleaning it properly on a regular basis. There is a transparent volume indicator at the side of the kettle, which indicates volume in terms of cups. For those environmentally conscious types, you can use just as much water as is wholly necessary thus contributing to saving the planet from the reckless masses that simply fill the kettle to the top and eeeeeven worse pour the unused water away! The maximum amount that can be filled is the equivalent of 8 cups. The on/off power switch lights up when depressed (as it's turned on as opposed to needing valium...no, not your valium sandwiches, Auldmac!). This makes it very clear that the darn thing is on (how often have you been waiting for the kettle to boil only to find you ain't switched the flaming thing on?). There is even the added advantage that should you have a power cut, you will always be able to have a cup of much needed tea or coffee because you'll be able to see the switch shining against the darkness whilst you wait for the electricity board to get their act together. Colour co-ordination: Well this one's a lovely cream colour matching the scheme in the kitchen. I mean, you're not gonna want a black one in a white kitchen (are you?). Reliability: Kenwood's an established brand name. This product came with a registration card and an offer of entering a free prize draw for replies within 14 days. Hey, I could win £10000, the holiday of a lifetime or even a brand new car. There is a 12-month guarantee unless you willingly misuse, neglect or damage it. You know, trying to boil a few kilos of lentils probably won't do it much good and you'll invalidate the guarantee. After sales service: Kenwood have their own website at www.kenwood.co.uk if you need to contact them with queries. I had a quick look at the website and it’s pretty intuitive. Aaaaactually, as soon as you log into the homepage you’re greeted with a rather prominent voice over but you’ll find their product range here along with contact details depending on which country you live in. Kenwood Electronics UK Ltd is a subsidiary of its parent company; Kenwood Corporation based in Japan. Kenwood Corporation began as a small family concern back in 1946 making radios and amplifiers. Today, Kenwood Corporation employs in excess of 3000 staff based in over 40 subsidiary company in countries all over the world and including China and Japan. A consumer test: Well, I decided to do a "Which" test and boil it 50 times to see how quick it was. Hey, I'm lying! I've got better things to do you know? I did fill it with 2 cups worth of water and timed th e boil though. It came out at a respectable 75 seconds so it's not to bad at all. You can pay more for rapid boil kettles, which proclaim to boil a cup of water in seconds. These cost around £30 but are you really in that much of a hurry? Drawbacks? Hmmmm...my good lady complained that she didn’t realise it wasn’t cordless until after she’d bought it. There is little or no difference in price and it would have saved plugging the chord in and out. Hey, maybe I’ll go myself next time but I'm sure that our wrists won't drop off from plugging and unplugging the chord in. OK, so there you have it, a quick trawl through factors involved with choosing kettles plus me advocating this product from Kenwood. So the next time you hear dark mutterings from the corner of the garage don't be too afraid. Remember that there's always a silver lining and you can usually find it on the Net! I hope this helps and thanks for reading. Anyone for tea? Marandina *Limescale will build up on a heating element which can make the kettle take longer to boil and even burn the element out. Once descaled, it's a good idea to boil with fresh water a few times and discard to make absolutely sure. Make sure any trace of descaler is also cleaned off as this can damage parts too. Using filtered water will reduce the risk of limescale. **Some regions have chalky water, which can make boiled water look cloudy and leave a deposit on the side of the kettle. Normal cleaning will remove this
We bought the above toaster for 35.00. It has a 'browning dial' 1-6. Although a 5 will burn the toast!!. I use Kingsmill square cut because it is the only size bread that will fit in the 'slits'. It is a 2 slice toaster and has a grill bit that allows you to 'toast' buns.....you can only do one at a time, and you still get a white gap through the middle of the bun. It tends to hold breadcrumbs and the stainless steel frame does tend to rust. I think it is overpriced but does the job.
Short name: Kenwood JK340